Monday, April 1, 2013

A-40 Flying Tank

Yes, it's April Fools' Day, but...

In 1942, a T-60 light tank was converted into a glider intended to be towed by a Pe-8 or TB-3 heavy bomber/transport. The tank was lightened for air use by removing armament, ammunition and headlights, and leaving a very limited amount of fuel. It was fitted with biplane wings and twin-boom tail, designed by Oleg Antonov.
A TB-3 bomber had to ditch the glider during its only flight, on September 2, 1942, to avoid crashing, due to the T-60's extreme drag (although the tank reportedly glided smoothly). The A-40 was piloted by the famous Soviet experimental glider pilot Sergei Anokhin. The T-60 landed on a field near the airdrome, and after dropping the glider wings and tail, the driver returned it to its base. Due to the lack of sufficiently-powerful aircraft to tow it at the required 160 km/h (99 mph), the project was abandoned.

Source: Wiki

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