M-17 Stratospheric Aerostat Fighter

Today I will tell you about the unique M-17 “Stratosphere” aircraft, whose wings are torn off, the body is disemboweled, and what remains is overgrown with weeds.

In the middle of the last century (50-60 years) American high-altitude reconnaissance aircrafts constantly patrolled borders of the USSR. Over Yekaterinburg, a U-2 spy plane was shot down.

And then cunning Americans, to collect intelligence, invented to launch over the USSR drifting balloons launched from the territory of NATO countries. Brilliant idea. Aerostats could drift using the wind, changing the flight altitude from 0 to 50 km.

In 1967, General designer Myasishchev was entrusted to create a high-altitude subsonic airplane that could destroy aerostats at high altitude and collect intelligence. This project was called “Theme 34”.

After much searching, a special and unique wing profile was constructed which could provide a high-altitude flight in the atmosphere.

The plane was built according to the innovative two-beam scheme. M-17 could be planned from a height of 1 km. at a distance of 30 km.

The first flight of M-17 (on-board 17401) took place on May 26, 1982.

Shoot down aerostats was a difficult but achievable task.

Because of the difference in speed, the aiming and shooting time and changing trajectory was only 10 seconds.

In total, 25 world records of altitude, speed and rate of climb for planes weighing 16-20 tons with one turbojet engine were installed on the M-17.

The plane carried out scientific experiments, and then everything collapsed. Now he lies on the outskirts of the Monino Museum.

The cockpit and part of the wing.

The cockpit.

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