Much has been written about aircraft built in the former Soviet Union thanks to the work of Russian aviation writer Yefim Gordon, but Unflown Wings is the first comprehensive overview of CIS aircraft that didn't make it off the drawing board, complete with 3-view drawings, archival photos of desktop models and full-size mockups, and artist's conceptions.
Throughout the book, Yefim Gordon groups the major design bureaus (Antonov, Sukhoi, Il'yushin, MiG. Tupolev, Myasishchev, Beriev) into separate chapters, and includes an additional chapter with the names of little-known Russian aeronautical engineers (e.g. Roberto Bartini). He is careful not to wastefully replicate the information from previous volumes in the Secret Projects and Red Star Series, so each unbuilt project is given a brief summary.
Of all passenger aircraft projects conceived in the post-Soviet era, only the Antonov An-148 and Sukhoi Superjet have entered production, and even so, the rate of passenger aircraft production in the CIS is minimal compared to the rate of military aircraft production.
The Russians have never ceased to conceive any fixed-wing plane of monstrous proportions. The Tupolev TB-6 of 1933-1934 had a wingspan of 311 feet, nine feet short of the Hughes H-4's 320-foot span, but larger than the wingspans of the Boeing 747-8 and 777X, Convair B-36 and Model 37, Antonov An-225 and An-124, and Airbus A380. By contrast, the planned Scaled Composites Stratolaunch airborne space launch vehicle will have a wingspan 74 feet greater than that of the TB-6. The Sukhoi KR-860 and Ilyushin Il-96-550 and Il-196 superjumbos designed in the 1990s had wingspans exceeding that of the A380, with the KR-860's wingspan measuring 288 feet. The Molniya Geracles twin-hull plane had the same span as the An-225, and the Beriev Be-2500 series and Be-5000 seaplane would have had wingspans exceeding 400 feet, far bigger than that of the TB-6 and the Stratolaunch. In summary, the biggest of the unbuilt Soviet warplane designs, the TB-6, happened to be designed under the watch of the most evil communist dictator of the first half of the 20th century.
Unflown Wings is a bible for anyone interested in unbuilt aircraft conceived in the former Soviet Union.