Video: Aviatank

Video: Aviatank
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The essence of the matter is as follows. Some of our ranks came up with the idea of equipping at least some partisan detachments and sabotage groups with armored vehicles. But how will she get behind the front line? Our well-known aircraft designer O. K. Antonov was invited to think about it. And he created an amazing design in a few evenings - wings, tail unit were added to a light tank …

When the aircraft hybrid was brought to one of the airfields near Moscow, it caused plenty of controversy. Skeptics believed that such a "cuttlefish", of course, would fall apart on the ground …


This is, in fact, the only photograph in which the "Wings of a Tank" is captured in flight. It is understandable - 1941, after all, there was no time for filming.

The final judgment, of course, could only be made after flight tests.

The pilot reacted to the very process of preparing the first flight without much worries. He came up, climbed through the top hatch, sat and looked around. Yes, it was not very convenient to look at the outside world through a narrow viewing slit, although the designer provided for a special optical device for a better view. A control knob and rudder pedals were also added to the usual tank equipment. The dashboard contains a compass, a speed indicator, an altimeter …

The tests of the aircraft tank began with jogging on the ground. The pilot was taxiing the tank onto a concrete strip, getting into the wake of the towing aircraft. Hooked on the cable. Start, takeoff … Sparks flew from under the tracks, it seemed that the tank was about to take off from the ground. But the pilot, the tanker, opened the cable lock, and one tug left on the flight. And the tank ran for some time by inertia, and then went under its own power to the parking lot. In the distance, engineers were worried. For the bomber, they were calm. But they were tormented by doubts about the strength of the tracks. But nothing happened - the tracks withstood the increased load.

A few days later, a “go-ahead” was issued for flights. We decided to start early in the morning. Flight mission - flying in a circle, altitude - 1500 meters. On the second lap - cutoff, planning.

And here is the aircraft tank at the start. The cable is hooked. The commander of the tug bomber, Pavel Eremeev, gave the plane a little forward and took out the slack in the cable.

The starter waved his flag - let's go! The rumble of tracks on concrete. Sparks! And suddenly - silence … The glider took off from the ground.

Five minutes of flight is the norm. We went through the first U-turn. Nine minutes is the norm, the second turn …

And then Eremeev's voice in the headphones:

With its appearance, the aircraft tank caused considerable confusion on the airfield of a foreign airfield, after all, the second summer of the war was going on. And here, from nowhere, a combat vehicle appears, and even without any identification marks …

But the pilot got out of the cockpit, and everything was explained safely. The world's first flight of a tank aircraft was successfully completed.

Despite the uniqueness of the experiment, a thorough study of the problem reveals that the design of the "flying tank" was created not only by Antonov. So, according to aviation engineer Konstantin Gribovsky, battles during the First World War gave rise to many outlandish types of military equipment.

When the first airborne units appeared - maneuverable, capable of quickly covering considerable distances, landing behind enemy lines - they had to be equipped with not only light, but also heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery pieces. They solved this problem in many countries at once in different ways, but the analysis of the work carried out then showed that the specialists went in three main directions …

The first provided for the transfer of tanks on heavy gliders. First, this idea was expressed in our country, in an organization led by the famous pilot and inventor P. Grokhovsky. He proposed in 1932 a suspension for transporting tankettes "under the belly" of an airplane. In addition, it could be dropped by parachute with a dome diameter of 30 meters, which was placed in a separate box. Three years later, the Red Army adopted a universal PG 12 (cargo suspension, 12th) for TB Z bombers. It was possible to attach a T 37A light tank weighing 3.5 tons to it. During the flight, the tankers were in the car, and after landing, they instantly released the tank by moving the lever that activated the quick-release locks.

This method was first demonstrated openly in 1935 during maneuvers in the Kiev Special Military District. This made a strong impression on foreign military attaches …

But the cargo attached “under the belly” increased the aerodynamic drag of the carrier aircraft and worsened its flight characteristics. Guns, tanks and cars were placed in streamlined containers.