US Drones over Russia?

greenmartian2017

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Hello everyone...

I don't know if this remains sensitive in the views of some of this website's readership, but I would like to know if there are any articles or books published currently that might speak to US drones and other aircraft flying over Russian territory during the Cold War (post 1960). I am aware of the D-21 mishap over Siberia and its subsequent belly-flopping in either Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan (Flateric's postings are always informative), but I mean US Drone overlflights that were purposeful.

I am aware of the stratospheric camera balloon flights that must have took place with sufficient regularlity that the Geofizika aircraft was supposed to have been developed to shoot those down.

I am also aware of the book "Incident at Sakhalin" a couple of years back in the 1990s that made the claim that there were several intrusions of that island's airspace by US drones in the days and hours leading up to the Korean Air Lines passenger airliner being off course, and its subsequent unfortunate ending. It additionally claimed that Soviet forces shot down also a manned reconnaissance aircraft in this time frame as well.

I am also aware of the hints that there was some UK special forces activity around the Plesetsk missile launching area during the 1960s, and this was discussed in the book entitled "Spycatcher" in precis format.

Furthermore, there was an article published in Ramparts magazine in 1972 (I believe that is the date) in which the interviewee (who was subsequently to be revealed to be former NSA employee Perry Fellwock, who worked at Karamursel in Turkey) that there was a B-52 (reconnaissance related?) crash during the mid-1960s that happened in the Caucases.


All commentaries/reactions welcomed.

Thanks in advance.
 

r16

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as far as I know a B-47 and a C-130 are the only USAF aircraft downed over Russian territory in flights originated in or supported from Turkey .
 
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that D-21 which ended up in soviet hands , was I think being used to spy on China.
 

weirc

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Have you tried the following web site?
www.spyflight.co.uk
 

flateric

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Not quite a drone, but Regulus II missile that glided to the ocean surface after test launch, was reportedly recovered by Soviet sub before what left of the missile, sank.
 

Archibald

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"incident at sakhalin"

"Incident at Sakhalin"

This is a piece of junk - Brun pretend the KAL-007 was shot down because an air battle raged around it ::) ::)
Mais bien sur...
 

flateric

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avatar said:
that D-21 which ended up in soviet hands , was I think being used to spy on China.

Correct.

Regarding main question, so far I've seen no mention of any US drones USSR overflights at this side.
 

greenmartian2017

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Thanks to all so far for their commentaries/reactions/additions.

All is appreciated.

I can add some more detail, I think.

As for Perry Fellwock, the actual article was entitled "US Electronic Espionage: A Memoir" where the non de plume for Fellwock was "Winslow Peck." Issued in 1972.

Here is a URL link to the article on-line (I actually got a photocopy of the original a number of years back, which had some photos and diagrams with it):

http://jya.com/nsa-elint.htm

Here is some of the relevant commentary by Fellwock:

"......

Q. You said that we overfly Soviet territory?

A. Routinely as a matter of fact -- over the Black Sea, down to the Baltic. Our Strategic Air Force flies the planes, and we support them. By that I mean that we watch them penetrate the Soviet airspace and then analyze the Soviet reaction -- how everything from their air defense and tactical air force to the KGB reacts. It used to be that SAC flew B-52s. As a matter of fact one of them crashed in the Trans-Caucasus area in 1968 and all the Americans on board were lost.

Q. Was it shot down?

A. That was never clear, but I don't believe so. The Soviets know what the missions of the SAC planes are. A lot of times they scramble up in their jets and fly wing-to-wing with our planes. I've seen pictures of that. Their pilots even communicate with ours. We've copied that.

Q. Do we still use U-2s for reconnaissance?

A. No, and SAC doesn't fly the B-52s anymore either. Now the plane they use is the SR-71. It has unbelievable speed and it can climb high enough to reach the edge of outer space. The first time I came across the SR-71 was when I was reading a report of Chinese reaction to its penetration of their airspace. The report said their air defense tracking had located the SR-71 flying at a fairly constant pattern at a fairly reasonable altitude. They scrambled MIG-21s on it, and when they approached it, the radar pattern indicated that the SR-71 had just accelerated with incredible speed and rose to such a height that the MIG-21s just flew around looking at each other. Their air-to-ground communications indicated that the plane just disappeared in front of their eyes.

...."

Burn's book still causes consternation and responses across the spectrum. Part of the materials that Burn uses in "Incident at Sakhalin" are from Soviet sources.

There was a book published in english back in the late 1990s about Soviet aircraft developments in the UK (had a black cover, with some Soviet photos of aircraft running down the one side of it), and in there was the first hints about regular overflights by balloons, and the development of the Geofizika aircraft in its original carnation to get to their altitude to shoot them down.

So I think with this data in hand, that Brun's comments aren't outlandish. Perhaps that there was multitude probings over a space of days could have happened. That there was an out-and-out dogfight over several hours, I don't pretend to know the answer to that.

I think it is instructive that when the D-21 probe ran over Soviet territory for a long period of time before it crash-landed, I have not seen any Soviet media source say or state that the USSR went on high alert as a result. That indicates to me that they experienced these things before. (One could make the argument that their radars didn't see it, however. Grigori, can you find out if they knew the D-21 was in Soviet airspace while it was still in flight?)

But I encourage further inputs from all.

Oh, thanks for the URL link to the UK person's overflights website. That is of interest to me.

[exit stage left]
 

sferrin

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The D-21 was on an overflight mission of China, malfunctioned and kept on going until it ran out of fuel and eventually landed in the USSR. Purely accidental. Don't recall exactly where it was found but it is talked about in Ben Rich's biography "Skunk Works".
 

flateric

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Greenmartian2008 said:
There was a book published in english back in the late 1990s about Soviet aircraft developments in the UK (had a black cover, with some Soviet photos of aircraft running down the one side of it), and in there was the first hints about regular overflights by balloons, and the development of the Geofizika aircraft in its original carnation to get to their altitude to shoot them down.

M-17 Mystic was intended to shoot balloons in fact, M-55 Geofizika was *truly* recce from the beginning

Greenmartian2008 said:
Grigori, can you find out if they knew the D-21 was in Soviet airspace while it was still in flight?)

No, they have learned of it just after local sheepman have reported to local Party Committee of his finding of remains of Kelly Johnson masterpiece. All he could understand is that black shaitan-arba fallen from the skies has stencils of unknown language. That's how I've heard a story from the multiply sources.
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
Not quite a drone, but Regulus II missile that glided to the ocean surface after test launch, was reportedly recovered by Soviet sub before what left of the missile, sank.

Sometimes it's pretty amusing what went on. Back in the day one guy who use to post a lot on sci.military.naval (and was very reliable) told a story that occurred during a Russian exercise they were shadowing. Apparently the Russians had fired a practice torpedo that floated to the surface at the end of it's run for recovery and guys on the Perry frigate dropped a zodaic into the water, zipped over to the torp, and started taking it back to the frigate. ;D A Russian cruiser came on the scene (against a piddly little frigate) and I guess the frigate captain was like "Cut it loose!! Cut it loose!!!" because they'd been seen.
 

robunos

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There was a book published in english back in the late 1990s about Soviet aircraft developments in the UK (had a black cover, with some Soviet photos of aircraft running down the one side of it), and in there was the first hints about regular overflights by balloons, and the development of the Geofizika aircraft in its original carnation to get to their altitude to shoot them down.

you mean this one? :p

cheers,
Robin.
 

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greenmartian2017

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Yes, exactly! ;D

If you could, please look up (as per Grigori's instructions) the M-17 entry, and if you could, please type in what it says about shooting down balloons.

Many thanks if this is a do-able proposition, in advance.

[exit stage left]
 

r16

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ı would say the Korean airliner was shot down not because there was an air battle but a simultaneous operation of some sort and the Russians saw it important enough to send a message to the Koreans that it wasn't their business to be involved . And as I have posted before , they expected more from the Americans , like escorts to the Jumbo.

and I long thought that the idiom "devil's chariot" was from Afghanistan , is it current in Russia too ?
 

Rickshaw

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The author of the book, "Spycatcher", Peter Wright admitted a long time ago, before he died that it was largely fabricated in order to sensationalise events so as to make it more of a bestseller.
 

greenmartian2017

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Rickshaw,

Could you provide a URL link to a news story where it says that Wright admitted to the fact that "SpyCatcher" had parts of it embellished?

Thanks in advance if this is do-able.

I have not seen anywhere that. I have seen that Wright said that his labeling of his boss as a Soviet mole was his read, and not fact, as it was apparently heavy-handedly alluded to in the book. But the rest of the book was not said to be inaccurate. As far as I am aware of.
 

Avimimus

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Regarding the M-17, I know it descended from a balloon interceptor design study. But, were the airframes that were actually produced intended for that role? If I recall there is a large amount of elapsed time before the recon ballon vs. balloon inteceptor race and the production of the actual (physical) M-17?

Any information on this would be appreciated.

S!
 

robunos

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Yes, exactly!

If you could, please look up (as per Grigori's instructions) the M-17 entry, and if you could, please type in what it says about shooting down balloons.

Many thanks if this is a do-able proposition, in advance.

[exit stage left]

no problem, as long as it's okay with the mods,

cheers,
Robin.
 

greenmartian2017

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Thanks Robin, that would be appreciated.

I will have some further information to impart (hopefully next week) on a number of themes in regards to this thread.

It will address the issues of the concepts of overflights of the USSR post 1960 (post Gary Powers, in which in the aftermath Eisenhower promised no more missions over Russia), and the material brought up by Perry Fellwock's article that I provided the URL link to.

I think everyone will find it informative.
 

robunos

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here goes...

"[myasischev]OKB awarded contract 67 for single seat fighter to destroy CIA high-alt recon balloons. Led by V.M.Myasischev, after his death by Leonid Sokolov...
Kolesov KB produced RD-36-52 engine. TsAGI refined P-173-9 supercritical wing profile. Aircraft subject 34 dubbed (Gull) from inverted gull wing. Armament two AAM plus dorsal turret as on [myasischev] 3M bomber but with GSh-23, 600rds."

also this from
'Soviet X-Planes'...
 

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Rickshaw

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Greenmartian2008 said:
Rickshaw,

Could you provide a URL link to a news story where it says that Wright admitted to the fact that "SpyCatcher" had parts of it embellished?

Thanks in advance if this is do-able.

I have not seen anywhere that. I have seen that Wright said that his labeling of his boss as a Soviet mole was his read, and not fact, as it was apparently heavy-handedly alluded to in the book. But the rest of the book was not said to be inaccurate. As far as I am aware of.

Wikipedia is your friend - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Wright#Retractions

I remember at the time, Wright also admitted that several other sections of his book were somewhat "embellished". Therefore, I'd treat the entire book as questionable (and as dull as ditchwater as well, from my reading of it).
 

Rickshaw

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My understanding is that the balloon overflights of the fUSSR were a 1950s programme, before satellites became available. My question therefore is why were the Soviets still developing a high-altitude fighter to counter them in the 1970-80s?
 

LowObservable

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rickshaw said:
My understanding is that the balloon overflights of the fUSSR were a 1950s programme, before satellites became available. My question therefore is why were the Soviets still developing a high-altitude fighter to counter them in the 1970-80s?

Hey, how 'bout them White Sox? Look over there, a blue car!
 

greenmartian2017

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The balloon overflights continued for a long time.

It is very difficult to intercept things flying at 90,000 feet or higher. Not an easy thing to do.

The Russians don't waste time and energy on intercept systems, if the systems that they are targeting were "long gone"--as in 20 years gone before.

Yes, there may be some bureaucratic inertia in some ways, which may cause an aircraft project to linger, but I don't think that this is a case of it.

Unless Grigori can regale us with a tale of an airborne system continuing on 20-30 years after the opposing system "wasn't there."

But I don't think that this is such a case.

But stay tuned....I think later this week I should have some very interesting things to report.

[exit stage left]
 

sferrin

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Greenmartian2008 said:
The balloon overflights continued for a long time.

It is very difficult to intercept things flying at 90,000 feet or higher. Not an easy thing to do.

The Russians don't waste time and energy on intercept systems, if the systems that they are targeting were "long gone"--as in 20 years gone before.

Yes, there may be some bureaucratic inertia in some ways, which may cause an aircraft project to linger, but I don't think that this is a case of it.

Unless Grigori can regale us with a tale of an airborne system continuing on 20-30 years after the opposing system "wasn't there."

But I don't think that this is such a case.

But stay tuned....I think later this week I should have some very interesting things to report.

[exit stage left]


And I don't imagine they'd want to waste expensive S-300s on a cheap-a$$ balloon. ;D Wouldn't that be a hoot. 15 zillion cheap balloons floating over with 50 lb JDAMs on them. LOL!!!
 

r16

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ı only recently had an opportunity to read http://jya.com/nsa-elint.htm
a good one .

it satisfies practically every need . It is refutable in the first place . Anyone familiar with the cabin width of C-5 at 5.8 m which would now allow a winged Fishbed at 7.15 to fit would find it hard to believe that Russians could do it , I mean simply roll the planes out to scramble and what was the name of the transport plane again ? To a regular professional or serious amateur this is a wannabee. No need to report him to the nearest prosecutor.

the author establishes himself well , first of his class so smart enough to do secret business , human enough to take advantage of his work to make extra money out of it , but not as corrupted as those woman sellers and you immediately get the impression that he is telling the truth , anyone who has watched movies knows that the protectors of the law are not law abiding themselves .His work is as mundane as of a typist and they are prone to mistakes like everybody else , just like the bomber landing in the lake shows.

and he has improved just in the way a peacenik , the coming type of humanity at the time, would like . He likes Joan Baez , uses drugs while on combat missions , knows American leadership lies or at least fails to grasp or report the truth . He has seen the light after a bloody operation ; which is by the way a perfect hit against General Abrams who at that time frame was trying to turn the US Army around for better or worse . By the example cited any peacenik who would by definition distrust any soldier would know the officer named was a particularly bad one .He has refusen to fight . And what is more he has given up a dirty secret , the big brother is listening . He appears to blow the whistle on Echelon , as far as I know the thing.

but the average American cannot hate him . Look the -any suitable bad word - might have exposed Uncle Sam ; but there are the bright things .American aircraft fly at the edge of space . Russians can not defeat US , they don't have means or even the will to do it .They even can't listen to US talking in the way US is listening to their talking . Even the Brits , closest to what mainstream America is supposed to be can't do it ."Again, technology is the key. These allies can't maintain security even if they want to. They're all working with machines we gave them. There's no chance for them to be on par with us technologically. "
never mind the third parties ...

and the good old CIA is active everywhere , even in China .While there may not be James Bonds , people with guns in their hands in the jungle are doing things , like catching Che Guevera.

the impression a flag waving American will get from this text is that Uncle Sam is numero uno and even such a wimp-hippi-traitor lowlife like the author can not refute it.

discourse without context cannot be truly understood . My opinion is that he is a public opinion shaper with specific instructions in regard to Nixon's politics in 1972. Nixon will take the American troops out of Vietnam regardless of the escalation of Easter Invasion and Linebacker operations . While doing so it is well known the North will return and in the coming years the average American will know that it was not Nixon but the peaceniks that sold the South down the drain . Bantrams are holding a year's supply and the demonstrations will see it that the operations will not be a year long . Aviation enthusiasists rarely come across books or magazines that don't claim the B-52s won but protesters lost the war in Vietnam.And you can sit and talk with men from Hanoi as it is some other entity that directs the fighting. The two Americans fighting for the VC ; we will hear more about them in the future when a CNN man loses his job as he had made the unfortunate mistake of accusing USA actually using real chemical weapons during operation Tailwind against its own soldiers that had escaped.I know there was a marine in their special units to disappear with lots of equipment on him and it was believed he had changed sides.

and the guy either doesn't know or doesn't want to tell that the U-2s are still overflying China and they will continue to do so until 1974 .I didn't know it until I was reading a pdf file to check a point in this very post .

yes, my prize goes to the U-2 part. Our opium fields are reputedly the best regulated ones in the world ; we have/had a big part in legal opium trade to manufacture painkillers and back in the seventies Uncle Sam had threatened or rather a senator had wanted to send B-52s to bomb the hell out of those fields to force Ankara to stop the opium production .(The right wing goverment banned it , the following leftist-Islamist coalition lifted the ban.) Who knows , maybe CIA wanted to legalise its fiels in the Golden Triangle . So while it is just a rumour , we should really know that the Turks downed the May Day U-2 . Indeed , indeed...
 

greenmartian2017

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Hello everyone...

I finally had some time to post something here, and some information that I was awaiting finally arrived just today.

Let me begin by saying the following.

Not everything that is published is factual about what has happened in the US intelligence history shadows. Not everything that is claimed to be false, though, is false. However, there are methods, modes and means on attempting to get at "the actual truth," and one of those is by actually communicating with persons who "had been there," in the thick of it. (Another is to use FOIA and MDR--Freedom of Information Act, and Mandatory Declassification Review--requests.)

I count myself lucky to know a number of individuals "who had been there."

OK.

Recently, I made mention of the Winslow Peck (actual name: Perry Fellwock) article to a colleague of mine. This colleague isn't the usual "aircraft enthusiast." No, they were something a great deal more than that. This person was involved in the US intelligence community, and was very much aware of a lot of things that were going on at the time during the 1960s and 1970s (and further on) in regards to many items dealing with US intelligence, versus the USSR, and so forth. Rubbed elbows with a variety of personnel from a number of the acronym-ed agencies. Gave briefings to high-level government officials on topics of interest. And so on.

He could even be considered (in a latter stage of this person's professional career) as the "USA's Top Expert" on things covering stuff that flew (stuff that didn't begin its air flight from a launch pad), particularly those things of interest to US intelligence. I could put a finer point on it, but I won't. So please excuse the lack of more specificity.

They also asked me to not name them, to honor confidentiality. So I will gladly honor that request. But I can tell you that the person is very straightforward. They have made a lot of comments, and I decided to provide excerpts ofthose with most applicability to the current conversation.

I hope you find them as illuminating as I have found them.

Now.

"......

The Ramparts article appeared while I was stationed in Berlin. Before we were able to see a copy of it, it was quite scandalous. Finally, one of the guys who worked for me was able to contact a family member at home who picked up the rag and sent it to him. After reading it, we all determined it was crap.

...."

Would that we did know the callsign for every aiplane and the numbers on the sides. In the case of civislian airliners, aircraft series were knkown (today there are millions of photos available and there were some then, too.) For example, 757xx bort numbers were Il-18 and 423xx, 424xx were Tu-104. So, one could always surmise we "knew," but the Soviets didn't always assign the next one-up number, they would skip some for special purposes.... Fighters have two digits assigned and painted on them at the squadron level. We didn't know who flew what airplane, nor did we know what range of numbers they used. They never used those numbers. The commander presumably flew 01, but not neccessarily.... Bombers have a two or three-digit number assigned and painted on them at the squadron level. If one gets close enough or uses a long lens, the bort (inthis case, factory number) can be read. That's it. We did not know them.... The only pilot names known were tose that showed up in peirodicals such as Aviatsiya i Kosmonavtika. Only extremely rarely could we get a name another way. And we never knew when named pilots flew.

......

There has never been a B-52 lost in Russia. I believe he most likely is talking about the C-130A that was shot down some years earlier (there is a C-130A now on permanent display at Ft. Meade in the markings of the one that was shot down....)

.......

After Gary Powers, the only airplanes overflying the Soviet Union were manufactured in the Soviet Union. There was some SR-71 usage sometime in there, but I wasn't involved with that type of thing in those days. But it would never have been "constant."

......

Flying "over the Black Sea, down to the Baltic" must be exciting. He could have used a geography lesson. So could the "reporter" from Ramparts.... SAC never used the B-52 as a reconnaissance platform of which I am aware. RB-57 was the preferred bird by the 1960s. There is, I believe, a report available on the Web about each reconnaissacne airplanes we did lose and where.... Their pilots could not communicate with ours unless they used the worldwide emergency frequencies of 121.5 and 243 MHz, which was prohibited for anything except emergencies. There was a lot of hand waving and some holding Playboy fold-outs up to the windows by one of our guys if the Soviet aircraft were close enough, which wasn't often.

....

We never stopped using the U-2 for reconnaissance. We just changed themission profiels. Today we call the modified upgraded version the TR-1.

He was right about the rumors. All crap. [How Gary Powers plane might have been sabotaged prior to flight.] (I know how it happened, but I'm uncertain it has been declassified even today.)

......

[Arab-Israeli Six Day War discussion.] The Soviet airplane he discussed most likely is the An-10. A MiG 21 wil not fit into one. The An-10 is slightly smaller than our C-130. If he was talking about the An-22, and I doubt he was, a MiG-21 will fit if the wings are removed. The An-22 was their largest transport in thsoe days. Again it appears he listed to crap perhaps fed to him because the narrator knew how gullible he was.

......

My philosophy of military aircraft design: The West, in particular the United States, sees aviation as a reconaissance application and everything else, including strategic bombers, is to support that mission. The East, the Soviets (and today the Russians) see aviation as an extension of their artillery and everyting built is to support that mission. They never forgot the painful experience of World War 1 when their troops were annihiliated by German artillery when France and Britain asked the Russians to fall back to take pressure off trooops on the Western front. My point is, the Soviets always [italicized emphasis on always] have built plenty of what he describes as "fighter bombers," today called "attack" or "ground support" aircraft.

...."

He actually provided a great deal more comments than this, but I hope this will be found of utility.

There was no discussion about drones, unfortunately. Or balloons.
 

greenmartian2017

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A little bit more...from my source.

I asked them in particular about the balloons, about Russian attempts (or desires) to shoot them down, and about drones.

Not much comment on the concept of drones. (But I will make a few comments afterwards, down below, based on conversations with another person.) But, a certain amount on the balloons.

Read on.

Apparently there were two separate balloon programs, based on currently available sources. One, as one person above in this thread, mentioned was in the 1950s, but according to Russian sources, a second balloon program post Gary Powers' shootdown was extant.

"....

I have just now found a photocopy of an article about the balloon flights based on documents the British government declassified and published in "Zarubezhnoe Voennoe Obozrenie" 1999 Number 4. It states the purpose of the flights was to map at least 75 percent of the [USSR] and of plans to launch 3,500, only 461 were launched and most failed. At least five were shot down. Only 42 were recovered with their film intact. They further state the balloons gave rise to the numerous reports of flying saucers over Russia and, most importantly, the program ended 1956.

.....

[Coments on the M-17, etc.]

So, I've looked into another book in my collection, "ZMZ im. V.M. Myasishcheva," from the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Airplanes collection of which this is Volume 3. (I don't know how many volumes of the Encyclopedia were published. I have has many as Eastview offered.) .....

.....

I am VERY familiar with the M-17. It NEVER tested with weapons, at least not in flight, although the book "Samolety V.M. Myasishcheva" by N.V. Yakubovich and V.N. Lavrov states it was designed to shoot down high-flying aerostats. By the time it made first flight (this from me, not the book), aerostat flights were a thing of the past. (If they were still making them, but there was no need by this time, the fact was hidden in a deep, dark hole somewhere.) As the Soviet Union began to decay rapidly and the mission for the aircraft no longer existed, they modified it and called it the M-55, which was to be used for reconnaissance and, subsequently, air sampling missions. Once or twice a year even today (my words again) it is leased and deployed out of Russia.

The book states development began in 1970. It further states first flight on 24 December 1978 had not been planned, but during a taxi test it lifted off, so the pilot continued to attempt the takeoff. The prototype crashed and he died. The second prototype began to fly, as you point out, in 1982, first flight being on 16 May.

........

On the other hand, the very long discussion in this volume about the M-17 states the CIA began launching the balloons (which they describe in some detail) after Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk in 1960. It also states the Yak-25RV was built in 1969, which most likely is a typo or we didn't know the designator, as I KNOW they were flying what I know as the Yak-25RV much earlier, as well as the fact that the book is discussing the 1960s before that (plus, see above). This second book has a lot more detail on the design, construction and initial accident. The gun, but the way, was on TOP of the fuselage, which explains why I didn't see the fairing in the other book. There is a fairing, just a covered-over place that could have been mistaken for electronic equipment. The gun never actually went onto the airplane that I can ascertain. And as I said, it never tested in flight with the gun.

...."

Drones were around in the 1960s, and were very heavily used, such as in Vietnam, and other places in the same environs. There is a super excellent book on these drones entitled "Lighting Bugs and other Reconnaissance Drones: The can-do story of Ryan's unamnned 'spy planes'" by William Wagner (Armed Forces Journal/Aero Publishers, 1982).

Another person (not the one whom I have been quoting from here) told me that I should imagine a hypothetical: Ryan's 147 series were used over Southeast Asia and southern China. (Even though a number were shot down over China, a number also returned.) During the mid-1960s, and late 1960s. It was deemed a successful program. Its distance capability for its entire mission flight and return could encompass 761 nautical miles (at least), and from low-level to 75,000 feet altitude. And if programmed, could follow a pre-planned pathway into and out of the target area, including over mountains, and so on (as well as altitude adjustments). If one would hypothetically launch from somewhere near the border of Russia facing the Kazakhstan area, a 147 series craft (a special modification?) could visit and take pictures of sections of Tyuratam and return.

I don't know if this hypothetical is accurate, but is thrown out there for people to chew on, and respond to.

Comments welcomed.

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Avimimus

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Robunos & Greenmartian2008,

Thank you for the information.

There is enough clear similarity between the subject 34 & the M-17/M-55 which shows as common design philosophy and indicates that they are a product of the same set of design studies. This I believe. But at the same time they are also clearly very different aircraft.

What I don't understand is the 22 year delay between the end of the balloon flights and the first flight of the Chaika. I find it hard to believe that the M-17 was ever viewed as an interceptor, U-2 flights had stopped (and could be countered by SAMs) and, despite being several times more maneuverable than the U-2/TR-1, it lacked the overall performance required to catch up with it. So, despite the suspicious bulge between the wings, is my assumption that the M-17 (and its successors) were never planned to have an ability to carry armament?

Also, does anyone know where I could get airfoil data, maximum control deflections etc. for modeling this aircraft in X-Plane (or another sim)?

Thanks again,
 
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