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This Helicopter Hasn’t Been Started In 20 Years, Will It Work?

The Mi-2 Hoplite is a small, lightly armored turbine-powered transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon. Many of them have had the armor and military equipment removed and been adapted for other civilian roles such as air ambulance, aerial surveying, aerial spraying, and crop dusting. The video highlights the first startup of the Mi-2’s twin PZL GTD-350P turboshaft engines on a helo that’s been sitting outside in the elements for 20 years.

Photo Credit: Aleksandr Markin

5,497 Mi-2s were built, all of them in Poland at the WSK PZL-Swidnik factory in Swidnik, Poland. The Mi-2 is essentially a turbine-powered version of the previous piston-powered Mi-1. The Mi-2’s turboshaft engines produce 40% more power at half the weight of the piston engines in the Mi-1. First flown in 1961, the development of the Mi-2 was moved to Poland in 1964. The Soviet Air Force started flying them in 1965. 30 countries have also flown the military variant. Operational civilian Mi-2s can still be found on every continent.

Photo Credit: Pavel Adzhigildaev

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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