Military Review

VM-T Atlant is one of a kind

The only worldwide model of the unique transport aircraft VM-T Atlant was presented at the last MAKS-2013 air show. This aircraft is known today by many nicknames, the most interesting of which are “lean” and “flying barrel”. Such nicknames transport aircraft received for its fuselage, inherited from a bomber, on top of which was attached a rounded cargo container. The aircraft was developed in the OKB. Myasishchev in the early 1980-ies. It was planned to use it for transportation to the Baikonur cosmodrome of fuel and aggregates of rocket and space complexes. For all the time it was built only 3 instance, one of which was originally created not for flight, but for static tests.

Today, only one sample of this machine remains in service, it is located at the Flight Research Institute named after Gromov, this particular aircraft was demonstrated at the last air show. It was this plane that at one time delivered to the Baikonur cosmodrome from Bukovy Zhukovsky. "Currently, the aircraft, which was in very poor condition, cleaned, tinted," - said the representative of the aviation sports club, who took patronage over a unique machine. According to him, a compact cabin remained inside the aircraft. But visitors are not allowed there yet. “Firstly, the inside is very crowded, and secondly, the squib guns are still mounted there, which is not safe for people.”

However, over time, everyone can get into the aircraft. At the same time, the priority is to restore the aircraft to the state of the museum exhibit and eliminate all damage found in its planes. At present, the VM-T Atlant is presented at a static exposition and now it is of great interest to both ordinary people and specialists.

VM-T Atlant is one of a kind

History create

VM-T aircraft operated from 1982 to 1989 years, this transport aircraft developed by Myasishchev OKB is a modification of the strategic bomber 3M. In total, 3 of such aircraft were assembled in the USSR: one was handed over for testing at TsAGI, the second was stored in Dyagilevo, and the third was stored on the territory of LII. His first flight car made in 1980 year.

In the development of the large-scale Soviet space program “Energy-Buran”, hundreds of enterprises of the country took part, which were scattered over a vast territory. All this created serious problems with the definition of the final place of assembly and delivery of parts and assemblies of the complex to the launch site - at Baikonur. At first, it was planned to concentrate all the main technological processes of assembly right near the cosmodrome, but this solution was quickly recognized as inexpedient, since it required the creation of a highly developed industrial infrastructure and the involvement of a huge number of skilled workers at Baikonur. As a result, it was decided to conduct on-site assembly only and the entire prelaunch processing, while the bulk of the work was planned to be carried out at the head enterprises.

So the assembly of the airframe of the "Soviet shuttle" was entrusted to the Tashkent machine-building plant. In order to deliver them to Baikonur, we studied the possibilities of air and land transportation, which demonstrated that ground delivery would be associated with an unacceptable level of financial costs. Therefore, preference was given to delivery by air. In this case, 2 was considered the main options: the use of aircraft and helicopters.

For delivery using helicopters, they intended to use the Mi-26, which had a payload capacity of 26 tons. According to this project, it was planned to attach 2 or 3 helicopters with cables at once to large-sized cargo with large mass (missile compartments, airframe). Such an air "bundle" was supposed to deliver the cargo to its destination, selecting in advance the optimal value of the speed and altitude of the flight. At the same time, there was no such flight experience in the country.

Carried out with a mock-up cargo, having the configuration of the tank compartment of the rocket, experimental flights clearly demonstrated the danger and complexity of this type of transportation. During one of the experimental flights during a sudden weak turbulence, a “pendulum” swinging of the load on the ropes was noted, which caused a violation of the stability of the helicopters, due to which the crews of the vehicles were forced to dump the load. Further estimates have shown that this situation can be repeated in the future, which, if more intense atmospheric disturbances can cause a catastrophe. Refusal from this option of transportation contributed to its unprofitability: a small range of helicopters with a load on the external sling led to the need to build numerous landing sites with refueling stations along the entire route.

At the same time, the An-124 Ruslan heavy transport aircraft was planned to be used for the delivery of large-sized fragments of the Energiya-Buran space system. But at the time, this car was still under construction. It was possible to rely on its use only in the long term. Therefore, it was decided to listen to the initiative of the general designer V.M. Myasishchev, who proposed the option of converting into a cargo plane from the out-of-date strategic bomber 3M. This machine had a high stock of aerodynamic qualities necessary for flying over a long range, which could be sacrificed in the process of conversion into a transport aircraft.

2 options for possible aircraft modification were considered. The first option provided for the placement of cargo inside the enlarged cargo compartment of the fuselage (according to the type of Galaxy aircraft). But this option required the development of a new fuselage of a larger diameter (10 meters instead of 3 meters from the 3M aircraft). At the same time, the Burana glider was to be transported with undocked wings (its wingspan was approximately 24 meters). Also, with this option, it was planned to replace the bicycle chassis of the 3M aircraft with a conventional one - a three-wheeled one. As a result, the weight of the aircraft grew, which led to a decrease in the carrying capacity of the machine. But, most importantly, the release date of such a transport was becoming unacceptable.

The second version of Myasishchev suggested a much smaller amount of alterations, the placement of cargo was planned outside the airframe design - on the "back" of the fuselage. Such a solution made it possible to transport goods with a minimum change in their configuration. At the same time, the idea of ​​placing transported goods outside the aerodynamic contours of the aircraft was not new at that time. Such a solution today is widely used in transport and combat aviation many states. The novelty of Myasishchev’s decision was in rather unusual proportions between the dimensions of the carrier aircraft and cargo (the diameter of the tank compartment of the rocket was 8 meters, while the diameter of the fuselage of the aircraft was only 3 meters).

The placement of cargo on the back of the 3M bomber became possible after lengthening its fuselage 4,7 meter, which was achieved by replacing the tail section, which was slightly raised due to the "oblique" insert to avoid collisions with the ground during takeoff and landing with large angles of attack. Studies of controllability and stability demonstrated the need to change the shape and dimension of all the surfaces of the aircraft empennage. Due to the decrease in the speed of flight of the aircraft, the stabilizer of the swept horizontal tail was replaced by a straight line with a larger area. Instead of a single-fin vertical tail unit on the VM-T Atlant, a significantly increased (up to 26% wing area) double-fin tail was made, made in the form of 2-x washers, which were obliquely attached to the ends of the stabilizer, which in turn contributed to reducing the loads on fuselage machine. In this case, the wing of the aircraft and the rest of the fuselage, including the cockpit, did not undergo any special changes in shape and size, as well as the main and nose struts of the bicycle chassis. On the plane, the old 3M strategic bomber could easily be identified.

The correctness of the chosen concept was subsequently confirmed once again when designing the heaviest An-225 Mriya transport aircraft in the world, which could carry loads of up to 200 tons by air. The operating experience of the aircraft VM-T Atlant, and then the An-225 Mriya, confirmed the correctness of the concept of developing and operating complex layouts of aircraft, including various large-sized component parts, with significantly different mass, aerodynamic, and stiffness characteristics.

In both flying Atlants, in the 80s of the last century, more than 150 flights were flown to deliver all large elements of the Soviet Buran and Energiya launch vehicles to the Baikonur cosmodrome, but after the curtailment of this program and the appearance of Ruslan and An-224 "Mriya" aircraft was not needed. At EMZ them. Myasishchev tried to find a use for this unique aircraft. In the 1990s, various projects were considered, one of which was the use of the D-57 cryogenic propellant aircraft in the air, in which India was interested. Negotiations were also conducted on the development of very large transport systems on the basis of VM-T Atlant, designed to transport a variety of oversized cargo by air. The option of creating a launch pad on its base for launching promising video conferencing systems was also considered, but all these projects remained on paper.

Flight technical characteristics of VM-T Atlant:
Dimensions: wingspan - 53,14 m., Length - 58,7 m., Height - 14,0 m., Wing area - 320,0 м2.
Take-off weight of the aircraft - 210 000 kg., Empty weight - 74 500 kg.
The power plant - 4 TRD VD-7, 4 x11000 kgf
The maximum speed is 925 km / h.
Practical ceiling - 12 000 m.
Practical range - 13 600 km.
Crew - 8 people.
Payload - 40 000 kg of cargo.

Information sources:
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  1. ben gun
    ben gun 17 October 2013 09: 35 New
    It is a pity that neither Mriya nor Atlanta are used. For a long time I like the idea of ​​launching from Mriy VKS on the website There, even somewhere he dug up an economic feasibility study with calculations at the rates of the cost of removing 1 kg of cargo at Shuttles, Buran, Soyuz and a bunch of Mriya + VKS.
    1. GastaClaus69
      GastaClaus69 18 October 2013 01: 04 New

      Only in old photographs and in dreams.
  2. Akuzenka
    Akuzenka 17 October 2013 10: 24 New
    About VM-T, back in 1985 I read an article in "Young Technique", there were also awesome photos with "Buran" on board. Then it made a very strong impression. This is the kind of groundwork made in the USSR in technology, which, after almost 30 years, is admirable!
    1. common man
      common man 17 October 2013 16: 44 New
      Are you confusing anything? In 1985, in the magazine photo Buran? He flew in 1988.
  3. klimpopov
    klimpopov 17 October 2013 11: 27 New
    It remains only to be proud of the achievements of the USSR. We exhibit them at exhibitions ...
    1. Airman
      Airman 17 October 2013 12: 03 New
      Everywhere you go, everything Soviet is embarrassing for trying to create a new (superjet), 85% foreign (without the letter t) components.
      1. Dusk
        Dusk 17 October 2013 17: 12 New
        Well, where does the foreign. After all, the Americans did not fully develop their dream liner either ...
        By the way, about the dream liner, that not a week, so the skin will fly off, then the batteries are smoking ...
  4. Starover_Z
    Starover_Z 17 October 2013 13: 05 New
    Quote: Povshnik
    Everywhere you go, everything Soviet is embarrassing for trying to create a new (superjet), 85% foreign (without the letter t) components.

    ... From Russian raw materials! It has already been written, I just repeat that the "flying" titanium of Russian origin.
    And about the Superjet - there was an excerpt from the flight attendant's diary from him - the "raw" plane is still, for a long time to be processed with a "file", alas.
  5. Des10
    Des10 17 October 2013 15: 43 New
    He served in Baikonur, saw him too - handsome, slender, powerful! Then I was already glad that the aircraft Myasishchev KB successfully found application. Thanks for the memory.
    1. studentmati
      studentmati 18 October 2013 21: 32 New
      Quote: Des10
      He served in Baikonur, saw him too - handsome, slender, powerful! Then I was already glad that the aircraft Myasishchev KB successfully found application. Thanks for the memory.

      For Vladimir Mikhailovich there were no unsolvable problems and could not exist by the definition of his outstanding talent! drinks
  6. rate
    rate 17 October 2013 15: 59 New
    In fact, it deserves admiration for the fact that this is a converted 3M 1956 aircraft.
  7. gregor6549
    gregor6549 17 October 2013 17: 21 New
    Arguing about the "uniqueness" of Atlanta, it would be nice to remember that an aircraft of a similar purpose was created in the West, and it appeared much earlier than Atlanta. More details on the site
    And now there is in operation the heir to the Super Gupii Airbas Beluga
    It is also quite roomy, but more modern "fish".
    1. kotvov
      kotvov 17 October 2013 19: 57 New
      here and fly on supergups, and we somehow on our own.
  8. Technologist
    Technologist 17 October 2013 18: 14 New
    Quote: klimpopov
    It remains only to be proud of the achievements of the USSR.

    Unfortunately this is the case. All that is now being passed off as new is still the backlog of the Soviet Union, the same picture with shots where the modern Gryazevs and Shipunovs, Lozino-Lozinsky and Utkins, etc. "Thanks" to Messrs. Fursenko and Livanov, as well as to those like them, a special "thanks" to Gorbachev and the late Yeltsin.
  9. e3tozy
    e3tozy 17 October 2013 22: 23 New
    Always admired this car, grace. power and some sort of special equanimity of its own. In general, 3M always seems to me somehow animated. Taxiing to take-off, these nozzles, such a huge bird, are fascinating!
  10. Bibliographer
    Bibliographer 18 October 2013 00: 35 New
    For how many more "accomplishments and deeds" do you need to "thank" the marked one? How many missed things! Doesn't fit in my head!
    1. Alex 241
      Alex 241 18 October 2013 04: 45 New

      uiwqL8KtvOrDfaw7nGRZ9l9HzOJkO [/ img]
      By a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of February 17, 1976, Soviet industry was given the task of creating the universal Rocket-Space Transport System (URKTS) "Dawn", which later became known as "Energy". She had to put into orbit various heavy vehicles, including and VKS "Buran". He was responsible for creating the entire system of NPO Energia, and the development of the Soviet space shuttle was entrusted to NPO Molniya, which, in addition to the machine-building plant of the same name, included OKB Burevestnik and the Myasischevsky EMZ.

      The developers of the unique space complex had to solve many different problems, including the problem of transporting large-sized rocket blocks and the VKS from the plant to the spaceport, as well as from the landing site to the plant in preparation for the next launch. Studies have shown that the best way is air, and the leaders of Energia turned to O.K. Antonov for help. Specialists of his design bureau considered the possibility of modernizing the An-22 for this task and came to the conclusion that it was not practical, planning to get a special aircraft based on the An-124 created in the future. But the solution was to be found quickly, at least temporarily. Under these conditions, Myasishchev’s proposal to use the strategic bomber ZM to create an unusual vehicle was necessary.

      At EMZ, the topic received the code “3-35”, and the aircraft designation ZM-T (“T” - transport). At the preliminary design stage, several options for altering the bomber were considered, and the choice was made in favor of the simplest. It envisaged equipping the ZM with new twin-tail plumage and units for transporting goods on top of the fuselage, which made it possible to transport products whose length was comparable with the length of the carrier, and the transverse dimensions significantly exceeded its midship. OKB joked about this topic:

      To transport this container
      The old method was unusable.
      Sat, thought, and here:
      You two-story aircraft.
      Although cheaper a hundred times
      Big-big balloon.

      The new aircraft had to carry 4 cargo options: OGT - the VKS itself, weighing more than 50 tons and becoming the heaviest burden; 1GT - hydrogen tank of the launch vehicle with fairings with a total length of about 40 m and a diameter of 7,78 m (the dimensions of the fuselage of the emka are 51 × 3,5 m!); 2GT - a nose fairing, an oxygen tank and two unsealed rocket compartments; HRT - nasal and tail fairings returned to the plant from 1GT cargo.