TYPE: High-altitude aircraft

POWERPLANTS: 2 x D-30V12 turbofans

MISSION: The M-55 Geofizika high-altitude aircraft is designed for stratosphere research (at altitudes of up to 20 km), surveillance, and radio communications missions.
The M-55 can perform the following monitoring missions: atmospheric control, including vapour and aerosol contamination studies; water area control, including surface monitoring, fishery supervision, and waterway navigation control, including detailed mapping and evaluation of damage caused by catastrophes and natural disasters, by day and night, in conditions of poor visibility; support of search-andrescue operations, harvest forecasting, and aerial monitoring of construction sites.
The M-55 can fly six-hour-plus high-altitude missions with a 1,500-2,000kg equipment payload used for direct measurements and analysis of the ambient environment, as well as for remote chemical and microphysics research at a range of several kilometres. Within one hour the aircraft can monitor at least 100,000 sq.km.
The M-55’s unique altitude characteristics and excellent lifting capacity make it a valuable asset for high atmospheric research. Its two engines provide enhanced flight safety: with one engine failed the M-55 can continue flight at an altitude of 12-14 km and safely land at home base. The M-55 can be operated from airfields situated at up to 4,000 m above the sea level, in ambient temperatures of -40 to +60oC.

EQUIPMENT: The M-55 is a versatile high-altitude air platform with a wide mission scope. The overall volume of its equipment compartment equals 11 cu.m. Optional external containers can house extra 1.2 cu.m of equipment.
The aircraft’s baseline design and the capabilities of its systems and power plant ensure normal operation of radar, optical, and radio relay equipment sets.

Basic specifications  
Length, m 22.868
Wing span, m 37.464
Parked height, m 4.83
Max take-off weight, kg 24,500
Payload, kg up to 2,200
Cruising air speed, km/h 750
Service ceiling, m 20,500
Patrol endurance, hrs 6.0
Take-off run, m 970
Landing roll, m 820
Powerplant 2 x D-30V12 turbofans
Crew 1