MANUFACTURER(S): Beriev - Soviet Union
OPERATORS: Egypt; Russia; Soviet Union; Syria; Ukraine; Vietnam
LENGTH: 98.79 feet (30.11 meters)
WIDTH: 97.90 feet (29.84 meters)
HEIGHT: 26.05 feet (7.94 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 52,911 pounds (24,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 79,366 pounds (36,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-20D turboprop engines developing 5,180 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 329 miles-per-hour (530 kilometers-per-hour; 286 knots)
RANGE: 2,051 miles (3,300 kilometers; 1,782 nautical miles)
CEILING: 26,247 feet (8,000 meters; 4.97 miles)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail) Maritime Patrol / Reconnaissance Flying Boat.
Entry last updated on 8/7/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Beriev Be-12 "Mail" was a successful flying boat aircraft developed for the Soviet Navy as a replacement for its troublesome Be-10 "Mallow" series during the Cold War. It fulfilled the role of maritime patrol and reconnaissance and showcased a turboprop design over the former's turbojet arrangement. Like the Be-10 before it, the Be-12 went on to set several world aircraft records for an aircraft of this type. The series was available in prototype form in 1960, first unveiled to the public during 1961 and entered production soon afterwards. 143 of the type were produced in all with some still flying today (2014).
The Be-12 was powered by 2 x Ivchenko Progress AI-20D turboprop engines mounted high on a high-wing monoplane assembly. The wings were notably cranked upwards from the fuselage in a "gull-wing" type arrangement. As with other flying boat designs, the use of high-mounted wings aided in lift as well as clearing the engines from the surface of the water. To prevent tipping, pontoon floats were affixed under each wing. The Be-12 was typically crewed by four to six personnel. Beyond its water-based landing and take-off, it also held an inherent amphibious quality thanks to its wheeled undercarriage - a feature retained from the preceding Be-10 design. As such, it could function as a traditional land-based aircraft from prepared runways. Beyond that, the Be-12 accommodated a MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection) system in the tail, a radar housed in the nose section and a glazed observation position also in the nose.
Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail) (Cont'd)
Maritime Patrol / Reconnaissance Flying Boat
Dimensions included a length of 98.8 feet, a wingspan of 98 feet, and a height of 26 feet. Empty weight was listed at 52,800lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 79,200lb. Performance from the twin-turboprop engines included a maximum speed of 330 miles per hour, a range out to 2,100 miles and a service ceiling of 26,250 feet.
The Be-12 bettered the outgoing Be-10 - which it succeeded in Soviet Naval Aviation service - by improving its operational ranges. Its payload included up to 3,300lbs of externally-held stores in the form of torpedoes, depth charges, mines, or conventional drop bombs.
The series was exported to Egypt, Syria, and Vietnam while ex-Soviet stocks fell to the Ukrainians. Additionally, ex-Soviet Navy models were reconstituted into the reborn Russian Navy after the fall of the Soviet Empire in the early 1990s.
Where applicable, the appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Russian Ministry of Defense, Chinese Ministry of Defense or British Ministry of Defence visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement of this website (www.MilitaryFactory.com). Images marked with "www.MilitaryFactory.com" or featuring the Military Factory logo are copyrighted works exclusive to this site and not for reuse in any form.
Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (329mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units