Soviet K-7 bomber blots out the sun

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k7-bomber.jpgSecond and final in our series of posts today about very big things is this Soviet K-7 bomber, which dates from 1930s, before jet propulsion. As you can see by the tiny little people in the bottom right, this thing is vast – 28 metres long and 53m wing-to-wing. It weighed 38 tonnes when loaded.

It carried 120 passengers within wings which were 2.3m thick. Melded from chrome-molybdenum steel, the design originally called for six engines, but when built, a seventh had to be added. It first flew in August 1933, but crashed that November, killing 15 people. Two more were ordered, but the project was cancelled before they could be delivered.

(via Gizmowatch)

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Duncan Geere

16 comments

  • I cannot believe how big this thing is. This can definitely do some damage. I have never seen anything like it before. Orlando Managed services

  • I believe this is hoax. Color film was relatively new at that time. The color image quality was extremely poor. Kodak intoduced the first modern color film (Kodachrome) in 1935. I enlarged two of the 4 photos I saw on the internet. In the first one there are people getting ready to board through the pontoon. One of the men in the photo is wearing a bright purple (polo?) shirt with white shorts. In the right corner of the second photo I enlarged, one of the women is pulling a (modern)rolling suitcase behind her. The airplane appears to have very minimal fuselage, looking like just a large wing. I agree with one of the other posts about the canons, too large, too heavy.

  • it is a hoax….an internet scam that has been around for a while now. wikipedia has actual photos o the real K-7, which had a wingspan of (only) 174 ft.

    qsza8u

  • How could anyone believe that this plane was not real? Look at the crystal clear quality of the 1930’s era photography. Some computer twit needs to find a girl and quit playing with his imagination.

  • Naval gun turrets actually go deeply into the hull, almost to the keel. Also, they’re held in place by weight alone. The bottom one would fall out!

  • This isn’t a pic of the K7. The only known pics are quite bad and this one is obviously a Photoshop steam-punk behemoth, but quite cool anyway.

  • I think I remember the Lampoon feature (Bruce McCall illustrated)that was about failed Soviet aircraft designs. I loved the “SNUD” and another bird with a fold in fuselage (the plans had a crease in them but no one wanted to point that out to Commrade Commander for fear of being sent to Siberia.) This K-7 is a great looking beast but the battle ship guns and the women in mini-skirts with rolling luggage point out the power-to-weight ratio immpossibilities and photo-shop errors that indicate it could never fly and it wasn’t a picture from the 30’s.

  • This one is a Hoax! The real one was Designed by World War I aviator Konstantin Kalinin with a wingspan greater than a B-52’s and a much greater wing area, the K-7 was one of the biggest aircraft built before the jet age. It was only one engine short of the B-52 as well, having the curious arrangement of six pulling on the wing leading edge and one pushing at the rear.

    The K-7’s very brief first flight showed up instability and serious vibration caused by the airframe resonating with the engine frequency. The solution to this ‘flutter’ was thought to be to shorten and strengthen the tail booms, little being known then about the natural frequencies of structures and their response to vibration. On the 11th flight, during a speed test, the port tailboom vibrated, fractured, jammed the elevator and caused the giant aircraft to plough into the ground, killing 15.

    Undaunted by this disaster, Kalinin’s team began construction of two further K-7s in a new factory, but the vicissitudes of Stalin’s Russia saw the project abandoned, and in 1938 the arrest and execution of Kalinin on trumped up espionage and sabotage charges.As Quoted from….

    Jim Winchester “The World’s Worst Aircraft”, 2005

    3-View
    A three-view drawing (800 x 964)

    Specification
    CREW 12
    PASSENGERS 128
    ENGINE 7 x M34F, 550kW
    WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight 38000 kg 83776 lb
    Empty weight 24400 kg 53793 lb
    DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan 53.0 m 173 ft 11 in
    Length 28.0 m 91 ft 10 in
    Wing area 454.0 m2 4886.81 sq ft
    PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed 234 km/h 145 mph
    Cruise speed 180 km/h 112 mph
    Ceiling 4000 m 13100 ft
    Range 3030 km 1883 miles

  • My guess is this is a Bruce McCall illustration. He was an illustrator who contributed to The National Lampoon in the 1970s, often doing features of old car ads or fantastic aircraft. This is very reminiscent of his style.

  • I believe that’s a hoax. Carrying those naval guns makes no sense – they couldn’t be aimed accurately and the recoil would probably tear it apart. Also, when it lifted its nose for takeoff (which it would have to do to generate enough lift) all the weight would be on the rearmost wheels. If they can carry the weight, what are all the other wheels for? Finally, steel would be much too heavy.

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