The high demand affects only the latest version of the family, the Mi-8MT, because of its ability to operate in hot and high conditions. Compared with the earlier Mi-8T, the Mi-8MT has more powerful TV3-117 turboshaft engines, a new gearbox, improved tail rotor and control linkage, and extended fuel tanks. These upgrades increased Mi-8MT payload capacity by 1 metric ton as well as the operational ceiling. Production of this version was launched in 1977, but the design received an update in the late 1980s (the Mi-8MTV) for high-altitude operations.
“It is impossible to buy this modification on the pre-owned market,” one Russian helicopter dealer tells AVIATION WEEK.
Begs the question of what other operating environments (outside Russia) would prove profitable for sales of this aircraft?