Aviastar Thermoplane program


ACCESS: Top Secret
15 December 2007
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What is it? ;D
And are there winged and non-winged prototypes? :eek:
According to http://www.janes.com/extracts/extract/jawa/del02467.html (yes, Google is your Friend ;)), the Thermoplane is a:

"Proof-of-concept demonstrator for unique`two-gas' airship.: Began 1985; originally funded by former Soviet government and first reported 1989, when preliminary design work completed; objective to develop ecologically clean heavy-lift airships to transport bulky cargo in remote areas; three prototypes were to be built. Buoyancy, static and dynamic ground testing of first prototype 1992 at Aviastar factory in Ulyanovsk; first flight (tethered) 1993; free flights not considered necessary; 02 was due for roll-out 1995, but Thermoplane programme believed halted due to lack of current funding. See 1996-97 and earlier Jane's for description and illustrations."

The confusion as to a "winged" version might stem from http://unrealaircraft.com/wings/thermoplane.php. On this webpage is shown two photographs, supposedly both of the (or "a") Thermoplane. The upper one shows the Thermoplane demonstrator, however the lower one is the Bella-1 VTOL demonstrator, courtesy of the "Tumenecotrans" company (http://www.tumenecotrans.ru/bella2.html).

Regards & all

Thomas L. Nielsen


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That Tumenecotrans site is definitely worth a visit, though I didn't see anything more than a short hop in the video clips. Note that the Bella is not a VTOL aircraft, it is a STOL aircraft with an air-cushion landing gear for all-terrain, off-airport operations.
Mole said:
Note that the Bella is not a VTOL aircraft, it is a STOL aircraft......

Oh, well....I saw that big fan in the middle and jumped to a (vertical) conclusion ;)

I stand corrected.


Thomas L. Nielsen
Thank you, this is even more interesting than expected.

Same design requirements and two different companies with very different solutions (now I wonder if they actually work)...
"Thermoplane" to be built? - assuming the below report is reffering to it.

Russian Volga region moves to produce flying saucers

The government of the Ulianovsk Region in the Volga area has approved a five-year program to produce so-called "flying saucers" - a bizarre hybrid of a helicopter and an aerostat.

The first such aircraft, officially named "aerostatic thermoballasted vehicle" or simply "Locomoskayner" after its manufacturer LocomoSky, was presented MAKS-2009 air show. The prototype flying saucer was seven meters (23 feet) in diameter and was able to transport 20 kg (44.4 lbs) of cargo.

The company, however, plans to produce aircraft with a cargo-carrying capacity of up to 600 metric tons or a passenger capacity of up to 11,000 people.

It will be able to hover, perform a vertical landing, move in a straight line with speeds close to 100 kmph, turn around and will need no special ground-based facilities to land.

The flying saucer will have low fuel consumption as compared to ordinary aircraft due to its aerodynamic form and will be able to transport outsized cargoes to remote and inaccessible areas.

According to the regional government's estimates, the project will attract over $90 billion in investments. It will also create about 800 jobs in the region and bring some $4 million to the budget in tax payments.

LocomoSky has already started to build a production facility site in an industrial zone in the area.

ULIANOVSK, March 3 (RIA Novosti)

How would this thing have worked? I am rather bewildered. The entire concept would have been massive, and would have been used as a heavily lift machine that would have opened access to remote sites in Siberia, thus opening up mining and drilling sites and supplying them in places that weren't reachable before.

Some photos of the Thermoplan:


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