The Myasishchev VM-T Atlant (Russian: Мясищев ВМ-Т «Атлант» ("Atlas"), with the "VM-T" ("BM-T") standing for Vladimir Myasishchev – Transport) was a variant of Myasishchev's M-4 Molot bomber (the "3M"), re-purposed 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.
|VM-T with the 3GT payload container at the Zhukovsky Air Show in 2005|
|Role||Outsize cargo transport|
|Designer||Vladimir Mikhailovich Myasishchev|
|First flight||29 April 1981|
|Primary users||Soviet Air Force|
Russian Federal Space Agency (Soviet space program)
|Developed from||Myasishchev M-4|
Design and developmentEdit
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 dihedralled horizontal stabilizers with large, rectangular end-plate tailfins to accommodate payloads measuring as large as twice the diameter of the aircraft's fuselage. A large, aerodynamically optimized 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. Its main task was to ferry Energia rocket boosters from their development plant to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. On several occasions, the then-incomplete Soviet space shuttle Buran was piggybacked to the Cosmodrome as well.
Two Atlants were built. They were replaced in 1989 by Antonov's An-225 Mriya. One Atlant (RF-01502) is kept at the Zhukovsky International Airport in Russia owned by TsAGI and Gromov Flight Research Institute, the other one (RA-01402) at Dyagilevo (air base) in Ryazan. 0GT was Buran spaceplane without tailplane and equipment. 1GT was hydrogen tank of Energia rocket, 2GT was engine frame and front aerodynamic cover of Energia, 3GT was oxygen tank of Energia. All configurations were equipped with aerodynamic cover to decrease the drag. 
- Crew: 6
- 0GT payload container 45,300 kg (99,869 lb) - (38.45 m (126 ft) long, 23.8 m (78 ft) Buran wingspan)
- 1GT payload container 31,500 kg (69,446 lb) - (44.46 m (146 ft) long, 7.78 m (26 ft) diameter)
- 2GT payload container 30,000 kg (66,139 lb) - (26.41 m (87 ft) long, 7.75 m (25 ft) diameter)
- 3GT payload container 15,000 kg (33,069 lb) - (16.67 m (55 ft) long, 7.75 m (25 ft) diameter)
- Length: 51.23 m (168 ft 1 in)
- Wingspan: 53.14 m (174 ft 4 in)
- Wing area: 351.78 m2 (3,786.5 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 81,200 kg (179,015 lb) no container
- Max takeoff weight: 139,200 kg (306,883 lb) no container
- Maximum landing weight:
- Powerplant: 4 × RKBM/Koliesov / Dobrynin VD-7MD turbojet engines, 105.45 kN (23,710 lbf) thrust each
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
- Antonov An-124
- Antonov An-225
- Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
- Boeing 747-8
- Airbus Beluga
- Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter
- History and details about the VM-T Atlant
- "VM-T Atlant (Bison B mod.) :: Ruslet".
- Rendall (1996). Jane's aircraft recognition guide. HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 189. ISBN 0-00-470980-2.
- Petrovitch, Vassili. "VM-T Atlant Caracteristics". www.buran-energia.com. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- This equates to a Buran with tail fairing
- Gordon, Yefim (2003). Myasishchev M-4 and 3M. Hinkley: Midland. pp. 93–108. ISBN 978-1-85780-152-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Myasishchev VM-T Atlant.|