At the time of its first flight, the Mi-34 was the smallest helicopter yet designed by Mil.
Despite only entering series production in 1993, the Mi-34 development story dates back to the mid 1980s, with a first flight in 1986. The Mi-34 was first exhibited to the west at the Paris Airshow in 1987 and has made a number of appearances at major airshows, including Farnborough, since that time.
The Mi-34 is the first helicopter designed in a former eastern bloc country that can loop and roll. More than 60 have been delivered, with missions including pilot training, observation and liaison missions. Many have been delivered to Russian government agencies and the police.
Power for the Mi-34 is supplied by the same M14 radial that powers the Sukhoi Su26, Su29 and Su31 aerobatic aircraft (described separately) among other Russian light aircraft designs. Mil has also studied variants of the Mi-34 with a Textron Lycoming TIO540 flat six piston engine and an Allison 250C20R turboshaft (as the Mi-34A).
The twin engine Mi-34 VAZ meanwhile was announced in mid 1993 along with a number of other Mil civil and military helicopters. The Mi-34 VAZ is essentially similar to the standard Mi-34 but is powered by twin VAZ430 rotary engines. While a rotary is perhaps an unusual choice of powerplant, the Mi-34 VAZ was being developed with the VAZ car factory, which may explain the engine selection. The Mi-34 VAZ also introduced a new carbonfibre star plate based rotor head. No known production has been undertaken.
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