The top 5 heavy-lift helicopters in the world

The top 5 heavy-lift helicopters in the world

From the Mi-26 to the CH-53 Super Stallion, through the Sikorsky Skycrane: here are the biggest and powerful helos of the world

Everybody knows that the world's largest helicotper is the Mil Mi-26The Russian made giant can take off with a payload equal to twice its maximum take off weight (which is incredibily set at 28 tons): the Mil Mi-26 is the undisputed heavy weight champion of the helicopter industry in terms of size, power and load capacity.

But as for the Mi-26, the former Soviet Union has been the cradle of many of world's best heavy-lift helicopters. 

Check out The top 5 heavy-lift helicopters in the world:

1) MIL V-12

That's the Behemoth of the helicopter industry: 4x engines (6,500 shp power each), more than 100 tons MTOW, 121ft long. The numbers of the Mil V-12 helicopter speak for itself: it is simply the largest helicopter ever made. It has been produced in only two units and its quite short operational history ended up in a museum.

2) MIL MI-26

Born from the pencil of one of the proteges of russian supremo Mikhail Mil, the Mi-26 can take off with a total weight of 56 tons. No wonder it has been used over the years to transport virtually everything can be carried in the sky, from smaller helicopters (in 2002 even the US Army was forced to ask for its help in Afghanistan) to bigger airliners, as shown by the video below.


Boh the models were developed from the Mi-6 (also known as a heavyweight champion): the Mi-10 is characterized by the presence of four "legs" that form a very complex loading system below the fuselage. It still holds some records for the transport of heavy loads at high altitude and is undoubtedly one of the most significant projects in the history of the rotorcraft industry.


The Russian dominion ends with the wonderful Sikorsky Skycrane. Known for its succesful deplyment in the Vietnam War and, above all, for its gargantuan like payload, its empty weight is 9 tons. The MTOW is set at 21 tons, just enough to take away from the battlefield the fuselage of a CH-47 Chinook.


Waiting for the new CH-53K King Stallion, the CH-53E Super Stallion is currently the US military largest helicopter in use. It can carry up to 14.5 tons externally, a detail that allows the Super Stallion to give a Huey a ride, as evidenced by the video below.

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