Eastern European Helicopters
The Helicopter Museum
Locking Moor Road
European helicopter industry was dominated by Mikhail Mil who
ranks as one of the world’s leading rotorcraft designers.
was the head of his own design bureau by 1947 having been head
of the Soviet Air Force's 1st Rotorcraft Squadron during World
At one time Mil helicopters represented 95% of all
helicopters in service in East Europe.
Another major design
influence in Russia was Nikolai Kamov who was working
helicopter designs as early as 1929. His designs all
co-axial contra-rotating rotor system.
of both designers’ can be found in
the Museum collection.
The Mi-1 was designed by Mikhail Mil in 1945 to meet a
Soviet requirement for a two/three seat helicopter and
the museum example is a Polish built SM-1
variant, completed by PZL-Swidnik, Poland in 1959. Used
primarily for pilot training from 1962 until is final log
book entry dated 29th November 1990. Purchased by the Museum
in 1992 it was delivered in 1993. It is restored in Soviet
markings as an example of the first Russian production
The first of two Russian designed Mi-2s first flew in 1961.
The Mi-2 was put into
production in Poland at the PZL-Swidnik plant. The museum
model was built
in 1985 and was operated by ZEUS, a
civil company, it was
purchased in by Helicopter International magazine and donated to the
museum in 1997.
The Mil Mi-4 assault transport was the product of an
October 1951 ultimatum by Stalin for the design and
construction of a transport helicopter within 12 months.
The museum model was last in service
with the Czechoslovak Air Force. It was purchased in 1992 and delivered by road in major sections
during the first half of 1993. Reassembly and
restoration began in 1995 and was finished in late 1996,
but some missing parts are still required, especially in
the cockpit area, to complete the restoration.
museum model is a rare Mi-8PS, initially delivered
to the Polish Air Force for
service in a VIP configuration and
identifiable by the square, rather than round, cabin
windows.Retired in 2005 this is the first
Russian Mil Mi-8 to go on
display in the UK and
arrived at the Museum in 2010.
The Hind in the Museum collection is a
Mi-24D variant with full armament
including a 12.7mm four barrel machine gun,
four Falanga anti-tank missiles and 80 rockets in
four under wing pods. First flown on 2nd April 1981
it was delivered to the East German Army based at
Basephol, North of Berlin. In early 1992 the Hind squadrons
disbanded. The German
Government allocated it to the Helicopter Museum and
a team went to Basephol in early 1995 to dismantle
and transport it to the UK in February 1995 with
assistance from Bristow Helicopters.
The SM-2 helicopter was developed as a
Polish derivative of the Soviet Mil Mi-1.
The museum model was built in 1961 in Swidnik,
Poland and is one of only a handful that still
survive today. Withdrawn from service by the end of the
1970s it was a gate guardian at a Polish
Air Force base, it was sold in early 1991 and
subsequently offered to the Museum. It was delivered
by road, using two vehicles in June 1991, then
reassembled and restored.
Designed by the Kamov design bureau
the Ka-26 features a co-axial contra-rotating
main rotor system with two three-bladed rotors, set
one above the other and turning in opposite
directions. The museum model was
originally purchased by Interflug in East Germany in
1973 and was stored in a museum in Berlin and the
a spare WS-55 Whirlwind Series 3 and
later purchased a cabin pod to complete the