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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Mi-26: Russia's airborne 'cow'
BBC News Online profiles the Russian military Mi-26 helicopter which crashed in Chechnya on Monday, with the loss of at least 100 lives.

  • Nicknamed "the cow", the Mil Mi-26 is the heaviest and most powerful helicopter in the world.

  • Conceived in the early 1970s, the Mi-26 is designed to carry up to 20 tons of troops and equipment.

  • It was designed to have a maximum takeoff weight one and a half times that of any other helicopter.

    Mil Mi-26 helicopter
    The Mi-26 is a mainstay of the Russia military

  • The Mi-26 can lift more than twice the payload of an American CH-47 Chinook.

  • Its weightlifting capabilities are more comparable with a C-130 Hercules aircraft.

  • Although mainly in military use, the Mi-26 was originally intended for civil use.

  • Development work began in 1977 and the first machines rolled off assembly lines in 1980.

  • The first machines are believed to have become operational in 1985.

  • The huge, slow-flying craft has seen extensive service in Chechnya since the mid-1990s.

  • See also:

    20 Aug 02 | Europe
    19 Aug 02 | Europe
    31 Jul 02 | Europe
    06 Sep 01 | Europe
    31 Jul 01 | Europe
    23 Apr 01 | Europe
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