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DOLPHIN NOSE a.k.a. MI-17A-5 a.k.a. CH-178

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Let's step back a bit , shall we?  :)


CBC News · Posted: Nov 24, 2010 9:05 PM ET | Last Updated: November 24, 2010

Questions are being raised about the Conservative government's procurement of  Russian helicopters that Canadian pilots have been secretly using to fly troops into combat in Afghanistan.

Until this week, the government had been silent about the MI-17 "Hip" helicopters that were leased last year. The government still refuses to provide any details of their procurement, including how much the lease cost.

The federal government has been silent about the MI-17 "Hip" helicopters that were leased last year. ((Bill Graveland/Canadian Press))

"It was competed, it was open, but for reasons of security I really can't go into any other details," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Wednesday.


Military sources told CBC News that the idea of leasing Russian choppers was approved by cabinet early last year. It took some time to train Canadian crews, but the helicopters went into service quickly, used by Canadian special forces troops on secret missions.

Over time, their use expanded to include regular soldiers on regular missions, sources said. The military said the Russian choppers are "very robust" and "very capable." 

"What's surprising about this is the fact they made a big secret about it," said NDP defence critic Jack Harris.

Harris said if the Russian choppers are good enough for Canadian troops at war, why did the government rule them out when it decided in 2006 to buy new U.S. helicopters for the military.

At the time, the government said, there were no other choppers capable of doing the job. The American Chinooks are larger, but the MI-17s appear to be just as capable in the air above Kandahar.

They also come with a built in de-icing system — a perk Canada had to pay extra for on its Chinooks. The cost of buying a single Chinook works out to about $80 million, compared with $17 million for one of the Russian helicopters.

"So, we've got an out-of-control department of National Defence when it comes to procurement," Harris said.

Defence analyst Rob Huebert said the huge price difference between the two helicopters might help explain why the government has kept the deal secret.

"From a political perspective, one can also see that the Conservatives may not want to be seen to be undermining their claim that they needed the Chinooks to the degree that they did," Huebert said.

But he said the air force was wise to choose an American helicopter to be a permanent part of the Canadian equipment in order to have access to experts or spare parts. That could be a concern if relations with Russia start to freeze up, he said.



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There are certain parts of history that are forgotten deliberately.

Immediately after CAF deployment in Afghanistan it was apparent that  Canadian forces are missing medium-heavy load helicopter. Vertical deployment of troops in order to avoid IED was essential in this environment and  Canada was incapable of doing so.  CH-146 Griffon did not cut the bill.

General Rick Hillier placed this issue to the conservative government and almost immediately defence minister MacKay announcer that Canada would purchase Chinook and in the meanwhile they would lease something from US military. The lease takes time to negotiate, so interim solution was needed .

In 2009 cabinet quietly agreed to lease six Mil Mi-17-V5s (Mi-8 MTV5). RCAF took delivery of fourof them which were designated CH-178 (s/n: 178404-178407). The government kept it quiet until November 2010

It is not clear what happened to them after their use by RCAF, there are reports of them being airlifted to Bulgaria  in August 2011, with the canadian marking being taped over.

The archives RCAF task force in Afghanistan doesn't acknowledge that they flew Mi-17 at all. So as the RCAF's official webpage. 

What's for sure, non of the guys from 427 Special Operation Air Squadron serving in Afghanistan will ever forget this reliable and tough ride.

And that is exactly why I am going to convert Trumpeter's Mi-8MT into so-call CH-178.

enjoy the show ladies :)



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There are few markable differences to take care of, side doors, fuel tanks, rear cargo ramp, heater unit armour and most of all the dolphin nose :), plus bunch of capitalistic sensors and guns and galore of surface detail. 


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Thank You guys. I started this week, so what you can see on the pictures is a result of probably 5 hours of cutting , filling etc.  This morning I went to check on dolphin nose, well orbital sander was more than helpful :)

The rest is all about carefully sculpting. The idea is to build it all up on the fuselage as a solid piece, then cut it out .



The sides of the loading ramp had a wrong angle, so there will be little more sanding to do as well.


Stay tuned for more updates coming tonight . 

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Thanks Harvey. Yes t does definitely need more material on the top and the bottom transition needs to be build up as well.  This might take few days of sculpting. More of a drying time than actual work :)


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