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Mi-26 Rocks
The Russian Mi-26 helicopter, the heaviest one in the world, will be a hit at the ILA-2004 International Aerospace Show, which opened at Schoenfeld Airport near Berlin. "The Mi-26 military transport helicopter, designed for airlifting of troops with arms and military hardware and carrying of up to 20 tons of cargo will doubtlessly evoke interest among experts at the air show. In an airborne version the helicopter is capable of carrying up to 82 members of a landing party," said a spokesman for Rosoboronexport, a state intermediary company promoting Russian arms and military equipment abroad. According to him, Mi-26 helicopters already have a long record of service in many countries, including Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Peru and Somalia. "At the aerospace show experts will also be able to get detailed information about the Mi-171-Sh military transport helicopter manufactured at an aircraft-building works in the city of Ulan Ude," he said. It is a modernized version of the Mi-171 cargo and passenger helicopter and is being effectively promoted by Rosoboronexport in various regions of the world," the spokesman told RIA Novosti. He pointed out in this connection that "helicopter manufacturers in the West show interest in cooperating with their Russian colleagues in what regards heavy helicopters." The Rosoboronexport spokesman explains this interest by the leading positions occupied by Russian designers and manufacturers in this sphere. "It is for this reason that, in response to the requests of France and Germany, the Russian side plans also performing demonstration flights of Mi-26 in these countries, and a joint meeting of Russian and NATO experts, at which the Russian experience in manufacturing heavy helicopters will be studied, is slated for September this year," the spokesman said.
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