A Giant Helicopter Can Lifting 24000 Kgs CH-47 Chinook
Mil Mi-26 Halo Sling Loads CH-47
Currently, the largest and most powerful helicopter to have ever entered production is the gargantuan Mi-26 ‘Halo’ of Russian origin, of which many still serve in governmental and commercial roles around the globe. After decades of the ‘Halo’ being on top, a new record holder is now said to be on the way, with Russia and China joining forces to make it happen.
This new super-heavy lift class chopper was originally thought to be an outgrowth of the existing, all-weather capable and highly modernized Mi-26T2, but now it seems that it will only borrow a few elements from it, and will overwhelmingly be a ‘clean sheet’ design.
The fresh design approach is due to China’s eye popping requirements. According to Russia, they are said to include almost twice the lifting capacity of the already freakishly powerful and huge Mi-26. That would put the new chopper’s lifting ability at somewhere around 80,000lbs! In comparison, theCH-53K ‘King Stallion,’ America’s latest heavy lift design, has a total gross weight just slightly above that figure at 88,000lbs.
You heard that right, this new Russian-Chinese super chopper is aiming to be able to lift roughly the equivalent of America’s newest heavy-lift chopper in its entirety, at its maximum gross weight. That is one powerful helicopter.
The Mi-26 can already haul vehicles that are larger than what can fit even into a C-130 Hercules, including everything from armored personnel carriers to dump trucks. Yet China has had a uniquely large demand for heavy under-slung cargo carrying ability, for both construction and logistical purposes and there has been talk for the last decade or two about how a super-heavy lift helicopter could change the way some structures are built. This is especially true for modular vertical oriented structures that are intended to be built fast and replicated quickly, an area of architecture and construction that China continues to be the leader in.
According to Russian reports, multiple Chinese agencies are part of this new mega-chopper procurement program, including those that deal with emergency management and response. This makes some sense as during a natural disaster, or even a time of conflict, moving massive amounts of supplies quickly will be all that much more critical considering China’s massive population.