Designed by the Soviet Mil Design Bureau in late 1950s and exclusively produced in Poland by the WSK “PZL-Świdnik” factory, the Mi-2 was a small transport and utility helicopter. The Milʼs prototype first flew in 1961, while the first Świdnik-built example took to the air in November 1965. A number of specialised variants were evolved and produced (e.g., armed or chemical reconnaissance, anti-tank, command post, training, passenger/cargo, rescue/ambulance or agricultural). The Mi-2 was an all-metal helicopter powered by two Izotov/Klimov/PZL GTD-350 turboshaft engines mounted overhead. It featured a main cabin for one pilot and up to 8 passengers, fitted with a large windscreen and side windows. It had a fixed tricycle undercarriage and a tailskid. The engines drove a three-bladed main rotor while a two-bladed tail rotor was mounted on the angled tail boom.
More than 5,400 helicopters of this type had been built by 1998 (in 113 production batches), with about a third in military guise originally for the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. Later, many other air forces around the world also took delivery of these helicopters. The Mi-2s were supplied and flown by various civilian operators all over the world (including police), providing invaluable service and also ensuring ubiquitous presence of this type of aircraft in the last decades of the 20th century.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Mil Mi-2T Hoplite (WSK-built), Yellow 47 (c/n 514418095), 41st Independent Helicopter Sq., Western Group of Forces (WGF), VVS USSR (Soviet Air Force), Werneuchen Air Base, East Germany, 1990-93
2) Mil Mi-2U Hoplite (WSK-built), Yellow 33 (c/n 544945106), 41st Independent Helicopter Sq., Western Group of Forces (WGF), VVS USSR (Soviet Air Force), Werneuchen Air Base, East Germany, 1990-93
3) Mil Mi-2RCh Hoplite (WSK-built), White 9429 (c/n 519429105), 1st Command and Reconnaissance Sq. (1. lt vpz), Czechoslovak Air Force (vojenské letectvo ČSLA), Plzeň-Líně Air Base, Czechoslovakia, this a/c defected to West Germany on 4th March 1987
4) Mil Mi-2T Hoplite (WSK-built),White 2644 (c/n 562644112), 45th Experimental Aviation Sq. (45. Lotnicza Eskadra Doświadczalna), Polish Air Force (Polskie Lotnictwo Wojskove), Warszawa-Modlin Air Base, seen at Gliwice Airport, Poland, 1989
5) Mil Mi-2T Hoplite (WSK-built), Black 384 (c/n 562634112), HG 34 Helicopter Regiment (Hubschraubergeschwader), East German Air Force (LSK/LV DDR – Luftstreitkräfte und Luftverteidigung der DDR, Brandenburg-Briest Air Base, East Germany, 1981