Beriev Be-12 Chaika


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Beriev Be-12 Chaika

The Beriev design bureau, based at Taganrog on the Sea of Azov, has been the main supplier of marine aircraft to the Soviet Navy since 1945, most of its aircraft going to the Northern and Black Sea Fleets. The origins of the Be-12 go back to the LL-143 prototype of 1945, which led in 1949 to the Be-6 'Madge'. This latter twin-engined flying-boat served with success until 1967.

Following the Be-6, the Beriev team carried out a considerable amount of research into jet-powered flying-boats, producing the straight-winged R-1 of 1952 and the swept-wing Be-10 of 1960-1. The latter, powered by two Lyul'ka AL-7RVs (unaugmented versions of the Su-7 powerplant), established a number of seaplane records in 1961, but only three or four are believed to have been built.

The lessons learned in the design of the R-1 and Be-10, however, were incorporated in the design of a much improved flying-boat based loosely on the Be-6 and identified originally by NATO as a re-engined version of the older type. In fact, the Be-12, designated M-12 in AV-MF service, bears little more than a general resemblance to the Be-6, sharing only the gull-wing layout and twin tail of its predecessor. The greater power and lighter weight of the turboprop engines have permitted a forward extension of the hull, with a new planing bottorn similar to thai of the Be-10. The prominent spray suppressor around the bows of the Be-10 is also a feature of the turboprop aircraft. The most significant change, however, was the addicion of massive and sturdy rectractable landing gear, making the Be-12 amphibious and thus considerably more versatile than the earlier Beriev designs. The turreted gun armament of the Be-6 has been deleted, being replaced by MAD (magnetic anomaly detection) gear in the tail, above the tailwheel well, while tne search radar is carried in a long nose housing instead of the ventral retractable dustbin radome of the Be-6. One of the drawbacks of the high-wing layout, the excessive height of the engines above the ground, has been mitigated by the design of engine cowling panels which drop down to form strong working platforms.

The considerable weight-lifting capability of the Be-12 was demonstrated in a series of class records for amphibians set up in 1964, 1968 and 1970, suggesting a normal weapons load as high as 5000kg. The Be-12 can load on the water through large side hatches in the rear fuselage, and stores can be dropped through a watertight hatch in the hull aft of the step. Unlike land-based ASW platforms, a marine aircraft can, in reasonably calm conditions, settle on the water, and search with its own sonar equipment, rather than relying exclusively on sonobuoys. This assumes that the Be-12 has this capability.

With the increasing use of the Mil Mi-14 'Haze' ASW helicopter and the llyushin II-38 'May', there would seem to be a diminishing ASW role for the Be-12, although the type will certainly remain in service as a high-speed search-and-rescue (SAR) vehicle. It is also believed to have been used for mapping, geophysical survey and utility transport. By Soviet standards the type was not built in large numbers, only 95 being reported in service in the late 1980s.

Beriev Be-12 Chaika

 ENGINE2 x turbo prop AI-20D, 2940kW
  Take-off weight30000 kg66139 lb
  Wingspan33.0sq. m108 ft 3 in
  Length29.3 m96 ft 2 in
  Height8.0 m26 ft 3 in
  Max. speed650 km/h404 mph
  Cruise speed350 km/h217 mph
  Ceiling10500 m34450 ft
  Range w/max.fuel5500 km3418 miles
  Range w/max payload2870 km1783 miles
 ARMAMENT3000kg of weapons including nuclear bombs,

Beriev Be-12 ChaikaA three-view drawing (800 x 516)

kityo musa, e-mail, 03.08.2016 13:10

i have a client who wants MI-14 RV AMPHIBIAN HELICOPTER any one with it can email me on


Gene Kimzey, e-mail, 01.08.2016 05:14

Wife ID the photo as what she saw on 7-31-16 at El Paso International airport from the Airport Raddison. A mystery as to why its here.


Christiaan, e-mail, 18.10.2014 00:22

I just love this aircraft, ever since I first saw a picture of it back when I was a child… Never seen one for real, yet…


Bernhard C. F.K lein, e-mail, 07.08.2011 09:09

Somebody said UsA wo'nt let it fly in USA. Because it has
nosuch plane. So what!That's no reason to call American engineers stupid! USA has many types Russia doesn't have, but becaue of that, we don't call Russian engineers stupid!


William Kern, e-mail, 09.05.2010 23:27

I have some pdfs showing the gear arrangement in a set of four views. You should be able to work it out.
Leave email at and I will attach drawings.


Kiril, e-mail, 05.04.2010 01:17

I have one Be-12 for sale. Contact me for more information.


P.M. Upton, e-mail, 06.02.2009 06:22

Can anyone show the main landing gear retraction sequenceof the BE-12? I am building a model, and would like to have the option of gear up /down.


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