About the Design
During the 1990s, the Russian Federation -- or, more specifically, Russia's Molniya Space Corporation -- attempted to develop a reusable spacecraft system to compete with America's space shuttle. One of these shuttle-like ships wasthe two-person MAKS spaceplane that resembled the shuttle but was significantly smaller. Two launch configurations were proposed for the Molniya spaceplane: one involved an airborne launch from atop an Anatov 225 cargo transport, the other was a conventional stack system incorporating Russia's heavy-lift Energia booster.
About the Kit
This model from Russia's STC/Start was part of that company's extensive collection of 1:288 Soviet and Russian launch vehicles. STC/Start first released a kit of the air-launched MAKS orbiter in 2001, then, perhaps as an afterthought, stuck their MAKS atop one of their stock Energia booster models for this 2002 kit. In studying this model, critics have voiced skepticism over whether the connecting collar on the MAKS' tail could, in fact, support the weight of the 18,400 kg spacecraft.
this model was built from the kit's original issue.