The Mil Mi-26 (Russian Миль Ми-26, NATO reporting name "Halo") is a Russian/Soviet heavy transport helicopter in service in civilian and military roles. It is the heaviest and most powerful helicopter ever to have gone into production.The Mi-26 was designed for military and civil use and intended to be able to lift more than any previous helicopter. The first Mi-26 flew on December 14, 1977 and the first entered service in the Soviet military in 1983.
The Mi-26 was the first helicopter to operate with an eight-blade rotor. It is capable of single-engine flight in the event of loss of power by one engine (depending on aircraft mission weight) because of an engine load sharing system.
While it is only slightly heavier than the Mil Mi-6, it can lift more: 20 tons (tonnes) (44,0 lb).On August 19, 2002, Chechen separatists hit an Mi-26 with a surface to air missile, causing it to crash in a minefield. A total of 127 Russians were killed in the crash. An investigation determined that the helicopter was grossly overloaded—the helicopter was only meant to carry about 80 troops, while this one was carrying around 150. A 1997 order prohibited the overloading of such flights, but in this case it was apparently not heeded.
In response to this crash, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an inquiry into the military's negligence. The commander in charge of the helicopter, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Kudyakov, was convicted of negligence and violating flight regulations. The Chechen who shot down the helicopter was sentenced to life in prison in April 2004.
* V-29 - Prototype.
* Mi-26 Halo-A - Military cargo/freight transport version.
* Mi-26A - Upgraded version.
* Mi-26M -- Designed for better performance.
* Mi-26MS - Aeromedicial evacuation version.
* Mi-26NEF-M - Anti-submarine warfare version.
* Mi-26P - 63 passenger civil transport version.
* Mi-26PK - Flying crane helicopter.
* Mi-26T - Civil cargo/freight transport version.
* Mi-26TC - Cargo transport version.
* Mi-26TM - Flying crane helicopter.
* Mi-26TP - Firefighting version.
* Mi-26TS - Export version of the Mi-26T.
* Mi-26TZ - Fuel tanker version.
# Crew: Five -- 2 pilots, 1 navigator, 1 flight engineer, 1 loadmaster
# Capacity: Up to 80 troops
# Length: 40.025 m (131 ft 4 in)
# Rotor diameter: 32.00 m (104 ft 11.8 in)
# Height: 8.145 m (26 ft 9 in)
# Disc area: 789m² (8,495 ft²)
# Empty weight: 28,200 kg (62,170 lb)
# Max takeoff weight: 56,0 kg (123,500 lb)
# Powerplant: 2× Lotarev D-136 turboshafts, 8,380 kW
* Maximum speed: 295 km/h (160 kt)
* Range: 1,952 km, 1,240 miles (1,080 nautical miles)
* Service ceiling: 4,600 m (15,100 ft)