The Mil Mi-2 (NATO reporting name Hoplite) is a small, lightly armed turbine-powered transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon.
Design and development
The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-?widnik" factory in ?widnik.
The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, modelled along the lines of the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore and flown by Mikhail Mil's bureau in September 1948. During the 1950s it became evident, and confirmed by American and French development, that helicopters could be greatly improved with turbine engines. S. P. Isotov developed the GTD-350 engine and Mil used two of these in the far superior Mi-2.
The twin shaft-turbine engines used in the Mi-2 develop 40% more power than the Mi-1's piston engines, for barely half the engine weight, with the result that the payload was more than doubled. The Mi-2 fuselage was extensively altered from its predecessor, with the engines mounted overhead. However, the external dimensions remained similar.
The Mil-built prototype first flew in the Soviet Union on 22 September 1961, after the initial development the project was transferred to Poland in 1964. The first ?widnik-built example flew on 4 November 1965 (making this the only Soviet-designed helicopter to be built solely outside the Soviet Union). PZL-?widnik produced a total of 5,497 helicopters, about a third for military users. The factory also developed fiberglass rotor blades, and developed the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical role-change kits include four stretchers for air ambulance usage, or aerospraying or cropdusting applications.
In Poland, several specialized military variants were also developed for support or reconnaissance roles, with 23 mm autocannon, machine guns and/or two 57 mm rocket pods, four 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank missiles or Strela-2 AA missiles.
The Mi-2 was first introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965. The Mi-2 is used by mainly former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries, although it was also purchased by Mexico and Myanmar armed forces.
Most of the armed Mi-2 variants were used by Poland. Some were also used by the former East Germany (with machine gun and unguided rocket armament only).
North Korea still maintains a large active fleet of Mi-2s.
- First prototype.
- Armament prototype.
- Mi-2 Platan
- Aerial minelayer version.
- Upgraded export version for the Middle East, fitted with improved systems and navigational aids.
- Mi-2Ch Chekla
- Chemical reconnaissance / smokescreen layer version.
- Mi-2D Przetacznik
- Aerial command post equipped with R-111 radio.
- Survey version.
- Passenger / cargo version, with accommodation for 6 passengers.
- Agricultural version.
- Land rescue/ambulance version.
- Sea rescue version equipped with electric winch for two people and dropped rafts.
- Reconnaissance version equipped with cameras.
- Reconnaissance trainer version.
- Mi-2RS Padalec ('Slowworm')
- Chemical and biohazard reconnaissance version.
- Air ambulance version, equipped to carry four litters, plus an attendant.
- Dual-control training version.
- Cargo/utility version.
- Dual-control training version.
- Armed version fitted with a fixed 23mm NS-23 cannon, 4 x 7,62mm PKT machine gun pods and optional cabin PK machine gun.
- Mi-2URN ?mija ('Viper')
- Armed reconnaissance variant armed with a fixed 23mm NS-23 gun and two 16x57mm S-5 unguided rocket pods Mars-2. Optional 7,62mm PK machine gun window-mounted.
- Mi-2URP Salamandra ('Salamander')
- Gunship and anti-tank variant, armed with 23mm NS-23 gun, optional window-mounted 7,62mm PK machine gun, and 4x AT-3 Sagger (9M14M Malutka) wire-guided missiles on external weapons racks and 4x additional missiles in the cargo compartment.
- Mi-2URP-G Gniewosz ('Smooth snake')
- Mi-2URP with additional 4x AA missiles Strza?a-2 (Strela 2) in two Gad rocket launchers.
- Mi-2 Plus
- Upgraded Mi-2 with uprated GTD-350W2 engines, all-composite rotor blades, new avionics and other modifications.
- Planned Mi-2 derivative that lacked suitable engines for the program to continue.
- Mi-2MSB or MSB-2 Nadia ('Hope')
- Modernized by Motor Sich to passenger-transport version for the civil aviation.
- Mi-2MSB-V or MSB-2MO
- Modernized by Motor Sich for Ukrainian Air Force., Original engine replaced with AI-450M 465 HP engine, armed with Rocket and machine gun pods, IR-jamming system and flares dispenser for defence against MANPADS.
- Czech Republic
- North Korea
- United States
- East Germany
Air medical service variant of the Mi-2
A Mi-2 of the Polish Medical Air Rescue
- Soviet Union
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982-83
- Crew: One
- Capacity: 8 passengers / 700 kg (1,543 lb) internal cargo / 800 kg (1,764 lb) external cargo
- Length: 11.4 m (37 ft 5 in)
- Height: 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in)
- Empty weight: 2,372 kg (5,229 lb)
- Gross weight: 3,550 kg (7,826 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 3,700 kg (8,157 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × PZL GTD-350P turboshaft engines, 300 kW (400 shp) each
- Main rotor diameter: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
- Main rotor area: 165.15 m2 (1,777.7 sq ft)
- Blade section: NACA 23012M
- Maximum speed: 200 km/h (120 mph, 110 kn)
- Range: 440 km (270 mi, 240 nmi) (max internal fuel, no reserves)
- Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (890 ft/min)
- Disk loading: 22.41 kg/m2 (4.59 lb/sq ft)
- Power/mass: 0.0806 kW/kg (0.0490 hp/lb)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era