35th largest aircraft: The Beriev Be-200 Albatross, also called the Altair is a large jet engined sea plane that was designed mainly for civilian duties.
The Be-200 Albatross was designed by Beriev to do civilian jobs such as rescue, law enforcement, cargo and passenger services, and fire fighting, but just from that, this aircraft has become an amazing figure as the design derives from the Ekroplan. When the Altair was in production a military version did come up. The design for the Be-200 was perfect for the Soviet navy and orders were quickly made for delivery, and the military version was born, the A-40, usually alled the Albatross, not Altair. The Albatross/Altair was not just a seaplane, it was amphibious, making it more qualified for missions and active military service. In recent days the A-40 has received upgrades for maritime patrol service, but despite this, the highly capable aircraft are expected to serve until the end of 2014 and the last four A-40's will either become museum peices or sold for scrap. The Be-200 on the other hand is still in service in many feilds and even performs in airshows recently, but the number of Altairs are decreasing at the same time. The design of the Albatross/Altair was derived from the Ekroplan and had two jet engines mounted on the top of the wing to prevent water and salt build up in the engines because it takes off from the water and has a large T-tail, as well as modern navigation systems and furnishings, and is kept updated commonly. This amazingly designed aircraft is dissapearing, but hopefuly the Be-200 will serve years longer then the A-40.
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