Zoom to Zenith highlights the unique solutions to the problems of flight and space exploration developed and honed in the Soviet-era Ukraine (and after), such as bush planes, heavy cargo planes, military transports, rockets and satellites. Ukraine has been a global centre of excellence in the aviation and aerospace industry for over half a century.
The exhibit consists of specially produced presentation models from the Antonov Design Bureau in Kyiv, as well as the KB-Pivdenne Design Bureau in Dnipropetrovsk. The life of Russian-born aircraft designer Oleg Antonov is also presented.
Oleg Antonov’s Designs and Innovations
Winnipeggers will be familiar with the unusual (and extremely large) Antonov aircraft which can be seen on our airport’s runways from time to time. The Antonov AN 124 has a wingspan of 240 feet and a nose-to-tail length of 227 feet – large enough to hold a wind turbine blade (as shown in the picture above) or a 109-ton locomotive. It’s one of the largest aircraft in the world and it’s among the most well-known aviation innovations developed in Ukraine. Another example is Antonov’s experimental 1942 flying glider tank, made to be air dropped into battlefields. On its one and only flight, the flying tank was released from a powerful tow plane and the glider pilot maneuvered it to a smooth landing where he got out, detached the wings and drove the tank back to base, proving it worked!