The Mil V-12 (NATO reporting name: Homer), given the project number ("Item 65"), is the largest helicopter ever built.
Mil V-12 Homer
Design and development
Design studies for a giant helicopter were started at the Mil OKB in 1959, receiving official sanction in 1961 by the GKAT (Gosudarstvenny Komitet Po Aviatsionnoy Tekhnike - "state committee on aircraft technology") instructing Mil to develop a helicopter capable of lifting 20 to 25 t (44,000 to 55,000 lb). The GKAT directive was followed by a more detailed specification for the V-12 with hold dimensions similar to the Antonov An-22, intended to lift major items of combat materiel as well as 8K67, 8K75 and 8K82 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Design limitations forced Mil to adopt a twin rotor system but design studies of a tandem layout, similar to the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, revealed major problems. The single rotor layouts also studied proved to be non-viable, leading to the transverse layout chosen for the finished article.
The transverse rotor system of the V-12, which eliminates the need for a tail rotor, consists of two Mil Mi-6 transmission systems complete with rotors mounted at the tips of the approximately 30 m (98 ft) span inverse tapered wings. Although the first use by Mil, the transverse system had been used by several of the early helicopters, including the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Drache and Kamov Ka-22 Vintokryl convertiplane
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Construction of the first prototype was completed in 1968. A first flight on 27 June 1967 ended prematurely due to oscillations caused by control problems; one set of main wheels contacted the ground hard bursting a tyre and bending a wheel hub. The cause of the oscillations proved to be a harmonic amplification of vibrations in the cockpit floor feeding back into the control column when a roll demand was input into the cyclic stick. It was widely but erroneously reported in the Western press that the aircraft had been destroyed
Mil V-12 Homer
Each power unit comprises two Soloviev D-25VF turbo-shaft engines mounted below main gearboxes which each drive five-bladed 35 m (115 ft) diameter rotors and the synchronisation shafts which run from wing-tip to wing-tip. Each paired engine pod has large access panels which open up for maintenance access and also form platforms for servicing crews to operate from.
Mil V-12 Homer: See below
Role Heavy lift helicopter
Manufacturer Mil Design Bureau
First flight (27 June 1967 – unsuccessful hop)
10 July 1968 – first successful flight
Status Prototypes tested, cancelled
Primary user Soviet Union
Number built 2
Crew: 6 (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, electrician, navigator, radio operator)
Capacity: 196 passengers
normal 20,000 kg (44,000 lb)
maximum 40,000 kg (88,000 lb)
Length: 37 m (121 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 67 m (219 ft 10 in) across rotors
Height: 12.5 m (41 ft 0 in)
Maximum speed: 260 km/h (162 mph; 140 kn)
Cruise speed: 240 km/h (149 mph; 130 kn)
Range: 500 km (311 mi; 270 nmi)
Ferry range: 1,000 km (621 mi; 540 nmi) with external fuel tanks
Service ceiling: 3,500 m (11,500 ft)
Mil V-12 Hoomer
The Mil V-12 (NATO reporting name: Homer), given the project number Izdeliye 65 ("Item 65"), is the largest helicopter ever built.