The 10 Biggest Helicopters in the World

If you know a thing or two about helicopters, then you probably know that they are among the most reliable types of aircraft

They can be used by organizations, hospitals, media stations, police, the navy, the military, and other government organizations for various purposes, mainly to carry people, troops, and cargoTable of Contents1

Heavy lift helicopters are designed with impressive abilities to carry over 50 tons and place materials where they need to go faster, especially in remote areas

Some heavy-lift helicopters have been a top choice for corporations, civilians, and military branches that need heavy loads transferred from one location to another

Since their implementation in the ’40s, helicopters have done a great job moving large freight cargo, evacuating troops, and other life-saving activities

If you’re curious to know some of the world’s best heavy-lift helicopters in the world, this post is for you

Here are the top-heavy lifters of all time based on how much weight they can lift

Editorial Team Russian Mil Mi-26 airlifting a plane

This heavy twin-engine transport helicopter is Russian-made and was manufactured for both military and civilian operations

It was designed and developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

Since its first appearance at the Paris Air Show in 1981, Halo has been sold worldwide to over 20 countries

It is available in 13 variants that can lift up to 56 tons and has been used over the years to transport virtually everything that can be carried safely in the sky, such as smaller helicopters

While its development began in the early 70s, designers had bigger plans and a goal to produce a helicopter with a capacity twice any modern machine could have

Halo started its operation in 1983

When it comes to specs, Halo’s charge area with rear ramp closed is 12m long, 32 m wide, and has a minimum cling height of 29m

The interior can hold 80 combat-equipped troops or six stretchers, but there are rare cases where it flies carrying 150 troops

Its maximum weight, when empty, is 62,170lb and its top speed is 295kph, and it has a crew capacity of 4

2 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion

2 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion

US Navy CH-53K King Stallion lifts a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

The King Stallion is an upgrade of the CH-53E super stallion, which was previously the biggest and heaviest helicopter outside Russia

Today, the CH-53K King Stallion is the US military’s most powerful, biggest, and heaviest helicopter

It was also designed to meet the needs of the US marine corps and will serve as its critical sea and land-based logistics connector

This version allows international militaries and US marine corps to move troops and equipment from the ship to the shore and other higher altitude terrains faster and efficiently

It is built to thrive in the modern battlefield, including shipment operations

The CH-53K is more intelligent, reliable, survivable, and low maintenance as it is designed to withstand the most remote and austere operating bases

When it comes to the specs, the larger cabin can carry 463l or 37 troops comfortably

It can deliver supplies, vehicles, soldiers, and other materials required in larger quantities, such as heavy weapons, military vehicles, and 55 seated soldiers

Its speed is 172 miles per hour, and its weight when empty is 88,000lbs

aceebee USMC Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion

The CH-53e super stallion has been one of the heaviest and largest US military helicopters in use until the CH-53 K Super stallion arrived and took over

The CH-53 made its first entry into the industry in 1974 but entered service fully in 1981 under the US marine corps

It forms a crucial element of composite squadrons supplying heavy cargo and supplies for amphibious assault missions

So far, out of the 172 stallions delivered, 162 are in service with the Pacific and Atlantic fleet

It is designed with a lifting capacity of more than 33t

It can lift the a155mm howitzer along with the crew and ammunition

Three general electric turboshaft engines, T64-GE-416/416A, power the stallion

Each engine produces 3,270kW rated power that ensures the helicopter can take off with a maximum weight of 73,500lb

This helicopter has a maximum weight of 10,740lbs when empty and a total speed of 196mph

It can carry two pilots, 38 troops, or 24 stretchers

The stallion is nicknamed the ” Hurricane maker” from the downwash it generates, and it’s mighty enough to lift an aircraft as heavy as itself

Another great product by the Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant is the MI-10, which entered service in 1962

It is a flying crane configuration of the MI-6 that retains many of the equipment and systems such as the rotor, engines, and transmission system

This helicopter was operated by the Russian Air Force and other smaller civil agencies

It has made significant improvements, such as the fuselage, which has a shallower cabin and a more resounding tail boom to allow more cargo to be hoisted

It is also a twin-wheeled undercarriage to enhance its heavy lifting capacity

Going forward to the specs, the MI-10 has a maximum take-off weight of 96,340lb and can seat 28 passengers in the cabin

Harke features two Soloviev D-25V turboshaft engines, each developing a maximum power output of 5,500hp

The big external fuel tanks aboard provide a full range of 267mi

Its maximum weight when empty is 54,410lb and has a top speed of 146mph

Lifting Capacity: 24,000 lbs / 10,886 Kg

Lifting Capacity: 24,000 lbs / 10,886 Kg

Lifting Capacity: 24,000 lbs / 10,886 Kg

Lifting Capacity: 24,000 lbs / 10,886 Kg

Lifting Capacity: 24,000 lbs / 10,886 Kg

Editorial Team Chinook lifting shipping container

Developed to meet the US Army requirements, the CH-47 first flew in 1961

The utility helicopter became fully operational in 1962

Since then, 1160 of its kind have been built, including model license-produced in Japan and Italy and exported all over the world

The upgraded Chinooks are designed to remain operational with the US army beyond 2060 and the years to come

This heavy-lift helicopter can perform multiple transport missions like carrying troops, war supplies, battlefield equipment, and other cargo

It is also efficient in other tasks such as transporting medical equipment, disaster relief, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, heavy construction, civil development operations, and emergency evacuation

Some of the well-known missions Chinooks have been used in the past include Operations Desert Shield, desert storm, and the Gulf War When empty, the CH-47 Chinook weighs 23,400 lbs

This means the Chinook can lift about 26,600 lbs, or about 12065 Kg

The Textron Lycoming T55-L712 engines power the Chinook

6 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

6 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Lifting Capacity Single Cargo Hook: 10,000 lbs / 4,536 Kg

Lifting Capacity Dual Cargo Hook: 12,500 lbs / 5,760 Kg

US Marines Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey airlifting a Hummer

Produced as part of a strategic alliance between Boeing and Bell helicopters, the V-22 Osprey is a unique aircraft with multi-transmission abilities

That means it is more of a tiltrotor than an actual helicopter

However, it is used for the same purpose as helicopters by combining its vertical lift capabilities with the flight speed of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft

It can take off or land vertically and reach a greater altitude at high speed of up to 280kt

Compared to other utility helicopters, this aircraft can fly twice the speed

The V-22 is fitted with two powerful Rolls-Royce engines whose nacelle can rotate to change the aircraft into a turboprop plane

The engines develop a powerful 6-150shp each and are capable of air-to-air refueling

Thanks to the rotatable wings and foldable rotors, the Osprey can be compactly stored on board an assault ship or an aircraft carrier

The navy, Marine Corps, and the US army use the V-22 Osprey for different missions like delivery

It is an interesting aircraft with incredible abilities as it can refuel in the air and land on ships and other vessels

It is currently one of the largest VTOL aircraft and accommodates 24 troops or 19,800 lbs internally and 12,500 lbs externally

The MI-38 was developed as a multirole helicopter by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

That means it can be used for search and rescue missions, transport passengers and cargo, perform offshore tasks, and air ambulance services

Its flexible and strongly built configuration enables successful operations in hostile and versatile tropical, cold, and maritime environments

It is an entirely new design, which means the developers put in a lot of critical and creative thinking to come up with more contemporary ideas that were not included in the previous versions

For instance, it has new engines, airframes, avionics, and rotor systems

As for the specs, the MI-38 can carry 32 troops and 16 stretchers

The deck can take only two pilots, but one pilot can operate the aircraft

It can carry 11,000lbs internally and 15,000lbs externally

The MI-38 comes with two Klimov TV7-117V powerful engines

Lifting Capacity Internal: 12,500 lbs / 5,670 Kg

Lifting Capacity Internal: 12,500 lbs / 5,670 Kg

Lifting Capacity External: 9,000 lbs / 4,100 Kg

Lifting Capacity External: 9,000 lbs / 4,100 Kg

Dylan Agbagni French Air Force EC725 on lift off

Also called the “Super cougar” or “Caracal,” the EC 725 was built in France to improve search and find rescue missions

It first made its way into the sky in 2000 and was delivered to the French air force in 2005

It is a long-range tactical transport helicopter that evolved from the Eurocopter Puma family

Today, it has been adopted by Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia, and other countries interested in ordering this aircraft

Apart from search and rescue operations, this helicopter is a heavy lifter that can be used to transport cargo, troops, and other materials required in often unreachable terrains

When it comes to the specs, the EC 725 has an external payload of 9,900 lbs

It is capable of carrying 28 troops

It can be fitted with add-on armor plating to operate in combat environments

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Mi-26 from Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant is the largest helicopter in the world

Mil Mi-10 helicopter is powered by two Soloviev D-25V turboshaft engines

Image courtesy of Dmitriy Pichugin

The Mil Mi-6 heavy-lift helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 425t

Image courtesy of Charles Osta

A CH-53 Super Stallion lifts off from the flight deck of the USS Essex

Image courtesy of LTC Cynthia Teramae

An MV-22 Osprey, a variant of V-22 Osprey, of the US Marine Corps prepares to land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4)

Image courtesy of Apprentice Veronica Mammin – US Navy

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the US Army prepares to lift an armoured vehicle

Image courtesy of the US Army

S-64E Erickson Air-Crane heavy-lift helicopter for fire suppression

Image courtesy of Etan Tal

The Mi-38 is a next-generation heavy-lift helicopter capable of operating during day/night in all weather conditions

Image courtesy of Russian Нelicopters, JSC

Image courtesy of Russian Нelicopters, JSC

AC313 helicopter is the largest civilian helicopter ever developed in China

Image courtesy of Shimin Gu

A close front view of a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter

Image courtesy of Stephen M

The Mi-26, popularly known as Halo, is the world’s largest helicopter in production

The Mi-26, popularly known as Halo, is the world’s largest helicopter in production

It is a twin-turbine heavy-lift helicopter designed and produced by Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

Since its debut at the Paris Air Show in 1981, the Halo has been sold to 20 countries around the world

The helicopter is used for both military and civilian missions and is available in 13 variants, which can lift up to 56,000kg

The load-carrying capacity of the Halo is comparable to that of a domestic C-130 transport aircraft, and has a cargo area 12m long and 33m wide, which can accommodate two combat vehicles weighing up to 9,988kg

The interiors have space to seat 80 combat-equipped troops or 60 stretchers

The flight deck can accommodate four crew including pilot, copilot, flight engineer and navigator

The development of the Mi-26 began in the early 1970s with the ambitious goal of producing a helicopter with double the load capacity of any other helicopter

Mil Mi-10 (Harke)

The Mil Mi-10 (Nato codename: Harke) is a flying crane configuration of Mi-6 helicopter built by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Russia

The helicopter retained many of the equipment and systems, including the engines, transmission and rotor system

The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 43,700kg (96,340lb) and can seat up to 28 passengers inside the cabin

The Mi-10 is equipped with two Soloviev D-25V turboshaft engines, each developing a maximum power output of 4,100kW (5,500hp)

The large external fuel tanks aboard the Mi-10 provide a maximum range of about 430km

The Mi-6 (Nato code name: Hook) was the world’s biggest helicopter when it took in to skies for the first time in 1957

Developed to cater the civil and military requirements, more than 900 Mi-6 helicopters were built by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant before production ceased in 1981

The large fuselage of Mi-6 provides enough space to accommodate 65 armed troops or 41 litter patients, plus two attendees, and can also carry a range of heavy cargo including vehicles

The helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 42,500kg (93,700 lb)

The Mi-6 helicopter is powered by two Soloviev D-25V turboshaft engines mounted atop the fuselage midsection

Each engine is capable of developing a maximum power of 4,100kW (5,500shp)

Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion

Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion

Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion

The CH-53 Super Stallion is a development of CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy-lift cargo helicopter

It is currently the largest helicopter in service with the US armed forces

Designed with a lifting capacity of more than 33t, the CH-53 can lift a155mm howitzer along with its crew and ammunition

The Super Stallion helicopter is in service with the heavy lift helicopter squadrons of the US Marine Corps, forming a vital element of the composite squadrons supplying heavy cargo and supplies for amphibious assault missions

Three General Electric T64-GE-416/416A turboshaft engines power the CH-53 Super Stallion

Each engine developing 4,380shp (3,270kW) rated power ensures the helicopter can take-off with a maximum weight of 33,300kg (73,500lb)

The V-22 Osprey, produced as part of a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter and Boeing, is a unique helicopter with multimission ability

It is a high speed plane that allows for quick transportation of crew or cargo

It can accommodate 24 combat troops or up to 15,876kg (35,000lbs) of internal and external cargo

Osprey was designed to meet the specific requirements of four US armed services

It is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands similar to a helicopter

It can land or take off vertically and reach high altitude at high speeds of up to 280kt

It is fitted with two powerful Rolls-Royce engines whose nacelle can be rotated to convert the aircraft into a turboprop plane

The engines develop a power of 6,150shp each

It is capable of air-to-air refuelling and can be compactly stored on board an assault ship or aircraft carrier, thanks to the rotatable wings and foldable rotors

The CH-47 Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter from Boeing

The Chinook can perform multiple transport missions

The helicopter is mainly used for transportation of troops, war supplies and battlefield equipment

It can also be deployed in medical evacuations, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire-fighting, parachute drop, heavy construction and civil development operations, making it a true multimission helicopter

Some of the notable missions in which Chinooks were used include the Gulf War and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

The empty weight of CH-47D/F Chinook is 10,614kg (23,401lb)

The maximum weight at take off is 22,679kg (50,000lb)

The maximum weight at take off is 22,679kg (50,000lb)

The helicopter is powered by two Textron Lycoming T55-L712 engines

The S-64 Aircrane (formerly known as Skycrane) is a heavy-lift helicopter currently manufactured by Erickson Air-Crane

A civil version of the US Army’s CH-54 Tarhe helicopter, the S-64 was originally developed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certificate and manufacturing rights for the helicopter from Sikorsky in the early 1990s

The Aircrane was the first flying crane helicopter built with an aft-facing pilot station

The helicopter is 2697m in length

The maximum takeoff weight of the helicopter is 19,050kg (42,000lb)

The two Pratt&Whitney T73-P-700 turboshaft engines of the twin-engined Aircrane provide a combined power output of 9,600shp (7,160kW)

The Mi-38 is a multirole helicopter also developed by Mil Moscow Helicopters Plant, which can be used in cargo and passenger transport, search-and-rescue, offshore missions and for air ambulance services

Its robust build and flexible configuration enables operations in versatile environments, such as maritime, tropical and cold

The fuselage of the Mi-38 is built of high-strength composite materials

The cabin is large and unobstructed with an area of 16m²

It can accommodate 30 passengers in transport missions and 16 stretchers when used as a hospital

The flight deck can accommodate two pilots

A single pilot can fly the helicopter in cargo configuration

The power plant of the Mi-38 comprises of two Klimov TV7-117V engines

The helicopter weighs approximately 8,300kg and has a maximum take-off weight of 15,600kg

AC313 from Avicopter is the biggest civilian helicopter ever built in China

The helicopter is based on Harbin Z-8, which itself is a derivative of the Aerospatiale Super Frelon helicopter

The Avicopter AC313 can be deployed in search and rescue (SAR), maritime surveillance, fire fighting, offshore oil and gas support, cargo transport and medical evacuation missions

The AC313 is the second rotorcraft capable of operating in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, after the Sikorsky S-70C Black Hawk

The AC313’s power-plant includes three Pratt & Whitney PT6B-67A engines

The typical seating arrangement can accommodate two crew members and up to 27 passengers

It has a maximum range of 900km and can carry a maximum payload of 138t

CH-46 Sea Knight is a medium-lift twin turbine tandem rotor transport helicopter originally produced by Vertol, a company based in the US

The CH-46A was designed exclusively for the US Marine Corps in 1961 in a design competition for a medium assault transport helicopter

The helicopter is also available in a civilian variant known as BV-107 II

The first CH-64A helicopter was used during the Vietnam War in 1965

Each of the two General Electric T-58-GE-16 turboshaft engines develop 1,400kW (1,870shp) of power

It has a maximum takeoff weight of 11,000kg (24,300lb)

The biggest passenger airplanes in the world

Airbus and Boeing currently build the biggest passenger airplanes in the world, with the mighty Airbus A380-800 and its rival the Boeing 777-300, while Russia’s Ilyushin also stands out as the only other company to make the list

Helicopters are an indispensable part of military forces worldwide

They can make or break all kinds of military operations by providing transportation and supplies to areas that are otherwise unreachable

Helicopters give armed forces a way to navigate rugged landscapes, and deliver necessary cargo in even the harshest of weather conditions

So, just how big can these versatile aircraft get?

Let’s take a look at 10 of the largest helicopters in the world and learn about which features set each of them apart from the rest

Origin: France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands

The NH90 is a military transport helicopter that is mainly used by the Coast Guard for surveillance, search and rescue missions, and special ops

This impressive aircraft is manufactured by NHIndustries and entirely owned by Airbus Helicopters

It was originally designed in order to meet NATO standards for a vessel that was ready for both battlefield and naval environments

The NH90 is actually developed in two variations: the tactical troop transport and the NATO frigate helicopter

This medium twin-turbine transport and multipurpose helicopter is operational in over 50 air forces around the globe

The Mil Mi-8 is manufactured in three different plants for both military and civilian use

It is primarily used by Russian forces, but has been exported to plenty of other countries as well

The Mil Mi-8’s commonly accepted NATO reporting name is “Hip,” and it is one of the most widely-distributed helicopters ever built

Formerly called the EH101, this military utility medium lift helicopter features a five-blade main rotor and armored crew seats

Its design was refined with a focus on durability and impact resistance, making it a prime military aircraft

Variants of the AW101 have also been constructed for commercial use thanks to their ample room for transporting cargo and passengers

The AW101 boasts the largest cabin in its class, as well as an excellent resistance to cold and other extreme weather conditions

The design of the Changhe Z-18 is evolved from that of the Harbin Z-8, featuring more powerful engines and optimised fuselage

It also comes built with an electronic flight instrument landing system

In January of 2018, the Changhe Z-18 was finally accepted into service by the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force

Origin: France

The H225M was crafted to meet French Air Force requirements for Combat Search and Rescue missions

It was designed by Eurocopter, now known as Airbus Helicopters, and is formally classified as a multi-role long-range tactical transport helicopter

The H225M serves as an integral part in the combat forces of France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait and Thailand

Originally developed by the Moscow Helicopter Plant, this multipurpose aircraft is intended for use both in transportation of passengers and cargo, as well as emergency and rescue missions

Its spacious interior can also transport much-needed medical supplies and operate as a mobile hospital

The Mi-38 offers a new level of versatility that has caught the eye of other professionals outside Russian forces, such as the Indian Air Chief Marshal

Designed to replace the Kazan Mi-17, the Mi-38 is in the process of being certified for both civilian and military use

The impressive Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is the first operational tiltrotor in the world, incorporating some of the forward-flight characteristics of other aircraft into its design

The Osprey’s design also utilizes rotating engine nacelles in order to combine a far greater flight speed with the tight maneuverability inherent to helicopters

The V-22 Osprey can reach speeds up to twice that of a normal helicopter, and can accommodate 24 combat troops for transport

Ranking among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters, the Boeing CH-47F Chinook comes with an array of new and improved features, such as a cutting edge digital control system optimized for adverse weather conditions

It became the helicopter of choice for the US Army for its hauling power and maneuverability

Previous variations of the Chinook were used in the Vietnam and Gulf wars to transport weapons and troops

CH-53K King Stallion

Designed with durability in mind, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is the newest in the CH-53 line and is anticipated to be fielded in 2019

This helicopter is a redesign of the CH-53E Super Stallion, featuring a larger cockpit, more powerful engines, and double the lifting power

The redesign was a result of the recent increased use of CH-53E Super Stallions, which are 15 years old and less efficient to maintain

The CH-53K King Stallion features three impressive turboshafts that enable the helicopter to fly 23 mph faster than its predecessor

The Mil Mi-26 is the largest helicopter in the world

This heavy multipurpose transport helicopter is designed to haul extremely heavy equipment and cargo to remote areas that cannot be accessed by other aircraft

The Mil Mi-26 has two hefty turbine engines that drive eight-blade rotors, rendering it powerful enough to lift other helicopters, aircraft, and military trucks

The Mi-26 was first seen in public at an Air Show in Paris, France

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