The Beriev Be -12 Chaika ( Seagull, Russian Бериев Бе -12 Чайка, NATO reporting name: Mail, German Post) is a large, military amphibious flying boat, that is, it can come down on the water and at the same time also has a retractable landing gear for landings on solid ground. It was developed as a maritime patrol aircraft for maritime and coastal surveillance, search for mineral resources, for submarine hunting and search and rescue.
The Be -12 first flew in 1960 and was presented a year later on the air parade in Moscow Tushino the public. From the second half of the 1960s it was incorporated in the Soviet Seefliegerkräften and replaced while the Be - 6, which was superior to them due to their improved range, and of turboprop engines. A visual feature was the long MAD tail sting, which was used for locating submerged submarines. A total of about 150 machines have been built. The Central Museum of the Air Forces of the Russian Federation in Monino, a Be -12 be visited.
From 23 to October 27, 1964 a total of six height world records were flown with various payloads of a Be -12 with a crew under M. Mikhailov.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union a number of aircraft were converted to water bombers Be -12P. Plans to exist under the name of Be -18 since the 1960s, but were not implemented. Four former Marine aircraft were thus rebuilt in the first half of the 1990s. The military equipment was removed to the radar and replaced by water tank in the fuselage with a capacity of six cubic meters. Water is taken in on the water slide in 25 to 30 seconds, but can also be carried out on land. The first of these machines ("yellow 40 " ) completed on 27 April 1992 in Taganrog its maiden flight. Alone by the year 2000 threw this loading 12 forest fires in Russia's total area 17188 tons of water. On 14 July 1993, the yellow went 40 with serial number 9601504 lost when used. Another converted one with the serial number 8601301 ( registration RA - 00046 ) flew on 9 August 1996 under the name Be -12P -200 for the first time (see photo right). By a modernized system is able to carry out the absorption of water in only 20 seconds.