Length: 17.41 m (57.2 ft.)
Height: 3.75 m (12.3 ft.)
Weight: 2.365 kg (5,214 lbs.)
Powerplant: 2 x Klimow/Klimov GTD-350P turboshaft engines
Maximum Speed: 191 km/h (119 mph)
Maximum Range: 159 km (99 mi)
Service Ceiling: 4,000 m (13,123 ft.)
The Mil Mi-2 is a small, lightly armored, turbine-powered transport helicopter with close air support capabilities when armed with 57mm rockets and 23mm cannons. Its NATO reporting name is “Hoplite.” This helicopter was produced exclusively in Poland at the WSK PZL-Świdnik factory and designed by the Mil Design Bureau of the Soviet Union. It features a classic configuration with a three-bladed main rotator (with a 48-foot diameter) and two-bladed tail rotor system.
The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, which was modeled after the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore, and flown by Mikhal Mil’s bureau in September of 1948. During the 1950s, it became evident (and was eventually confirmed by both American and French development) that helicopters could be improved with the addition of turbine engines. S.P. Isotov the developed the GTD-350 engine to be used on the far superior Mil Mi-2.
The Mil-built prototype had its first flight in the Soviet Union on September 22nd, 1961 after the initial development was transferred to Poland. The first Świdnik-built prototype flew first on November 4th, 1965 – this was the only Soviet-designed helicopter to actually be built completely outside of the Soviet Union. PZL- Świdnik produced a total of 5,497 Mil Mi-2 helicopters, as well as the wide-bodied Mi-2M for carrying up to ten passengers. It was then introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965 and used by mainly former Eastern Bloc and Soviet countries.
Many variants based on the Mil Mi-2 were built, including:
- Mi-2B – A basic Mi-2 with updated navigational aids, a modified electrical system, and without rotor blade de-icing
- Mi-2R – An air ambulance and search and rescue version of the Mi-2 fitted with an electric hoist
Mi-2RM – naval version
- Mi-2URN – A 1973 variant of the Mi-2US gunship with two Mars launcher pods for close air support or armed recce
- Mi-2URP – 1976 anti-tank version with four pylon-mounted AT-3 “Sagger” ATMs and four more added in the cargo compartment
- Mi-2US – A gunship version that is equipped with a NS-23KM 23mm cannon on the port side, two pylon-mounted 7.62mm machine gun pods, and two trainable 7.62mm machine guns
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