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Aeroplast PZL Mi-2 1/48

The Mil Mi-2 (NATO code: Hoplite) is a small, lightly armored turbine-powered transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon. For world aviation Mi-2 is the same icon as Bell UH-1 Huey.

 

Background

The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-Świdnik" factory in Świdnik.

After initial development at the Mil bureau (Soviet designation V-2) the project was transferred to Poland in 1964, after the first Świdnik-built example had flown (making this the only Soviet-designed helicopter to be built solely outside the Soviet Union). PZL-Świdnik produced a total of 5,497 units, about a third for military users. The factory also developed fiberglass rotor blades, and developed the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical kits include four stretchers for air ambulance usage, or aerospraying or cropdusting applications.

In Poland, there were also developed several specialized military variants for support or reconnaissance roles, with 23 mm cannon, machine guns and/or two 57 mm rocket pods, four 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank missiles or Strela-2 AA missiles.

The Mi-2 was first introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965. The Mi-2 is used by mainly former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries, although it was also purchased by Mexico and Myanmar armed forces. North Korea still maintains a large active fleet of Mi-2s. Most of the armed Mi-2 variants were used by Poland. Some were also used by the former East Germany (with machine gun and unguided rocket armament only).

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Capacity: 8 passengers or 700 kg (1,543 lb) internal, 800 kg (1,764 lb) external cargo
  • Length: 11.40 m (37 ft 4¾ in)
  • Rotor diameter: 14.50 m (47 ft 6⅞ in)
  • Height: 3.75 m (12 ft 3½ in)
  • Disc area: 165.13 m² (1,777.44 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,372 kg (5,218 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,550 kg (7,826 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,700 kg (8,157 lb)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 200 km/h (108 knots, 124 mph)
  • Range: 440 km (237 nmi, 273 mi) (max internatal fuel, no reserves)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,125 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (885 ft/min)
  • Disc loading: 22.41 kg/m² (4.59 lb/ft²)

Model

After a successful return on the market with 1/48 SW-4 Tawny Owl model Aeroplast not rest on laurels and after the year he released next interesting and what is more importantly a very desirable model in scale 1/48: the PZL Mi-2. Pleased the fact that the national (Polish) manufacturers are beginning to listen to the “voice” of domestic modelers and finally, after years we lived to a good model of a well-deserved for our (and perhaps for other as well) aviation helicopter. To satisfy the "craving" of the market Aeroplast issued a whole series: from civilian "occasional", by transport, sea (SAR) to combat (URN) version.

Model designer opened the curtain and announced that work is already underway on new models in scale 1/350 (ships), 1/72 (vehicles and aircraft ) and 1/48 (aviation). Maybe this time the we will be surprise by Aeroplast the model of Mi-8/17 or TS-11 Iskra...

The model consists of a dozen parts cast from gray plastic contain in a two universal (basic) and one to three small dedicated to current version frames.

 

Most of molded parts are clean, with no mold shifts or flash, but I some small elements there are minimum shift. Panel lines are delicate and engraved. The texture and quality of the material make a decent impression - treatment should be easy and painless. The quality and the details of elements are very good and indicates the constantly improved manufacturer's precision and detailing.

 

Glass elements are in general clear and transparent. A separate doors to the crew and passengers cabins allows to made a model with it in the open position to show off inside of the cabin. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not been immune to small “technology” bugs (this is confirmed by comments on the domestic forums) - quite often endeavoring small diathesis on individual parts (usually no more than one part from whole frame have it). Unfortunately, these are internal flaws that cannot be removed by polishing.

 

Decals and assembly instructions

At first view, the decals looks good - they are delicate, clearly and cleanly printed.

 

The instructions are printed as a “small book”. The first page including assembly and paint rules description.

 

Second page is a decal assembly instruction.

 

Next sides shows a assembly chart split on logical steps - all drawings are made in 3D technique using colors (gray, blue and red) which made instruction more accessible and enjoyable. 

 

Last page present in color a paint instruction.

 

Summary

After the first announcement I wondered about the price for this model - also in this case, the manufacturer adjusted the price for the market "ability to pay" - the amount of ~ 80 PLN ($ 20-23) is a fair price for a decent model.. I bought it thinking about my friend who collects unusual construction from less popular regions of the world and is a big fan of PZL Mi-2 Hoplite…

Is it recommended? Definitely yes! For fair money we get a good quality model of famous helicopter. PZL Mi-2 will be a real pearl of many collections – special related with helicopters…

Hubert Labecki

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