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A nuclear-powered car, a hydrogen plane, a flying saucer – what achievements of the USSR we cannot repeat today – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: February 7, 2023 Time: 07:32:20

But the list of significant achievements of the Soviet Union is longer. Some have been forgotten. Part of the cutting-edge technologies were classified, others were stopped due to the shortsightedness of the leaders or the collapse of the country. And today, remembering them, it is difficult to get rid of the feeling that it was a different civilization, more powerful, purposeful, aspiring to the future. Many of the achievements of which today, unfortunately, we can no longer repeat.

Flying saucer “EKIP” – analogues do not exist yet

Project “EKIP” (“Ecology and Progress”) – a flying machine that could take off and land in almost any area. Abroad, he was nicknamed “Russian UFO” due to the characteristic resemblance to a flying saucer. Development was carried out in the 1980-1990 years, two prototypes were created, which were successfully tested. “EKIP” had all the prerequisites for becoming a fundamentally new type of air transport. If it weren’t for the collapse of the country where he was born…

A super telescope ahead of its time

Astronomers from all over the world were lining up for our Eye of the Planet. Photo: kchr.ru

In the early 1960s, Soviet scientists received a “special task” from the government – to create a larger telescope than the American one (Hale telescope – 5 m).

Ours considered that one more meter would be enough, since the Americans generally considered it useless to create solid mirrors longer than 5 meters due to deformation under their own weight. And in 1976, the world’s largest 6-meter BTA telescope, the Large Azimuth Telescope, was built in the Soviet Union. In addition, it was designed using exclusively domestic technologies, which demonstrates the country’s leadership in the field of creating optical instruments. And his “vision” radius was 1.5 times that of the American.

BTA was installed in the observatory of the town. Lower Arkhyz (Karachay-Cherkessia). Astronomers from all over the world signed up to make observations using the “Russian miracle”, which was called the “Eye of the Planet”.

BTA held the palm until 1993, when the Keck telescope with a 10-meter mirror began operation in Hawaii. They did not even think to prepare a worthy response in the Russian Federation.

“Buran”: the triumph of Soviet technology

“Buran” was designed for 100 flights into space, but made only one. Photo: RIA Novosti

1 million people participated in the Energia-Buran space program. To bring Buran to the cosmodrome, the world’s largest An-225 Mriya aircraft was developed. It was a triumph of Soviet technology. The first and only flight of the Buran was made on November 15, 1988 in automatic mode, without a crew on board. A significant part of the technical information about the flight course is considered lost, because it was recorded on BESM-6 computer magnetic tapes, of which no useful copies have survived. More Buran was not launched, although it was designed for 100 space flights. In 1993, the project was shut down. In 2002, the only Buran that flew into space was destroyed by the collapse of the roof of the building in Baikonur, in which it was stored.

Photo: kprf.ru

K-222 – the fastest submarine

K-222 is a Soviet nuclear submarine that has become the fastest in the world. In December 1970, at a depth of 100 metres, she reached a speed of 44.7 knots (82.8 km/h); there is still no fastest submarine in the world. (For reference: the average speed of nuclear submarines today is 30 knots, or 55.5 km/h.) They built K-222 from titanium in one copy and because of the high cost they nicknamed it “Goldfish”.

“Rocket” – river passenger transport of the future

In 1957, the USSR launched the world’s first hydrofoils, the Rocket, which were designed to carry passengers on lines up to 600 km long, reaching speeds of up to 60 km/h.

The design turned out to be extremely successful, they were bought by many Western countries, including the US, Canada and Germany. In total, 389 ships were built, which operated on passenger routes on dozens of rivers in the country. Today, the operation of “Rockets” as public transport has been preserved only on the Lena River.

Soviet aviation – 100% own components

The USSR is the only country on the planet that produces all types of aircraft 100% from its own components. It has built 40% of the world’s aircraft fleet. And Aeroflot in 1976 became the first airline in the world to carry more than 100 million passengers in a year.

The only one in history – “Volga” with a nuclear engine

The “nuclear limousine” began to be built on the basis of the “Volga”. But if the normal engine weighed 200 kg, then the atomic one weighed half a ton. The car accelerated quickly, but slowed down reluctantly. Photo: Social networks

Indeed, in the 1950s and 1960s a nuclear-powered car was discussed: among the Americans it was the Ford Nucleon concept, and in the USSR it was the Volga-Atom, and a prototype was even built on the Soviet project. Thus began the unknown story of an incredible machine that could turn the entire global automotive industry upside down.

The legendary “atomic minister” Yefim Slavsky was at the origins of the project. In 1958, as if by chance, he half-jokingly told Khrushchev about the American experiment, and he unexpectedly reacted: “Why don’t we make a car too? After all, it worked with an icebreaker.” And then, in the face of all attempts to convince him that, according to physicists, this is impossible, he simply dismissed it: “Then look for other physicists.”

As a result, a special design bureau was created, the main task of which was the creation of a nuclear power plant. And – fantastic! – The engine was created, which had unimaginable characteristics at that time. Even if it weighed not 200 kg, like the Volga, but 500, but this was only the beginning. In April 1965, the car went to the test site near Seversk. According to the recollections of the testers, the sensations were very unusual: the car was very heavy, but the engine power compensated for the increase in mass. And the engine got very hot, and in the cabin, despite the cool Siberian spring, it was very hot. Because physicists started working on the second version of the engine. But then Khrushchev died, and interest in the project slowly waned. Two experimental machines were discarded. And with them went the excessive and reckless enthusiasm of that time when people were not afraid of the most incredible experiments.

The world’s first hydrogen airplane

Liquid hydrogen for the Tu-155 was placed in the cockpit for the duration of the tests. Photo: RIA Novosti

In April 1988, the Tu-155 made its first successful flight – the world’s first aircraft to use liquid hydrogen as fuel. The idea presented by the general designer Tupolev promised to make a revolution in world aviation – flights were an order of magnitude (!) Cheaper and much more environmentally friendly. In fact, it was a breakthrough into the future.

On the Tu-155, converted from the well-known Tu-154, Soviet designers applied a number of unexpected solutions, many of which so far have no analogues in the world.

During the tests, hydrogen was replaced with LNG (liquefied natural gas), and also successfully. The Tu-155 made 70 flights: 5 with hydrogen and 65 with LNG (including Europe – Hannover, Bratislava, Nice).

Not a single emergency! But with the collapse of the USSR, the project was quietly curtailed – there was no time for breakthroughs.

The “Caspian Monster” that hit the West

The ekranoplan “Lun” on the beach near Derbent is a fragment of another civilization. Photo: Igor Chernyak

“Lun”, or as it was also called the “Caspian monster”, is a Soviet ekranoplan, a giant hybrid of a ship with an aircraft, which, due to its appearance, terrified Western “partners”.

Compared to the advanced warships produced in the world then, it had a 10 times advantage in speed. She was launched in 1986, and in 1990 she went into trial operation. She flew over the Caspian at an altitude of 1-3 meters, withstood a storm of 5-6 points. Crew – 10 people.

Today, the only surviving “Lun” is rusting on the shores of the Caspian Sea, 10 km from Derbent (Dagestan), striking the imagination of the few tourists who have come here.

By the way

before work

In 1957, the Moscow engineer Leonid Kupriyanovich created a prototype of the first LK-1 mobile phone. It weighed 3 kg, but a year later the weight of the device was reduced to 0.5 kg. This was 20 years before the introduction of the first Motorola DynaTAC cell phone.

In 1958, the “LITMO-1” computer was created in Leningrad – a prototype of a personal computer. It performed 100 operations per second.

In 1968, a personal computer was created in Omsk. In 1973, the inventor received the copyright certificate N 383005, in which he described the “programming device” in detail. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak assembled their Apple in their garage after three years.

time of the first

1. Since 1967, the Ostankino Tower has been the tallest building in the world – 540 m. It lost the championship in 1974, when the 646-meter Warsaw radio mast was built in Poland. It is true that it collapsed in 1991, but then many things had already been built. Now our tower is the highest in Europe and in the world – N 8.

2. “Tokamak” – the world’s first facility for controlling thermonuclear fusion. It was launched in Moscow in 1954. It reached a plasma temperature of 11.6 million degrees. The scientific world was shocked. The West rushed to catch up with the USSR …

3. The first Soviet car with an automatic transmission was produced in 1977. It was the Lada 1500S Automatic, an export version of the VAZ-2103. It was assembled in Tolyatti and a General Motors box was installed in the Netherlands.

4. The construction of the first Soviet collider began in Protvino in 1983. It was planned to create a circular tunnel 20 km long at a depth of 20-60 m. In parallel with the creation of the Large Electron Collider, they began in Europe, but our ability design was stronger. The Europeans completed their project in the late 1980s, and in the USSR, due to financial problems, only 3 km were built in 1991. And in 1994 construction was stopped.

5. Since the late 1950s, work has been underway in the USSR to prepare the first manned flight to Mars. The launch was scheduled for June 8, 1971, the return to Earth – July 10, 1974. The flight was to be carried out by TMK, a heavy interplanetary ship, in one version, with a nuclear reactor. But after the death of SP The Queen project was closed.


Internet country of the Soviets

This event was not particularly described in the newspapers of that time and went practically unnoticed – in the late 1950s, a global computer network project was created in the USSR. True, not for the broad masses of workers, but as an automated system for managing the economy of the USSR. The project was based on the principles of cybernetics and included a network that connects the computer centers of companies in all regions of the country. They called it OGAS, the National Automated System of Accounting and Information Processing.

The introduction of OGAS led to the widespread use of electronic computers (computers), which the authorities abandoned due to too high a price. Although the calculations showed that the system would pay off in 15 years.

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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