Aviation Historian 12
T.Newdick - A Paris avec les Soviets
50 years ago the Soviet Union brought its state-of-the-art airliners to the Paris Air Salon, including the Il-62 and An-22.
Big. But not as big as a Brabazon. Such was the rather peevish reaction of the British aviation press to the An-22 at Paris. It was nevertheless a remarkable sight on its arrival and one that could hardly fail to impress, with its 211ft 4in (64-4m) wingspan and four 15,000 s.h.p. Kuznetsov NK-12MA turboprops, each driving a contra-rotating pair of four-bladed propellers.
An exceptionally modern aircraft by contemporary standards, the Ilyushin Il-18 turboprop was designed for international and domestic routes. The prototype, named Moskva, first flew in July 1957 and the type had entered Aeroflot service by the spring of 1959. This example, CCCP-75581, was the first long-range Il-18D.
In 1965 the Mil Mi-6 was still the largest helicopter flying anywhere in the world, despite appearing to be smaller than the Mi-10, itself a development of the Mi-6. Since its first flight in 1957 the Mi-6 had set numerous helicopter world records for speed and payload-to-height. Note the stub-wing fitted to unload the rotor in flight.
Fitted with attractive wheel fairings and in a stylish white, grey-blue and red colour scheme, the Mil Mi-8 made a positive impression on the Western press, Flight noting that this was “a modern and handsome replacement for the Mi-4” which ‘‘gave a very comfortable ride”.
50 years ago the Soviet Union brought its state-of-the-art airliners to the Paris Air Salon, including the Il-62 and An-22.
Of particular interest to the Western press was the Ilyushin Il-62, virtually a carbon-copy of the British BAC (originally Vickers) VC10. Flight’s report found the four-engined jetliner lacking in sophistication, pointing out that “there is a lot of snap-head riveting in the airframe, the flush-riveting is not flush and the doors are poorly fitted”.
The Il-62’s wing incorporated a “dog-tooth” contour and various twists to improve the four-engined jetliner’s stall characteristics after initial problems with its low-speed behaviour.
The second prototype Tupolev Tu-134, CCCP-45076, took pride of place at Paris as the Soviet Union’s latest short-haul twin-engined jetliner. It was to survive only another seven months, however, crashing on January 14, 1966, during one of its many test flights, when the rudder was over-extended, putting the airliner into a dive.
Nestling between the Soviet jet hardware at Paris, the Antonov An-24 was open to inspection by the press and public. Similar in configuration and size to the West’s extremely successful Fokker F-27 Friendship, the turboprop-powered An-24 (Nato codename Cokej was designed to operate from unpaved airfields of limited size.
Looking handsome in its Aeroflot scheme, the Antonov An-12 was one of the three Soviet transports that participated in the flying display at Paris. The other two were the An-24 and the Tu-134, along with the Mi-6, Mi-8 and Mi-10 helicopters.
Essentially a scaled-down Tu-104, the Tu-124 was designed to a 1957 specification for a jet-powered replacement for the Ilyushin Il-14 piston-engined short-hauler on domestic routes. The prototype made its maiden flight in March 1960 and the Cookpot, as it was designated by Nato, began Aeroflot services in October 1962.
Anything you can do... we can do bigger! Mil Mi-10 CCCP-04102 was by far the most unusual and impressive helicopter at the 1965 Paris show, startling spectators with its distinctive long-stroke quadricycle undercarriage of 19ft 8in (6m) track, which separated the fuselage from the ground by some 12ft 3!6in (3 75m).
The shapely V-tailed Antonov A-15 glider at Paris before the morning removal of its protective tarpaulin. The aluminium glider made its first flight in March 1960 and quickly set a number of world records. Some 350 examples were ultimately built.