Strange Vehicles: Antonov A-40 “Flying Tank”


Antonov A-40 Russian flying tank

The Antonov A-40 Krylya Tanka – which in Russian means “Tank Wings” – was a prototype aircraft/light tank combination developed by the Soviets during the dark days of the Second World War.

The Antonov A-40 was a glider, not a powered aircraft. The idea was that a large, powerful transport aircraft would tow the A-40 into the air and to the battlefield where it would glide down to the ground with the crew already aboard. Once on the ground, the wooden wings and tail booms would be quickly unbolted and the tank would operate like any other.
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Video: 500-ton Russian Hovercraft invades busy beach


Russian Hovercraft invades beach

Russian sunseekers happily relaxing on Mechnikovo beach, near Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, had their peace and quiet rudely disturbed by a 500-ton Zubr-class military hovercraft – currently the largest hovercraft in the world. The Zubr-class of hovercraft is quite frankly massive. Within its 400 square meter cargo area it  can carry three main battle tanks, or 500 troops. It has a range of armament including missile launchers, rocket launchers and a whole load of very nasty machine guns. In short, not what you want to see when you’re sitting around in Speedos.

Apparently when this particular Zubr came ashore a whole load of marines jumped out and began to order everyone off the beach. Reports suggest the marines were less-than-polite in the way they asked people to leave. Although to be fair, trying to drive a 500-ton hovercraft over them was probably worse.
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Video: Tricky Overtake – I bet you can’t do it again!


Subaru Impreza spin

Russian dashcams don’t just capture massive rocks falling from space, tanks pulling out in front of you, manhole covers exploding, and ejecting truck drivers. They also record more boring events. Like simple parking maneuvers and this, your standard overtake.

But of course things aren’t quite that simple. The icy conditions clearly got the upper hand of this not-so-cautious Subaru driver who obviously thought his AWD Impreza was capable of handling a bit of slush. Well it wasn’t.
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Video: This is why you shouldn’t stand behind learner drivers trying to park


parking accident in Russia

This video actually teaches us two thing. Firstly don’t stand behind learner drivers who are trying to reverse. And secondly choose your friends wisely.

This incident, which took place somewhere in Russia, shows a young woman trying to park her car in a crowded parking lot. After repeatedly failing in her simple mission, one of her friends steps out of the car and tries to help guide her in. That’s where it starts to go very wrong.
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Video: Russian Road Rage – Nobody Wins Edition


Russian pit maneuver

The humble dashcam has captured many crazy moments over the years. Russia seems to provide a rather substantial proportion of the crazy/stupid/weird/funny stuff that is caught on tape. This is another fine example.

Today’s protagonists are a unidentified grey hatchback and a white Lada of some sort? The Lada driver with the dashcam passes the hatchback on what appears to be the inside lane before more than likely cutting him off as he passes another car in the right-hand lane. Not the kindest maneuver to do to your fellow driver, but one which most seasoned motorists can brush off fairly easily. Not so grey hatchback man. He gets in front of the Lada and starts braking, swapping lanes to block him in, and just generally causing danger and annoyance, all at highway speeds.
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AutoVAZ Lada Xray concept


AutoVAZ Lada Xray concept

At this year’s Moscow Motor Show, Russian automaker AvtoVAZ unveiled a concept vehicle developed for their Lada brand. The Lada Xray concept was created by Steve Mattin, British-born former Mercedes-Benz and Volvo designer who is now Head of Design at AutoVAZ.

The Lada Xray’s main success comes from the fact it doesn’t really look like a Lada. It actually looks like somebody has spent more than five minutes at the drawing board trying to come up with something that people might find appealing. I’m not saying its amazing. But it’s amazing for Lada.

The prominent X-shaped grille/headlight arrangement is set to become a feature on all future Lada models. It’s also, quite obviously, where the concept gets its name.
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Dartz Nagel Dakkar Luxury Off-Roader


Dartz Nagel Dakkar

Dartz is a Latvian company unparalleled in the world of automotive manufacturing. Not because of their quality or performance. But because of their willingness to develop vehicles nobody else dares create. The company has equally eagerly absurd plans for their latest vehicle, the Dartz Nagel Dakkar.

Now I’m not trying to mock Dartz, this is genuine information gleaned from their official press release for the vehicle. Dartz say the Nagel Dakkar is the first vehicle in a new class; BNUDS. BNUDS is an acronym for Bespoke Noble Urban Desert Safety. Yes really. What Dartz are really trying to say is the Nagel Dakkar is a tailor-made luxury off-roader.
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Video: The Art of Russian Road Rage


Russian road rage

Driving in Russia is an activity fraught with danger. If the roads themselves aren’t trying to kill you, then you have to contend with out of control truck drivers, suicudal supercar drivers, and crazy old men with their ‘flying cars’. Add to that the fact many road users are armed and impatient and you’ve got the perfect recipe for carnage. It’s refreshing therefore to see a bit of Russian road rage which is beautifully planned, and almost comical in nature.

I’m not taking sides here. To be honest both drivers seem a little out of line. The driver of the car is in the wrong for not allowing the SUV some space and forcing them to sit dangerously in the opposite lane. While the driver of the SUV should maybe have checked in the rear-view mirror and spotted that the guy with the dashcam had left enough space for him to slot in there. Blame sits at roughly the 50/50 mark. But it’s what happens next that’s genius.
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Video: Russian Truck Driver Ejects Just Before Impact


truck driver jumps out

Ahh Putin-land – otherwise known as Russia – the land of ninja manhole covers and bonkers supercars. During the cold war both America and Russia developed high-tech military hardware at a frightening rate. One area it seems Russia was ahead, was in the fitting of ejector seats to commercial vehicles. Something which came in handy for this driver who was able to exit his vehicle milliseconds before impact.

Of course that’s all BS. What really saved this guy was the fact he threw himself out of the truck and was fortunate enough to survive the high-speed fall. Not only survive, but get up within seconds and walk away.
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