Yakovlev Skylifter was a proposed air-launched vehicle concept from the late 1990s.
Yakovlev Skylifter was proposed as a large twin fuselage aircraft that could carry a 900,000 – 1 million lb payload. To minimize development and construction costs, Skylifter was going to use existing components and structures. The design would have used modified landing gear from the Antonov An-225, the outer wing sections from an Antonov AN-124 and the cockpit, nose and forward fuselage from the Yakovlev Yak-40 airliner.
Features of the aircraft include:
– Twin boom assemblies support a pair of vertical stabilizers connected by a high-mounted horizontal stabilizer.
– Two tall vertical pods that would house the landing gear.
– The wing and fuselages would sit high above the runway.
The Skylifter design had immense potential for carrying cargo around the world and could have functioned as a Space Launch Vehicle Launcher carrying a large spaceplane (23 ft high by 79 ft wide) below the wing and between the twin fuselages.
Did you know?
* Antonov An-225 is currently the world’s largest aircraft and was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau for transporting the Soviet Space Shuttle Buran. It was an enlarged version of the An-124.
* In 1990s there were also proposals to use a version of the Antonov An-225 to launch the British HoTOL (Horizontal Take-Off and Landing).
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