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Beriev A-40

(Largest Seaplane)

YouTube - Beriev A-40


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Aviadvigatel D-30KPV
2 x 26,460 lbs ea.
189,600 lbs.
14,330 lbs.
9,270 U.S. gals.
143 ft. 10 in.
135 ft. 6 in.
447 mph
472 mph
3,000 fpm
26,640 feet
3,420 miles

Beriev A-40

Beriev A-40
Click on the picture to hear the wav sound.

The Beriev A-40 amphibian was conceived in 1983 and is the world's largest seaplane currently flying. Missions the aircraft was designed for include search and rescue, transportation, patrol and anti submarine warfare for the Russian Navy. In civilian service, variants can be used as airliners, air tankers, and cargo carriers.

For light weight strength and corrosion resistance, construction of the Beriev A-40 primarily uses multiple aluminum alloy sheets along with composite materials. The high wing location, and the engines positioned high on the fuselage, just aft of the wings, facilitates water handling, while minimizing water spray into the engines. The horizontal stab and elevators located on top of the vertical tail minimize up and down pitching with throttle changes.

The fuselage of the Beriev A-40 is optimized for water handling. It has a planing design,with double chines and an extremely sharp angle of entry for a smooth ride and better penetration of rough seas. Nose strakes help minimize water spray. A small rudder at the very rear of the fuselage facilitates handling while taxiing on water. Radar is located in a dome at the front of the fuselage.

The corrosion resistant engines of the Beriev A-40 utilize a dual design with fan jet economy and the power of turbojets during take off. However, they are not capable of reversing thrust for runway landings.

The wings of the Beriev A-40 are designed to provide maximum low speed lift for getting the aircraft on plane quickly during water take offs, and economic high speed cruise. This is accomplished by the use of full length control surfaces along the main wing's rear edge, included double slotted flaps both inboard and outboard, plus ailerons. Double spoilers, located on the wings before the flaps, roll the aircraft as well as disrupting lift and slow it. A leading edge full length slat is extended during take off for additional lift. Wing tip floats provide stability while on water. Pods on the wingtips house electronic information gathering systems.

The Beriev A-40 is the current world record holder for time to climb and speed for seaplanes in its class, in addition to some 140 world performance records.

We have seen some unconfirmed reports that the Russian Navy has ordered four of the aircraft for search and rescue and anti submarine warfare duties.

Thus far we only have knowledge of two Beriev A-40 prototype aircraft being produced.

Beriev A-40

Beriev A-40 - Vergara

The Beriev A-40 would make one heck of a jet powered seaplane. It should be quite an attraction flying from a small lake. However, it appears to be rarely modeled as a radio control airplane.

We used to see plans on eBay for the Beriev A-40, but haven’t in a while. It had a 78" wingspan and could be powered by ducted fans or turbines.

Pictured above and immediately below is the Beriev A-40 by master modeler Sergio Vergara. It has a 73" wingspan with a length of 78". Sergio powers it with twin Typhoon 600 brushless motors spinning Wemotec mini fans. All up weight is about 9 lbs.

The next two pictures below are of the great looking Beriev A-40 scratch built by Thomas Blankeney. Its wingspan is 38" with construction from balsa and ply. Power comes from a pair of Feigao brushless motors turning 40 mm fans. Weight is about 1 lb. 2 oz.

We have seen a two channel Beriev A-40 by Astro Model. It has a 44" wingspan with steering by engine thrust differential. With the engines near the fuselage, we wonder how effective the steering can be. Altitude is controlled by engine thrust. The airplane has no elevator. Power comes from a pair of electric ducted fans. We can't verify the quality. The Astro Model Beriev A-40 Albatross is sold by a number of retailers and there are large differences in price. If you are interested in this type of model, it would probably pay to shop around.

Beriev A-40
Beriev A-40 - seen from below

Beriev A-40
Beriev A-40 - Blakeney

Beriev A-40
Beriev A-40 - in flight.