Beriev A-40

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A-40 Albatros (Be-42)
Beriev A-40 Gelendzhik 2Sept2004.jpg
Beriev A-40 at Gelendzhik, 2004
Role ASW amphibian
Manufacturer Beriev
First flight 8 December 1986[1]
Status Ordered into production
Primary user Russian Naval Aviation
Number built 2
Developed into Beriev Be-200

The Beriev A-40 Albatros (also Be-42, NATO reporting name: Mermaid) was a jet engine powered amphibious flying boat designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company for the anti-submarine warfare role. Intended as a replacement for the Beriev Be-12 amphibian and the land-based Ilyushin Il-38,[2] the project was suspended after only one prototype had been manufactured, with second 70% completed,[3] due to the breakup of the Soviet Union.[4] The project was later revived and an order has been placed by the Russian Navy[citation needed].


The maiden flight was unplanned; during a high-speed taxi test, the airplane became airborne and ran out of runway, with the crew being forced to continue the takeoff. The subsequent flight and landing went without further incident, but the test crew were downgraded from their duties afterwards, despite having saved the aircraft.

On 5 September 2008 the deputy commander of Russian Naval Aviation, Maj.Gen. Nikolai Kuklev, announced that the A-42 is to be adopted as a main SAR and anti-submarine aircraft of the Russian Navy, and a provisional contract for four SAR-outfitted aircraft has been awarded to the company, with deliveries to start in 2010. All four aircraft were expected to be in service by 2013. A contract to replace the aging fleet of Be-12 and Il-38 aircraft is under consideration.[5]


A Beriev A-40 at the 1996 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford

The A-40 was a jet-engined flying boat patrol bomber of all-metal construction with the engines located above the wing roots, atop each of the main landing gear nacelles at the rear of each wing root. The swept wings had a marked anhedral angle, with balance floats attached by short pylons directly under each wingtip.

Operational history[edit]

Between 1989 and 1998, the Beriev A-40 set 140 world records.[6]



Initial ASW amphibian. 1 prototype built (second is 70% completed).


Projected upgrade to the initial version, utilising a new search and targeting system.[7]


Initially a projected aerial firefighting version, able to scoop 25 tonnes (28 tons) of water and transport a team of firefighters.[8] Later the same designation was used for a projected maritime patrol aircraft in direct competition with the Tupolev Tu-204P.[9]

A-40PM (also known as Be-40P)

A projected civil version developed in 1994. Intended to carry 105 passengers, an export version with CFM engines was also offered. These studies led to the development of the Beriev Be-200.[10]


A projected cargo/passenger version designed to carry 70 passengers, 10 tonnes (11 tons) of cargo or 37 passengers and up to 6.5 tonnes of cargo.[10]
External image
A-42 on water

A-42 (also known as Be-42)

A Search and rescue version designed to replace the Beriev Be-12PS, in response to the K-278 disaster. Construction of a prototype began, but was suspended in 1993. Studies are currently[when?] being made of a joint A-42/44 multi-role version, fitted with Progress D-27 propfans.[11]


Maritime patrol version designed in tandem with the A-42 before the projects were merged into a multi-role aircraft in 1993.[11]


Projected maritime patrol and SAR version intended for export. Powered by two Progress D-27 propfans.[12]

Specifications (A-40)[edit]

Data from Beriev's Jet Flying Boats[13]

General characteristics


  • Takeoff distance (Land): 1,000 m (3,280 ft)
  • Takeoff distance (Water): 2,000 m (6,560 ft)
  • Landing distance (Land): 700 m (2,300 ft)
  • Landing distance (Water): 900 m (2,950 ft)
  • Maximum wave height: 2 m (6.5 ft)

Projected Armament:

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists



  1. ^ Although the aircraft first flew on 8 December 1986, the official first flight was conducted during April 1987. (See development section)
  2. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, p. 49.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, p. 66.
  5. ^ RIA Novosti news agency – Russian Navy to receive 4 new amphibious planes by 2013
  6. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, pp. 63–66.
  7. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, pp. 66–67.
  8. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, p. 69.
  9. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, p. 67.
  10. ^ a b Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, p. 70.
  11. ^ a b Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, pp. 70–73.
  12. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, pp. 73–74.
  13. ^ Gordon, Sal'nikov and Zablotskiy 2006, pp. 49, 58, 66, 67.
  14. ^ a b c Lambert 1993, pp. 256–257.


  • Yefim Gordon, Andrey Sal'nikov and Aleksandr Zabotskiy (2006) Beriev's Jet Flying Boats. Hinckley, UK: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-236-5
  • Lambert, Mark (1993). Jane's All The Worlds Aircraft 1993–94. Coudsdon, UK: Janes's Data Division. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
  • Rendall, David (1995). Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide. Glasgow, UK: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 505. ISBN 0-00-470980-2.