In the 1960s, the Soviet Union and the United States both developed the first combat helicopters that could also take out enemy tanks and armed infantry vehicles. Both made very different design choices though. The United States opted, for a slender machine with only two crew onboard, resulting in the AH-1 Cobra, which was first used in Vietnam.
The Soviet Union decided to design a large helicopter that could also transport armed combat troops and this became the Mi-24, NATO codename Hind.
The helicopter became the main threat to mujahidin in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion there, but it was used throughout the Warsaw Pact. It is a fast helicopter despite its size, with a maximum speed of 335 kilometers per hour. The wings are not only used to store weapons, they also provide extra lift at high speed.
Like some other former Warsaw Pact countries, the Czech Republic still uses the Mi-24W, or Mi-35, the modernized export version of the Mi-24D. These helicopters are part of 221 squadron based at Namest, a member of the NATO Tiger Association.
Don’t miss the return of this fearsome helicopter during the 40th anniversary International Sanicole Airshow!
Country: Czech Republic