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Beriev Be-12 Chaika Mail

The Be-12 was an antisubmarine amphibious aircraft. First flight from water was made 18.10.1960. A turboprop-engined amphibian. The Be-12 is one of the last amphibians in military service. The Be-12 traces its origins back to the Be-6, but inherited little more than the concept of its gull wing and twin oval tailfins. Initially its role was ASW patrol, but when newer missiles enabled the USN submarines to stay further away from the coast, the Be-12 was converted to the Search & Rescue role (Be-12PS). Small numbers are still in service. The Be-12 is also operated by Vietnam, and for some years a number operated in Egyptian colors, but under Soviet control.

In the mid-1960s the design team led by GM Beriev established the new anti-amphibian aircraft Be-12. In October 1960, the new aircraft carried out its maiden flight. The machine is designed to replace the flying boats Be-6. Western media responded to the emergence of amphibians in the USSR. In particular, the magazine FLYUG Review", published in Germany in 1969, wrote:" Beriev created not only the largest armed amphibian aircraft, but also proved with this forward-looking machines the need for a flying boat. The Be-12 is a two-wing monoplane named "seagull". The "Seagull" certainly strengthened the power of the Soviet Navy Marine aviation. The Be-12 was the first native amphibian aircraft equipped with turboprop engines. The two AG Ivchenko motors (the same theater staged at the Il-18, IL-38, An-10 Antonov An-12 Antonov An-32) had an operating life of 4000 hours. To search for a submarine aircraft was located in the bow radar radome, and in the rear bar, made to remove impediments to tail, the sensor of magnetic anomalies.

Designing a dedicated turboprop aircraft for combating submarines began in March 1956 (SM USSR and the Order of the CPSU Central Committee of 28.03.1956). Preliminary design work was led by A.K.Konstantinov, under the overall management of work of general designer DB MS G. Beriev. The aircraft was given the designation Be-12 (manufacturer's mark - product "E"). Work progressed quickly and after 8 months the OKB was ready to mock-up the new aircraft. In August 1956, the Be-12 model was tested in the TsAGI wind tunnel. The first prototype aircraft was built with the help of aviation plant number 86 in late 1959 - early 1960. The first flight with a water surface of the prototype met the October 18, and the airport land - 2 November 1960.

The basis of the design was based on time-tested scheme of Be-6 with a "seagull" wing-type. Initially it was equipped with EDO N. Kuznetsov NK-4F engines with a takeoff power of 5000 hp. Later, this was replaced by AI-20 engine design A. Ivchenko. All combat loads were housed in fuselages compartment with watertight doors. But the provision was made for pylons and external cargo suspension. It could be movded to shore, using a wheeled chassis. To protect against the ingress of water the engines were put forward from the front edge of the wing. In the rear compartment was the auxiliary power unit AI-8 needed to start the engines. The design of airframe all-metal, with the exception of some linen covers. The boat is divided into 10 compartments with watertight bulkheads. If any two compartments are damaged, the buoyancy of the aircraft remains. Under the wings are installed floats for lateral stability.

The Be-12 was equipped with advanced [for its time] radio equipment to meet the challenges of navigation, instrumental landing in low visibility and night, as well as to search for submarines. For the detection of submarines, aircraft uses sonar system "Baku" (radiogidroakusticheskie buoys dropped three types), air magnetometers APM-56 radar Initiative-2B. To destroy submarines can be used torpedoes AT-1 and depth bombs (including nuclear SC-1 "scalp"). As the aircraft housed a large number of radio-electronic equipment to electricity Strict requirements. Be-12 was the first domestic flight with electricity from two independent sources of power with 100% reserve.

Series production was undertaken at the factory number 86 im. GM Dimitrov in Taganrog (now JSC "Taganrog Aviation"). The the first Be-12 was Issued 12 December 1963. Manufacturing continued until June 1973. Overall, except for 2 prototypes, there were produced 140 machines. On 29 November 1968 by order of Defense Minister, the Be-12 was adopted by the Navy. The first 2 serial aircraft reached the 33 Navy Aviation Training Center in autumn 1964. Then it started to absorb in the combatant forces of all fleets Soviet Union. For the establishment of an aircraft GM Beriev and a group of the EDO were awarded the State Prize of the USSR. The aircraft have repeatedly shown at air shows and parades.

Currently, some of the released aircraft continue to be in order. A total of 14 Be-12 were transferred to Ukraine. One of the first series aircraft on display in the Air Force Museum in Monino.

The Be-12 is still actively used by Russian maritime aviation. During operations it established 42 world records. Since 1992, it had been scheduled to start on the replacement of Be-12 at a much more modern aircraft of the same type A-40, but financial constraints left the question open. Despite the substantial age of Be-12 in the spirit of conversion efforts were beginning to use as passenger aircraft. In south-eastern region of Be-12 aircraft has become a favorite of drug traffickers and smugglers, that amphibians came after the Air Force several Warsaw Pact. Currently, the military aircraft is considered outdated.


  • Be-12PL - antisubmarine aircraft, the basic version of Be-12.
  • Be-12I - Amphibian for research purposes.
  • Be-12N (product "EN") - with advanced search and sighting system (pereoborudovalis of mass-produced vehicles since April 1976).
  • Be-12NH - transport. In 1993, converted 2 serial Be-12. Used in the Sakhalin Airlines' Pacific aviation. "
  • Be-12P - aircraft fire. In 1991-1993, produced by 3 aircraft modifications of the decommissioned Be-12. RF Government Decree number 620 of 01.06.94 included a reworking of firefighters have 8 Be-12, but the money has not been paid.
  • Be-12P-200 - flying laboratory for testing fire-fighting equipment of an aircraft Be-200. Be-12P-200 amphibian was designed at the BERIEV Aircraft Company on the basis of Be-12 production aircraft and was employed as a flying laboratory of Be-200 new generation aircraft and Be-12 amphibian modification aimed at firefighting operations. As a flying laboratory it is equipped with a special fire extinguishing system which has no principle differences with Be-200 amphibian system. The water scooping into the fire extinguishing system tanks can be performed in the sea, lakes and rivers area at the gliding speed close to the takeoff speed (0.9 - 0.97 of takeoff speed).The possibility of the tanks filling in the aerodromes is also provided. Be-12P-200 amphibian was tested in 1996, and for seasons of 1997-1998 it was successfully employed for the forest fire extinguishing in Irkutsk and Khabarovsk regions.
  • Be-12SK (Be-12S, a product "CEA") - an experienced, armed spetsboepripasom.
  • Be-12FS (product "EFS") - seasoned with engines AI-20DK.
  • Be-12EKO - aircraft environmental Intelligence (draft).
  • Be-14 (Be-12PS, the product "EPS") - Search and rescue of 33 victims. Built in 1965, 1 copy.
  • M-12 - a record. It has been 46 world records.
  • Product "3E" - aircraft lifeguard at 15-29 affected (Be-12 from the withdrawn weapons and special equipment). Constructed a series since 1971.

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