You can't miss Baikal, the huge cylinder with wings and an undercarriage that's on display near gate O. The 27m-long Baikal is the first stage of a Russian reusable satellite launcher designed to take off like a rocket and fly back to Earth like an aircraft after delivering its payload to low Earth orbit. The Baikal first stage carries 10t of propellant for the 196t-thrust RD191 first-stage engine. The stage will fly to an altitude of about 60km (38 miles) before the second stage separates and fires its motor, carrying a payload of up to 1.9t into orbit.

The vehicle will then spread its wings and fly back to Earth under the power of a forward-mounted RD33 jet engine of the kind that powers the MiG-29 fighter, making a conventional runway landing on an undercarriage borrowed from a Yak-42 passenger aircraft.

Khrunichev and Molniya hope that Baikal will make its maiden flight in 2004.

Source: Flight Daily News