Vehicle data sheet
Manufacturer: , Poland
|Type: Helicopters||Weight: 2.3 t|
|Produced: 1965||Size: Length 11.4 m, Height 3.75 m|
|Number built: 5497||Engine: Kerosene, 800 HP|
|Crew: 1||Speed: 200 km/h|
Nato code: Hoplite
The Mi-2 was the helicpter type which was manufactured at Swidnik in the greatest numbers, and the scale of its production is among the largest in the world. At the time when its production began in the nineteen sixties, the helicopter was an extremely modern design, powered by two turboshaft engines. Up to 1998, a total of 5418 Mi-2's were built, most of them for export to the Soviet Union. Until now a considerable number of the type remains in operation all over the world. All Mi-2's in operation come from the Swidnik factory, as the Mi-2 was never manufactured in the USSR, nor in any other country outside of Poland.
On October 10th, 1961, the Soviet Pravda published the first photograph of the prototype W-2 turbine-powered helicopter, still before its first test flight. The short note next to the photo caused a lot of interest at Swidnik, where production of the piston-powered SM-1 helicopter was expected to come to an end in the near future. Soon, at the initiative of WSK Swidnik, efforts were undertaken to start production of the new type of helicopter in Poland. As a result of negotiations held over the years 1963-1964, an agreement was signed, on the basis of which the production of the W-2 helicopter, which was later given the Soviet production type designation of Mi-2, was to be wholly transferred to Poland.
Preparations for the production of the Mi-2 at WSK Swidnik, initially under the type designation of SM-3, started in 1964. Gigantic work began, not only related to the translation of endless volumes of Russian language documentation into Polish, but also resulting from the necessity of developing, practically from scratch, the series production documentation.
The first Mi-2 helicopters built at Swidnik had a TBO of 200 hours, rapidly increased to 500 hours. However, beginning with the first helicopter from the fifth production batch ( S/N 510501027), which was test flown on March 19th, 1967, by Ryszard Kosiol, the TBO was extended to 1000 hours. That was a quantum leap in quality, as that level had never been reached with the SM-1. The helicopter mentioned was given the civil registration signs of SP-SDL and was used for tests.