It is usually North Korea that is in the headlines when we hear some ridiculous news, like flying to the sun and back in one night. This time it is Russia that is trying to grab the world’s most ridiculous headline with their proposed new super airplane. The Kremlin propaganda outfit RT cites design specifications from Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission, the new PAKTA transport plane will have the ability to fly at supersonic speed while carrying massive amounts of cargo. While this would be really cool, and maybe possible if the best heads in the world got together, it’s highly unlikely that Russia can pull something like this off.
Russia wants to upgrade their air fleet that mostly consists of Soviet-era aircrafts and dedicated $130 billion through 2020 for this. The PAKTA is part of this and the next-generation carrier is touted as being able to travel at supersonic speeds, carry up to 200 tons of cargo, and have a range of 4,350 miles. But it would also need a massive amount of fuel and long runways, which would limit the airports it can land on. It would also need a very wide wingspan, making it an easy target for enemy fighters.
The payload capacity of 200 tons is 80 tons more than the US’ largest cargo plane, the C-5 Galaxy. Another thing that stands out is the hybrid engines. The main engine is gas powered, but it also has two electrical turbines. While electrical motors are making a leap forward in the automobile industry, they are far from suited for aircraft use. It will be interesting to see if Russia can pull this off, or if it’s just a front to funnel a lot of funds into a private company.
Thanks to Business Insider for providing us with this information