Beriev Be-42

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Beriev Be-42
Beriev A-40 Gelendzhik 2Sept2004.jpg
Beriev A-40 in Gelendzhik, September 2, 2004
Type: Jet propelled amphibious aircraft
Design country:

Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union / Russia



First flight:

December 8, 1986

Number of pieces:


The Beriev Be-42 / A-40 Albatros ( Russian Бериев Бе-42 / А-40 Альбатрос ) is a Soviet / Russian transport aircraft and the world's largest amphibious aircraft . However, with only two aircraft produced, it remained a prototype and did not reach mass production. The planning stipulated that the Be-42 should take over the role of airborne anti-submarine defense in the Russian Navy from the Beriev Be-12 and the Ilyushin Il-38 .


After no new designs from the OKB Beriev became known to the public for a long period of time, the A-40 amphibious aircraft with a jet aircraft design that was quite unconventional for flying boats was developed in a team under the direction of chief designer AK Konstantinov . The wings are swept and have a wingspan of over 41 meters. Two Solowjow-D-30KPW - turbofans are located directly behind and above the support surfaces in the hull sides mounted gondolas. Two additional Klimov RD-60K- engines as a starting aid are in the extended suspension gondolas on the wings.

The A-40 was originally designed as a anti-submarine aircraft and can carry 6.5 tons of bombs , torpedoes or sea ​​mines , which are dropped from the weapons bay that opens downwards . Furthermore, ECM systems are integrated to disrupt enemy air defense . An air refueling facility is attached to the bow .

The aircraft reaches a top speed of 760 km / h and can take off and land on water and on land. In the water it can maneuver using a steerable rudder at the stern. When landing in water, it can then roll ashore over a slipway with a maximum incline of 7 degrees, for which the wheels are extended in the water. This combines the advantages of a water landing - independence from a taxiway - with convenient loading and unloading on land.


In December 1986 the A-40 took off from a land airfield on its maiden flight , the first take-off from the water took place in November 1987. In the summer of 1988 the western press reported for the first time about the new flying boat, which, since there was no official confirmation of its existence, Back then it was called Taganrog Tag-D . The machine was later given the NATO code name "Mermaid" (mermaid).

Beriev Be-42 in Paris, 1991

The veil over the aircraft was only lifted when, on August 20, 1989, after a twenty-year break, the first flight day took place in Tuschino north of Moscow : to the complete surprise of the visitors, the A-40, which was still being tested, was flown over there.

At the 39th Aerosalon in Paris- Le Bourget in 1991, the A-40 with the designation Be-42 was presented and flown, also in Singapore in 1992.

With the A-40 / Be-42, since it is by far the most powerful machine in its class, at least 144 world records were set for flying boats and amphibious aircraft.

After the end of the arms race, Russia saw no military benefit in introducing the pattern. Despite the unique performance and although different versions have been worked out, there are no civilian customers for this machine either. From the Be-42, the smaller Beriev Be-200 was also developed , which is now in series production.


The following versions were planned:

  • Be-40P - passenger version for 105 passengers
  • Be-40PT - combined cargo and passenger version for 37 to 70 passengers and cargo
  • Be-42 - SAR version for up to 54 rescued persons with extensive rescue and navigation equipment for use even in difficult weather conditions.
  • ASW version as a replacement for the Ilyushin Il-38 , NATO code name "May" with various weapons for fighting ships and submarines.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew 8 (2 pilots, flight engineer, radio operator, navigator, 3 observers)
length 43.00 m (45.70 m with tank probe)
span 41.80 m
height 11.00 m
Wing area 220 m²
Empty mass 43,900 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 86,000 kg
military payload 6500 kg bombs, torpedoes or mines
Engines 2 × Solowjow-D-30KPW -Turbofan, each 147.1 kN

and 2 × Klimow RD-60- (R-60K) -Turbofan, each 24.5 kN
or 2 × Rybinsk Nowikow RKBM RD-36-35, each 27.46 kN

Cruising speed 700 km / h
Top speed 760 km / h (ASW)
834 km / h (SAR)
Service ceiling 8,000-13,000 m
Range 4000 km
Takeoff route 1000 m (land)
2000 m (water)
Landing route 700 m (land)
900 m (water)

See also

Web links

Commons : Beriev Be-42  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rudolf Höfling: Berijew - type compass . 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2017, ISBN 978-3-613-04025-0 , p. 98-101 .