Modelsvit – 72055 – M-55 “Geophysica” research aircraft

M-55 “Geophysica” research aircraft

In 1962, Myasischchev Design Bureau started work on development of
high-altitude interceptor, as a countermeasure to the US reconnaissance
balloon’s program. Results of design works evaluated in M-17 aircraft, which made it’s
maiden flight in 1982 when the reconnaissance balloon theme was not relevant
anymore. In that regard, Myasischchev Design Bureau decided to revise M-17’s
airframe in order to develop new high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, named
M-55. In fact, M-55 “Geophysica” (NATO reporting name: Mystic-B) became entirely
new airplane. Instead of RD-36-51V jet engine, a pair of more fuel-efficient
D-30-V12 jet engines were installed. Due to that reason, the whole airplane
aerodynamic and construction scheme was revised. M-55 appeared to have twin
boom fuselage. Many changes were applied in wing and tail design. The landing
gear was the only structural unit without modifications in it.M-55 made its maiden flight on 16th Aug 1988. In total, four aircrafts of the type have been build:  2 experimental machines and 2 pre-series
ones.After collapse of USSR, M-55 remained in services, performing research
roles. It’s civil “debut” was made on “MosAeroShow-92” exhibition. In 1993,
M-55 flew to Italy, where was used as a test- bed of advanced scientific
equipment. Few years later, it took participation in international observation
of Arctic atmosphere.M-55 set 15 FAI word records for its class.

Currently only one flying aircraft stay in
service.

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