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:D, This is one of the 2 Ant-26's built (from memory). This one is the first of the 2, the second had uprated engines and was able to make do with the 6 leading edge engines thus saving the weight of the 2 upper engines. These aircraft had an APU capable of supplying standard 230V AC power for running things like an outside movie theatre and a printing press (which could be operated while airborn) as well as its own internal telephone exchange. They were flown all over the USSR as part of the "Agitats Escadrille". Basically they were a tool of the central party propaganda machine and they would arrivce at a village or town, have a meal with the locals and then set up the outside big screen and show movies of both a political and non-political nature. At the end of the night the gear would be packed back into the aircraft and the crews would sleep aboard and in the morning after breakfast they would take off to the next destination. The fuselage of the second of these giants ended her days in a childrens' playground in Moscow during the GPW and was I believe scrapped after the war ended.

Just as an aside the "air hoodlum's" name was Blagin and after this incident any form of hoodlum behaviour came to be known in the USSR as "Blaginism".

:cheers:,

Ross.

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:D,

Just a couple of other points about the aircraft themselves. The APU was also able to supply aircraft voltage, I guess in those days 12V DC and could be used to provide aircraft services and battery charging while the movies were being shown. Also I mentioned the weight of the 2 upper engines being saved on the second aircraft; I forgot about the extra drag of these and their pylons in my first post.

:cheers:,

Ross.

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