In 1972, the designer of the Taganrog Engineering Plant (currently Taganrog aviation scientific and technical complex G.M. Beriev), began to study the appearance of a promising anti-submarine seaplane. He was to become the successor to the Be-12 amphibious aircraft, the mass production of which at the nearby Aviation Plant named after G. Dimitrova was nearing completion.
However, at that time, ambiguous attitude developed towards hydroaviation in our country. If the navy was still interested in new amphibious aircraft, then the Ministry of Aviation Industry thought that the tasks of anti-submarine warfare, as well as search and rescue at sea, could be taken over by land-based airplanes and helicopters. Therefore, the full-scale funding of promising development work on the hydroaviation in the USSR was practically ceased. Chief Designer G.M. Beriev and replacing him in 1968, Mr. AK Konstantinov experienced the current state of affairs, proving the need to maintain seaplane construction in our country. But the main profile of the OKB's work during this period was the creation of special-purpose aviation complexes based on existing aircraft. In particular, An-24FC (in the An-30 series) and a Tu-142МР repeater aircraft that were serially upgraded by Taganrog specialists and successfully passed tests were built, and an A-76 targeting radar aircraft was created based on IL-50. However, research work on a maritime theme in Taganrog (together with TsAGI) did not stop. At the beginning of 70, OKB specialists took part in the development of an experimental amphibious vertical-takeoff and landing aircraft BBA-14 designed by R.L. Bartini. A number of draft designs of seaplanes for various purposes were created.
In order to get the government to issue a new seaplane, A.K. Konstantinov set the most difficult task for designers - to create a project of a sea plane in terms of its flight performance (LTH) that is not inferior to its land analogues. The design bureau began intensive work on the project of the new anti-submarine amphibian aircraft, product "B", then received the index A-40 and its own name "Albatross". The new machine was intended to replace the Be-12 and IL-38 aircraft in the naval aviation formation. The main task of А-40 was to be the search, subsequent tracking and destruction of enemy submarines. In addition, the Albatross could be involved in the setting of minefields and aviation means of hydroacoustic counteraction, in the fulfillment of search and rescue tasks, the conduct of associated radio and electronic reconnaissance, and also in the defeat of surface targets.
The take-off weight and geometrical dimensions of the product "B" were determined from the condition of ensuring the range of the flight necessary for the solution of the assigned tasks within the near and middle sea zones. According to preliminary calculations, the take-off weight of the amphibian was 80-90 tons, which is 2,5-3 times more than the Be-12.
A-40 had to have high LTH, which is very difficult to achieve on an amphibious aircraft. It was necessary to ensure good seaworthiness. The new amphibian had to work from the water at a wave height of up to 2 meters.
Simultaneously with the beginning of the development of the project A.K. Konstantinov began to find out the opinion of the Customer. Hoping to get the go-ahead for the creation of the aircraft, he visited the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Admiral fleet S.G. Gorshkova. Glavkom liked the new anti-submarine vehicle, and he supported Konstantinov’s initiative.
As a result, at the end of 1976, the Taganrog engineering plant was issued a technical task for the development of the anti-amphibian aircraft A-40. The onboard equipment was supposed to provide a high level of automation in solving navigation tasks, searching, detecting, tracking and hitting enemy submarines. The search and sighting system (PPS) should have included a radar, a magnetometer and other equipment. In addition to the PPS, the on-board radio-electronic equipment included the Verba flight-navigation complex, an electronic countermeasures complex, a typical communications complex, a system for measuring the parameters of water surface waves and issuing recommendations for the optimal landing direction. Unlike the Be-12 and IL-38, the A-40 was originally planned to be equipped with an in-flight refueling system.
According to the results of studies conducted in conjunction with TsAGI, models with different aerodynamic layout, they finally settled on a monoplane layout with a high wing, a two-sided boat and a T-shaped tail unit. At the ends of the wing were floats, and two cruise engines were installed on pylons above the fairings of the chassis behind the wing. To achieve the desired characteristics of the aircraft used a wing of a large elongation of a relatively thin profile, moderate sweep and with powerful mechanization. Such a wing ensured efficiency during cruising and loitering, as well as small take-off and landing speeds.
According to the layout of the boat seaplane consisted of three main parts. In the front of the hermetic part were the cockpits of pilots and operators with workplaces of six crew members. Due to the long duration of the flight behind the cabin, the operators provided for a toilet, a wardrobe and a compartment for rest. In the unpressurized part of the boat there were technical compartments that housed the PPS and BREO units, as well as the cargo compartment, which contained the drop combat load (radiohydro-acoustic buoys, anti-submarine torpedoes, depth bombs, mines, rockets), and, if necessary, CAS (containers aircraft rescue).
The boat A-40 had an elongation twice as large as that of the Be-12 and a smaller mid-section (comparable to the mid-section of the land aircraft fuselage) providing minimal drag. As a result, the adopted scheme of the aircraft and layout decisions made it possible to achieve maximum aerodynamic quality equal to 16-17 units, which practically corresponds to land analogues.
Significant hydrodynamic loads experienced by seaplanes stimulated research aimed at creating a special configuration of the bottom of the boat, which allowed to minimize the load. In the study of this problem, the staff of TsAGI, P.S. Starodubtsev, A.I. Tikhonov et al. Developing TsAGI's success in this area, Taganrog specialists are the head of the KB-4 VG Zdanevich, in 1972, developed for the new amphibian a new bottom profile of variable deadrise, which had a lower level of load compared to the usual flat-silt bottom.
Tests of the first hydrodynamically similar model with the bottom of the variable deadrise showed the need to refine the bottom profile in terms of spatter formation and motion stability. At the suggestion of the specialists of the OKB, the lead designer Yu.G. Duritsyn and head of the department V.N. Kravtsov in the inter-part of the boat was restored the old flat-pinch profile and the configuration of the cheekbones was refined. Extensive testing of models in TsAGI and Taganrog confirmed the feasibility of a new hydrodynamic layout.
Comparative tests of hydrodynamic models with a variable bottom and constant deadrise on a wave showed a sharp decrease in loads with acceptable spatter formation and movement stability. Operational overloads were almost halved compared to the Be-10 seaplane and the Be-12 amphibian.
To improve the takeoff and landing performance and to ensure safety in the event of engine failure, the A-40 decided to use a combined propulsion system. It consists of two D-30KPV cruise missiles and two RD-36-35 jet propulsion engines located above the fairings of the landing gear.
Now that the appearance and the basic design and layout solutions of the new amphibian were identified, a government decision was required to begin the full-scale development and construction of prototypes.
After long approvals, first with Minister P.V. Dementiev, and then with V.A. Kazakov, chief designer A.K. Konstantinov finally managed to "legitimize" the creation of the Albatross. In April, 1980 issued a decision of the MIC, and 12 of May 1982 was issued by the Government Decree ╧407-111 on the creation of the A-40 amphibian. GS was the lead designer, and then, a year later, G.S. Panatov. As chief designer for A-40, with 1983, he was replaced by A.P. Shinkarenko.
Now, the detailed design, layout design and preparation for the construction of prototypes began in full swing. The decree provided for the construction of experimental production bureau (director I.Ye. Esaulenko) with the help of the Dimitrov serial factory (director N.V. Ozherelyev) two experimental flight machines (products "B1" and "B2") and one copy for static tests ( product "SI"). The working drawings were transferred to production at 1983. The first aircraft was laid in the slipway in June 1983.
The boat and the wing were made of large-sized panels, many complex components were made milled. At the next aviation plant them. Dimitrov, produced large units - center section, wing consoles (with mechanization and systems), stabilizer. Then they were supplied to the experimental production bureau for the general assembly. The approved deadlines and construction schedule were revised several times. Firstly, due to the high labor intensity of the new machine, and secondly, due to the frequent distraction of the capacities of production workshops to work on other topics.
In parallel with the construction of the first prototype, an extensive program of experimental design of key design and layout solutions was carried out on the stands. On the topic A-40, several dozens of stands were made for laboratory testing of various aircraft systems and equipment. In particular, full-scale stands of the control system, power supply, fuel system, PNK Verba complex, electronic equipment, etc. were created. The power plant was also worked out on a full-scale stand, which allowed the engine to test on the ground in all modes, up to extinguishing a real fire. Conducted bench tests allowed to minimize technical risk, save time at the stage of flight design tests (LCI) and eliminate various incidents on the aircraft during its operation.
9 September 1986, with a large meeting of factory workers and the design bureau, after the traditional rally, the first B1 prototype was rolled out of the workshop. A.K. Konstantinov, according to tradition, smashed a bottle of champagne on a carrier and towed the first А-40 to the VIC parking lot.
The Americans, first discovering A-40 at an airfield in Taganrog, coded it as Tag-D, and later he received, very successful for an amphibious aircraft, the NATO name Mermaid (mermaid).
The first test pilot of the first class, Ye.A., was assigned to lead the A-40 pilot. Lakhmost, sea pilot, who flew another seaplane Be-6. N.N. became the lead testing engineer. Demons.
7 December The 1986 of the Albatross (the B1 machine, the onboard 10) began running along the runway. The masses of the curious were hoping to see the first flight of the new amphibian, but the heads of the workshops sent them to their workplaces, officially assuring that nothing is planned today. The work was completed only in the evening when the airfield closed the fog. Having discussed the results of the first day with E.A. Lakhmostov, A.K. Konstantinov went to Moscow to prepare a methodological council for the first flight of the A-40. Instead, he was the first deputy chief designer A.N. Stepanov. The next day, December 8, the tests continued. According to the flight test design plan, only jogging to pre-launch speeds was planned with the separation of the front landing gear leg from the runway. After the pre-flight briefing and setting the task, the workplace in the cockpit was occupied by the commander - Е.А. Lakhmost, co-pilot - B.I. Lisak, navigator - L.F. Kuznetsov, flight engineer - V.A. Chebanov, radio operator - L.V. Tverdokhleb, flight operator, lead test engineer - N.N. Demons. A.N. Stepanov went to the KDP.
In the first half of the day, the test program was basically completed, it remains to check the effectiveness of the elevator. The runway of the factory airfield rests on the one hand on the coast of the Taganrog Bay. Jogging was carried out in the direction from the bay, but by noon the wind had changed its direction and the plane was towed to the opposite end of the strip.
While jogging in the direction of the bay, in 15: 59 (Moscow time), the plane broke away from the runway, there was not enough space for landing and braking, and nothing left for Lakhmostov to take off. Having made the first landing approach, Lakhmostov estimated the aircraft’s controllability and went into the second round, and then, at 16: 16 A-40 landed safely.
This is how EA describes what happened. Lakhmostov: "On the second run with the steering wheel and speed of 160-170 km / h, the plane vigorously raised its nose. Cleaning the throttle and return of the steering wheel from itself according to the task, coincided with the separation of the aircraft from the runway and the height of 7-9 meters. When the throttle removed, the plane flew at 200-210 km / h without the usual tendency to diminish. Due to the safety doubts about the take-off (for the rest of the runway length), it decided to continue to take off, completed two laps within 17 minutes and landed ".
The reason for the unintended take-off of A-40 was the confluence of a number of circumstances, including the good acceleration characteristics of the aircraft, which were unaccounted for by the crew, and the fact that, due to the overhead arrangement of the engines, the machine raised its nose when cleaning the throttle.
In the newest stories domestic aviation inadvertently took off the prototype of the Su-7 - C-1 and the first experienced high-altitude reconnaissance M-17. Test Pilot A.G. Kochetkov 7 September 1955 managed to land the C-1, and was awarded the Order of the Red Star for this, and test pilot KV Chernobrovkin on M-17 crashed 24 December 1978 g. EA Lakhmost on А-40 became the third pilot who got into such a situation.
But this time, the very happily completed flight cost Konstantinov long trials at the Ministry of Aviation Industry. With Lakhmostov arrived on the principle of "winners - judged." He had to retire from flight work. However, until today (May 2004), Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Lakhmostov continues to fly! As the lead test pilot "Albatross" he was replaced by G.G. Kalyuzhny.
The second flight, the first official flight, did not give any special surprises and took place already in April 1987. After this, the flight tests went on as usual.
In the summer of 1987 in Taganrog, the Albatros sea test phase began. On July 27, the amphibian was launched for the first time, and in August, the first runs in the Taganrog Bay began. They revealed a small longitudinal swing of the machine at pre-impact speeds, which was explained by the screen effect of the shallow waters of the Sea of Azov. This did not cause much excitement. The first water flight took place on November 4 1987 (commander GG Kalyuzhny) and showed the longitudinal instability А-40 on take-off and especially during landing. The version about the effect of shallow water was dropped after running in a fairly deep-water area of the Sea of Azov. Flights from the water were stopped, since the Taganrog Bay was frozen and this did not cause any special questions from Moscow. While flights from the factory airfield continued, specialists from the OKB (V.G. Zdanevich, V.N. Kravtsov, A.F. Shulga) and TsAGI (G.V. Logvinovich, V.P. Sokolyansky, Yu.M. Banschikov, V. .A. Lukashevsky) tried to urgently find a solution to the problem. It seemed that the situation with the first reactive flying boat P-1 was repeating. Time went on, and it was not possible to get a positive result from numerous experiments with A-40 models in the TsAGI hydrochannel.
The decision came as a result of a more thorough study of the flow of water behind the redan. The nature of the flow was significantly different from the usual inherent flat-silt bottom. On the bottom of the redan VG Zdanevich and V.N. Kravtsov offered to install special reflectors (deflectors). The first tests confirmed the correctness of the idea. The problem of the stability of the movement of an amphibian in water was solved. Further testing of the hydrodynamics of the bottom of the aircraft by specialists from TsAGI and OKB led to a configuration that was adopted for the aircraft. It is interesting to note that subsequent studies on the choice of the optimal location for the installation of deflectors showed that the best is the very first one chosen by intuition.
Flights from the water continued in the spring of 1988. The modified A-40 now steadily glided over the entire speed range. Taganrog designers was created amphibian highest technical level. Experts of the OKB have embodied many new technical solutions at the level of inventions in their design, obtained copyright certificates about 60.
In August, 1989 A-40 was first shown at an aviation festival in Tushino. The plane piloted by the crew headed by B.I. Lisak, completed the flight demonstration of a new aviation technology and was presented to the general public as a prototype of an amphibious search and rescue aircraft. So to determine the appointment of a new car will not again. Demonstration of a new seaplane did not go unnoticed and was very widely commented on in foreign aviation periodicals. Naturally, foreign experts did not mislead the official explanations of the appointment of the Albatross, and in all the comments, it was about the new PLO aircraft and the naval reconnaissance aircraft.
After the car returned from Zhukovsky, the tests were continued. In order to actually prove that the A-40 is unique in its flight characteristics, it was decided to perform a number of record flights on it. 13 and 14 September 1989 crew, composed of commander B.I. Lisak, co-pilot K.V. Babich, navigator MG Andreev, flight engineer V.A. Chebanov, a radio operator L.V. Tverdokhleba and onboard operator A.D. Sokolov set the first 14 world records A-40 in the classes of seaplanes and amphibious aircraft at the achieved flight altitude with and without cargo.
At the end of 1989, the second prototype A-40 (B2 machine, onboard 20) launched by the 30 pilot plant in November 1989 joined the flight test design program.
The sea trials on the first vehicle continued in the winter of 1988-1989, when the amphibian flew from Taganrog to Gelendzhik, to the testing and experimental base of the enterprise. Since being in Gelendzhik constantly A.K. Konstantinov could not, he appointed his deputy and responsible GS G. as the head of works on А-40 at the Gelendzhik base. Panatov.
According to the results of sea trials, the Albatross showed a high degree of reliability and stability once withstanding, afloat the sea waves with wave height 3,0-3,5 m and wind speed 15-18 m / s.
The following year, the tests continued on two machines. In the midst of LCI there was a change in the leadership of the complex. Retired by A.K. Konstantinov as Chief Designer and Head of the Complex was replaced by GS Panatov. In 1991, the chief designer of A-40 was A.P. Shinkarenko.
In 1991, the aircraft was demonstrated for the first time abroad, at the 39 International Aviation and Space Salon, which took place from 13 to 23 on June 1991, at Le Bourget airfield (with removed special equipment, again presenting it as a lifeguard A-42), where it became one of sensations, in the general opinion of the press, "stole" the exhibition. Suffice it to say that the A-40 was the only aircraft that was taken on board by the French President F. Mitterrand, who was examining the exhibits. In all the aviation publications devoted to the salon there were photos of the Albatross and articles about it, which noted the perfection of its contours, elegance of appearance and its flight characteristics were highly appreciated. The second experimental car "B2" flew to Paris (with the onboard "20" changed to "exhibition", according to the numbering of the exhibits, "378"). The crew commander was G.G. Kalyuzhny.
In confirmation of the data he received in France of the highest ratings 19, 22 and 23 in July, 1991. A-40 has set a series of world records. The aircraft was piloted by G.G. Kalyuzhny and V.P. Demyanovsky.
17 August 1991 A-40 (commander GG Kalyuzhny) participated in an aviation festival held at the airfield of the ASTC. OK. Antonov near Kiev.
In November of the same year, the French were filming A-40 for a popular science film about hydroaviation. The A-40 and Be-12 airplanes were shot by journalists from the TF-1 television company who arrived in Russia. The film was later successfully shown at Eurovision, and this work itself became the first foreign contract of the TANTK.
The end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992. brought new records. Record flights were performed on 19 and 21 in November on 1991 (commanders KV Babich and B.I. Lisak) and on 26 in March 1992 (commanders G. G. Kaluzhny and V. P. Demyanovsky).
In February-March, 1992 was at the Asian Aerospace 92 air show in Singapore, the second experimental car (the B2, the onboard 378) flew along the Taganrog-Tashkent-Calcutta-Singapore route, commander G.G. Kalyuzhny.
In November, 1992 in the New Zealand city of Auckland hosted the international aviation exhibition "Air Expo 92", which was invited to participate in TANTK. Represented the company in the southern hemisphere again A-40 ("В2", onboard "378"), in the period from 11 to 29 in November, flew to New Zealand and back. The flight itself, with a total one-way distance of 18620 km, on the Taganrog-Dubai-Colombo-Jakarta-Perth-Sydney-Auckland route, was a good test for the aircraft. The flight took place in difficult weather conditions along the route: rain, thunderstorms, hail. Test pilots noted that even with a forced entry into powerful cumulus clouds, the plane retains excellent flight qualities. The route in the area from Taganrog to Dubai passed over land, then only over the ocean. However, the crew led by G.G. Kalyuzhny successfully overcame this route in 28 hours, 20 minutes of flight time.
As in Paris, in Auckland the amphibian was in the limelight. Every day a line of people willing to come aboard was lined up near the Albatross. A journalist leading one of the popular programs of local television, the rating instantly rose to inconceivable heights after the ritual of “initiating” him to sea pilots was shown live, after flying on А-40 (i.e. drinking a glass of "alcohol-containing liquid "followed by throwing the" initiate "into the cold, by local standards, something about + 18╟С, water). The great interest of the exhibition visitors was caused by the exposition telling about the TANTK them. Gm Beriev and the history of Russian hydroaviation.
In 1993, from August 31 to September 5, А-40 together with Be-12П and Be-32 aircraft were exhibited at the first International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-93 in Zhukovsky.
During the period of developed “publicity”, even the former “probable opponents” became interested in “Albatross” and turned into “probable friends”. In 1992-1993 The British Air Force was considering replacing the Nimrod base patrol aircraft with an A-40. The possibility of equipping the amphibian with onboard electronic equipment and systems was worked out. weapons, similar equipment P-3С "Orion" and engines of Western firms. The production program of A-40 in this version was presented by General Designer TANTK G.S. Panatov at a meeting of the NATO Sea Weapons Group in Brussels, in March 1993, and was widely reported by the Russian media, which even managed to “sign” this contract several times. But everything did not come out of the stage of proposals and intentions.
Nevertheless, the Albatross did hit the UK when, from 23 to 28 in June 1993, the second prototype A-40 (the B2 machine) was shown at the Woodford Air Show, in memory of which a bright, spectacular sticker appeared on its board. Russian pilots, M.O. Tolboev on Su-27 and crew G.G. Kalyuzhny on А-40 was distinguished by the fact that they were the first to open demonstration flights in adverse weather conditions on the final day of the show (that day the lower edge of the clouds was 200 m, and it was raining). Looking ahead, we will note that once again Albatross (В2) visited the shores of Foggy Albion in 1996. This time the car participated in the demonstration of aviation technology, which took place at the Royal Air Force XFUMX-17 air base in July.
By 1994, the flight test program was completed and partially by the state. In their course from August 1990 to March 1991. at the Feodosia proving ground, part of the aircraft’s equipment was tested. Usually, when testing similar aircraft after the flight of the car to the Crimea, it was given a few more months to prepare on the spot. The Albatross began testing in a week. According to the test results, a decision was made on the preparation of serial production, and a group of test pilots of the Air Force mastered flights on А-40. In 1993, it was planned to conduct comprehensive tests of the aircraft’s PPP on the real underwater target. A training ground was prepared for them, an experimental vessel and a submarine were allocated, but the lack of funds led to the suspension of work.
The construction of the series was planned at the Taganrog Aviation Production Association. G. Dimitrova. The complete set of design documentation was transferred from the Design Bureau back to 1986. Although new workshops were built for the production of the Albatross, the stocks and other equipment were prepared, due to the cessation of funding for the defense complex, the construction of an experimental series of A-40 aircraft did not begin.
Improving the basic anti-submarine modification, the military planned to install a new PPP on the Albatross (variant A-40M). Since serial aircraft did not begin to build, the A-40M remained in the project, but development work in this direction did not stop, because the need for a new anti-submarine aircraft did not diminish at all. However, now Albatros has a competitor, the Tupolev-based Tu-204P project. In the spring of 1994, the Department of Defense announced a competition between them, since its budget simply could not "bear two" anymore.
As part of the competition, the A-40P project was reworked for the new D-27 screw-and-gadget engines and was maximally unified with the A-42 search and rescue engines.
The management of TANTK made every effort to reverse the situation and provide funding for the creation of the А-40 program. As part of this task, a visit was organized to the TANTK 31 in May - 1 in June 1995. Defense Minister, Army General P.S. Grachev. The Minister got acquainted with the state of affairs at the complex, heard the report of the General Designer G.S. Panatov, and then made a flight aboard the second experienced Albatros (B2, onboard 378) and landed in Gelendzhik Bay, where he examined the TANTK test base.
According to the results of his visit, the Minister praised the amphibious aircraft A-40, acknowledged the need for such an aircraft for the Russian Armed Forces and ordered the inclusion of work on the A-40 and A-40 aircraft in the list of priority funding. Simultaneously, P.S. Grachev proposed the creation of another amphibious landing variant. This option was promptly worked out, but, unfortunately, real progress in allocating funds to continue testing and deploying mass production did not happen.
Despite the implemented large scientific and technical background and the preparation of serial production, further work on this aircraft did not find adequate public funding. Although, thanks to the ability to perform their functions both in flight and afloat, amphibians are superior in efficiency to deck and ground anti-submarine aircraft. However, in 1995, the Ministry of Defense decided to freeze research and development work on the A-40 and start developing a new anti-submarine aircraft based on the passenger Tu-204 already transferred to serial production. It was assumed that the Tu-204P will be as unified as possible with the basic passenger version (which was planned to be released in a large series), which will significantly reduce operating costs. It seemed that the story of A-40 ended there, but ... Over the past five years, the number of Tu-204s released has barely reached two dozen, and the Tu-204P project is "frozen." Meanwhile, for the aviation of the Russian Navy, the tasks of the PLO again come out in importance to one of the first places. Only if earlier priority was given to the fight against strategic submarine rocket carriers, now the main goal is multi-purpose submarines equipped with cruise missiles for strikes at coastal targets. It was with the strike of the KR of the sea basing on the air defense system, communications and control centers that all the recent wars began. Examples of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq are in front of everyone.
It should be noted that a number of potential customers from China, India, Malaysia, etc. constantly show interest in the anti-submarine variant A-40. The export variant A-40 equipped with the Marine Serpentry Facility with lowered sonar station was developed for foreign customers. The composition of the faculty includes a thermal imaging system with a high degree of resolution, a magnetometer, an optical sensor system and other equipment that allows to solve problems of search and destruction of both underwater and surface targets.
Over the years, the options for creating on the basis of the A-40 various civilian modifications were considered. Amphibian for extinguishing forest fires A-40P (1991 g.) Could get up to 25 tons of water on gliding. In addition to the fire extinguishing itself, A-40P would solve the tasks of delivering fire departments, special equipment and equipment to the fire area (both by landing method, to the nearest suitable water body, and by parachuting), patrolling forests with a fire brigade on board (up to 10 hours), aerial photography of fires and the surrounding area. Paratroopers, firefighters were located in the former operator's cabin, and the tanks for water and chemical liquids in the middle of the technical compartment and cargo compartment.
The passenger version of the A-40 (1994 g.) Passenger capacity up to 121, designed for operation on medium-length routes, was developed in two versions: with D-30KP engines and with CFM56-5C4 engines. These modifications remained in the projects. For civilian use, it was decided to create a reduced analogue of the A-40, the work on which led to the creation of the multipurpose amphibious aircraft Be-200.
Well, what happens to the built "Albatross"?
Albatross (“2”) was an indispensable participant and one of the “stars” of all the International Exhibitions on hydroaviation held in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. on the territory of Gelendzhik testing and experimental base TANTK them. Gm Beriev and Gelendzhik Airport.
Participating in the exhibition "Gelendzhik-98" A-40 (with the onboard "20") once again demonstrated its unique capabilities by setting July 3, in two flights, 12 new world records for seaplanes and amphibians in the time of climb 3000, 6000 and 9000 m with a payload of 15000 kg, bringing the number of its records to 140. In the first flight, the commander was Honored Test Pilot of Russia G.G. Kalyuzhny, in the second test pilot Colonel G.A. Parshin. FAI was represented by the sports commissioner of the National Aeroclub of Russia. V.P. Chkalova T.A. Polozova.
During the third international "Gidroaviasalon-2000" A-40, the same "20-ka", increased the number of records set by "Albatross" by 8, bringing their number to 148. In record flights performed by 8 and 9 September 2000, speed records were set for the 100 and 500-kilometer closed route. The crews were test pilots GA. Parshin and N.N. Hunters.
20-21 September 2000 A-40 (machine "В2") participated in the celebrations on the occasion of the 80 anniversary of GLITZ them. V.P. Chkalov. A delegation of the TANTK flew there to Akhtubinsk, the crew commander was G.G. Kalyuzhny.
In September, 2002 "Albatross" took its place in the parking lot of the exhibition "Gidroaviasalona-2002".
So what are the prospects for the largest existing amphibious aircraft in the new century? So far, it can be said that at present, there is an adjustment of views on the role and place of amphibious aviation, both the command of the Navy and the general customer of aircraft - the Air Force. The recent catastrophe of the nuclear submarine "Kursk" once again confirmed the need for a modern high-speed and seaworthy amphibious search and rescue aircraft that can arrive at the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Therefore, we can hope that A-42 and other modifications of A-40 will be able to find their place in the ranks of Russian naval aviation.