World’s Largest Heavy Lift Helicopter Ever

Transport helicopters are used at places where the use of conventional aircrafts is not possible. Most of the transport helicopters that the world has seen are either produced or possessed by one of the strongest militaries of the world. Therefore, they are commonly put into the category of military helicopters. These helicopters are then used for deploying troops or carrying cargo in support of military operations. Heavy lift helicopters are the largest and most capable of the transport types. Many variants of the transport type have been produced to date, such as the CH-53 Sea Stallion and related CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-47 Chinook, Mil Mi-26, and Aerospatiale Super Frelon. But the question remains which one among the heavy lift helicopter’s class, is the largest one in terms of size and dimensions and also in terms of lift capacity. The name that tops the list might not be new to you but it definitely is the forgotten one.  Yes, it’s the Mil Mi 12 that never made it to full scale production despite of the two prototypes being produced 1968 and 1971. Regardless of the production debacle, it officially remains the largest heavy lift transport helicopter ever built in both size and lift capabilities.

The Mil Mi 12 Codenamed “Homer” used a side-by-side rotor scheme, each rotor being powered by two Soloviev D-25VF turboshafts, each outputting 4,800kW or 6,500 shp (shaft horsepower ). With a length of 37m (121 ft 4 in) and a rotor diameter of 35m (114 ft 10 in), the Mi-12 has a maximum takeoff weight of 105,000 kg (231,500 lb) and holds the payload record with 44,205 kg (88,636 lb).

A snapshot of Mi-12 Homer’s specifications is given as follows:

General Characteristics
Country of Origin Soviet Union (Russia)
Manufacturer Mil Design Bureau Russia
Initial Year of Service 1968
Number of Production 2
Crew 6 (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, electrician, navigator, radio operator)
Capacity 196 passengers
Length 37 m (121 ft 5 in)
Wingspan 67 m (219 ft 10 in) across rotors
Height 12.5 m (41 ft)
Empty Weight 69,100 kg (152,339 lb)
Gross Weight 97,000 kg (213,848 lb)
Max. Take-off Weight 105,000 kg (231,485 lb)
Main Rotor Diameter 2×35 m (114 ft 10 in)
Main Rotor Area  962 m2 (10,350 ft²) 5-bladed rotors located transversely
Power Source  4 × Soloviev D-25VF turbo-shaft engines, 4,800 kW (6,500 shp) each
Maximum Speed  260 km/h (162 mph; 140 kn)
Cruising Speed  240 km/h (149 mph; 130 kn)


Images: airliners.net

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