Antonov An-12: Centuries, millenniums apart.

One of those photos -poor quality, sorry- you never forget; at least it’s my case. An Indian An-12 is seen landing at the harsh Leh high-altitude airfield (Ladakh Himalayas), 11,5554 ft above sea level. While these soldiers bring in a casualty by a yak.

This neat jewel brought me here. Perusing times in this muggy day. Superb Derek Bunce’s cover piece of art.

Sokol-K: Man in a Bubble.

This cosmonaut sealed in his early Sokol spacesuit has been identified as Yuri Romanenko, the commander of the Soyuz-26 mission, in some places. But I can’t find the resemblance. Looks to me more like Soyuz-26 back-up engineer Aleksandr Ivanchenkov (he flew on Soyuz-29).

An out of this miserable world photo anyway, taken by Albert Pushkarev, 1978.

Myasishchev M-17 Stratosphera: Resting Places (XXXV).

The M-17 was a sort of Soviet “U-2” employed as a civilian earth resources experimental aircraft. That was the end result, but its origins are more interesting. Believe it or not, this design started as the Subject 34, a high-altitude interceptor to counter the reconnaissance balloon used over the USSR by the US. That 1950s/60s spy program was long cancelled when the Subject 34 prototype made first flight in 1978. No problem, the design got rid of its intended gun and air-to-air missiles armament and left the military. Two conveniently modified M-17 were produced. They achieved a nice bunch of speed, altitude and rate of climb world records, a few of which still stand.

The bucolic end of the prototype (CCCP 17401) at the Monino AF Museum. Russians lovely derelicts.

Sukhoi S-26-2: Look, Ma !!!

The pair of S-26s built in 1963 were a further iteration of the soft-field performance tests undertook by the Sukhoi OKB with their Su-7. Unlike the previous S-23, these prototypes used a combination of wheel/ski undercarriage instead of the former’s ski-only landing gear. A double brake parachute (the S-26-1 only) and JATO boosters were also tried.

Soviet ruggedness to the T. This prototype survives at the monumental Monino AF Museum.

Mikoyan I-250: As unlucky as its number.

The I-250 (MiG-13) was Mikoyan’s answer to counter the menace posed at the end of WW2 by the latest German jet aircraft. With the USSR still behind in turbojet technology, this somehow classic looking fighter was powered by a mixed-power engine. The latter featuring a VRDK motorjet booster placed in the rear fuselage, its axial compresor driven via an extension shaft by a Klimov KV-107R cruise piston engine. The I-250 program proved to be a commendable effort, but somehow troublesome and unsuccessful in the end. Decent pure jet engines were already available. Only a dozen were built.

Racy yet stocky lines. I kinda like it.