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Mi-6 at Riga, Latvia.
Role Heavy transport helicopter
Manufacturer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
First flight 5 June 1957[1]
Introduction 1959–1981[2]
Retired 2002 (Russia CAA)
Status In service with foreign users
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Produced 1960 to 1981[3]
Number built 925+
Variants Mil Mi-10

The Mil Mi-6 (NATO reporting name Hook), given the article number izdeliye 50 and company designation V-6, was a Soviet/Russian heavy transport helicopter that was designed by the Mil design bureau. It was built in large numbers for both military and civil roles.[1]

Design and development

The Mi-6 resulted from a joint civil-military requirement for a very large vertical-lift aircraft, which could be used to add mobility in military operations as well as assist in the exploration and development of the expansive central and eastern regions of the USSR. Flown for the first time on 5 June 1957, the Mi-6 was the first Soviet turboshaft powered production helicopter.[1]

The R-7 gearbox and rotor head developed for the project have a combined weight of 3200 kg, which is greater than the two turboshaft engines.[1]

Variable-incidence winglets were first mounted on the craft's sides in 1960 to the 30 pre-series units. These wings provide approximately 20% of the lift required during cruise flight.[1]

The Mi-6 was by far the world's largest helicopter when it was introduced; it was also the fastest, with a top speed of 300 km/h (190 mph). Its maximum load capacity is 12,000 kg.[1]

When designed in 1954–56 it was by far the largest in the world. In its early days this helicopter set many world records, including one for sheer circuit speed at 340 km/h (211 mph). From 1959–72 a total production of at least 500 were built for various general transport, utility, firefighting and flying-crane duties, the last two sub-types not being fitted with the large fixed wings which in other versions bear part of the lift in cruising flight and thus enable higher speeds to be attained. The twin nose wheels and large low-pressure main wheels do not retract.[1]

Normally flown by a crew of five or more, the Mi-6 seats 65 armed troops and can alternatively carry 41 stretcher (litter) patients and two attendants, or a wide range of bulky loads, including vehicles, loaded through rear clamshell doors. In exercises, fleets of these aircraft have airlifted many kinds of weapons, including FROG-7 rockets on their PT-76 tracked chassis, as well as large radars and heavy artillery. All Soviet Armoured personnel carriers, armoured cars and light Mechanised infantry combat vehicles can be carried.[1]

The CIS Interstate Aviation Committee cancelled the Mi-6's Type Certificate in October 2002 after the crash of RA-21074 in the Taimyr Peninsula.[1] There have also been reports that the wooden tail rotor blades[1] have reached the end of their service life.[1]



Data from: Mil's heavylift helicopters : Mi-6, Mi-10, V-12 and Mi-26[1]

izdeliye 50
The product or article number for the V-6 prototype.
(Zavod No.329 Moscow) First prototype series.
(NATO – Hook-A) Heavy-lift civil and military transport helicopter.
Troopships and commercial transport helicopters built to a new baseline standard with improvemnts in reliability and new aviaonics.
(NATO – Hook-D) OKB designation for the Mi-6VzPU and Mi-22 airborne command posts, with SLAR.
(PS - poiskovo-spasahtel'nyy - search and rescue) A limited number of search and rescue helicopters converted from Mi-6A standard aircraft.
(TZ - toplivoza-pravshchik - fuel tanker) Fuel transport helicopter variant of the Mi-6A.
Mi-6 Boorlak
(boorlak - barge hauler) Prototype ASW/MCM helicopters, used for research into ASW equipment when delays to the mission equipment forced cancellation.
(NATO – Hook-C) (Also Mi-6AYa and Mi-22) airborne command post helicopter of 1975.
(Also Mi-6LL: Letayushchaya laboratoriya) Flying laboratory variant with D-25VF engines used for flight improvements of the Mi-6 and testbed for the powerplant of the Mi-12.
(M - morskoy - maritime) Anti-submarine variant armed with four aerial torpedoes and ASW rockets, and equipped with various experimental ASW systems. First built in 1963 and modified in 1965 for the "Barge Hauler" program.
(M - modifit-seerovannyy - modified) A projected redesign of the Mi-6 to carry 11 to 22 t (11,000 to 22,000 kg; 24,000 to 49,000 lb) over 800 km (500 mi), cancelled due to the limitations of the five-bladed rotor specified.
(P - passazheerskiy - passenger) Passenger transport helicopter, with accommodation for 80 passengers. One prototype was converted from a stock Mi-6.
(PP - postanovshchik pomekh - ECM aircraft) A prototype Counter-ELINT aircraft to protect air-defense radars from enemy ECM and/or ELINT activities .
(Protivodeystviya Radiorazvedke) Development in 1962 for jammer/electronic warfare variant.
(podvizhnaya raketno-tekhnicheskaya baza vertlyotnovo tipa) A few modified as mobile missile maintenance technical bases and missile transporters.
(PS - poiskovo-spasahtel'nyy - search and rescue) Search and rescue (SAR) helicopter developed in 1966 for pick-up of the landed Vostok and Soyuz space modules.
Alternative designation, used in some sources, for the Mi-6APS.
(PZh - pozharnyy - fire fighting) Fire fighting variant, with a 12,000 l (2,639.63 imp gal; 3,170.06 US gal) tank in the cabin and six 1,500 l (329.95 imp gal; 396.26 US gal) bags suspended from the fuselage. The sole prototype crashed in France fighting a fire, soon after dispay at the 27th Paris Air Show.
A second firefighting helicopter prototpye and several conversions with a steerable water cannon in the nose.
(R - Retranslyator - ) Specialised radio communications relay variant developed in 1974, prototype conversions only.
(RVK - raketno-vertolyotny kompleks - heliborne missile system) Tested in 1965 loaded with 9K53, 9K73 9M21 Loona-MV or 8K114 mobile missile systemss.
Medical evacuation helicopter, which can carry 41 litters.
(NATO – Hook-A) Military transport helicopter, which can seat up to 70 people on tip-up seats along the cabin sides, with additional seat along the center-line.
Convertible freight/passenger helicopter.
(TZ - toplivoza-pravshchik - fuel tanker) Fuel transport helicopter to refuel vehicles and helicopters on the ground.
(TZ-SV - toplivoza-pravshchik - sookhoputnyye voyska - fuel tanker-ground forces) Fuel transport helicopter to refuel vehicles on the ground.
(VR - Vodoley - Aquarius) A water spraying research helicopter to test helicopter anti-icing systems.
(NATO – Hook-B) (VKP - vozdooshnnyy poonkt - airborne command post) Command post transport helicopter to deploy comms and war room on the ground, not usable in flight.
(NATO – Hook-D) airborne command post with SLAR.
(NATO – Hook-D) Service designation of the Mi-6AYa airborne command post with SLAR, enterred service as the Mi-22.
Developed in 1962 with collapsible BU-75BRM drilling rig for oil exploration in Siberia. Exact designation unknown.
Missile fuel transport to supplement the Mi-6PRTBV
An experimental conversion in 1976 for testing the rotor system of the Mi-26.
An engine testbed, fitted with Soloviev D-25VF engines, as developed for the Mil V-12.
VVS designation of the Mi-6AYa/VzPU airborne command post helicopters.


Mi-6 operators

Ex-Polish Air Force Mi-6 exhibited at Lublinek airfield near Łódź.

Peruvian Mil Mi-6 helicopters in 1984.

Military Operators

 Soviet Union

Specifications (Mi-6)

Mil Mi-6 HOOK.png

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1992–93[22]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 6 (pilot, copilot, navigator, flight engineer, radio operator, technician)
  • Capacity: ** 90 passengers or
    • 70 airborne troops or
    • 41 stretcher cases with 2 medical personnel
  • Payload: 12,000 kg (26,400 lb) of internal cargo
  • Length: 33.18 m (108 ft 10 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 35.00 m (114 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 9.86 m (32 ft 4 in)
  • Disc area: 962.1 m² (10,356 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 27,240 kg (60,055 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 40,500 kg (89,285 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 42,500 kg (93,700 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Soloviev D-25V turboshaft, 4,100 kW (5,500 shp) each
  • Fuel load: 6,315 kg (13,922 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 300 km/h (162 kt)
  • Cruise speed: 250 km/h (135 kt)
  • Range: 620 km (385 miles)
  • Ferry range: 1,450 km(900 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,750 ft)
  • Disc loading: 44.17 kg/m² (9.05 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.21 kW/kg (0.13 hp/lb)


  • Test pilot N.B. Leshin has set the world record of speed. This event was awarded by the American Helicopter Society.
  • Small numbers are still in service, most in Siberia plus a small number with the People's Republic of China. The Russian Air Force currently operates 5 Mi-6s.
  • Several contaminated Mi-6s can be found with the thousands of other pieces of equipment in the "vehicle graveyards" in the Chernobyl disaster alienation zone.

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Gordon, Yefim; Dimitriy and Sergey Komissarov (2005). Mil's heavylift helicopters : Mi-6, Mi-10, V-12 and Mi-26. Red Star. 22 (2nd edition ed.). Hinckley: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-206-3.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Gordon 2005" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Mil Heavy-Lift Helicopters
  4. "World Air Forces 1978 pg. 38". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  5. "World Air Forces 2001 pg. 37". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. "World's Air Forces 2011/12". Flight International. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 51". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  8. "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 52". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  9. "World Air Forces 1971 pg. 578". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  10. "World Air Forces 1987 pg.65". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  11. "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 73". Flight International. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  12. "Kazakhstan Mi-6". Demand media. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  13. "World Air Forces 1991 pg.55". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "World Air Forces 1987 pg.77". Flight International. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  15. "The Mil Mi-6 Heavy Lift Helicopter". Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  16. "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 85". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  17. "World Air Forces 2000 pg. 93". Flight International. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  18. "Civil Helicopter Market 1972 pg. 202". Flight International. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  19. "Aeroflot Mil Mi-6". Demand media. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  20. "World Air Forces 1987 pg.86". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  21. "World Air Forces 1987 pg. 105". Flight International. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  22. Mark Lambert, ed (1992). Jane's All The World's Aircraft,1992–93. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0987-6. 
  • Gordon, Yefim; Dimitriy and Sergey Komissarov (2005). Mil's heavylift helicopters : Mi-6, Mi-10, V-12 and Mi-26. Red Star. 22 (2nd edition ed.). Hinckley: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-206-3. 
  • Mondey, David (1982). Encyclopedia of the World's Commercial and Private Aircraft. New York City: Crescent Books. p. 201. 
  • Gordon, Yefim, Komissarov, Dmitriy and Komissarov, Sergey, Mil's Heavylift Helicopters; Mi-6/Mi-10/V-12/Mi-26, Red Star Volume 22, Midland Counties Publications, 2005

External links

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