The Mil Mi-26 is the world’s largest and most powerful operational helicopter.
Since commencing service in 1985 it has created records in speed, altitude and weight carrying performance and it remains in service today.
Planning for a very heavy lifting helicopter to provide greater capacity than the earlier Mil Mi-6 began in Russia in 1971.
The prototype made its first flight on 14 December 1978 and production aircraft began appearing in October 1980.
It has a capacity roughly equivalent to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
Limited numbers flew without loss during the Russian war in Afghanistan and were also used in fighting during the break-up of the Soviet Union.
They have also been used by the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia and by several commercial operators.
This model represents a Mi-26 operated by the United Nations in the Congo in 2000.
Southern Front 1:72 kit completed by Leigh Edmonds in May 2008.