Difficult time develop ingenuity and difficult time of war can hardly find. The second world war went down in history for his large-scale scientific and technological achievements. Some achievements such as rocket technology changed the world forever. Others — for example, the Nazi assault rifle with curved barrel or British bomber with an electromagnetic coil became curious exhibits of history.
This last category is constituted and developed in the Soviet Union Flying tank A-40. Soviet inventors were hoping that he would change the way transport tanks on the battlefield.
The army of different countries wanted to improve this process even before the Second world war. Large tanks were too heavy for transportation by aircraft. Smaller tanks, in turn, was not worth the probable destruction of enemy bombers.
The tanks tried to drop on the battlefield — with parachutes and without. Were conducted the tests on the dropping crew, together with the tank and separately.
In 1940, the aircraft designer Oleg Antonov proposed a completely new idea. What if to attach to the tank wings and let it fly to the scene of the fighting yourself?
The idea Antonov caused the interest-only two years after its occurrence, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union. In 1942 Antonov asked to assemble a prototype of the invention.
A prototype Flying tank A-40 was developed on the basis of a light tank T-60, which is attached to the airframe with two rows of wings. The tank was supposed to deliver in the area of warfare on a heavy bomber, for example, on the bomber Petlyakov PE-8 or Tupolev TB-3.
Flying tank Antonov-40. Of the Soviet Union. 1943 the Second world war. pic.twitter.com/jOlx6ryyVh
— War in History (@VojnavIstorii) September 20, 2019
After landing, according to the calculations of Antonov, the tank can be used in combat in a few minutes. Thus, the gliders would be “disposable”.
The first and only prototype was assembled in the same 1942.
According to Gizmodo, explained the invention in 2014, removing the tank from the tow was “just genius” — by turning the turret.
On paper, the invention seemed awesome, but in practice revealed several problems.
For a test flight tank facilitated — with his shot tower and the ammunition, not refueled with fuel to the end. And yet the burden was too great for the capacity of bomber TB, and his engines began to overheat shortly after takeoff. The tank had to unhook sooner than planned. Despite the unexpected changes in the tests, the test pilot Sergei Anokhin put the glider successfully.
After landing, Anokhin went in the tank on the base, where he reported that the landing was like butter.
Despite the apparent success, soon after the first test flight the project was abandoned. In the following the invention was adapted for use with tanks T-34. They would need to have wings much larger and more aircraft towing, which during the war years for such experiments was to find hard.