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Mil Mi-8

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A Polish Air Force Mil Mi-8
Type Transport helicopter
Manufacturer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Maiden flight 9 July, 1961
Introduced 1967
Status In service
Primary users Soviet Union
ca. 80 other countries
Produced 1961-
Number built >12,000
Unit cost $5-8 million (2006)
Variants Mil Mi-14
Mil Mi-17
Mil Mi-24

The Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip") is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The first single-engine (AI-24W) prototype, W-8, flew in 9 July 1961. A second one with two AI-24W engines made its first flight on 17 September 1962. After few changes it was introduced into the Soviet Air Force by 1967 as Mi-8.

The Mi-8 is the world's second most-produced helicopter[1], and is used by over 50 countries. There are numerous variants, including the Mi-8T which is armed with rockets and anti-tank guided missiles, in addition to carrying twenty four soldiers. The Mil Mi-17 export version is employed by around 20 countries; its equivalent in Russian service in the Mi-8M series. The naval Mil Mi-14 and attack Mil Mi-24 are also derived from the Mi-8.

Operational service

Use in Finland

File:Mi-8 kuljetushelikopteri.jpg
Finnish Mi-8 in Hernesaari, Helsinki, in 2005

The Finnish Defence Forces and the Finnish Border Guard have been using Mi-8s since the 1970s. Six Mi-8Ts were first obtained, followed by a further two Mi-8Ts and two Mi-8Ps. Three of the helicopters were given to the Border Guard Wing. One of these were lost after having sunk through the ice during a landing. This was soon replaced by a new Mi-8. After their Border Guard service, the helicopters were transferred to the civil register, but shortly thereafter to the Finnish Air Force. In 1997 it was decided that all helicopters, including the remaining five Mi-8Ts and two Mi-8Ps should be transferred to the Army Wing at Utti. Two Mi-8s are still in active service (as of 2007), since deliveries of NH90 helicopters have been delayed for more than 3 years due to delays in the type approval certificate. One Mi-8 is now exhibited at the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa, and one is in Päijät-Häme Aviation Museum in Vesivehmaa near Lahti.


Prototypes/experimental/low production variants

V-8 (NATO - Hip-A)
The original single-engined prototype.
A twin-engined prototype, featuring TV2-117 turboshaft engines, the prototype underwent further modifications during its life.
Prototype of the Mi-8T utility version.
Mi-8 (NATO - Hip-B)
Twin-engined prototype.
Conversion to operate on LPG gas.
Prototype helicopter design, a modification of the existing Mil Mi-8. Two Mi-8s were extended by 0.9 meters (3 ft), the landing gear made retractable, and a sliding door added to the starboard side of the fuselage. The Mi-18s were used in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and later used as static training airframes for pilots of the Mi-8/17.

Basic military transport / airframe variants

Mi-8T (NATO - Hip-C)
First mass production utility transport version, can carry unguided rocked pods (with S-5 rockets) and side mounted PK machine gun.
Mi-8TVK (NATO - Hip-E)
Version used as a gunship or direct air support platform. Airframe modifications add 2x external hard points for a total of 6, and mount a flexible 12.7 mm machine gun in the nose. Armament of 57 mm S-5 rockets, bombs, or AT-2/SWATTER ATGMs.
Mi-8TBK (NATO - Hip-F)
Armed export version, fitted with six launch rails to carry and fire Malyutka missiles..

Command and electronic warfare variants

Mi-8IV (NATO - Hip-G, for export - Mi-9)
Airborne command post version characterized by antennas, and Doppler radar on tail boom (based on Mi-8T airframe).
Mi-8PPA (NATO - Hip-K)
Airborne jamming platform characterized by 6x “X”-shaped antennas on the aft fuselage. Built only for export.
Polish airborne command post version.
Mi-8PS (NATO - Hip-D, aka Mi-8TPS)
Radio relay and command post version.
Mi-8SMV (NATO - Hip-J)
Airborne jamming platform characterized by small boxes on the left side of the fuselage. Used for protection of ground attack aircraft against enemy air defenses.
Mi-8VPK (NATO - Hip-D, aka Mi-8VZPU)
Airborne communications platform with rectangular communication canisters mounted on weapons racks.

Other military variants

Military ambulance version.
Reconnaissance version.
Artillery observation version.

Civil variants

Civilian utility transport version, with accommodation for 24 passengers, fitted with tip-up seats along the cabin walls and circular cabin windows.
Civilian passenger transport version, with accommodation for between 28 and 32 passengers, fitted with square cabin windows.
Mi-8S "Salon"
Civilian VIP transport version, with accommodation for between 9 and 11 passengers.
Search and rescue version (operated usually in Malaysia for Fire and Rescue Department services).
Polar exploration version for use in the Arctic.
Civilian transport version, with upgraded engines.
Agricultural version, fitted with hoppers and spray bars.
Air accident investigation version.
Upgraded transport version, fitted with a weather radar.
Hot and high desert version.
De luxe VIP transport version, with accommodation for between 7 and 9 passengers.


Military Operators

File:Mi-8 Hip Roving Sands 99.jpg
An Mi-8 during "Roving Sands 99".
File:Mi-8 Croatian airforce.jpg
Croatian Mil Mi-8MTV-1
File:Mi-8T of SAF.jpg
Serbian Mi-8T cargo helicopter
File:Mi-8 YPA.jpg
Mi-8T helicopter of YuAF.
File:Ukr af mil 8.jpg
Ukrainian Mi-8, primarily used by the Airmobile Forces

Civil Operators

File:Mil 8 fire.jpg
Heli Harvest Mi-8MTV

Specifications (Mi-8T)

Template:Aircraft specification

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence


The initial version of this article was based on material from It has been released under the GFDL by the copyright holder.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mil Mi-8".