Helicopter MI-26

1/72 Helicopter MI-26

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A rotary wing pilot once told me that "any aircraft that has to beat the air into submission in order to fly is not quite right." Okay, but VTOL certainly is useful in a lot of situations…and it still beats walking. 

The Mi-26 is the biggest and most powerful helicopter ever built. It first flew in 1977 and it went into Soviet service in 1983. Payload can be up to 20 tons (40,000 pounds), 8 tons more than the predecessor Mi-6. You can also compare this to the CH-47 Chinook’s 10-ton capacity. One of the first uses of the Halo was decontamination flights around Chernobyl in 1986. 

For the modeler searching for markings and schemes not often seen, the Mi-26 has real possibilities. Military that used (or still use) the Halo include Belarus, Congo, India, Laos, Mexico, Nepal, North Korea, Peru, Russia, the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela, as well as civil operators in Canada, China, Greece, India, Laos, Peru and Russia. Russian troops generally refer to the Mi-26 as the "Korova" (cow). 

The Halo was used by Russia in Chechnya in 1994-96 and 1999 to 2008. The helicopter was designed to carry 80 troops, but on August 19, 2002 a Mi-26 was shot down near Grozny, killing 147 troops, the greatest loss of life in a helicopter crash to this date. 


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