What's the largest helicopter that was built in human history?

2023 Jan 23

The Mil Mi-26, also known as the Halo, is the largest helicopter ever built in terms of weight, size, and payload capacity. It was developed by the Soviet Union’s Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in the 1970s and entered service in 1983. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 kg (123,456 lb) and was designed for heavy lift and transport operations, like the V-12.

The Mi-26 has a unique design, featuring a single main rotor with eight blades, and a tail rotor with five blades. It is powered by two Lotarev D-136 turboshaft engines, each capable of producing 11,400 horsepower. The Mi-26 has a cargo bay that can carry up to 20 metric tons (44,092 lb) of cargo, or up to 90 passengers.

The Mi-26 is still in service today, primarily used by military and civilian operators for heavy lift and transport operations, as well as for search and rescue, firefighting, and aerial crane work. It holds multiple records for heavy lift helicopter, such as the highest external lift of 20,000 kg (44,092 lb) and the largest helicopter to ever go into production.