Beriev Be-12P: A fair reflection.

The Be-12 turboprop amphibian was designed by the Beriev bureau as a successor to the their household Be-6 flying boat. For its predecessor the Be-12 inherited just the gull-wind configuration and tail feathers, being in fact a totally different aircraft. First flown in 1960, the duties envisaged for the Be-12 were mainly anti-submarine (ASW) and maritime patrol aircraft. Built in moderate numbers, in service these amphibians have proved to be both rugged and adaptable. A handful of them are still, barely, in service in Russia and Ukraine.

Magnificent photo taken at the Irkutsk Aviation Repair Plant 403 factory airfield in 2001. The well-worn RA-00041 is one of the just four Be-12’s converted into fire fighting “water-bombers”.

Photo: Richard Vandervord.


Mikoyan-Gurevich “MiG-19”: A Russian from Bremen.

The utterly magnificent Aurora Model’s MIG-19 model box cover circa 1955. Such was the lack of information about the first Soviet supersonic fighter the people of Aurora had to use their imagination quite wildly. Their “MiG-19” was only transonic and very German, a sort of Ta 183 spin-off. Granted, the Russians, and many others, used and abused of German technological know-how, but to use an almost carbon copy of a ten years old design pretending to pass it as the latest most advanced enemy fighter….

By the way, I have a sister called Aurora.