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Mi-40 / Mi-58

The aggregates and the systems of combat helicopter Mi-28 were finally finished in the middle the 90's. Rostov helicopter plant was prepared for the mastery of its series production. At this time the state financing of helicopter programs sharply was reduced, that it did not make it possible to hope for the rapid completion of a number of MVZ im. M.L.Mil projects for promising passenger-transport helicopters. For acceleration and reduction of prices of the building of new rotary-wing technology design project leader M.V.Vaynberg in 1995 made the decision to begin the development of helicopters with the maximum use of the finished aggregates and systems Mi-28. The version of army troop-carrier helicopter obtained designation Mi-40, and purely passenger Mi-58.

The Mi-58 was projected taking into account the correspondence to the standards of the airworthiness, including of FAR-29. The calculations of designers showed that with the use of all components of a dynamic system (carrier system, tail rotor, power plant, transmission), and also a number of other Mi-28 aggregates and systems the new passenger helicopter will have a cab sufficiently comfortable for positioning 19 passengers. Cab was projected taking into account portability in it of large-dimension loads. In the fuselage flat cargo sex and rear hatchway with the revealed folds and the ramp were provided for.

The Mil Mi-40 was a projected utility version of the Mil Mi-28, first initiated in 1983, announced in 1992 and shown at the Moscow Airshow in 1993. Although the Mi-40 design was resurrected for a short period in the 1990s, with optimisation studies being completed, it did not reach the prototype stage. Its design borrowed much from the Mil Mi-36 developed over the previous two years.

The Mil Mi-40 was primarily intended for the "Aerial Infantry Fighting Vehicle" [VBMP] category as a successor to the Mil Mi-24 and Mi-8 assault helicopters. It was planned to use two 1,863kW Kilmov TV-117VMA turboshaft engines, four-bladed main rotor, four-bladed Delta H tail rotor (both from the Mi-28), and retractable tricycle-type landing gear. It was expected to weigh 11-12,000kg and estimated to attain a 3300m ceiling, a 314kph maximum speed and a 260kph cruise speed.

Specifications required the functioning in day, night and poor weather as well as carrying eight soldiers (the design achieved seven in practice), eight stretchers or large external loads. An emphasis was placed on survivability with a focus on redundancy, IR suppression and special shock absorbers for the crew to increase the maximum "safe" crash velocity.

The design incorporated a 23mm cannon (most likely GSh-23L) for defense in the forward hemisphere and a 12.7mm machine gun (most likely Yak-B) for defense in the rear. Fuselage fairing containing fuel would replace stub wings with missiles mounted above on special hardpoints. Sourcescitation needed mention a capacity for carrying external stores, but existing drawings and photographs of models show no clear way to do this.

After the successful beginning of tests Mi-28 the designers of MVZ im. L.Milya had the idea of using the worked out and finished aggregates and systems of combat helicopter for creating the helicopters of new designation, similarly as was done in the 1960's on the base of aggregates Mi-8 were built Mi-14 and Mi-24. One of the promising trends M.N.Tishchenko considered was the creation on the basis of dynamic system Mi-28 of the new Helicopter Infantry Combat Vehicle [VBMP], which would make it possible to considerably reduce the periods of its design, and to also simplify the problem of the operation of the inventory of Army Aviation.

In the new machine the designers intended to realize their old idea: to simultaneously place in the helicopter infantry department, controlled antitank missiles and gun turrets. The projected machine had to become Soviet analog the American "flying armored carrier" OF UH-60 "Black Hawk", but with the considerably intensive means of the fire support of landing. The first project Mi-40 was prepared in 1984. However, the command of ground forces and recently created army aviation preferred to order the development of fundamentally new helicopter with the original system for control and balancing NOTAR, which found a use in the project Mi-42.

The study of this project conducted under the designation Mi-40 began in 1983. Again to the project Mi-40 returned almost ten years later, when customer became obvious the expediency of orientation with the design of new mass helicopter for the technically tested solutions. In 1992 in OKB renewed the development Mi-40. Great significance was given to the optimization of the parameters and systems VBMP. To increase combat effectiveness and vitality Mi-40 in comparison with "deserved" predecessor Mi-24, designers intend the use of a twenty-four hour and all-weather aiming-piloting- navigation complex, equipment with more complete composition of onboard of defense complex, which ensured the all-around fire, duplicating vitally important systems, screening of the more significant aggregates secondary. Furthermore, it was planned to substantially decrease IR- distinctness, to increase the survival of crew and landing force members with the emergency landing because of the application of the shock-absorbing elements of construction.

That projected Mi-40 is the helicopter of classical single-rotor design. Dynamic system the, i.e., carrying and tail rotors, power plant, transmission, automatic pitch-control mechanism and system of control, and also a number of other aggregates are borrowed with the small changes from the "donor" Mi-28N. The fuselage was completely new, consisting of front two-place flight deck with the armchairs of pilot and navigator-radar operator, located by a number, and the landing cab, designed for the arrangement in it of infantry department of eight people or eight stretchers with the injured. Helicopter can transport large-dimension loads during the external suspension. In the nose machine part is located the mobile cannon installation of the caliber of 23 mm. one additional mobile unit, equipped with the machine gun of the caliber of 12,7 mm, was provided for from behind landing cab for the protection of rear hemisphere.

Along the sides of fuselage, on the pylons, the anti-tank guided missiles were placed; the use also of other types of suspension weapon is possible. In the lateral fairings fuel tanks are located. Keel beam is borrowed from Mi-28. Chassis - tripod, from the front and tailed protective by supports. Takeoff mass was evaluated at 11- 12 t, the static ceiling - 3300 m, maximum speed of flight - 314 km/h, cruising speed - 260 km/h.

By Mil specialists there was carried out necessary modeling; however, insufficient financing detains the development of program so important for the protection of the interests of state. The program for a new personnel carrier helicopter developed to replace Mi-24, the Mi-40 (VBMT), was for all practical purposes put on ice during the project approval stage in 1998.



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