Real Life Heli-Carrier - The INCREDIBLE Six Rotor Yakovlev VVP-6

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The USSR had a big problem in the 1960s, and when I say big, I mean bigger than any other country in the world. Because the terrortiy was so vast, they required a way to keep their borders secure - and considering that during that time the US was infiltrating their airspace consistently with u-2 spy planes, the soviets needed to stop stickybeaks.

but the issue with fixed airbases or other conventional solutions, like surface-to-air missile bases, was that they couldn't be everywhere at once. Helicopter design had the flexability to fly long range, at a moments notice and land any where, Alas, the soviet union didn't have a helicopter platform big enough.

Thus the government turned to its various aviation ministries to come up with a solution. Enter, project GDP-6.

Started by the Yakovlev bureau, Project GDP-6 proposed the construction of a heavy multi-rotor helicopter designed to carry special payloads.

And boy do we have to talk about just how insane this 'aircraft was that they came up with', if you can even call it that.

Its official name, like all things USSR, was simply called the VVP-6, and would have a very basic elongated shape 49 meters long, and 6 meters wide. In the nose was a cockpit, either piloted by two crew members, or computerised depending on the role of the aircraft - such as missile launching. It would have a square fuslage throughout, and allow it flexibility in cargo carrying capacity.

This wasn't airdynamic, and would fly like a brick, but you bet with six rotors, fuel consumption was the least concern on their minds. While we don't know for sure, we can estimate that its carrying capacity was in the region of 45-50 tonnes - based on the prospective cargo it was pitched with.

to do this it would be powered by 24 tubrofan engines, with 12 on each side and four motors each, that would in turn active six contra-rotors. In simple terms, they would rotate in different directions to prevent the aircraft being pushed in the wrong direction and fly staight. The six blades of the rotors were deliberatly short, as to not interfer with the cargo stored on the main tray - which i'll get to in a moment.

Its range could be modifyied by adding more fuel tanks to the bed of the 'car', and the helicopter could turn depending on the individual speed of each rotor - negating the need for a tail. The landing gear could be stowed and retracted when not in use

Part of the advantage of this design was in fact that the vvp-6 could carry and even use existing surface to air missiles, such as the V-750 or Guideline SA-2 missiles. It could story six for transport, or at a moments notice, launch them, even while in the air. Although more accurately it would bunker down in a remote forest and track the unsuspecting western spy planes above up to a range of 40km away or to an altitue of 30km or shy of 100,000 feet.

The various systems for launching, such as radar, missile control and rearming, were stored in the front cabin of the helicopter or built into the fuslage. Apparently the design said it could store additional missiles, but a casual look makes us confused where they would be stored.

But why stop there? the wacky engineers who came up with this concept had even more insane plans for this design.

The aircraft was also designed to carry more than just rockets, with futher varients planned to carry troops into battle, resupple runs, cargo transport around regional areas, and even as a base for vtol fighter jets.

Operationally, the vvp-6 wouldn't operate on its own, but in a team with several taking on the role of missile launchers, others carrying control operators and some sporting large radars. If there were some VTOL fighters, they would be used to defend the sites as well as run interference against bomber escorts.

The program was a big success, and had several huge advantages. For one, the VVp-6 could fly anywhere making it uttly superior to ground based sam sites. it is easy to imagine how fast the helicopter could go to a remote position and how to overtake the s-75 on regular machines trawling over the remote landscape. Carrying more rockets, and its mobility would render current sam technology obsoulte overnight.

With the cancellation of the yak-38 vtol aircraft, and the obvious flaws of using it as a flying sam site, the program didn't get any futher than wind-tunnel tests.

The original project hypertetically solved the operational task with flying colours, but making it a relaity proved to be too much, and was considered hopeless. The beauro didn't get permission to take the design futher and was sleved deep within the kremlin until well after the fall of the USSR.
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