More About Soviet Space Program. VM-T Atlant

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 1

Antonov or AN-225 was not the only Soviet cargo jet used for the Soviet Space Program. VM-T Atlant (the picture above) also coped with a task of carrying ultra-heavy and oversize freight, such as rocket boosters or the space shuttle, and it might be a real alternative for AN-225. But this project was closed because of some disadvantages. Nevertheless the shots of Atlant in action with the hydrogenous cistern for the rocket booster look quite enchanting. Even more, some people joked that this plane was used for transportation of Pepsi Cola from the USA to Russia during the “perestroika” times.

See also:
Buran, The First Russian Shuttle
More About Buran
Antonov. The World’s Heaviest and Largest Jet
Where is Buran Now?

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 2

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 3

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 4

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 5

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 6

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 7

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 8

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 9

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 10

VM-T Atlant a possible alternative to AN-225 11

submitted by Kim

32 thoughts on “More About Soviet Space Program. VM-T Atlant”

    • Same as Baluga…the drag counter measure is enhancing the engine power.when we almost double the normal required engine thrust for internal pay load,we successfully transfer out side pay load easily.

  1. Amazing engineering.

    Who cares about the aerodynamic deficits, the extra payload etc etc? Just seeing that thing work, seeing it fly absolutely beggars belief.


    • Every thing is planned and calculated before the construction of this `one of its kind` plane.another example of Soviet miracles ! ! ! ! ! !

    • This plane is easier to fly than the Antonov… big disadvantage is that it requires an even longer runway and it’s sensitive for balancing issues. I’d rather fly this one than the Antonov though. Aerodynamics isn’t bad at all.

    • Да, это топливный бак ракеты.
      Сам самолет – переделка снятого с вооружения бомбардировщика 3M.
      Всего было сделано 3 самолета.
      Почти все элементы системы “Buran-Energiya” были доставлены этими самолетами.

      Бомбардировщик 3М был разработан в 1956 году.
      Было построено 116 самолетов.

    • Yes, it is a fuel tank of a rocket.
      The plane – alteration of the bomber removed from arms 3M.
      In total 3 planes have been made.
      Almost all elements of system “Buran-Energiya” have been delivered by these planes.

      The bomber 3М has been developed in 1956.
      116 planes have been constructed. JPG/800px-ZMS-2_Engels. JPG

  2. The photo of this modified M-4 Bison carrying Buran gave me a flashback to the 1980s. I saw a photograph once of this combination aircraft/spacecraft ground-looped off the runway and bogged in deep mud! It had to have been a heck of a landing…

    v/r Gordon
    San Diego

  3. What an extraordinary set of photos. what is even more extraordinary is the photo of the Shuttle on the plane. I’m amazed that the aerodynamics permitted such load-carrying cpacity. But, of course, 747’s carry the Shuttle also, don’t they?! How splendid it would have been if the USSR and the USA could have cooperated in the early years rather than spend such vast sums on competitive end-runs around each other. How much firther we may have advanceed in our exploration of space we may have been. Such foolishness, and for what!

    • I think the competition that was sparked by the Soviets early on resulted in more advances than we probably would have seen had we simply worked together from the start (like that would have happened…). Consider the flat-lining of much of the progress of space travel post-Space Race in the late 1970’s and the 1980’s. We worked together more and more, but at the same time, so little focus was given in making real advancements like the previous couple of decades, and large projects that made large gains in technology such as Apollo and the Soviet lunar program were completely abandoned.

      There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to motivate bright minds to really attain big feats like going to the moon 🙂 If only the more down-to-earth aspects of the Cold War were done with the same “for respect” mindset between the two nations.

  4. Russians are the only ones that HAVE a space program now that OBAMA CANCELED THE AMERICAN SPACE PROGRAM.


    He really did.

    If you can’t get stuff into space without asking for help then you don’t have a space program.

  5. Hmm…I never knew Aeroflot flew those sorts of payload! You learn something new every day. Great pictures!


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