When it comes to war innovation is key from navigational advancements from the hundred years
war to tanks taking to the battlefields of world war I to the german v2s of world war ii war
forces. Those in it to innovate and if they fail to innovate they may just fail to keep on existing.
so it should be no surprise that the greatest war in history saw some of the most radical
innovations. And one of those innovations led the Russians to develop The Russians Dream of Flying Tank the first-ever
flying tank. let’s jump in imagine if you’re commanding the Russian forces in the midst of world war ii. You have
enemies on both ends of your nation. A vast empire searching nearly 6 000 miles or 10 000 kilometers
roads of the day were certainly not ideal and depending on the point in the war. And how damaged
the infrastructure was. It could take days to move forces from Moscow to the front lines and those
were days the Russians didn’t have so some brave engineers came up with an idea.
You could already fly troops and have them parachute into combat zones. So why couldn’t you do the same with tanks
ignoring? The fact that a state-of-the-art t26 Russian tank weighed 11 tons or 10000 kilograms.
The weight of six modern-day Subarus. I’m not just talking about flying them to some of the nearby military bases and having them drive into combat. I’m talking about landing them right in
the thick of the battlefield. Well, meet the Antonov a40 known in Russian literally as the winged tank
the Antonov a40 was the Brainchild of Oleg Antonov. A Soviet aircraft designer known at the time for
his a7 military glider and later works such as the sky-1 and a series of aircraft named after them
like the an-12 quad turboprop an-28 reconnaissance plane. And the an-124 strategic transporter
before the a40 came into existence.
The Russians had experimented with strapping lighter t27 and t-37 tanks to the underside of bombers to be flown into combat. As early as 1935
but these earlier designs were scrapped. Because the tanks were simply too small with too little
armor to be of any use against the panzer 2s and 3s being deployed by the germans Desperate to try
anything. The Russians even tried simply dropping tanks out of transport plans both with and without
parachutes. Just to see if it was feasible with the idea being the tank crews would parachute
down separately. And then scramble to get into the tanks before enemy troops could take them out.
after further testing antenna sketched a design for a set of glider wings. That could be outfitted
on a much larger tank enabling it to glide. While literally being towed in the air behind another
The Russians Dream of Flying Tank. The flying tank in theory would take off behind the wings of a heavy bomber from a
normal runway. Before gliding into the battle zone in my background research a lot of people like to
call this a genius idea. The idea of gliding a ten-ton tank swiftly through the air attached
to another plane by some cables. But I’m going to call it something else crazy. The sketch remained
just an idea for another two years but after the Germans began their invasion of Russia Antonov
was commissioned to bring his design to life. Unsurprisingly the results weren’t all that great
Antonov attached a pair of custom-built wings to a modified t-60 tank. That would be ejected after
landing on the battlefield cables running from the wings to the tank’s turret would allow the
plane to roughly control its movements. While the plane worked, in theory, the actual logistics would
be its undoing for starters. due to how little lift the glider wings could provide armament’s fuel and
even some armor had to be removed from the t-60 tank For its test flight even with this lightened
load the tuple of tb3 towing.
The Russians Dream of Flying Tank. The tank despite having a carrying capacity nearly three times. The weight of the tank had its engines overheat on the runway. although, the a40 did manage to take off and land quote-unquote very smoothly. The plane’s maiden test flight would be it is last with the tb3
struggling to pull even the lightened tank. Not to mention the fact that the majority of Russia’s tb3
planes had already been destroyed in the war. And the a40s wings barely being able to generate the
necessary lift all testing was halted. And the Russian’s dream of a flying tank came to an end.