16 Soviet Tech Wonders and Their Destiny

Soviet Tech Wonders and Their Destiny

Posted on August 15, 2012 by team

The USSR gave a lot of technical masterpieces, many of them are still second to none. Unfortunately modern society does not need them much…

An-255 “Mriya”, super-heavy carrier, the world biggest plane, its loadlifting capacity record is still unbeaten. It was designed in 1984-1988.

An-225 “Mriya” nowadays. Property of Ukraine. In a working condition.

“Mriya” is lucky. Only two vehicles were planned: one works for Ukrainian Antonov Airlines today, the second one was never finished.

Transport helicopter V-12 (Mi-12)

Its first flight was performed in 1968. In 1969 it could carry record-breaking weight of 44 205 kg at the height of 2255m. No other helicopter could reach this result yet.

V-12 nowadays: the helicopter is bought by an American company.

Multiuse space complex “Buran-Energia”

Soviet “Buran” was a response to the American project “Space Shuttle”. Its first and the only one unmanned flight “Buran” performed on the 15th of November, 1988.

“Buran” nowadays… The project is fully destroyed.

Rocket ekranplan “Lun”

Its development started in the early 1970s based on the constructional scheme of the ekranoplan “KM”. In 1985 it performed its first flight at the Caspian sea. “Lun” is equipped with 6 controlled anti-ship missiles “Moskit”. Its power unit consisted of 8 turbofan engines NK-87, traction of each – 13 000 kilogram-force. After the successful state testing it was put into operation.

As on 2011 it was not used, being based in Kaspiysk.

“Lun” getting rusty today.

Even the most expensive “toys” can end like this…

via rednovgorod


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16 Responses to “Soviet Tech Wonders and Their Destiny”

  1. thx-1138 says:

    aluminium is not rusting… :P

  2. Iggy says:

    Somebody got carried away a little with “V-12 nowadays” – it’s just artist’s impression, not a real thing.

  3. Herman the German says:

    Sorry, the story about the “hotelicopter” aka V-12 is a hoax. Only two prototypes of the original Mi V-12 were built; one is currently in a museum near Moscow, and the other one is rotting near the helicopter plant in Panki.

  4. Dany says:

    +1 about the Hotelicopter story, it’s a fake. And I’d say not everything is lost. Ekranoplans are still used, just check Beriev, they are smaller and don’t have military purposes, but still ekranoplans. Plus, Mi-26 should be in the list, it’s still the biggest heli out there and keeps working. I even read the Buran might be back, as Shuttles no longer flight and its cargo capability is quite bigger than any other ship. Anyway, it’s a shame how most of this technology has been put apart.

  5. JZ says:

    Designed in 1884-1888? Those damn time travelers ;)

  6. Significant says:

    Designing the An-225 in 1884-1888 is impressive and was very far-sighted!

  7. Maddak says:

    There is a lot that is wrong with this post. The first ekranoplan photo is not the Lun as stated. Bloggers: check your facts before publishing bu***it!

  8. Sochi says:

    I am wondering if the Mriya could not be a platform for a new commercial cargo plane or even airliner? Like the A380 the planes get bigger to utilize scale effects since the carrier business is more and more costdriven.

  9. nicolas from France says:

    these machines are fantastics and pretty big.

  10. TheVill says:

    About AN-225, in few articles about it, it’s mentioned that second one was built, but not finished.
    Have anyone got any photos of that second plane? I’ve searched for any of them, but I hadn’t found even one photo.

  11. Herman the German says:


    Wasn’t so hard to find:



    Converting the Mriya as an airliner would be rather difficult, since it’s main cargo-bay isn’t fully pressurized. Plus the landing gear is optimized for rough airstrips rather than soft suspension behavior. Fuel efficiency with six engines is another thing.
    As for the commercial cargoplane idea: I would really like that, exept it’s more likely that Antonov builds an improved (maybe larger) version of the four-engined AN-124 Ruslan, simply because that would be cheaper and thus find more customers. I hope, at least, that they finish building the 2nd AN-225 airframe…

  12. FinEST says:

    By 2000, the need for additional An-225 capacity had become apparent, so the decision was made in September 2006 to complete the second An-225. The second airframe was scheduled for completion around 2008,[7] then delayed. By August 2009, the aircraft had not been completed and work had been abandoned.[1][8] In May 2011 Antonov CEO is reported to have said that the completion of a second An-225 Mriya transport aircraft with a carrying capacity of 250 tons requires at least $300 million, but if the financing is provided, its completion could be achieved in three years.[9] According to different sources, the second jet is 60-70% complete.

  13. John Dumbar says:

    one of 18 parts if if you speak russian you will enjoy it. Rgrds from Poland

  14. John says:

    This is a very complete website about the Buran project: http://www.buran-energia.com/bourane-buran/bourane-desc.php

    Many Burans were built, the one in Speyer is a atmospheric test model.

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