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Mil Mi-8 (Hip)


Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter


Soviet Union | 1967



"Use of the Soviet-era Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopter has been worldwide with the type being utilized through many military and civilian guises."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/03/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
Numbering well over 12,000 production examples, the Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name of "Hip") can be viewed as one of the most successful helicopter designs of all time. It has seen use as a passenger transport, troop transport, vip transport, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, assault, artillery spotter and airborne command post throughout its tenure with the various nations that have purchased the aircraft. Even today, the Mi-8 remains in use as an operational-level instrument in many of the air forces and army groups that have seen value in the type. As of this writing, production continues despite some 42 years since the first Mi-8 rolled off of the assembly lines at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant - then under the Soviet banner.

The Mi-8 was developed as a replacement for the Mi-4 "Hound", a piston-engined transport helicopter appearing in 1953 that could seat up to fourteen personnel. Utilizing some of the successful internal workings of the Mi-4, the new Mil design featured a single Soloviev turboshaft engine of 2,700 shaft horsepower mated to an all-new enlarged fuselage. The prototype took on the name of Mi-8 ("Hip-A") and achieved first flight on July 9th, 1961. Follow-up developmental testing soon revealed the design to lack in power and, as such, the single engine idea was dropped in favor of a twin-engined design featuring two Isotov TV2 turboshaft engines. A five-blade main rotor was also used in this revision which produced the second prototype, first flying on September 17th, 1962. Minor revisions followed and the Mi-8 was fully introduced in Soviet Air Force service sometime in 1967. The initial production versions all fell under the NATO designation of "Hip-C" and constituted the base militarized model and a civilian model (noted for its square windows instead of round). Since then, the Hip series has been expanded to include a plethora of upgraded and specially-designed versions.

Externally, the Mi-8 maintains a most utilitarian look about her. She sports a low-slung front crew area with extensive glazing that offers up excellent views from the cockpit. Immediately to the cockpit's rear is the spacious crew cabin with side-mounted sliding doors. On most versions, the tricycle undercarriage is static (one such Hip offered a retractable undercarriage) which adds to the types distinct look. Two engines are mounted above and to the rear of the crew cabin area and power a large five-blade main rotor system. The empennage is also a distinct feature of this rotorcraft as it sits high in the design and sports a single vertical tail fin, horizontal plane and a three-blade tail rotor mounted to the starboard side (the similar Mi-17 mounts the tail rotor to port). A modified Hip system features a rear-loading ramp. The crew consists of a pilot, co-pilot and a loadmaster.

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Performance specifications of the common Mil Mi-8T "Hip-C" model are provided for by the twin Klimov-brand TV3-117Mt turboshaft engines generating up to 1,950 shaft horsepower each. Speeds top off at 260 kilometers per hour while a maximum range of 280 miles is possible. A ferry range of 596 miles is noted as is a service ceiling of 14,765 feet.

When armed, the Hip can sport a variety of mission-specific munitions. This includes the use of anti-tank missiles on outrigger pylons, rocket pods and even drop bombs. Self-defense can be handled by a side-mounted PK machine gun or equivalent. One particular Hip model mounted a 12.7mm machine gun in the nose for increased lethality. With the Hip being a multi-role type helicopter system capable of up to 3,300lbs of armament, it can mount virtually any approved ordnance package that the operator needs for a particular mission.

Operators of the Mi-8 cover the world over and appear in both militarized and civilian guises. Prominent military operators include Russia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Iran and Serbia. Notable operators also include the United States, which featured the type with their 6th Special Operations Squadron for training purposes. The American-based contracting group, Blackwater USA, used the type as well.

Anyway one looks at it, the expansive reach of this system has ensured an excellent legacy for the machine. Despite newer and more technologically advanced systems since the inception of the Mi-8, the Hip continues to serve in many frontline units across the globe. It is expected that the helicopter will continued to do so for many more years to come.

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December 2014 - The newest incarnation of the Mi-8 is in flight-testing as the Mi-171A2. This product features an all-glass cockpit, new rotors, and digitally-controlled Klimov VK2500PS-03 turboshaft engines of 2,400 shaft horsepower each. Avionics are by Radio-Electronic Technologies (KBO-17 series). A follow-up (second) prototype is also in the works.

July 2017 - Debuted at MAKS 2017 was the Mi-8AMTSh-VA production variant for Arctic environment service.

August 2020 - An improved version of the Mi-8AMT(Sh)-VN helicopter, the Mi-171Sh "Strom", was displayed at Army2020. Russian special forces are the prime early candidate for this mark.

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Cockpit
While traditional jobs involve workstations, office desks, or cubicles, aircraft provide operators with their own unique, ever-changing view of the world below.
Cockpit image
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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Mil-Mi-8T (Hip-C) Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter.
2 x Klimov TV3-117Mt turboshaft engines developing 1,950 shaft horsepower each and drivign a five-blade main rotor and three-blade tail rotor.
Propulsion
162 mph
260 kph | 140 kts
Max Speed
106 mph
170 kph | 92 kts
Cruise Speed
14,764 ft
4,500 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
280 miles
450 km | 243 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Mil-Mi-8T (Hip-C) Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
59.6 ft
18.17 m
O/A Length
69.8 ft
(21.29 m)
O/A Width
18.2 ft
(5.56 m)
O/A Height
16,006 lb
(7,260 kg)
Empty Weight
26,455 lb
(12,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip) Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter provided across 6 hardpoints.
Up to 6 x Hardpoints for rocket pods, anti-tank missiles and bombs. Ordnance can include a combination of the following:

UV-16-57 rocket pods (S-5 rockets)
UV-32-57 rocket pods
AT-2 "Swatter" anti-tank missiles
AT-3 "Sagger" anti-tank missiles
9M17 Phalanga anti-tank missiles
Nose-Mounted KV-4 12.7mm machine gun
Mine Dispensers
551lb drop bombs
Side-Mounted PK machine gun(s)
Gun pods
Cannon pods


X
X
X
X
X
X
Hardpoints Key:


Centerline
Wingroot(L)
Wingroot(R)
Wing
Wingtip
Internal
Not Used
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip) family line.
V-8 ("Hip-A") - Single-Engine Prototype
V-8A - Twin-Engine Prototype; fitted with TV2-117 series turboshaft engines.
V-8AT - Mi-8T Utility Prototype
Mi-8 ("Hip-B") - Twin-Engine Prototype
Mi-8TG - Converted LPG gas-capable Mi-8
Mi-18 - Prototype based on Mi-8; lengthened fuselage; sliding starboard-side door added; retractable undercarriage.
Mi-8T ("Hip-C") - Initial quantitative production model; provision for 4 x UV-16-57 rocket pods; side-facing PK machine gun.
Mi-8TV - Armed version based on the Mi-8T model.
Mi-8TVK / Mi-8TB ("Hip-E") - Gunship Variant; provision for 6 x UV-32-57 rocket pods, 4 x AT-2 "Swatter" anti-tank missiles and 2 x 551lb drop bombs; KV-4 machine gun fitted to nose.
Mi-8TBK ("Hip-F") - Gunship Export Model; provision for 6 x Malyutka anti-tank missiles.
Mi-8IV ("Hip-G") - Utility transport; provision for 4 x UV-16-57 rocket pods; side-facing PK-machine gun.
Mi-9 - Export version of the Mi-8IV model.
Mi-8PPA ("Hip-K") - Export Electronic Warfare / Airborne Command Post; fitted with 6 antenna structures.
Mi-8PD - Polish Airborne Command Post
Mi-8PS / Mi-8TPS ("Hip-D") - Command Post / Communications Platform.
Mi-8SMV ("Hip-J") - Airborne Jamming Platform
Mi-8VPK / Mi-8VZPU ("Hip-D") - Airborne Communications Platform.
Mi-8AMT - Unarmed Transport
Mi-8AMT(Sh) - Based on the Mi-8MTV; fitted with electro-optic sight and radar system; armed or unarmed version.
Mi-8AMT(Sh)-VA - Arctic environment variant; debuted at MAKS 2017.
Mi-8AMT(Sh)-VN
Mi-8AV - Minelayer.
Mi-8VT - Mine Clearer.
Mi-8MB - MEDEVAC variant.
Mi-8MTO - Night Attack Model.
Mi-8R - Reconnaissance Platform.
Mi-8K - Reconnaissance / Artillery Observation Platform.
Mi-8PT - Staff Transport; improved communications suite.
Mi-8SKA - Photo-Reconnaissance Platform
Mi-8T(K) - Photo-Reconnaissance Platform
Mi-8TZ - Fuel Transport
Mi-8T ("Hip-C") - Utility Transport; seating for 24; fitted with 2 x Klimov TV2-117A turboshaft engines of 1,677 shaft horsepower each.
Mi-8P - Civilian Transport; seating for up to 32; in-flight galley and restroom facilities.
Mi-8S "Salon" - Civilian VIP Transport; seating for up to 11; in-flight galley and toilet facilities.
Mi-8M - Russian Service Designation for similar Mi-17 "Hip".
Mi-8MPS - Search and Rescue (SAR) Variant
Mi-8MA - Cold Weather Exploration Variant
Mi-8MT - Aerial Crane Variant
Mi-8MTV - Improved "hot and high" model; fitted with TV3-117VM turboshaft engines.
Mi-8AT - Civilian Transport; fitted with revised and improved TV2-117AG series turboshaft engines.
Mi-8ATS - Agricultural Sprayer
Mi-8TL - Accident Investigation Model
Mi-8TM - Transport Model; fitted with weather radar.
Mi-8TS - Hot Weather Variant
Mi-8VIP - Luxury VIP Transport; seating for up to 9.
Mi-8PA - Heavy Material Transport; single production examples used by Japan.
Mi-171 - Ulan-Ude export equivalent of the Mi-8AMT.
Mi-171A - Civilian market passenger transport
Mi-171A1 - Civilian market cargo transport
Mi-171A2 - Digitally-controlled Klimov VK-2500PS-03 engines of 2,400shp; new rotor; glass cockpit.
Mi-171C - Local Chinese-built variant of the Mi-171; under Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Ltd brand label; outfitted with twin radar configuration; single ramp door at rear.
Mi-171E - Fitted with VK-2500-03 series engines for extreme weather service.
Mi-171LL - Flying testbed for Mi-171 series
Mi-171M - Modernized Mi-171; standard operating crew of two (from three).
Mi-171S - Mi-171 completed with Western-minded avionics suite.
Mi-171Sh - Export variant of the Mi-8AMTSh
Mi-172 - Kazan export equivalent of the Mi-8AMT.
Mi-8MTV-3 - Kazan export equivalent of the Mi-8AMT.
Mi-17 ("Hip") - Developed from the Mi-8; known as the Mi-8M in Russian service; tail rotor mounted to port-side; fitted with TV3-117MT engines, larger rotor and transmission.
Mi-17MD - Kazan-developed Mi-8 with rear ramp and dolphin-nose housing radar.
Mi-17KF - Kazan-developed Mi-8 with Western-type electronics suite.
Mi-171Sh "Strom" - Enhanced variant of the Mi-8AMT(Sh)-VN; displayed at Army2020 in Russia.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Mil Mi-8 (Hip). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 12,500 Units

Contractor(s): Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant - Soviet Union / Russian Helicopters - Russia
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Angola National flag of Armenia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Bangladesh National flag of Belarus National flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Canada National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Croatia National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Ecuador National flag of Egypt National flag of Estonia National flag of Ethiopia National flag of Finland National flag of Georgia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Guinea National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Israel National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Kyrgyzstan National flag of Latvia National flag of Libya National flag of Lithuania National flag of Macedonia National flag of Malaysia National flag of Mexico National flag of Mongolia National flag of Montenegro National flag of Mozambique National flag of Myanmar National flag of New Zealand National flag of Nicaragua National flag of North Korea National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Russia National flag of Senegal National flag of Serbia National flag of Slovakia National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Sudan National flag of Somalia National flag of Syria National flag of Tajikistan National flag of Turkey National flag of Turkmenistan National flag of Uganda National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United States National flag of Uzbekistan National flag of Vietnam National flag of Venezuela National flag of Yemen National flag of Yugoslavia National flag of Zambia

[ Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Anguilla; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Turkey; Belarus; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Canada; Cambodia; China; Colombia; Croatia; Cuba; Czech Republic; Djibouti; East Germany; Ecuador; Egypt; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; Germany; Georgia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; Israel; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Laos; Latvia; Libya; Lithuania; Macedonia; Madagascar; Malaysia; Montenegro; Maldives; Mali; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; New Zealand; Nicaragua; North Korea; North Vietnam; Pakistan; Peru; Poland; Romania; Russia; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Sri Lanka; Slovakia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; United States; Vietnam; Venezuela; Yemen; Yugoslavia; Zambia ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (162mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
12500
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip)
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Image of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip)
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Image of the Mil Mi-8 (Hip)
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
CLOSE-AIR SUPPORT
AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING
SEARCH & RESCUE
TRANSPORT
COMMERCIAL AVIATION
VIP SERVICE
RECONNAISSANCE
SPECIAL FORCES
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Similar
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Mil Mi-8 (Hip) Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter.
Going Further...
The Mil Mi-8 (Hip) Multirole Medium-Lift Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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