Amazing facts about the combat helicopter Mi-24. Part 1
The helicopter "Crocodile" has become as recognizable a symbol of Soviet military power as a Kalashnikov rifle. A few interesting facts from the biography of the legendary Mi-24 helicopter.
This helicopter has become as recognizable a symbol of Soviet military power as a Kalashnikov rifle. In addition to the outstanding fighting qualities, the Mi-24 is different characteristic shape, thanks to which was given the nickname "Crocodile", as well as the hallmark of the domestic weapon - ruggedness in the most demanding applications. The Mi-24 was supplied and delivered so far in more than 50 countries. At the plant "Rostvertol", a longtime partner of VTB Bank and its latest modification to export under the symbol Mi-35 produced today. In total, it produced about 3,500 units, so it is not surprising that the "Crocodile" is still the mainstay of Russian attack helicopters. Here are some facts from the biography of the legendary helicopter.
1. Flying BMP
The first flight of the Mi-24 made September 19, 1969, becoming the world's second largest specialized attack helicopters after the AH-1 "Cobra" (USA). When you create two original technical solutions adopted. The first was not too successful: the Mi-24 was created on the basis of units of transport Mi-8 according to the concept of "flying infantry fighting vehicle" and has received the cargo bay, which can be placed eight paratroopers. But in reality, they are rarely used. If the cockpit had reservations, the compartment for the paratroopers is no defense, as well as Mi-24 had to fly over the battlefield under enemy fire, then wishing to participate in such a ride as passengers were little. Maintain accurate fire from the open door, as practiced by the Americans in Vietnam, it was not possible because of the rates at which the Mi-24 was acting. As a result, a compartment for the paratroopers became a useless burden, because of which the helicopter has turned, though fast, but heavy. The maximum take-off mass Mi-24 is 11 to 500 kg. For comparison: the AH-1 this parameter is 4500 kg.
The lack of maneuverability of the Mi-24 is partly manifested in one unusual episode: in a dogfight American and Soviet helicopter, which occurred in 1983 on the border of East and West Germany. Carrying out a reconnaissance mission along the Mi-24 boundary meets with AN-1 flying with the same mission. Pilots started a maneuver battle without weapons. During the battle of the Mi-24 has laid such a turn that crashed. The problem is that in order to increase the speed of the rotor diameter at the Mi-24 made significantly smaller than that of the same mass and capacity Ni-8 (17 4 to 21 m, 3 m). The blades thus become shorter, but wider. Such screw provides minimal resistance, but due to the increased loads and threats stall on blades pilotage Mi-24 requires great skill and precision. Pilots say that to control this helicopter "is as simple as walking a tightrope."
The second design feature of the Mi-24 was generally quite successful. This helicopter is equipped with wings imposing size (range 6, 4 m). They are used not only for the suspension arms, as in other combat helicopters, but also create a flight to 28% of lift, unloading rotor helicopters and increasing capacity. In fact, the Mi-24 - a cross between a helicopter and an airplane. This is reflected in the tactics of its application. If the impact of Western countries are actively using helicopters hover, jumping to attack because of the folds of the terrain or trees, the Mi-24 ace - speed.
4. The champion
Mi-24 - one of the fastest helicopter in the world. And if we talk about the serial technique, then, perhaps, the fastest. It develops in horizontal flight speed of 335 km / h. In 1978, on the Mi-24 was an absolute world speed record for helicopters - 368, 4 km / h. However, to reduce the weight and air resistance of the record of Mi-24 flew without weapons, armor and wings. This achievement was surpassed only in 1986 by the British multi-purpose helicopter Westland Lynx ( "Lynx") - 400, 87 km / h. However, the copy for the record attempt bore little resemblance to a production machine: he used 40% more powerful engines, as well as special main rotor screw. Speed usual "Lynx" does not exceed 260 km / h.
5. When an aircraft
Due to the large mass of the Mi-24, often take off from runway, an aircraft. There were even rumors that he did not take off vertically and hover in the air. Hover on site Mi-24 can take off vertically but with maximum load on it, and indeed difficult. Especially in the mountains, where the air is thin, or in countries with a hot climate, when due to the high temperature of the engine power drops. In Afghanistan, the Mi-24 took off from the takeoff usually 100-150 meters dispersed on the front wheel. We sat down, too, in the airplane, but for another reason: it was necessary to move ahead of the dust cloud rising screws to see the ground.
6. Armor is strong
One of the main differences between the impact of the helicopter - the existence of the reservation. Mi-24 is a frontal armored glass, armored seat and the armor plates on the sides of the pilot and the operator's cab and engine hood. In Afghanistan, the bulletproof windshield Mi-24 has never been punched, but after one of the missions it counted six bullet marks. Mi-24 was assigned the task of not only fire support troops and columns cover on the ground, but also the protection of civil and transport aircraft. In Kabul, for example, two Mi-24 accompanied by landing airliners "Aeroflot" firing heat trap. Upon detection of MANPADS start they were instructed to go to the rocket and cover a passenger plane.
7. Not children toys
Mi-24 could carry a very powerful weapons. On the wings could hang a "toy" total weight of 2,400 kg. For comparison, T-Ammo weighs less than 72 tons. The standard load is the Mi-24 in Afghanistan consisted of two blocks unguided missiles (NAR), the two bombs FAB-250 and ammunition for guns or gun. Initially, Mi-24 was equipped with a gun chetyrehstvolnym YakB-12, 7 with the rotating unit trunks and rate of 4,500 rounds per minute, which is installed on the bow of the turret. In 1982, the Mi-24, attacking a caravan dushmans in Afghanistan, a burst of machine gun of the bus cut in half. However, the complex kinematics YakB-12, 7 proved to be too capricious in the field. In place of the two-barrel machine gun came automatic gun GSH-30K is installed on a modification of the Mi-24P ( "gun"). She had a caliber of 30 mm and was so powerful that it set in a mobile turret was impossible. The gun is mounted stationary side of the fuselage, so the aim being not weapons operator, and pilot, which requires a reorientation of the entire helicopter. In the end, a compromise was reached: two-barrel automatic gun GS-23 caliber 23 mm can be installed in the nose turret and through increased accuracy and rate of fire is not as effective as a gun caliber 30 mm. At the end of the 1980s, armed with missiles "air - air" Mi-24 was the first helicopter in the world.
8. The fire and the onslaught of
In Afghanistan, the most effective in the fight against mujaheds shown themselves not precision-guided munitions, and units with unguided rockets. Typically, at high speed Mi-24 did combat docked with a distance of 1200-1500 m NAR gave volley, "sweeping" battlefield feathered steel arrows, they made up the stuffing warheads (up to 2200 "nails" in each missile), while approaching pilot opened fire from the gun, allowing the operator to precisely drop bombs. It is curious that the Americans so readily demonstrate the "promotional" videos on the use of precision weapons from helicopters, in the real world when enemy fire from the ground are moving to the same tactics: NAR strikes at high speed.
9. And we hear in each turbine ...
One of the secrets of the reliability of the Mi-24 - TV3-117V engines, the same that are on the Mi-8 helicopter to the mass in the world. This engine was developed in 1972 in Leningrad in the Yakovlev Design Bureau. Klimov. Until recently it was made in Ukraine, but in light of recent developments the production of its latest modification VK-2500 is mastered in Russia. This unique engine is remarkably robust. In Afghanistan, the sand eats even manufacture the leading edges of the rotors, and TV3-117 continued to work occasionally with a "gap-toothed" turbine. Once in a shot missed repair motors 17 of the turbine blade 51. Meanwhile, the reliability for a combat helicopter -quality, can be even more important than strength and impact security. In the period from 2001 to 2009, the United States during the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have lost 79 of its attack helicopters AH-64. At the same enemy fire damaged 11 cars and 68 broke unaided.
10. Tank Destroyer
When we talk about the specific tactics of the Mi-24, it must be borne in mind that this helicopter was created primarily for anti-tank, which was equipped with a magnificent complex of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) "Sturm". In reality, as a tank destroyer he was able to try himself only during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, which was called the last classical war in human history. For example, in the first three months of hostilities, only one Iraqi Mi-24 destroyed 55 enemy tanks. Then advances have become more modest, simply because Iran has run out tanks.