Mil Mi-4

Mil Mi-4
Mil Mi-4 at Prague Aviation Museum
Role Transport helicopter
Manufacturer Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
First flight 3 June 1952
Introduction 1953
Status Retired
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Polish Air Force
Produced 1951-1969
Number built over 4,500 including Z-5s
Variants Harbin Z-5

The Mil Mi-4 (USAF/DoD reporting name "Type 36",[1] NATO reporting name "Hound".[2]) was a Soviet transport helicopter that served in both military and civilian roles.


Design and development

The Mi-4 was designed in response to the American H-19 Chickasaw and the deployment of U.S. helicopters during the Korean War. While the Mi-4 superficially resembles the H-19 Chickasaw, it is a larger helicopter and is able to lift more weight. The first model entered service in 1952, and replaced the Mi-1. The helicopter was first displayed to the outside world in 1952 at the Soviet Aviation Day in Tushino.

One Mi-4 was built with a jettisonable rotor. It served as an experimental vehicle for future pilot safety and ejection designs.[3]

Operational history

The Mi-4 transport helicopter laid the beginning of the Soviet Army Aviation, it was widely used both in the armed forces and in the national economy and for several decades remained the main type of helicopter in the inventory of the Soviet Armed Forces and of the Civil Air Fleet. The Mi-4 went out of service with the development of the Mi-8. It is not used by the Russian Air Force anymore, though it remained in service in some countries as a utility helicopter or as a military transport a while longer. Albania was thought to be the final country using the helicopter and by 2005 all were out of service. The Mi-4 played a very important role in Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. The Mi-4 was the workhorse of the Indian Army at the time. A highly successful heli-borne operation using Mi-4s helped the Indian Army's 57 Mountain Division clear the Meghna River. The helilift of a battalion of Indian troops to the outskirts of Sylhet was the first heli-borne operation of the Indian army.

Much like the UH-1 Huey, after it was gradually phased out of military service, it was used in various domestic roles: search and rescue, firefighting, polar expeditioning, construction site cargo helicopter, commercial flights and many others.[4]


Prototype. Designation reused for the Mi-12.
Mi-4 (NATO - Hound-A)
Basic production version.
Assault transport helicopter.
Armed versions based on the Mi-4A.
Factory designation for demilitarised Mi-4 for use in the Civil Air Fleet.
Mi-4L Lyukes
Six-seat VIP transport version, sometimes converted into an air ambulance helicopter.
Fire-fighting version of Mi-4L.
Mi-4M (NATO - Hound-C)
Armed close-support helicopter, fitted with a gun turret. Designation alternatively applied to the Mi-4VM, and also reused for ambulance variant for the Soviet Ministry of Health. Export designation Mi-4ME.
Upgraded version of Mi-4VM.
Mi-4P / Mi-4VP
Civil transport helicopter, with accommodation for between 8 and 11 passengers, plus eight stretchers and a medical attendant for air ambulance duties.
Mi-4PL (NATO - Hound-B)
Anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
SAR version.
Mi-4S Salon
VIP transport helicopter.
Multi-role agricultural helicopter, with a large chemical container in the main cabin. Also used as a fire-fighting helicopter.
Major military production version, equipped with a large diameter main rotor and bulged windows.
Mi-4VM (VM-12)
Anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
Minesweeper with floats.
Mi-4M equipped with the Rion experimental sonar.
Torpedo-carrying ASW attack (killer) aircraft derived from Mi-4M.
Attack helicopter.
Search helicopter with Oka sonar.
Search helicopter with Soora infra-red sensor.
Mi-4FV (Mi-4KV)
Photographic and guidance helicopter.
"Polar version" of Mi-4FV for working at the Soviet Arctic and Antarctic research stations.
Special rescue modification.
Experimental version equipped with an external load sling system.
Mi-4 with improved heat insulation for working in the Far North.
Mi-4N "Filin" (Horned owl)
Experimental reconnaissance version intended for night-time use.
Mi-4KK (Mi-4VKP)
Mobile command post.
Mi-4KU (Mi-4VPU)
Mobile command post for controlling Air Force units.
Target-designator version carrying the Oospekh (Success) system.
Mi-4 fitted with Grebeshok-3 (Haircomb-3) wide-range panoramic detection and relay radar.
TV-equipped artillery reconnaissance and spotting helicopter.
Mi-4MK (Mi-4PP)
ECM version.
Radio-controlled target drone version.
Harbin Z-5
Chinese military transport helicopter. Chinese production version.
Harbin Z-6
Prototype turbine powered version of the Z-5, no production undertaken.
Chinese civil transport helicopter. Chinese production version.
Unnamed Variants
  • Mi-4 minelayer version produced by converting troop-carrier helicopters.
  • Mi-4 modified for transporting and laying gas pipelines.
  • Mi-4 with Panorama 360 cin camera system produced by conversion.
  • Mi-4 with the Pristavka (Add-on) radio equipment developed in 1957 for guidance of remote-controlled reconnaissance balloons.
  • Mi-4s used as testbeds. Apart from the above mentioned versions, the Mi-4 and Mi-4A were widely used as testbeds of various kinds for testing subassemblies and systems of future aircraft, as well as equipment for other branches of industry.


Mi-4 operators

Military operators

18 acquired by the Royal Afghan Air Force from 1963, withdrawing the last from service in 1997.[5]
59 total examples acquired by the Albanian Air Force from 1957, including 37 Z-5 versions from 1967. These were reported in service as late as 2004.[5]
Algerian Air Force
People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola
Bangladesh Air Force
 Burkina Faso
4 in service 1985-1989
Cambodian Air Force
Cameroon Air Force operated 1.
One example, of the FAR (Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria) is displayed at the Museo del Aire (Cuba)[6]
Czechoslovakian Air Force
 East Germany
3 units were in service with the Finnish Air Force from 1962-1979.
a Hungarian Mi-4
Hungarian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Indonesian Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
Mongolian People's Air Force
 North Korea
North Korean Air Force
 Sierra Leone
Somali Air Corps
 South Yemen
 Soviet Union
Syrian Air Force
Sudanese Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
Yemen Air Force
Yugoslav Air Force operated 25, withdrawn in 1970s.

Civil Operators

  • Slov-Air
  • MIAT Mongolian Airlines
  • TAROM - 3 used for high voltage powerlines construction
 Soviet Union

Specifications (Mi-4A)

Mil Mi-4 3-view drawing

Data from

General characteristics

  • Crew: One or two pilots
  • Capacity: 16 troops or up to 1,600 kg (3,520 lb) of cargo
  • Length: 26.80 m (87 ft 11 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 21.00 m (68 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in)
  • Disc area: 346.4 m² (3,727 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,100 kg (11,220 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 7,150 kg (15,730 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,550 kg (16,610 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Shvetsov ASh-82V radial engine, 1,250 kW (1,675 hp)


See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  • Ogden, Bob (2008). Aviation Museums and Collections of The Rest of the World. UK: Air-Britain. ISBN 978-0-85130-394-9

External links

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