Antonov KT Kryl'ya tanka
|TRANSPORT GLIDER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Antonov|
The extraordinary KT 'Kryl'ya tanka' (Tank's Wings) was a Soviet wartime design intended to supply partisans behind German lines with light armour. The Antonov design bureau quickly developed a set of biplane wings and twin-boomed tail that could be fitted to turn a T-60 tank into a glider.
On its one and only test flight the weight and drag of the KT caused the TB-3 bomber tow-plane's engines to overheat and the glider had to be jettisoned, making a smooth landing in a rough field. The flying surfaces were dropped and the tank drove back to its base, the brave pilot/driver Sergei Anokhin reporting enthusiastically about the experience. The lack of a tow-plane with sufficient power was one reason the idea fell out of official favour and was dropped.
FACTS AND FIGURES
© The basic T-60 tank was too lightly armed and armoured to survive against most German tanks and guns. It required the removal of armament, ammunition, headlights and most of its fuel to be light enough for flight tests.
© The drive mechanism of the tank was unlocked for take-off, but the engine was started in the air to speed up the tracks before landing, allowing the KT to go into action immediately.
© The KT was a rare example of a biplane glider, an idea little used since the Wright Brothers and other pioneers.
© Armament was only a single 12.7mm machine gun, fired by the tank commander, who shared the small hull with s driver/pilot.
© Supposedly the KT was manoeuvred by elevating the gun for elevator control and rotating the turret for roll control, although some sources say the turret was removed for its test flight.