View Full Version : Abandoned Soviet shuttles Buran

21st Jul 2015, 11:24
I am not certain if this article was mentioned here but it is highly interesting...

Russia?s abandoned Soviet shuttles pictured rotting in derelict hangar | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3119861/Russia-s-forgotten-space-agency-Haunting-images-reveal-two-abandoned-Soviet-shuttles-rotting-giant-derelict-hangar.html)


21st Jul 2015, 13:17
There are a good few Buran around; there's one on display in Gorky Park, well known to visitors to Moscow. Some years ago they were charging a silly small fee to go round it.

15 Buran were built, in various incarnations. Five were actual space orbiters, but only one flew (unmanned) into space. Eight were used for ground work, one was a simulator, and one was a wooden mock-up. There is a third one somewhere at Baikonur besides these two. Only one of these is orbiter standard (looking at these photos, the rearward one), and a second orbiter was destroyed there when a hangar collapsed under snow on the roof.

More are in Moscow. The other three of the actual orbiters were at Tushino, but apparently are to an extent broken up, along with the simulator. Elsewhere in Moscow there's one at Zhukovsky, and the one in Gorky Park. Nearest to western Europe is one at the engine factory in Kaliningrad, it was the pioneer used for piggyback flying.

Very interesting set of photographs. Thank you for the link.

Good Vibs
21st Jul 2015, 18:35
How about this one, OK-GLI, on display in Speyer, photo from 10 May 2014



Robert Cooper
22nd Jul 2015, 02:34
Well, that looks sort of familiar! :cool:

Bob C

John Farley
22nd Jul 2015, 11:34
Well, that looks sort of familiar

Agreed except for the wing aerofoil section, the wing plan form, the aerodynamic controls and the engines for use on the approach.


Genghis the Engineer
22nd Jul 2015, 21:25
The entirely automated flight controls, blanket (instead of tiled) heatshield...


23rd Jul 2015, 05:09
engines for use on the approachJohn, my understanding is that the engines were used to get the aircraft airborne during test (runway take off at Baikonur), and then cut at altitude to make a glide approach. Object was to obtain handling data and 24 flights were made. Not intended to be included on the real thing.

Genghis the Engineer
23rd Jul 2015, 07:22
That is correct, as opposed to the American approach of dropping it off the back of a 747 and gliding it in.

But, I agree entirely with John's real point - that the Russians were their own engineers, and Buran is an original design that just happens to look a bit like the Orbiter. It wasn't a copy - some politician may have said "do a Space Shuttle, like NASA's", but that's about the level of genuine copying.

Had it had the chance, it might even have proved itself a better system.

Early 90s, I spent some quality time in a Soviet design bureau, they really were very good at what they did - and that wasn't ripping off foreign designs.


joy ride
23rd Jul 2015, 07:34
I saw these photos a while back but worth a 2nd look, cheers!

As with aircraft, cars and so many other products, similar requirements will often produce similar looking results.

23rd Jul 2015, 10:22
not sure if this is true but I did read once that the Energia rocket had all of the intelligence built in for handling lift off to orbit including all abort scenario's.

kind of makes sense so that the Buran only had to be piloted in either reaching orbit or after emergency separation

John Farley
23rd Jul 2015, 13:13

You may be right. I don't really know. I only made the comments after talking to the Russians who took one to Paris. They were the 225 crew though so may have not known what they were talking about.


23rd Jul 2015, 14:07
Many years ago I flew with a pilot who had previously done atmospheric tests with the engined Buran model. We did a Buran-profile descent in a MiG-25. I think it was 19 degrees: it was quite something.

Good Vibs
25th Jul 2015, 11:40
Here is a link about the history of the Buran.
Also a good description of the Speyer example and how they acquired it.
Talk about a Museum moving mountains!

Buran Built models OK-GLI Bahrein Technik Museum SPEYER (http://www.buran-energia.com/bourane-buran/bourane-modele-gli-technik%20museum%20sinsheim%20speyer.php)