The Bartini Beriev VVA-14 Vertikal`no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia ("Vertical Take-off Amphibious Aircraft") was a Soviet project aimed at producing an amphibious aircraft able to engage and destroy American Polaris missile submarines, which produced two prototypes between 1972 and 1987, when the remaining prototype was retired. It had a speed of 470 mph, which is enough to outrun all but a supersonic jet. Despite being designed for vertical takeoff, the fan allowing this was never fitted to either prototype. The VVA-14 utilized the wing-in-ground-effect (WIG), a phenomenon whereby an aircraft flying extremely low to the ground generates an air cushion beneath its wings, which can be used as a method of sustaining flight; this type of aircraft is known in Russia as an Ekranoplan.
The VVA-14 was another of the advanced vehicle projects that Colonel Volgin of GRU carried to completion much earlier than expected, using the massive funding of the Philosophers' Legacy. As such, it was far advanced beyond the Be-1 created and deployed in 1961. A number were seen on the main runway of Groznyj Grad (with at least one being destroyed by Volgin piloting the Shagohod) and one was later used by EVA and Naked Snake to make their escape from Tselinoyarsk, as its range ensured that they escaped not only the region, but the Soviet Union as a whole. The one EVA used was a prototype supplied to GRU, and it also had no weapons systems installed yet. In addition, they narrowly escaped Tselinoyarsk in the WIG, both due to engine problems (Ocelot shot out one of the engines in order to board the WIG for a final duel with Snake) and nearly being shot down by two MiGs.
Behind the scenes
The VVA-14's presence in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was an anachronism, although the game implied that they were created from Volgin's use of the Philosophers' Legacy.
The VVA-14 was originally going to have a slightly more major role in the game beyond being an escape craft for Snake and EVA, where it would have acted as the "Phase 2" of the Shagohod by merging with it in a similar manner to the titular characters from the Transformers franchise, but it was dropped for hovercraft technology and rocket boosters instead.
In the commentary, the scene where EVA and Snake pass under the WIG was mentioned to have been deliberately modeled after the sole photograph of the WIG ever published.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
EVA explains this to Snake in a radio conversation while he is sneaking around Groznyj Grad.
- ^ http://www.tentenpro.com/muni_shinobu/mgs3/commentary5.html
- ^ http://www.tentenpro.com/muni_shinobu/mgs3/commentary6.html