The Soviet Union’s Mil V-12, which had its first successful flight in 1968, still holds the record of being the largest helicopter ever built.
Just two prototypes we ever made. The V-12s outperformed their design specifications, setting 8 world records, four of which still stands today.
Today, the United States Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest helicopter in service with the US armed forces.
This massive helicopter, which has been in service since 1981, was designed to fit up to 55 passengers on board.
But before Super Stallion, the Soviet Union had the Mil Mi-12 helicopter known as V-12 in the Soviet Union and by the NATO reporting name ‘Homer’.
The 196-passenger chopper, which had its first successful test flight in 1968, was designed to produce vertical takeoffs that could airlift soldiers, missiles and supplies i.e heavy-lift that were only possible with four-engine An-22 aircrafts.
The Mil V-12 has an empty weight of 69,100 kg (152,339 lb) and a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 105,000 kg (231,485 lb).
Its four Soloviev D-25 VF turboshaft engines gave a maximum speed of 162 mph (260 km/h) and a cruise speed of 150 mph (241 km/h).
The heavy-lift aircraft has a top speed of up to 162 mph (260 km/h) and a cruise speed of 150 mph (241 km/h).
It has a ferry range of 620 miles (1,000 km) as well as a combat range of 310 miles (499 km).
Just two prototypes we ever made, with the V-12s outperforming their design specifications, as well as setting 8 world records, four of which still stands today.
Despite all the records and achievements, the Soviet Air Force refused to put the chopper into production, scrapping the whole project by 1974.
One of its reasons was the V-12’s most important intended mission, which was for rapid deployment of heavy strategic ballistic missiles, no longer existed.