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Mi-2 HOPLITE

The engineers at Swidnik developed more than 20 variants of the baseline Mi-2, including the Mi-2T transport version, Mi-2U dual-control trainer version, Mi-2S (sanitarny) ambulance version, Mi-2R (rozpoznawczy) reconnaissance version, Mi-2Ch smoke screen laying version, Mi-2F (fotogrammetriczny) aerial photography version, Mi-2PPD (punkt powietrzny dowódczy) airborne command post, Mi-2 Platan aerial mine-layer, numerous versions for agricultural, SAR and polar aviation duties. In 1979 Polish designers offered a number of armed variants, including the Mi-2US (z uzbrojeniem strzeleckim) with a 23-mm Nudel'man/Sooranov NS-23 cannon and six 7.62-mm Kalashnikov PK machine-guns; the Mi-2URN (uzbrojony w rakiety nekierowane) with an NS-23 cannon and two pods each containing 16 S-5 unguided rockets; the Mi-2URP (uzbrojony w rakiety przeciwpan-cierne) with an NS-23 cannon, two PK machine-guns and four 9M14M Malyutka anti-tank guided missiles. Later, several other sets of armament were developed which were used primarily in the Polish Armed Forces (Wojsko Polskie). The Mi-2 was delivered to the USSR mainly in two basic variants: the multipurpose version which could be converted under field conditions into passenger, liaison, transport, ambulance, patrol, aerial photography, ice reconnaissance or agricultural versions; and the dual-control training version (the Mi-2U). Starting in 1978, Soviet and later Russian sports pilots have gained victories at world helicopter sports championships on the Mi-2. This includes the 1996 championship (team victory, as well as 10 medals out of 156, including three gold medals out of four in specific exercises, despite the participation of sportsmen from other countries with more modern machines.

Some of the modifications developed in the Mil OKB progressed no further than the drawing board. The V-2V (vo'oroozhonnyy) armed version which could carry six Falanga anti-tank guided missiles or four pods with S-5 unguided rockets was developed as early as 1965; yet it was submitted for trials only at the beginning of the 1970s. The military lost interest in this machine due to the service entry of the Mi-24 assault/transport helicopter. The Mi-2KR, a reconnaissance and artillery spotter version that entered flight test in 1974 and featured the Ruta reconnaissance and artillery fire correction avionics set, fared no better. In 1972 a prototype was tested of a Mi-2 variant equipped with external stores of a special kind.

The Mi-2M project (second use of designation; M = moderni-zeerovannyy) developed in 1967 was based on upgrading the original model. The machine was powered by two uprated GTD-550 engines; it featured a four-bladed main rotor and an enlarged fuselage with sliding doors. This concept was pursued further by Polish designers under the guidance of Ch. Czerwinski. Their work resulted in the emergence in 1974 of the Mi-2M1 and Mi-2M2 helicopters powered by uprated GTD-350P engines delivering 450 shp apiece. The former version differed from the original Mi-2 only in having the new powerplant; the latter had a larger cross-section fuselage with the fuel tanks placed under the floor, sliding side doors and reinforced main undercarriage units. The low reliability of the uprated engines forced the designers to relinquish further development of the Mi-2M1 and Mi-2M2, as had been the case with the preceding upgrade projects developed by Soviet designers. More successful was the modification of the original Mi-2 undertaken by Polish designers in 1979 when they adapted it to the American Allison 250-C20B turboshafts rated at 450 shp apiece. This version was designated PZL Kania (Kitty hawk), and a small batch was produced at Swidnik. M. L. Mil and his successor Marat N. Tishchenko repeatedly urged the leaders of the Soviet aircraft industry to issue directives calling for the development of new lightweight helicopter engines and more up-to-date avionics, but to no avail. Due to this, the Mi-2 upgrade programme could not materialise.

In 1970 the USSR and the Polish People's Republic concluded an agreement on joining efforts for the development of a new-generation helicopter which subsequently came to be known as the V-3 (W-3 in Polish transcription). In this connection, the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant converted a production Mi-2 into a testbed in 1971 for the purpose of determining the level of vibrations generated by a four-blade main rotor.

VARIANTS

  • In 1962 a maritime version of the V-2 designated V-2M (morskoy, maritime) was built. This version was fitted with inflatable flotation gear for emergency landings on water and was intended for operation from the vessels of fishing and whaling fleets.
  • Two years later, one of the V-2 prototypes was converted to a VIP ("salon") version with a comfortable interior.
  • Mi-2R: Ambulance version that carries 4x litter patients.
  • Mi-2T: Transport version that carries 8 personnel.
  • Mi-2URN: Armed reconnaissance variant, employs 57-mm unguided rockets, and mounts a gunsight in the cockpit for aiming all weapons.
  • Mi-2URP: The antitank variant. Carries 4x AT-3 Sagger wire-guided missiles on external weapons racks, and 4x additional missiles in the cargo compartment.
  • Mi-2US: The gunship variant, employs an airframe modification that mounted a 23-mm NS-23KM cannon to the portside fuselage. Also employs 2x 7.62-mm gun pods on external racks, and 2x 7.62-mm pintle-mounted machineguns in the cabin.
  • PZL Swidnik: A Polish-produced variant under license from Russia. Same performance, characteristics, and missions.
  • W-3 SOKOL: A Czech-built twin-turboshaft multipurpose helicopter that is a development of Mil Mi-2 (Hoplite). A basic difference consists in its larger dimensions and a more robust structure. The first prototype flew on 16 November 1979, the second, with essential structural improvements, on 6 May 1982. Production started in 1985. The helicopter is intended for transport of up to 12 passengers or up to 2200 kg of load, and for SAR tasks. It is equipped with a four-bladed main rotor with a vibration absorber. Internal fuel tanks can contain up to 1700 litres of fuel. Auxiliary tanks can be used with a total capacity of 1100 litres. The seats are installed by three in four rows. The cabin has two side doors. The helicopter has modern avionics that permits it to fly in all weather conditions by day or night. It proved itself during disastrous floods in Moravia in 1997.



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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:18:33 ZULU