MAN-MADE BIRD “ALBATROS”

ARTIFICIAL BIRD The peak of development of hydroaviation was in the middle of the 1930-ies. The main advantage of amphibians compared to ground vehicles, flying over extensive areas, it was considered a possibility to land on water surface in case of an emergency, even with waves up to five points. But as time went on. The reliability and service life of the aircraft led to the rapid displacement of the seaplane first with the airlines and then military aircraft. Operation of land planes was easier, and their weight returns payload, as well as a high aerodynamic efficiency has reduced the cost of commercial transportation. The development of the airfield network and other transport arteries, and the appearance of helicopters resulted in an almost complete elimination of the flying boat in commercial aviation. There was only a small segment of the lungs of amphibians, serving tourists and residents of remote, “forgotten God” corners of the Earth.

But there were military tasks, which can be achieved easier with the use of seaplanes. It rescue operations at sea and anti-submarine defense. But to get the order, it was necessary to prove that the seaplane will not cede land counterparts. Such was the task set before the staff of OKB chief designer A. K. Konstantinov.

On this basis, concluded that the aerodynamic quality and the weight returns amphibians should be as close to the same parameters of ground vehicles, the propulsion system should have minimum fuel consumption, and boat – to provide possibility of operation with two-meter wave.


Only after solving these problems, and enlisting the support of the military, in 1974, prepared a government decree on the establishment of A-40. It seemed that all was going well, but the Minister of aviation industry P. V. Dementev refused to initial the document. Favorable situation for the “Albatross” appeared only in 1977, when the aviation industry was headed by V. A. Kazakov.

In April 1980, was signed the decision of the Military-industrial Commission, may 12, 1982 – resolution of the government No. 407-11. It so happened that the Minister Dementiev rejected the proposal Konstantinov, Kazakov, head of map about four years and succeeded him in that post I. S. Silaev, supported ANTK imeni G. M. Beriev, and built a machine with A. C. Systole.

 

A-40 over the Bay of Gelendzhik

 

A-40 over the Bay of Gelendzhik
 

A-42пэ on the run

 

A-42пэ on takeoff

 

For the development and production of the first prototype of amphibian took almost four and a half years. 9 September 1986, the car rolled out the Assembly line, and on 8 December she made her first, however, unauthorized flight from the land aerodrome. The crew included test pilots E. And Lakhmostov (commander) and B. I. lisak (co-pilot), Navigator – L. F. Kuznetsov, radio operator L. V. Tverdokhleb, flight engineer V. A. Chebanov and lead test engineer H. H. Demons. That day on the factory airfield runs conducted, but the surprise of the crew the car smoothly pulled away from the strip. “Squeeze” it to the concrete runway failed and had to leave the circle. Fault the commander for an unauthorized landing was not, but it was removed from further testing, appointed commander of the G. G. Kalyuzhny. Then to test the machine as the commander joined B. I. lisak.

The first flight of A-40 the sea of Azov took place on 4 November 1987, there manifested itself a serious defect – longitudinal swinging boat on takeoff and landing. The elucidation of the causes of this phenomenon lasted for almost three months, and in may of the following year, the modified car continued testing.

“Albatross” was conceived primarily as anti-aircraft defense. However, given the limited need of the Navy in such machines, its design is still in the design phase laid the solutions that allowed to the multipurpose amphibious, suitable for search and rescue, passenger and freight transport as well as industrial and extinguish forest fires.

A-40 is a 86-ton flying boat with a high wing sweep on the leading edge at 23.2° and T-shaped tail. •Provide high aerodynamic characteristics in the speed range 280 – 800 km/h wing recruited from supercritical profiles with relative thickness from 14.5 to 10.5%. Its elongation is 9.

Acceptable takeoff and landing characteristics of the aircraft are provided with advanced mechanization wings: retractable double-slit flaps, which occupies the largest part of the scope and slats along the front edges, as well as spoilers. The use of differential release and retracting the flaps with automatic permutation of the stabilizer prevent the ingress of water on the mechanization of the wing, to reduce the height of the boat and increase the hydrodynamic quality. Under the end portions of the wing on a short pylon mounted floats fixed to ensure the stability of the machine on the water surface.

Special attention in the development of amphibians was paid to the choice of the contours of the fuselage and shape of the bottom of the boat. Using the results of towing the model boats in hydraulic canals TSAGI allowed to obtain A-40 operational overload during takeoff with water two times less than that of aircraft of the be-10 and be-12. To reduce the midsection of the boat its elongation was chosen equal to 13.4, with a maximum height of 4.1 m fuselage (for comparison, the diameter of the fuselage of the passenger plane Tu-154 is 3.8 m). This was the limit, because with a larger elongation of the bow of the boat, where are the pilots, greatly moved vertically, which not only complicated the piloting on the landing, but resulted in oscillations of the boat to the water on the flaps. Partly this was overcome by entering the differential management mechanization of the wing. So, on takeoff the flaps initially deflected 10 degrees, and then with increasing speed to the takeoff position. It should be noted that for land planes taking off from confined landing strips, this technique is unacceptable because of the possibility of emergency in case of failure of the release mechanism of the flaps. And for seaplanes operated, as a rule, more extended areas, it is permissible.

Compared to previous aircraft, the experts chose an unusually low redan. Its relative height over keel 1%, and cheekbone -6,5% instead of 10 – 12% of the be-10 and be-12. Past ploskorelefnaja bottom with deadrise angle of 45 – 48 degrees declined due to a significant increase in the height of the boat and, respectively, the midsection, the size and weight of the chassis, the deterioration of exchange rate stability and reduce the effectiveness of amphibians in General. In the end, for the first time at A-40 from nose to redan used the bottom of the variable deadrise.

 

Workplace of the Navigator

 

Workplace Navigator

Install air vents in peredannoe of the bottom of the boat and the introduction of the pitch damper will significantly reduce the amplitude of the longitudinal vibrations of the aircraft during takeoff and landing on a rough surface.

The result has been to reduce the shock loads on the boat and increase its seaworthiness. “Albatross” is able to fly at wave height of 2.2 m (5 -6 points). According to the calculations, the likelihood of a seaplane that can land with a two-meter wave on the waters of the far Eastern seas will not exceed 0.3 or 30% and 0.38 in winter and summer. For the Nordic seas this parameter of 0.21 and 0.3 respectively.

Rational layout of the airframe, engines and chassis allowed for A-40 to reach impressive values of aerodynamic quality – 16 at the speed corresponding to the number M=0.55 and nearer on this indicator to land machines. The project is A-40M there is a possibility of increasing this parameter to 17.

The power plant consists of two machines propulsion turbofan D-30КВП Perm NGO “aircraft engine” and the upper stage korotkosherstnyh RD-38K.

The choice of such seemingly difficult power plant was connected mainly with the lack of high-efficiency turbofan engines, the required thrust (approximately 15,000 kgs). At the same time it allowed with a rather “greedy” and noisy engines D-30КВП to achieve the required range.

The launch of the D-30КПВ air from the auxiliary power unit TA-12A, located in zaleze the left wing.

Boosters mounted on a low pylon on the chassis fairings for the wing to protect it from water ingress during takeoff and landing. This contributes to brushour-Gately – plates fixed on the sides of the hull at the bow and in front of the redan.

To improve the takeoff characteristics of the water surface are two booster engine, the RD – 38K, with air intakes located in the pylons under the main turbofan. Air intakes and nozzles of the RD-38K in cruise flight close clamshell lids. Startup booster engines is the air taken from the compressors of turbofan propulsion.

The aircraft has in-flight refueling with toplivoprovode a barbell, placed on top of the bow of the hull.

“Albatross” – the machine is amphibious and can operate from water or land aerodromes. For this purpose it is equipped with a tricycle landing gear with nose wheel. Basic four-wheeled racks are cleaned in the developed fairings-fairings between the wing and the fuselage. This design practically does not worsen the aerodynamics of the airplane: the drag value increased slightly, as we managed to reduce harmful interference between the supporting surface and the fuselage.

 

The plane-amphibian A-40

 

The plane-amphibian A-40:

1 – fuel rod; 2 – radar Radome; 3 – power unit with sustainer engine D-30КВП; 4 – grab nozzle cap booster TRD RD-38K; 5 – float lateral stability; 6 redan; 7 – air intake, APU TA-12A; 8 – gate; 9 – bryzgogasitelja plate; 10-the glass cockpit; 11 – spoilers; 12-Aileron; 13 – flaps; 14 – air intake; 15 – the stabilizer; 16 – steering wheel height; 17 Kil; 18 – suspension components of the flaps; 19 – fold niche cleaning the nose landing gear; 20 – fold niche of cleaning the main landing gear; 21 – cargo Bay doors; 22 – slats

In a variant of ASW aircraft is equipped with a sighting-search system “Owl” with a radar antenna in the nose cone. The composition of the combat load total weight 6500 kg up to three anti-submarine torpedoes “Orlan” or four to six anti-submarine guided missile “Kite”, “Hawk” and “eagle” (all in the cargo hold with a length of 6.1 m). Under the wing provides for suspension of anti-ship missiles Kh-35. In addition to guided weapons, “Albatross” is able to carry on Board a complete set available in the Russian army mine – and bomberpengu weapons.

Just built two pre-production machines and while the program was funded, managed by 60 – 65% to prepare the production.

Five years after the first flight, when the Soviet Union captured the euphoria of glasnost, A-40 was first publicly demonstrated at the air show in Tushino in 1989. Only after this was the first voyage abroad for the next aviation and space salon in France.


Foreigners were to be surprised, because they are over 30 years have not seen such a huge amphibians. Then followed the “Maxi”, flights to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Along the way the crew of the A-40 had landed in Austria, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and UAE. The first appearance of A-40 responded to the Ministry of defence of England, after negotiations on the acquisition of party A-40 to replace the ageing “nimrods”. The production program of A-40 was presented by G. S. Panahovym at the group meeting naval weapons of NATO in Brussels in March 1993. The plane was supposed to equip foreign engines, as well as all avionics and weapons. In fact, from the plane there was only one glider. However, the British, having received the necessary information on the car as well, and American wig R. Alekseev, did only intent.

By 1994, ended setnocontroller and partially state tests A-40. The plane has mastered not only military test pilots, and the marine pilots.

Since then, ASTC named after G. M. Beriev trying to break the silence of their government, but always stumble on the “defensive” despite strong customer interest in the airplane. Did not help A-40 and a cascade of world records, and their set – 148.

 

A-42пэ taxing in to the Parking lot

 

A-42пэ taxing in to the Parking lot
 

Workplace flight engineer

 

Workplace flight engineer

 

A fragment of the cockpit

 

A fragment of the cockpit

 

Bow (left) and main landing gear of the amphibian A-40 Bow (left) and main landing gear of the amphibian A-40

 

Bow (left) and main landing gear of the amphibian A-40

 

Powerplant A-42пэ. Under the nacelle propulsion engine D-30КВП is the upper stage engine nozzle which closed the clamshell lid

 

Powerplant And 42пэ. Under the nacelle propulsion engine D-30КВП is accelerating the engine, the nozzle of which is closed clamshell cover

 

The first world record was registered on 14 September 1989. That day the crew of a test pilot B. I. Writer raised the car with a load of 5,000 kg to a height of 13 070 m. followed by speed records 745,21 km/h and 746,9 km/h with a load of 10 tons on closed routes, a length of 1000 and 2000 km and rate of climb. In these flights, in addition to the B. I. Writer, co-madarame of the ship were pilots V. K. Babich, V. P. Dem and G. G. Kalyuzhny. In 1998, while working on another “Gidroaviasalon” the author had the opportunity to participate in one of these flights with take off and landing in the water area of the Gelendzhik Bay. On that day two missions were established 12 world records for lifting a 15-ton load to a height of 9000 m.

The first prototype of the A-40 had been laid, but the second car bearing the number 20 to 2010 was in flying condition and were repeatedly shown on Gidroaviasalon in Gelendzhik. At the same time, the government does not relieve the Navy of the duty of conducting ASW and search and rescue operations, and it is hoped that A-40 will not go into the past, as the latest sea giant.

Search-and-rescue amphibian

In parallel with the establishment of anti-submarine amphibians were studied its search-and-rescue variant. A sharp turn in the fate of this car took place in April 1989, after the death of the nuclear submarine “Komsomolets”. By the time the search and rescue service fleet had no aircraft capable of rendering assistance to vessels in distress. Project a-42 received priority, and implement it was ordered in 1990. But the car is still under construction, like the ekranoplan “SPASATEL”. However, under the guise of A-42пэ on several “Gidroaviasalon” in Gelendzhik played a second copy of A-40.


Patrol search-and-rescue amphibious aircraft is designed for tasks during the patrol, the marine and coastal zones. Unlike anti-submarine amphibians, it is expected to be installed vintoventilyatorny engines D-27A and starting turbojet engine RD-SSAS or two turbofan PS-90 (without starting). In the export version A-42пэ (Be-42) to be equipped with postavarului system “Sea serpent”, navigation complex of ARIA-and the corresponding on-Board communication system. In this case, the height of the patrols will be in the range from 100 to 2000 m. the Tactical radius of action when the task of ASW with a normal combat load of 4000 kg and 5% of guaranteed fuel using sonobuoys (time loitering four hours) without in-flight refueling – 3500 km, with one refueling 5000 km. When searching for submarines in the “afloat” (up to 12 hours) using on-Board sonar means -the action radius of 4,000 km.

 

Basic data aircraft A-40

 

Basic data aircraft A-40
 

The plane-amphibian A-40

 

In search and rescue variant of the be-42 provides for the placement of equipment necessary for the provision protivoepidemicheskoj surgical shock and other types of medical care. The crew of five can connect with a rescue group of four to six people. In their possession on Board will be operating, the instrument automatic prompt and thorough medical monitoring, transfusion apparatus for direct intravenous blood transfusions, apparatus for inhalation narcosis and artificial ventilation of lungs, ECG, airborne medical kit, a set of anti-pharmaceuticals, bags, envelopes, electrozilla, overalls bags to heat affected, warm suits and shoes, stretchers and other medical equipment.

In September 2008, the Deputy commander of naval aviation of the Russian Navy major General N. Kokev assured the public that the aviation of the Russian Navy will receive the first amphibious aircraft A-42 in 2010 to 2013 the combat strength of the naval aviation will include four amphibians. According to him, A-42 will be used for reconnaissance, fire adjustment and a water rescue. Since then it’s been three years, “and things are there.”

Also addressed passenger and cargo-passenger modification of the A-40. In the first case, the aircraft can carry 105 people, on a distance of 4000 km, and the second, depending on the layout of the cabin – 37 or 70 passengers. In addition to this, he worked patrol version of the aircraft A-44.

 

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