The story of VVA-14 amphibian



Like they called it in Soviet Republics - "The Beriev's Cow"

Terms required to know:

Ekran (Screen) phenomena - change of lift-generating properties
of a wing at extremely low height flights - discovered by aviators.

VVA-14 before test flight

In the early 1950s (correct me if
I'm wrong) R.L. Bartini working for OKB Beriev introduced new idea of using Ekran
phenomena for improving take off/landing properties of an aircraft. According to
N.A. Pogorelov, primary assistant designer of R.L. Bartini, the main aim was to
realize ideas of contactless take-off and landing: an aircraft lifts itself
above the ground or waterbody a little bit and then begins its take-off run leaning
against the "ekran". If this would ever come true, a revolutionary
aircraft technology would've been invented which would require no runways and
gave considerably greater performance advantage over the average VSTOL


Converted 14M1P version featuring two take-off boosters at the
very front

According to the above concept, two technology anti-submarine
testbeds were built under VVA-14 designation. VVA stands for "Vertikal'no
Vzletaushaya Amfibia" or Vertical Take-off Amphibious aircraft. Due to
contactless take-off and landing, a better marine performance was achieved, the dream
of takeoff and landing on sea under any kind of weather conditions became a
reality. Vertical take-off ensured special gas-pillow which magnified itself
within the fuselage using two air compressors (so basically a huge balloon was
formed inside of that plane). In 1976 one of these prototypes was rebuilt into
ekranoplan. It was designated 14M1P (see illustration). Designers placed to
additional D-30M engines on the nose of the aircraft for the purpose of
increasing airflow under wings, rubber landing gear was replaced with more
durable one made out of metal.

VVA-14 on "airbag"
(beneath the plane) trials

Some time after R.L. Bartini passed away in 1974, and all works
on the project were cancelled under great pressure of OKB Beriev which was
developing A-40 and A-50 anti-submarine amphibians and wanted no competition.
One of remaining prototypes, VVA-14 #10687, crippled after a fire accident, without a tailplane,
engines and wings was delivered to Monino where it slowly, but surely grows a
thick layer of rust up to present days. The sight is awful I must say.

[Редактировалось Dron (29-10-2000 в 01:09).]
[This message has been edited by Dron (edited 17-01-2001).]
[This message has been edited by Dron (edited 17-01-2001).]


WOW!!! I am speechless!


p.s. thanks for the info ;)

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