Myasishchev M-55 Geophysica

The Soviet Union Myasishchev M-55 Geophysica is a high altitude reconnaissance aircraft with a twin boom fuselage and tail surface design. It is a development of the M-17.

On September 21, 1993, an M-55 piloted by Victor Vasenkov from Akhtubinsk airfield reached a class record altitude of 21,360 m (70,078 feet). (The M-55 being in a heavier class than the M-17) The M-55 set a total of 15 FAI World Records, all of which still stand today.

Developing nation: Soviet Union.
Manufacturer: Myasishchev Design Bureau.
Production Lines: .
Type aircraft: high altitude reconnaissance aircraft.
First flight: 26 May 1982.
Status: five aircraft were built.

Specifications (M-55)

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Payload: 1,500 Kg (3,300 lb)
  • Length: 22.86 m (75 ft)
  • Wingspan: 37.46 m (122 ft 10¾ in)
  • Height: 4.8 m (15 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 131.6 m2 (1417 ft2)
  • Aspect ratio: 10.6
  • Empty weight: 13,995 kg (30,853 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 24,000 kg (54,013 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Aviadvigatel PS-30-V12 turbofans, 98 kN (22,000 lbf) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 750 km/h (466 mph)
  • Range: 4,965 km (3,085 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 21,500 m (70,500 ft)
  • Endurance: 6 hours 30 minutes

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar