||The M-55 Geophysica is a dual turbofan
aircraft produced by Myasishchev Design Bureau (MDB). The
aircraft can carry heavy payloads of the order of 1500
kg. M-55 can operate at an altitude up to 21-22 km for
about 5-6 hours. The cruise ground speed is about 750
km/h. M-55 has various bays where the instruments can be
installed. The main bay is longer than 5 meters and very
large instruments can be installed. The aircraft has a
large reserve of electrical power for the instrumentation
(60 KVA at 115 VAC and 3 KW at 27.5 VDC).
necessary for the science mission, are regularly recorded by the
The maximum runway length required is less than 1000 meters
(typical 860/910 m) with a maximum take off weight of 24.000 Kg.
The M-55 is an all-weather aircraft. The ER2 and the M-55 Geophysica are the only
operational stratospheric research aircraft in the world at the
present time. The M-55 Geophysica exceeds the ER2 capabilities in
payload, power supply, manoeuvrability and is less dependent on
the ground conditions. The ER-2 would not be able to make
measurements in small lee wave PSCs because it could not perform
the necessary vertical up and down manoeuvres.
It has been presented to the Western scientific community and to
the international press in several occasions: during the 2
Workshop ESF-APE in Rome in November 1993, during the
international Aviation Show in Berlin in June 1994, and finally
at the Aviation Show in Farnborough, United Kingdom, in 1994.