Mil Mi-24 Hind (Combat Aircraft 14)
By Mike Spick
Publisher: Osprey Publishing 1988 49 Pages
PDF 21 MB
ALEADING CONTENDER for the tide of the ugliest flying machine of all time, the Mi-24 series of helicopters is known by many names. To its designers, the Mil OKB, it was first known as the A-10. Some Western writers have referred to it as the flying batdecruiser. NATO has given it the codename of "Hind". The Mujahideen guerrillas of Afghanistan are reported to call it "The Devil's Chariot". Its Soviet crews are known to refer to it as Gorbach (Hunchback), while it is also known in Soviet circles as the Sturmovik helicopter. While it seems certain that early versions carried the official designation of Mi-24, the latest variants are believed to be the Mi-25, or even the Mi-27. The Soviets, who know, aren't telling, while the West, which isn't sure, is guessing. What is certain is that it is a most remarkable machine, which in the right circumstances can do an excellent job despite the fact that it is now getting rather long in the tooth. Judging it is difficult, as there is no close Western equivalent to use as a yardstick. Hind is a true one-off.
At first sight, the helicopter appears to be a poor relation in the aviation world. It lacks both speed and altitude performance, is complicated both to fly and to maintain, and generally cannot carry very much for very far, compared with a fixed wing aircraft of similar weight and far less cost. Aerodynamically it is inefficient, and it is difficult to protect against even small arms fire. What makes it special is just three things. It can take off vertically, can hover, and can land vertically.