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VM-T Atlant
VM-T with cargo container at the Zhukovsky Air Show in 2005
Role Outsize cargo transport
Manufacturer Myasishchev
Designer Vladimir Mikhailovich Myasishchev
First flight 29 April 1981
Introduction January 1982
Retired 1989
Status Out of service
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Russian Federal Space Agency (Soviet space program)
Number built 2
Developed from Myasishchev M-4

The Myasishchev VM-T Atlant (Russian: Мясищев ВМ-Т «Атлант», with the "VM-T" ("BM-T") standing for Vladimir Myasishchev – Transport) was a variant of Myasishchev's M-4 Molot bomber (the "3M") used as a strategic-airlift airplane. The VM-T was modified to carry rocket boosters and the Soviet space shuttles of the Buran program. It is also known as the 3M-T.

Design and development

The design was conceived in 1978 when Myasishchev was asked to solve the problem of transporting rockets and other large space vehicles to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Engineers used an old 3M (a modified M-4 bomber) and replaced the empennage with dihedral horizontal stabilizers with large rectangular end plate tailfins to accommodate any load that was twice the diameter of the aircraft's fuselage. A large cargo container, placed on top of the aircraft, would contain the freight. In addition, a new control system was added to the plane to compensate for the added weight.

The Atlant first flew in 1981 and made its first flight with cargo in January 1982.[1] Its main task was to ferry Energiya rocket boosters from their development plant to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. On several occasions, the Soviet space shuttle Buran was piggybacked to the Cosmodrome as well.[1]

Two Atlants were built. They were replaced in 1989 by Antonov's An-225 Mriya. One Atlant (RF-01502) is kept at the Zhukovsky airfield in Russia owned by TsAGI and Gromov Flight Research Institute, the other one (RA-01402) at Dyagilevo AFB in Ryazan.

Specifications (VM-T)

Data from Jane's[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Five
  • Payload: 50,000 kg (110,200 lb)
  • Length: 51.2 m (167 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 53.6 m (174 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 10.6 m (34 ft 9 in)
  • Empty weight: 75,740 kg (166,980 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 192,000 kg (423,300 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × RKBM/Koliesov VD-7MD turbojets, 105.45 kN[3] (23,706 lbf) each


  • Maximum speed: 500 km/h (311 mph)
  • Range: 1,500 km (932 mi) ()
  • Service ceiling: 8,000 – 9,000 m (26,245 – 29,525 ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.224 (at MTOW)

See also




  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide. Harper Collins, Glasgow, 1996. ISBN 0-00-470980-2

External links

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