Mil Mi-8

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Mil Mi-8
RoleMultirole medium helicopter
First Flight24 June 1961 (single engine)

2 August 1962

Entered Service1967?
Number builtStill in production
ManufacturerKazan Helicopter Plant
Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant
Length25.33 m83 ft 1 in
Rotor Diam.21.25 m69 ft 10 in
Height5.55 m18 ft 2 in
Rotor disc356.16 m²3833.7 ft²
Empty7260 kg16000 lb
Payload4000 kg8820 lb
Normal takeoff weight11100 kg24470 lb
Enginestwo Klimov TV2-117AG turboshafts
Power1250 kW (each)1677 shp (each)
Maximum speed250 km/h155 mph
Operational range570 km355 miles
Service ceiling4500 m14760 ft
Typical Armament
Mi-8T4 UB-16-57 blocks (64 unguided S-5 rockets)
Mi-8MTV6 UB-32-57 blocks (192 unguided S-5 rockets)



The development of the Mil Mi-8 began in May 1960, and it was aimed to replace the piston-engined Mil Mi-4 Hound. The first of two prototypes (V-8), with a single AI-24V turboshaft and four-blade main rotor, flew 24 June 1961, and was given the NATO reporting name Hip-A. A further prototype (V-8A, Hip-B), with two production standard TV2-117 engines and four-blade main rotor, flew 2 August 1962. The four-blade main rotor was changed to a five-blade rotor for production. More than 6,000 Mi-8s, Mi-17s and Mi-171/172s (the Mi-17 is a follow-on development fro export) have been marketed and delivered from Kazan since 1967 and, since 1970, over 11,000 (about 3,700 Mi-8T and 7,300 Mi-17) from Ulan-Ude for civil and military use, including 3,500 exported to 70 countries.


Basic airframe variants:

  • Mi-8T (Transport) - basic transport variant with TV2-117 engines, armed with up to 4 rocket pods and a machine gun in the doors.
  • Mi-8P (passengers) / Mi-8S (salon) – civil variant similar to Mi-8T but with characteristic big square windows, Mi-8S designed for VIP transport.
  • Mi-8MT (modernized transport) – variant with new, more powerful TV3-117 engines and modified weapons hard points (6 instead of 4 and can carry more weight) Export name: Mi-17.
  • Mi-8MTV-1 (modernized transport, high altitude) sometimes just Mi-8MTV – more powerful high altitude TV3-117VM engines, unarmed. Built in Kazan. Export name Mi-17-V.
  • Mi-8MTV-2 – military (armed) variant of Mi-8MTV-1, built in Kazan. Export name Mi-17-V (same as unarmed variant).
  • Mi-8AMT – Same as Mi-8MTV-1 but built in Ulan-Ude. Export name Mi-171. Over time received number of upgrades (like doors on both sides, rear ramp).
  • Mi-8AMTSh - Armed variant of Mi-8AMT, the designation apples to both basic armed variant (with unguided rockets) and to variant with more advanced weapons (like ATGSMs). Export name Mi-171Sh. Built in Ulan-Ude.
  • Mi-8MTV-3 – modification of the Mi-8MTV-2 (some minor changes,doors on both sides etc), sold to India under the export name Mi-172. Built in Kazan.
  • Mi-8MTV-5 – redesigned airframe with new nose (with weather radar), doors on both sides and optional ramp. Export name: Mi-17-V5. Built in Kazan.
  • Mi-8MTV-7 – same as above but with new VK-2500 engines. Export name Mi-17-V7. Built in Kazan.

More detailed information about special purpose variants you can find in the Mil Mi-8 Modifications article.

Long-range modification

The AEFT (Auxiliary External Fuel Tanks) system by Aeroton adds a further 1,900 litres (502 US gallons or 418 Imp gallons) in two internal tanks, plus another 1,900 litres in four external tanks on the stores pylons of the Mi-8T and Mi-8AT. Operational range with all six auxiliary tanks is 593 n miles (1,100 km or 683 miles), ferry range is 863 n miles (1,600 km or 994 miles).


Some surviving Russian Air Forces Mi-8s may receive a limited upgrade, perhaps with improved avionics, instruments, or even composites main rotor blades.




Map of all military Mi-8 operators

Technical Information

Power Plant

Two 1,250 kW (1,677 shp) Klimov TV2-117AG turboshafts. Main rotor speed governed automatically, with manual override.


Two pilots side by side on flight deck, with provision for flight engineer's station. Military versions can be fitted with external flight deck armour. Windscreen de-icing standard. Basic passenger version furnished with 24 to 26 four-abreast track-mounted tip-up seats at pitch of 72 to 75 cm (28 to 29.5 in), with centre aisle 32 cm (12.5 in) wide; removable bar, wardrobe and baggage compartment. Seats and bulkheads of basic version quickly removable for cargo carrying. Mi-8T and standard military versions have cargo tiedown rings in floor, winch of 150 kg (330 lb) capacity and pulley block system to facilitate loading of heavy freight, an external cargo sling system (capacity 3,000 kg or 6,614 lb), and 24 tip-up seats along sidewalls of cabin. All versions can be converted for air ambulance duties, with accommodation for 12 stretchers and tip-up seat for medical attendant. Large windows on each side of flight deck slide rearward. Sliding, jettisonable main passenger door at front of cabin on port side; electrically operated rescue hoist (capacity 150 kg or 330 lb) can be installed at this doorway. Rear of cabin made up of clamshell freight-loading doors, which are smaller on commercial versions, with downward-hinged passenger airstair door centrally at rear. Hook-on ramps used for vehicle loading.


More information

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