Re: Russian 'UFO' shaped plane? Anyone?

From:         clive@sco.com (Clive D.W. Feather)
Organization: Santa Cruz Operation
Date:         01 Jun 94 14:35:01 
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In article <2s4pfp$mh2@infa.central.susx.ac.uk> joek@cogs.susx.ac.uk (Joe Karthauser) writes:
>A friend of mine told me about a Russian(?) plane that he say on the news a
>few days ago. Aparently it can hold about 2000 people and looks like a
>flying saucer. Does anyone here know _anything_ about it, as if it's real
>it sounds quite interesting.

I saw this news item. As far as I can tell, it's a lifting body (that
is, a craft generating lift from the shape of its body rather than wings),
and they claim to have made some breakthrough that makes this practical.
There was film of a model flying, rather erratically, and of a prototype
under construction.

The inventors also said that the plane could fly anywhere, and would not
need a tarmac runway. I would presume that this would be uneconomic,
because the costs of additional or stronger landing gear would outweigh
the benefits. On the other hand, the prototype looked to be too wide to
fit standard runways (it *might* fit Heathrow's extra wide ones) because
of the width of the wheelbase. Then they started talking about water
landings.

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