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Encyclopedia > Winged tank
Designer's model of the Antonov A-40
Designer's model of the Antonov A-40

The Antonov A-40 Krylyaty Tank ("winged tank") was a Soviet attempt to build a tank that could glide into a battlefield after being towed aloft by an airplane. A prototype was built and tested in 1942, but was found to be unworkable. This vehicle is sometimes called the A-40T or KT. Image File history File links AntonovA40. ... Image File history File links AntonovA40. ... Soviet redirects here. ...


Instead of loading light tanks onto gliders, as other nations had done, Soviet airborne forces had strapped T-27 tankettes underneath heavy bombers and landed them on airfields. In the 1930s there were experimental efforts to parachute tanks or simply drop them into water. During the 1940 occupation of Bessarabia, light tanks may have been dropped from a few metres by TB-3 bombers, to roll to a stop with the clutch in neutral. The US M1A1 Abrams tank is a typical modern main battle tank. ... U.S. paratroopers jump into Australia on a military training exercise. ... The T-27 was a tankette developed in the 1930s by the Soviet Union. ... Polish TK-3 A tankette was a type of small armoured fighting vehicle resembling a tank, intended for infantry support or reconnaissance. ... The Apollo 15 capsule landed safely despite a parachute failure. ... Old map of Bessarabia Bessarabia or Bessarabiya (Basarabia in Romanian, Besarabya in Turkish) was the name by which the Imperial Russia designated the eastern part of the principality of Moldavia annexed by Russia in 1812. ... Tupolev TB-3 bomber carrying a T-27 tank, 1935 The Tupolev TB-3 (Тяжелый бомбардировщик - Tyazholy Bombardirovschik - heavy bomber, development name ANT-6) was a heavy bomber aircraft which was deployed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1930s and early 1940s. ...

TB-3 bomber carrying a T-27 tankette, 1935
Enlarge
TB-3 bomber carrying a T-27 tankette, 1935

The biggest problem with air-dropping vehicles is that their crews drop separately, and may be delayed or prevented from bringing them into action. Gliders allow crews to arrive at the drop zone along with their vehicles. They also minimize exposure of the valuable towing aircraft, which needn't appear over the battlefield. So the Soviet Air Force ordered Oleg Antonov to design a glider for landing tanks. Image File history File links T-27_tb-3. ... Image File history File links T-27_tb-3. ... Tupolev TB-3 bomber carrying a T-27 tank, 1935 The Tupolev TB-3 (Тяжелый бомбардировщик - Tyazholy Bombardirovschik - heavy bomber, development name ANT-6) was a heavy bomber aircraft which was deployed by the Soviet Air Force in the 1930s and early 1940s. ... The T-27 was a tankette developed in the 1930s by the Soviet Union. ... Gliders are heavier-than-air aircraft primarily intended for un-powered flight. ... The Soviet Air Force, also known under the abbreviation VVS, transliterated from Russian: ВВС, Военно-воздушные силы (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily), formed the official designation of the airforce of the Soviet Union. ... Oleg Antonov Oleg Konstantinovich Antonov (Антонов, Олег Константинович in Russian) (1. ...


Antonov was more ambitious, and instead added a detachable cradle to a T-60 light tank, bearing large wood and fabric biplane wings and twin tail. Such a tank could glide into the battlefield, drop its wings, and be ready to fight within minutes. Some sources report that a single test flight was completed. The tank was found to be too difficult to tow at the required 160 km/h, and the project was abandoned. Hs123 biplane. ... A twin tail is a specific type of vertical stabilizer arrangement found on some aircraft. ...


The Soviet Union continued to develop methods to efficiently deploy airborne vehicles. By the mid-1970s they were able to para-drop BMD-1 fighting vehicles with crew members aboard. U.S. paratroopers jump into Australia on a military training exercise. ... The BMD-1 is a Soviet airborne infantry fighting vehicle, which was introduced in 1969 and first seen by the West in 1970. ...


See also

  • General Aircraft Hamilcar, a military glider of the period
  • The T-80 and T-84 have also been nicknamed Flying Tank for their speed

The General Aircraft G.A.L. 49 Hamilcar or Hamilcar Mk I was a large British military glider of World War II, which was capable of carrying 7 tons of cargo or a light tank such as the Tetrarch or Locust. ... The T-80 is a Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian Main Battle Tank. ... The T-84 Main Battle Tank is a Ukrainian development of the Soviet T-80 main battle tank, first built in 1993. ...

References

  • Steven J. Zaloga and James Grandsen, Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two, 1984, pages 192-3. Arms and Armour Press, London. ISBN 0-85368-606-8

External links

  • Antonov KT flying tank at unrealaircraft.com
  • KT-40 flying tank at the Russian Aviation Page
  • Krylja Tanka, illustrated page in Lithuanian

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