A turbine powered derivative of the Mil-4, the prototype Mil-8 was first flown with a single engine in 1961. A twin engine model was displayed to the Soviet government in 1962. The production version featured a five blade rotor with electric de-icing, and a cabin with side and rear access capable of carrying 28 passengers, 12 stretchers or 4000kg of cargo. Adopted by Warsaw-Pact forces in 1967, the Mil-8 has been the most numerically important helicopter produced by the Soviet Union. Derivatives of the 'Hip' include the Mil-14 ASW helicopter, the Mil-17, and the Mil-24 gunship. The Mil-17 is a light-to-medium lift helicopter which became available in the early 1980's. Featuring 2x1,900shp Isotov TV3-117MT turboshafts its MTO is 1000kg above the Mil-8. The cargo capacity is similar, but the range is greater.
A large number of Mil-8s have been exported over the years, and the recent changes in Russia have made these heavy lift helicopters available to operators where they have previously been uncommon. At least three Mil-8's have been imported to New Zealand and are operated by HeliHarvest ( illustrated below) on contract to Timberlands West Coast, carrying out selective logging. The third helicopter, a Mil-8T is also illustrated below. I understand this particular aircraft is currently for sale. One Helicopter (YS-1005P) was lost in 1993 (with its crew) while in transit to a logging operation. HeliHarvest have also brought in a Mil-17 (shown below) which is laid up at Taupo due to contract difficulties.
Last Update:- 28 September, 1997
Data is for the Mil-8
© 1997 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved