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Beriev Be-200 Altair

Russia (2003)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Beriev Be-200 Altair Amphibious Flying Boat Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 10/24/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Beriev Be-200 Altair  
Picture of Beriev Be-200 Altair Amphibious Flying Boat Aircraft

The Beriev Be-200 Altair is a further development of the late-Soviet-era Be-42 Albatros line.

The Beriev Be-200 "Altair" is based on the Cold War-era Beriev A-40 "Albatros", a twin-engined amphibious aircraft capable of landing and taking off from water or a runway. Two of the militarized version were procured by the Russian Navy during the 1980s. First flight of a multirole, civilian-variant occurred on September 24th, 1998 for use in firefighting, general cargo transport, passenger hauling, maritime patrol and Search And Rescue (SAR) services. To date, nine of the Be-200 have been manufactured under the Irkut brand label. The Be-200 is currently (February 2014) used by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergencies as well as the Russian Ministry of emergency Situations. It is under order for the Russian Ministry of Defence.

The true amphibious qualities of the Be-200 allow the aircraft to come to rest on water sources. As a firefighting platform, this facilitates the need to take on water stores and then return over a contested fire. In the same way, the aircraft is able to land on water to rescue downed airmen or civilians when otherwise a rescue helicopter would have to be called in.

The aircraft is crewed by two and can seat as many as 72 when outfitted in the passenger transport role. Her cargo-carrying capacity sits at 16,500lbs. Up to 26,450lbs of water volume can be taken on. Overall dimensions include a length of 105 feet, a wingspan of 107.6 feet and a height of 29 feet. Her design includes a boat-like fuselage doubling as a waterborne hull with the flight deck set at the extreme front end of the aircraft. Wings are purposely high-mounted along the sides of the fuselage to promote better lifting qualities. Pontoons are affixed to the outer edges of the wings, just short of each wingtip. The engines are also high-mounted to help clear water spray and consist of 2 x Progress D-436To turbofan installations rated at 16,535lbs of thrust each unit. The tail unit is a T-style arrangement with high-mounted horizontal planes set atop a single vertical tail fin. When at rest on land, a conventional three-legged, wheeled undercarriage is used.

The Be-200 features a maximum speed of 435 miles per hour with a cruise speed nearing 350 miles per hour. Range is out to 1,300 miles with a full ferry range of 2,000 miles. Rate-of-climb is listed at 3,350 feet per minute.

Be-200 is used to designate the base model offered as a multirole airframe capable of modification suit various roles. The Be-200ChS (Be-200ES) is a modified variant for the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. The Be-200E is offered as a version with English instrumentation over the original Russian lettering (Be-200ES). Be-200RR is a proposed variant to be outfitted with Western-friendly Rolls-Royce engines to help broaden the type's marketing appeal outside of the Russian sphere of influence. The Be-210 is a proposed passenger airliner model. Similarly, the Be-220 is a proposed dedicated maritime patrol variant for over-water service. There is also a reported Be-200PS model variant.

January 2017 - Emercom of Russia has received its first example of the Be-200S amphibious aircraft.
Beriev Be-200 Altair Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2003
Status: Active, Limited Service
Type: Amphibious Flying Boat Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Irkut / Beriev - Russia
Production: 10
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 104.99 ft (32 m)
Width: 107.61 ft (32.80 m)
Height: 29.20 ft (8.90 m)
Empty Weight: 60,848 lb (27,600 kg)
MTOW: 90,390 lb (41,000 kg)

Installed Power
2 x Progress D-436TP turbofan engines developing 16,535lb of thrust each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 435 mph (700 kph; 378 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,305 mi (2,100 km; 1,134 nm)
Service Ceiling: 26,247 ft (8,000 m; 4.97 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 3,350 ft/min (1,021 m/min)


Operators List
Azerbaijan; Kazakhstan; Russia; Thailand (planned); Vietnam (planned)

Series Model Variants
• Be-200 - Base Series Designation; base production model.
• Be-200ChS - Multirole emergency services model for use by the Russian Military of Emergency Situations.
• Be-200E - Variant with English cockpit instrumentation.
• Be-200RR - Proposed variant outfitted with Rolls-Royce powerplants.
• Be-210 - Proposed passenger airliner
• Be-220 - Proposed maritime patrol platform