On January 13, 1942, Sikorsky's helicopter took off for the first time - the world's first helicopter designed for military purposes. The scientist-aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky began the development of helicopters in pre-revolutionary Russia, and realized them already in exile in the United States. Today, in our review, a dozen of the most famous military helicopters.
Light multipurpose helicopter Sikorsky R-4 "Hoverfly"
The first Sikorsky helicopter VS-300 took off back in 1939. The designer personally piloted the car. The VS-300 had a completely primitive appearance, and the fuselage did not even have a skin. The pilot sat in a small seat completely open, right in front of the engine. Initially, the helicopter was powered by a 65 horsepower Lycoming engine that propelled a three-blade propeller. The helicopter was heavy to fly, vibrated strongly and stayed in the air for only a few seconds.
Sikorsky continued his development and in January 1942 presented the R-4 "Hoverfly" helicopter. The helicopter could reach speeds of up to 120 km / h and fly 180 km, climbing with one pilot to an altitude of 3650 meters (2800 meters with two pilots). The mission of the first military helicopter is communications and rescue operations. The Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly has been in service with the United States since 1942 and since 1945 in service with the UK. Military aircraft operated this helicopter in Alaska and during the Burma War, where the R-4 supported the advancement of American troops in the jungle, delivering cargo and messages and evacuating the wounded. The R-4 was retired from service in the late 1940s.
Mi-1 - the first Soviet military helicopter
The first Soviet serial helicopter was the MI-1. In terms of flight and technical characteristics, the Mi-1 resembled the famous American Sikorsky S-51 helicopter (1949). But if the American helicopter was produced in a small series and did not take long to build, then the Mi-1 helicopters were widely used in the national economy and in the armed forces of the USSR, as well as other countries where the helicopter was exported.
Since 1954, Mi-1 helicopters have been produced in Orenburg, later in Rostov, and since 1957 they have been produced under license in Poland. In total, more than 2,500 Mi-2 helicopters were built. In the period from 1958 to 1968, 27 international records were set on this helicopter, including a speed record (141.392 km / h), an altitude record (6700 m) and a flight range (1654.571 km). Mi-1 is still in operation in many countries of the world.
Mi-8 is the most popular helicopter in the world
The Mi-8 helicopter was put into production in 1965. The history of this machine began in 1958, when Nikita Khrushchev summoned designer Mikhail Mil to the Kremlin and offered to go to the United States to purchase several helicopters from Sikorsky's company, and most importantly, to inspect the production and find out the capabilities of American machines.
The Mi-8 helicopter was equipped with two 1500-horsepower engines with a 12-stage compressor, an annular direct-flow combustion chamber and a 2-stage axial turbine. In the event of a failure of one of the engines, the other automatically went to increased power, due to which the machine performed vertical flight without lowering the altitude. In addition to 3 crew members, the helicopter could take on board 24 paratroopers or 28 passengers and transfer them to a distance of up to 425 km at a cruising speed of 225 km / h. The maximum speed of the Mi-8 is 250 km / h.
In June 1965, the USSR presented the Mi-8 at the international air show in Le Bourget, and the helicopter became a real sensation.
Over 50 years of its existence, more than 12 thousand cars have been produced. Mi-8 of various modifications. The latest military modification of this helicopter, the Mi-8AMTSh "Terminator", is designed to combat armored surface, ground, mobile and stationary small targets, to transport troops, military cargo, wounded, to defeat enemy personnel, as well as for evacuation and search operations. rescue work.
Ka-31 - a Soviet helicopter that has no analogues in the world
In November 1986, the Soviet Ka-31 helicopter took off, which has no analogues in the world helicopter industry. Its main feature is the ability to conduct a radar patrol. The helicopter can be based on ships, or it can be used in a land-based version to solve air defense missions for ground forces.
On board the Ka-31, an electronic complex is installed that allows an automated helicopter flight in any climatic and weather conditions along a programmed route, detecting and taking up to 20 targets for auto-tracking. At the same time, the helicopter transmits information about the targets to the control points via the telecode communication channel.
The helicopter today has no analogues in terms of its combat characteristics. It is capable of detecting air targets of the "airplane-helicopter" type at long-range lines at extremely low flight altitudes. The helicopter is also used for the detection of surface ships and their escort. The ship-based Ka-31 helicopter is capable of protecting formations of warships from air strikes that operate outside the zone of AWACS aircraft and coastal radars. The Ka-31 is currently in service with the Russian Federation and India.
Ka-50 "Black Shark"
The Soviet Ka-50 helicopter, a prototype of which took to the air in the summer of 1982, became the world's first helicopter with an ejection seat, providing the rescue of a pilot in any flight mode. The safety of the pilot in this car was given a special place: the cockpit is fully armored using spaced metal plates, the total weight of which exceeds 300 kg. Tests have shown that the protection of the pilot is guaranteed when bullets of 12, 7 mm and fragments of 20 mm shells hit the side of the vehicle.
The tests of this helicopter were kept in the strictest confidence. They were tested not far from Moscow, in full view of many curious people. Therefore, the OKB specialists went for original camouflage measures: the combat vehicle was turned into a transport vehicle, additional windows and doors were painted on the sides of the fuselage with bright yellow paint.
The first baptism of fire of the Ka-50 helicopter took place during the anti-terrorist operation of the Russian army in Chechnya in January 2001. The vehicle is capable of performing combat missions in the most difficult mountainous conditions, demonstrating power availability and maneuverability in battle.
Mi-26 - the largest helicopter in the world
The Mi-26 is the world's largest multipurpose transport helicopter used in both civil and military aviation. The first Mi-26 took off in 1977. Today, the helicopter, nicknamed the "flying cow" by the pilots, is the largest helicopter in the world. It is capable of lifting up to 20 tons of cargo into the air, and not only on board, but also on an external sling. For heavy loads, a winch is provided that can lift loads up to 500 kg. The helicopter can accommodate 82 paratroopers or 60 stretchers with the wounded. The maximum speed of the car is 295 km / h.
Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk"
The helicopter of the XXI century is considered by many to be the Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" helicopter, created 40 years ago. With a carrying capacity of 1500 kg on board or up to 4000 kg on an external sling, he takes on board 14 fighters. Today there is a basic land version of the UH-60 and 2 anti-submarine versions - SH-60F Ocean Hawk and SH-60B Sea Hawk. There is also a line of deck helicopters, fire support helicopters, special operations vehicles, ambulance versions and jammers. The Sikorsky UH-60 is used as a command helicopter for generals and high-ranking officials. Today this helicopter is actively exported.
Attack helicopter Boeing AH-64 "Apache"
The iconic Apache helicopter gained fame in Operation Desert Storm, where, according to NATO officials, it successfully fought tanks, and became the prototype for a whole class of modern combat helicopters. This helicopter is regularly used by the IDF Air Force. The helicopter is equipped with 16 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Stinger missile systems for air combat and a 30 mm built-in automatic cannon.
Experts say that today the Russian Mi-28N Night Hunter has thrown an open challenge to the Apache in flight performance characteristics. And in 2002, the export version of the Mi-24 with modern avionics of the DPRK Air Force shot down the South Korean Apache from an ambush. South Korea admitted the loss and demanded that the United States hold a free park of its "Apaches". The dispute has not yet been resolved. American helicopters have even become a source of inspiration for the designers who created the collection. exclusive helicopter hats.
"Huey" (Iroquois) - a symbol of the Vietnam War
The Huey helicopter, along with napalm, has become a symbol of the Vietnam War. These helicopters were "home" for the American military - they delivered them to positions, supplied them with provisions and ammunition, brought up equipment and evacuated them from the battlefield.
According to statistics, over the 11 years of the war, the Huey flew 36 million sorties. If we take into account that 3 thousand vehicles did not return to the base, it turns out that there was 1 irrecoverable loss for 18 thousand sorties. The result is unique! And this despite the fact that the "Huey" had no reservation at all.
Mi-24 "Crocodile" - hybrid helicopter
Mi-24 is a Soviet combat transport helicopter, the first flight of which took place in 1969. In NATO, he received the code name "Doe" (Hind), and the American experts passed the verdict: the Mi-24 is not a helicopter.
Although outwardly the Mi-24 looks like a helicopter and is used like a helicopter, from a technical point of view, it is a hybrid. He cannot take off from a "patch". Its visually disproportionately large pylons are actually wings. The Mi-24 was designed as a “flying infantry fighting vehicle”. And the designers managed to turn the heavy armored helicopter into one of the fastest combat helicopters in the world (it can reach speeds of up to 320 km / h).
"Crocodile" took part in hostilities in the Pamir Mountains, in the gorges of the Caucasus, in the tropical forests of Equatorial Africa and in the sultry Asian deserts. Fighting glory came to him in Afghanistan. This unique rotary-wing attack aircraft became a symbol of that war. One of the Afghan mujahideen in an interview with the American news channel about "Crocodile" said: "We are not afraid of the Russians, but we are afraid of their helicopters." The Mi-24 is the only helicopter in the world that shot down a combat aircraft in an air battle (the F-4 fighter "/>
We offer you to read a review about the most famous Soviet fighter aircraft MiG.