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Hooked on Mil’s Mi 6 fast freighter

22 July 2013

Hooked on Mil’s Mi 6 fast freighter

20° 59′ 55″ N / 105° 49′ 44″ E

Mil Mi 6 (NATO reporting name "Hook") at the Air Defense – Air Force Museum in Hanoi — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Mil Mi 6 (NATO reporting name “Hook”), note the winglets and large rotor disc — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Mil Design engineers produced the Mi 6 (NATO’s reporting name is “Hook”) in the late 1950s in response to both military and civilian needs to move heavy as well as outsized cargo into or over unimproved terrain. The Soviet military needs ranged from moving missile equipment, after delivery to an airfield,over forested or rough terrain to armored vehicles as well as troops (90 infantry or 70 paratroopers). The Mi 6 was not only the largest helicopter at the time but also the fastest (190 mph/304kph) — so Hooks could quickly set up entire installations such as those for radar or missile intercept. Civilian needs to set up heavy mining equipment in the remote regions of Siberia were similarly met. Clamshell doors in the rear allowed interior loading of small vehicles as well as other cargo while the characteristic winglets provided substantial aerodynamic lift.

Mil Mi 6 (NATO reporting name "Hook") — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Note the entrance into this Hook just aft of the Vietnam Air Force emblem for scale as well as the side-by-side seating for the pilots with two more crew stations behind them (radio operator and flight engineer) as well as one forward in the nose for the navigator — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

The Hook in these images is on exhibit in the Air Defense – Air Force Museum (Bảo tàng Phòng không– Không quân) in Hanoi Vietnam with the information sign indicating it was used as a “freighter helicopter” — meaning cargo helicopter in western parlance and also in firefighting duties. Clearly this helicopter is immense and has a 5-bladed main rotor turned by a pair of turbojet engines. Hooks served through the 20th Century but were progressively supplanted by the Mil Mi 26 (NATO reporting name “Halo”) beginning in the 1980s — a long service life, especially so for a helicopter.

blog Mi 6 Hook WP_000683

The Hook’s expansiveness in regard to the cargo/passenger cabin is impressive — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Our thanks to Catherine Dowman for taking time during an extraordinarily hot day to capture these images 🙂

Mil Mi 6 (NATO reporting name "Hook") — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Mil Mi 6 (NATO reporting name “Hook”) had large low pressure tires for operations on rough terrain — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 July 2013 11:14

    Nearby is the Mil Mi-4 Hound that was once the personal transport of Ho Chi Minh

    • travelforaircraft permalink
      28 July 2013 10:11

      Thanks Deano and right you are. Catherine sent images of it a day or so ago so I will be able to have them up in a week or two 🙂 It’s photogenic with its blue painted fuselage.

      • 28 July 2013 11:06

        Yes its a great museum. Unfortunately the Mi-6 is not for tall people. I had quite the bump on my head from inside the airframe!

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