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PICTURES: Tests end for new model of world's biggest helicopter

Russian Helicopters has completed preliminary flight tests of the new Mil Mi-26T2V helicopter, pending its handover to the Russian defence ministry for joint evaluation.

The rotorcraft first flew in August 2018, and testing has been conducted from the Mil Moscow Helicopter plant. Russian Helicopters says the Mi-26 is the world’s largest helicopter, with a maximum take-off weight of 56t and capable of carrying a 20t payload.

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“The customer requested that Mi-26T2V should ensure completion of tasks even in regions with complex physical, geographical and adverse climatic conditions, at any time of the day, at equipped and unequipped routes, or even without routes, and on featureless terrain, in conditions of fire and information counteraction of the enemy,” says Russian Helicopters.

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Differences from earlier iterations of the Mi-26 include a new NPK90-2V avionics suite, including a glass cockpit that makes the helicopter easier to fly. Other improvements include increased navigation automation and improved night-vision goggle integration.

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A new defensive aids suite not only detects threats “but also repels attacks", says the manufacturer.

Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows that there are 132 Mi-26s in service globally with 30 operators, the largest of which is Russia with 89 examples.

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