The concept of a flying tank today may seem absurd, but during the Second World War to its creation were treated very seriously.
Moreover, the very idea that was born in the early thirties, did not leave the minds of designers and in the postwar years.
What was needed flying tank?
The idea of "flying tank" did not emerge until much later than the tanks themselves. However, the level of technology is not allowed to move this issue further sketches on paper.
One of the first proposed the concept of a flying tank American designer J. Christie.
But by the 30th years of XX century in aircraft and tank production reached the level of the allowable limit at which it was possible to really consider the embodiment of ideas.
Airborne USSR were established in 1930. All pre-war decade was a decade of ambitious exercise with the release of thousands of Marines and dozens of pieces of equipment. Tanks (or rather wedgies) in offensive operations were delivered to the place of disembarkation, fixed under the floor of the plane and unloaded on the captured infantry airfield (see. Illustration attached). But during World War II, when air supremacy belonged to Germany, such operations were not feasible. Why do developed "flying tank"?
Deliver "flying tanks" suggestsguerrillas to strengthen their groups in the enemy's rear. Airfields, especially the ability to take a heavy landing aircraft, they did not have, so it was planned that the tank has to overcome the distance in the air and land on their own.
As it was established "flying tank"?
Technologically expected to solve the problem ataid hinged wings and tail structure, controlled by the crew of the tank. Climbing up into the air he had in tow the aircraft approaches the landing place to go in free flight and landing, the wings fold. Theoretically, this could be done even on the battlefield.
In practice, this idea has been difficult to implement and noton a mass character of this phenomenon is out of the question initially. The war was very difficult to make such a landing, but the landing was controlled deadly crew. However, the prototype was created and even passed the test.
It was created by designer Oleg workedAntonov, the creator of the whole cascade of transport and passenger aircraft AN. He created the "flying tank", or rather "glider tank" based on light tank T-60 was designed and ready for testing in 1942, the year. The model is called the A-40.
"Flying Tank" in the Soviet Union was also called the famous Il-2.
Tests "flying tank" heldglider pilot Sergei Anokhin and they were "relatively successful". The tank rose into the air, but the power-towing aircraft (his role performed outdated at the time of TB-3) is not enough for a full climb. Further development of the design has not received and the following improvements were not carried out, as in wartime conditions it was necessary to concentrate on more important tasks.