The Mi-8 is a base version of the transport helicopter available in civil and military versions. It’s cockpit accommodates three crew members – commander, navigator, and flight mechanic. The cockpit can be armoured (military version).
The helicopter has external hardpoints for external armament such as unoperated aviation missiles, bombs and a slung load. A slung load is up to 3 000 kg. Helicopter’s landing-transport equipment can be used to load light towed combat material and armament with winches and for people rescuing from the ground or from the sea by an electrically operated 200 kg capacity hoist. The cabin has cargo tiedown points on the floor. Ramps are provided for loading light vehicles. Fuel is carried in two flexible internal and external fuel tanks (1 870 l capacity both). Range of flight with normal load is 465 km. However the fuel capacity can be increased up to 3 700 l for 950 km flying range. The Mi-8T “Hip” uses aviation kerosene. Development of the Mi-8 Helicopter began at the beginning of 60-ties. Helicopter’s name as Mi is shortened it’s general designer’s surname. This helicopter was intended to replace the outdated and lighter Mi-4 helicopter. First prototype of the Mi-8 with a 4-blade rotor was tested in 1962. Tests showed that prototype has a number of disadvantages and after it’s improvement in 1963 began tests of the second machine with a 5-blade rotor. Tests showed that this new transport helicopter had 2.5-fold better weightlifting and 1.4-fold higher speed comparing with the Mi-4. This version was adopted and it’s serial production began in 1965. Fuel is carried in two flexible internal and external fuel tanks (1 870 l capacity both). Range of flight with normal load is 465 km. However the fuel capacity can be increased up to 3 700 l for 950 km flying range. The Mi-8 “Hip” uses aviation kerosene. Cockpit of the Mi-8 Helicopter
Helicopter has a transmission scheme very similar to the Mi-4. Fuselage is clinched from aluminium plates. Main and turn rotors have 5 and 3 blades consequently. The main rotor features hollow longeron blades made from pressed high quality aluminium alloy. Longerons are fitted with icing prevention system’s heating elements operated in automatic or manual modes. All main rotor blades are fitted with pneumatic failure alarm system.