Today, long-standing rivalry between the United States and Russia (in the past, the USSR) continues to exist in military transport aviation. In this case, the rivalry is primarily among the giant planes, which are able to throw the largest number of tons and cubic meters of various cargoes through the air. This rivalry began to unwind after the end of the Second World War. The Cold War urged the arms race, which contributed to the emergence of new unique military transport aircraft, which regularly updated world records in range, payload and flight speed.
"Race of records"
Since 1963, the palm in military transport has been held by the Americans. The lead aircraft was the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, which was able to lift up to 29 tons of various cargoes into the sky. However, in 1969, the Soviet Union intercepted the palm. The An-22 Antey transport aircraft (Russian Air Force continues to use at least 5 airplanes of this type) beat the American not only in terms of payload — 60 tons, but also in overall dimensions; this was the first wide-body aircraft of military transport aviation.
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
The USSR held the lead until 1971, when a new American transport aircraft created by Lockheed engineers entered the arena. It was a true heavyweight C-5A Galaxy. This aircraft managed to increase the capacity record by 1,5 times, bringing it to 93 tons. Galaxy S-5A was also built on a wide-body scheme. In its cargo compartment could easily accommodate 6 UH-64A Apache helicopters or 2 tank M1 "Abrams", as well as up to 270 soldiers with weapons. The payload of the transporter in the C-5B version reached 122 kg.
For long 11 years, this aircraft, which still remains in service with the US Air Force, did not let anyone near and close to it, remaining the largest cargo plane in the world. However, in 1982, it was again managed to press the Antonov Design Bureau, in which the An-124 Ruslan was created. Until now, it is “Ruslan” that holds the palm among all the military transport aircraft of the world. The car was first shown to the public in May 1985, at the XXVI Aerospace Show in Le Bourget. Even then, the Western press dubbed the new transport aircraft "Russian miracle." But they presented to the American company Lockheed that they tried to prove to the journalists that the characteristics of An-124, indicated in the advertisements, might not be true, since no one had seen Ruslan in the present case.
In order to refute these rumors, in July 1985, An-124 began setting one world record after another. In just two weeks, we managed to register the 21 record, which was achieved on this unique machine. The most phenomenal of these was the lifting of 171,219 tons of cargo to a height of 10750 meters. Prior to this, the world's best military transport aircraft, the Lockheed C-5, raised only 111,416 tons to 2000 meters. After a series of these records, the controversy about the possibilities of the new Soviet transport worker came to naught. And in 1987, the aircraft managed to beat the distance record of the non-stop flight on a closed route, which had previously been established by the US strategic bomber B-52 and was 18 245,5 km. An-124 "Ruslan" managed to fly along the borders of the USSR almost 2 thousands of kilometers more - 20 151 km. At the same time, the take-off weight of the aircraft reached a record value - 455 tons.
After the An-124, which has unique characteristics, was mastered in the air force units, the crews of military transport aviation also began to set records. So, December 1 1990 of the year began round-the-world flight of the aircraft from the 235-th military transport aviation regiment, the duration of the flight was 72 hours 16 minutes of flight time. During this time, the aircraft traveled 50 005 kilometers along the following route: Australia (Melbourne) - South Pole - North Pole - Australia with intermediate landings in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Morocco (Casablanca) and the USSR (Vozdvizhenka). As part of this single flight, "Ruslan" managed by military pilots was able to set 7 world records for flight speed.
An-124 "Ruslan" and IL-76
Currently, the IL-76 and An-124 “Ruslan” aircraft are the real workhorses of the BTA of Russia. The Russian Air Force has X-NUMX An-10 “Ruslan” aircraft, which from 124 to 2010 have undergone a major overhaul repair at Aviastar-SP CJSC in Ulyanovsk. At the same time, the country's Air Force still has at least 2015 such aircraft, which, if necessary, can be brought into a state of airworthiness. An-10 and in 124 year after 2015 year after the first flight, remains a real aviation mastodon and a symbol of the greatness of the Russian Air Force.
The An-124 “Ruslan” aircraft was built according to the aerodynamic design of a four-engine turbojet high-wing aircraft with swept wings and one-fin plumage. The aircraft was equipped with D-18T aircraft engines manufactured by Motor Sich JSC. It has two decks: the lower deck is a cargo deck, the upper deck is a crew cabin, a cabin of a changeable crew, and also a cabin for accompanying people - up to 21 person. The total volume of the giant's cargo compartment is nearly 1050 cubic meters.
The aircraft received a unique multi-rack chassis, which is equipped with 24 wheels and allows you to use this heavy machine even from unpaved runways, as well as change the parking ground clearance and angle of the aircraft fuselage, which is intended to facilitate the process of loading and unloading.
An-124 "Ruslan" is equipped with loading and unloading equipment, as well as on-board mobile cranes (BOD) with a total carrying capacity of up to 20 tons and mooring equipment. Without a special permit on the plane it is allowed to transport mono-loads weighing up to 50 tons. The transport aircraft has a centralized system for filling under pressure through the 4 filling points, which are located in the left and right gondolas of the main landing gear. In addition, it is possible to refuel by gravity using two filler ports, which are located on the upper parts of the right and left wing consoles.
The aircraft has a sealed cargo compartment and landing transport equipment (landing is allowed only by landing method). The aircraft is able to carry up to 440 paratroopers or 880 soldiers with full gear. At the same time, "Ruslan" is a unique aircraft, but not without flaws. One of them includes the impossibility of landing parachute method. The tests carried out back in 1989, with the dropping of dummies from an aircraft, parachutists were forced to abandon this idea and impose a restriction on the landing of people by parachute method, which is caused by the aerodynamic factors of the model. This is not surprising, because the An-124 "Ruslan" was originally created for transportation to the launch site of space and strategic missiles, as well as elements of launchers, and not for the landing of people. Total from 1984 to 2004. An 55 124 was released.
Flight performance of the An-124-100 "Ruslan":
Overall dimensions: length - 69,1 meter, height - 21,08 m, wing span - 73,3 m, wing area - 628 м2.
Maximum take-off weight - 392 000 kg.
Fuel weight in internal fuel tanks (maximum) - 212 350 kg.
Load capacity - 120 000 kg.
The power plant - 4TRDD D-18T, 4x229,85 kN.
Maximum speed - 865 km / h.
Cruising speed - 800-850 km / h.
Practical range - 4800 km.
Practical ceiling - 11 600 m.
Assigned resource - 50 000 flight hours, 45 years.
Crew - 8 people, including two operators of loading and unloading.
An-124 "Ruslan" - an outstanding machine, but their total number in the composition of the BTA of Russia is small. The main machine of the domestic military transport aircraft is the IL-76 and its modifications. Russian Air Force uses about 140 aircraft of this type. In addition, up to 2020, the military transport aviation of Russia should receive 39 airplanes of the latest IL-76MD-90А (IL-476) aircraft in the transport version, excluding tankers and airborne aircraft. As of June, two serial IL-2015MD-76As were built by 90.
IL-76 - Soviet and Russian military transport heavy aircraft, designed by Ilyushin Design Bureau. The first flight of the plane made 25 March 1971 of the year. It was serially produced in Uzbekistan at the Chkalov Tashkent Aviation Production Association, and further production was transferred to Ulyanovsk to the Aviastar-SP enterprise. The aircraft was designed according to the traditional for heavy transport aircraft scheme of a single-body high-wing aircraft, which has a swept wing and a T-shaped one-quilting tail.
The Il-76 transport aircraft is intended for landing personnel and transporting cargo and equipment for various purposes. IL-76 became the first in the history of the USSR military transport aircraft with turbojet engines. The transporter is able to carry loads of 28-60 tonnes over a distance of 3600-4200 kilometers with a cruising speed of 770-800 km / h. Flight range and the largest weight of the transported cargo depend on the aircraft modifications. IL-76 is designed to operate from both concrete and unpaved airfields. The length of the take-off of the aircraft during take-off is 1500-2000 meters, while the landing run is 930-1000 meters. For comparison, for An-124, these figures are 2700 and 1750 meters, respectively.
All the cabins of the Il-76 transport aircraft were made airtight, which allows 167 soldiers to be transported by air (245 in double-decks) or to drop 126 paratroopers. The aircraft is able to transport by air the entire range of airborne combat equipment, as well as most of the equipment of the Russian ground forces. For the entire production time, at least 950 aircraft of this type were built.
During the 1979-1989 war in Afghanistan, the Il-76 proved to be the most efficient transport aircraft that could operate in the enemy’s air defense zone. It accounted for 90% of all shipments of manpower and equipment, with only two aircraft lost. The aircraft had a huge operational reserve, and its real characteristics seriously surpass those stated in LTH. Back in 1975, the plane was ordered not to take on more than 40 tons of cargo, but he managed to set a series of impressive records, ignoring this requirement. So, in July of the 1975 of the year, the Il-76 production aircraft was able to reach an altitude of 11 875 meters with a cargo of 70 121 kg on board. On the same day, the average speed of flight was set on a closed route - 857,657 km / h with a cargo of 70 tons on the route in 1000 km. In total, the 76 world records were set on the IL-25.
Flight technical characteristics of IL-76T:
Overall dimensions: length - 46,59 m, height - 14,76 m, wing span - 50,5 m, wing area - 300 m 2.
Maximum take-off weight - 170 000 kg.
Fuel weight in internal fuel tanks (maximum) - 109 480 kg.
Load capacity - 43400 - 47000 kg.
The power plant is 4TRDD D-30KP, 4x12000 kgf.
Maximum speed - 850 km / h.
Cruising speed - 750-800 km / h.
Practical flight range - 3000 km (maximum load).
Practical ceiling - 12 000 m.
Crew - 6 / 7 people, including two flight operators.
C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III
C-5 Galaxy is a strategic military transport aircraft developed by Lockheed. In many ways, the car was a response to the An-22 aircraft that appeared earlier in the USSR. The first flight of the new American transporter made 30 June 1968 of the year. It was produced serially from 1968 to 1989 year, a total of 131 aircraft was released, several dozen vehicles of this type still serve in the US Air Force. The plane was created in a hurry, at that moment Lockheed experts could not assume that the high rate of creation of this aircraft would limit its transport capabilities, and the installation of short-life engines would exclude the possibility of using the aircraft in private airlines. As a result, in 1980, this transport was thoroughly refined.
The C-5 Galaxy (Galaxy) military transport aircraft is a high-profile classic aircraft with a free-carrying caisson-type wing and a T-shaped single-fin tail. The aircraft fuselage is made in the shape of a semi-monocoque. The plane has two decks. In front of the fuselage above the cargo compartment is the cabin of the crew, there is also the 15 cabin for the rest of the rest of the crew of the aircraft, as well as the persons accompanying the cargo and equipment. At the rear is a cabin that can accommodate up to 75 people. The cargo part of the aircraft is equipped with two hatches. The front is a rising up the nose of the aircraft, and the rear is represented by two side flaps. In the front part of the board on the left side there are doors for the crew and passengers, and in the rear part - for service passengers.
The typical loading of the first aircraft of the C-5 version was the following: 2 of the M60 tank; tank M60, 2 multipurpose helicopter UH-1 "Iroquois" and 5 armored personnel carriers M-113; 16х0,75-ton cars; 10 Pershing missiles of the ground-to-ground class with launchers and tractors. In addition, in the cargo cabin of the aircraft it was possible to arrange up to 270 people, but if necessary, the aircraft could take on board up to 345 soldiers and officers. As soon as the US Air Force received the C-5A aircraft, they were used in almost all military operations. In 1990, the C-5 Galaxy took part in a military operation called “Desert Shield”. The aircraft created the largest ever “air bridge” in the history, transporting 513 000 tons of payloads and 482 000 military personnel by air.
Flight specifications of the C-5B:
Overall dimensions: length - 75,54 m, height - 19,85 m, wing span - 67,88 m, wing area - 575,98 m 2.
Maximum take-off weight - 379 657 kg.
Fuel weight in internal fuel tanks (maximum) - 150815 kg.
Load capacity - 122 470 kg.
Powerplant - 4TRDD General Electric TF39-GE-1C, 4x191,27 kN.
Maximum speed - 932 km / h.
Cruising speed - 919 km / h.
Practical flight range - 4400 km (maximum load).
Practical ceiling - 10 600 m.
Crew - 7 people, including two flight operators.
The most modern military transport aircraft in the US Air Force is a product of Boing. This is a plane Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. The plane made its first flight 15 September 1991 of the year, in 1993, its operation began in the army. The machine was serially produced from 1991 to 2015 years, all were released 256 aircraft, some of them went to export. The aircraft was developed as a replacement for the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. If the C-5B is close to the An-124 "Ruslan", then in comparing airplanes of the same class and purpose, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III can be put on a par with the Russian IL-76.
The strategic military transport aircraft of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is in service with the USAF, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and India air forces. It is intended for transportation of personnel, various cargoes and dropping cargo from an airplane. The aircraft was created according to the classical aerodynamic scheme, high-winged aircraft with a T-shaped single-quill tail.
The aircraft’s fuselage is of the semi-monocoque type; it has an upwardly sloping tail section with two aerodynamic crests underneath. In the cargo compartment there is a rear loading ramp on which you can place loads weighing up to 18 tons. The ramp is composed of 4-x sections and is hydraulically driven. The installation angle of the ramp depends on the equipment loaded on board the aircraft. The Boeing C-17 aircraft cargo handling equipment includes rail guides and a roller conveyor.
The cabin size of this military transport aircraft is designed to transport one M1А1 tank, M2 "Bradley" infantry fighting vehicles, 45 tons of trucks, SUVs (3 vehicles in a row), up to three attack helicopters AN-64 "Apache", 155-mm ACS, up to 18 463L freight containers. The aircraft has 54 folding non-removable seats that are designed for personnel. In addition, the installation of additional seats (48 pieces), which are stored on board the aircraft. There are mounts for 12 stretcher in the form of racks located along the sides of the aircraft. The aircraft has an armored bottom of the fuselage, which protects against small-arms fire. weapons from the ground. The transporter can carry out non-stop landing of cargo with the help of parachute devices from extremely low altitudes, as well as landing paratroopers to 102.
Flight technical characteristics of C-17 Globemaster III:
Overall dimensions: length - 53 m, height - 16,8 m, wing span - 50,3 m, wing area - 353 m 2.
Maximum take-off weight - 265 350 kg.
Fuel capacity in the internal fuel tanks (maximum) - 134 556 l.
Load capacity - 77500 kg.
Powerplant - 4TRDD Р117-PW-100, 4х185,49 kN.
Cruising speed - 830 km / h.
Practical flight range - 4480 km (maximum load).
Practical ceiling - 13 700 m.
Crew - 3 person.
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