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TsAGI centenary in the history of aviation: the MiL Mi-28 and Mi-28N helicopters

8 November 2018

November is the timing of debuts for the attack Mi-28 and Mi-28N helicopters. The first one got off the ground in 1982, the second, dubbed “Night Hunter,” in 1996. They were designed to combat enemy tanks in counterfire, to support forward ground forces, and destroy enemy personnel in combat, as well as low-speed airborne targets.

While being designed, the Mi-28’s concept was close to the American Apache helicopter: both machines had fixed landing gear; the forward firing trainable gun was located under the fuselage nose. However, domestic development differed by a powerful armor plating and better rocket-gun armament.

TsAGI scientists worked on improving the new machine’s performance. They created the improved series of helicopter profiles which improved the aerodynamic characteristics of the Mi-28 blades and rotors. The helicopter speed reached 300 km/h. The X-type tail rotor blade configuration reduced the environmental noise. In addition, wind tunnel tests helped to determine the best body layout parameters.

The Mi-28 key feature is a system of protection against various types of missiles. Its maneuver advantage enables the helicopter to fly at extremely low altitudes, nap-of-the-earth. The machine can operate autonomously in combat conditions outside of aerodrome service for up to two weeks. Despite a number of advantages the Mile Design Bureau development was not sent to serial production. The helicopter underwent development and its best version among several others became theMi-28N.

The Mi-28N “Night Hunter” is a significantly upgraded version of the Mi-28. It is notable for an integrated fifth-generation combat system, providing 24-hour all-weather use at extremely low altitudes, flying nap-of-the-earth. There was implemented a new element of the helicopter concept — a ball of on-board radar systems. It required additional studies in TsAGI wind tunnels. The institute specialists paid special attention to drag reduction and improved the performance of the helicopter static stability.

For the ability to perform combat tasks at any time of the day or night, the helicopter got its nickname. In addition, the machine differs by reinforced armored protection and increased combat survivability. It is equipped with a modern high-precision complex of guided and dumb weapons. The Mi-28N entered the service in 2003.

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