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2 Rare Transport Aircraft VM-T Atlant

Rare Transport Aircraft VM-T Atlant

Posted on July 13, 2016 by marina


With the advent of a space-rocket transport system Energy – Buran it became necessary to transport certain large components to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Ministry of Mechanical Engineering held a meeting on this issue.

VM-T “Atlant” (3M-T) is a heavy transport aircraft

Options such as building factories directly in Baikonur, or a special train (or car) track, or building a navigable channel leading to Baikonur, or the creation of an airship, were not appropriate. It was assumed, for example, to carry components with two helicopters, however, the Aviation Agency said that the cargo could easily be dropped. It was decided to carry the load on the back of VM-T “Atlant” (3M-T).

Developed technical solutions chased one goal – to deliver the goods to the destination and to not do any harm to the transported goods.

The largest of these (in size) was the hydrogen tank, which was to be equipped with a removable transportation frame with fixing points to mount it on the plane, a front fairing and rear streamlining, giving the object a reasonably aerodynamic shape. Rocket tanks are a very delicate cargo.

During transportation, the hydrogen tank was inflated with nitrogen and sealed.

The pressure was continuously monitored by measurement systems during the flight. In case of depressurization, it would become impossible to land and or to even decrease the altitude of the aircraft because the gas could not counteract the fast growing external pressure. Losing its shape, the tank, would inevitably lead to the loss of not only goods, but also of the aircraft VM-T “Atlant” (3M-T).

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2 Responses to “Rare Transport Aircraft VM-T Atlant”

  1. phuzz says:

    On the US Shuttle carrier aircraft, just by one of the mounting points is the text: “Attach orbiter here. Note: Black side down”.

    (see here https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Shuttle_mounting_point.JPG)

  2. john dudley says:

    Great and very interesting posting,i’m glad they are restoring the aircraft.

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