Technik Museum Speyer
Technik Museum Speyer

Technik Museum Speyer

The Speyer Technik Museum is a mandatory visit for space enthusiast in general and especially for those interested in the history of the Soviet Space Program. The museum owns an extremely rare Buran Space Shuttle, developed during the 1980s but cancelled after the collapse of the USSR. There are much more exhibits on display that make a trip to Speyer worth while ,including a giant walk-in Antonov an-22 cargo plane and a giant Chinese steam locomotive.

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Technik Museum Speyer
Germany
Speyer
Am Technik Museum 1, Speyer
€15
Daily from 09:00 - 18:00
www.speyer.technik-museum.de
Great

Getting there

The Speyer Technik Museum is located in South-West Germany close to Heidelberg and Manheim. The walking distance from the Speyer city centre, an old town on the Rhine is less than 10 minutes. Speyer is easy to reach by car, busses and trains run from most nearby cities and towns. There are both a Hotel and a camping (for caravans and campers only) near the museum terrain. A visit to the museum can best be combined with a city trip to Heidelberg or Trier or with a Black Forrest, Rhine or Mosel camping holiday. Also located in the area are the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, the Flugausstellung L.+P. Junior Hermeskeil and the Karl Marx Museum in Trier. Comtourist recommends history enthusiast a week trip to South-West Germany combining these very interesting museums.

Entrance of the Technik Museum Speyer, a great place for a day out when in the area

Technik Museum Speyer entrance

Map of the Technik Museum Speyer where the exhibits are displayed both in and outside

Map of the Technik Museum Speyer

The Buran OK-GLI Space shuttle

The Buran Space shuttle an absolute top attraction making a visit to the Speyer Technik Museum a must see for space enthusiast. The Buran program began in 1974 as a response to the American Space Shuttle program. The two shuttles look very similar but there are some important technical differences. The main difference is that the Buran does not have any engines that are used to launch it into orbit. These launch engines are were placed on the Energia rocket, making the Buran much lighter then its US counterpart and leaving more space for cargo. The Buran program was suspended in 1993 due to lack of funds.

The OK-GLI was a test vehicle in the Buran program, constructed in 1984, and used for 25 test flights between 1985 and 1988

The Buran displayed in the Space Exhibition hall of the Speyer Technik Museum

Thirteen Buran shuttles were constructed for various purposes, ten still exist today, most of them in Russian space test facilities. The OK-GLI (Buran Analog BTS-002) of the Speyer Technnik Museum was one of the Mock up models developed for testing. The OK-GLI vehicles was used to test the aerodynamics of the Buran, nine taxi tests and twenty-five test flights of OK-GLI were performed at Baikonur. The Buran was used as an attraction since its retirement being on display at the MAKS air show in 2000 and during the 2000 Olympics in Sidney. The Speyer Technik Museum bought the vehicle in 2004, but had to wait four years until 2008 before it could be shipped from Bahrain in 2008.

There is more space in the cargo bay of the Buran compared to the Space Shuttle because it does not require its own engine for launch

Cargo bay

Rear of the Buran seen from the inside of the rear compartment that visitors can see from a small area in the shuttle

Engines

Cockpit of the Buran space shuttle with computers and instruments that were state of the art during the 1980s

Cockpit

The Buran is displayed in the main hall of the space exhibition with good views from the balconies on the higher floors. A structure build over the Buran allows visitors to look inside the cargo bay and the cockpit. A stairs on the rear of the Buran allows a view in the engine room. Various items related to the Buran are display around the shuttle including its chairs, hydraulic rudder drives and the BOR-5, a 1:8 Buran model used to test the aerodynamic characteristics of the Buran.

The Buran is fitted with four AL-31 jet engines mounted at the rear, it could take off under its own power for flight tests

Rear of the Buran

Actual pilot suit from the cockpit Buran Space Shuttle, later models would be fitted with ejection seats

Buran Pilot seat

The BOR-5 is a 1:8 Buran model used to test the aerodynamic characteristics of the Buran, it was in space on June, 27th 1987

BOR-5

The Space exhibition

The Speyer Technik Museum space exhibition is the largest of its kind outside Russia and the United States, the Buran is the showpiece but there is much more on offer. The exhibition is divided is an American and a Soviet section, displaying a large collection of items that actually went to space.

The Space Exhibition of the Speyer Technik Museum with a large collection of Soviet Space Suits and other original items

The space exhibition

Highlights of the space exhibition (besides the Buran) are a replica of Vostok spacecraft and an original Soyuz capsule. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was used for the first human spaceflight carrying Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. The Vostok replica is very well build and looks like the real thing. The actual Vostok 1 capsule is displayed in the RKK Energiya museum near Moscow. The Soyuz spaceships replaced the Vostok in 1969 and are still in use today, the museum capsule was used for mission TM 19 that took place in 1994. Visitors get a good view on the inside of the small cabin that holds three Cosmonauts.

Reproduction of the Vostok 3KA spacecraft that was used for the first human spaceflight carrying Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961

Vostok 3KA Reproduction

The original landing capsule of the Soyuz mission TM 19 that took place in 1994, Soyuz spaceships were used by the USSR from 1969

Soyuz capsule

Cockpit of the Soyuz TM spacecraft that was used for ferry flights to the Mir space station, the capsule can transport up to 3 cosmonauts

Inside the Soyuz capsule

The museum owns a sizable collection of Soviet and Russian space suits that were actually worn in space. The orange SK-1 is a spacesuit that was developed specially for Yuri Gagarin and then used from 1961 to 1963 for Vostok space missions. The Orlan DM space suit was used from 1985-1988 for Salyut-7 and Mir missions by Soviet Cosmonauts. The SPM Survival Suit was used for Soyuz landings and worn over the Sokol KV-2 spacesuit. The Orlan cooling suit controls the temperature during spacewalks inside the Orland Spacesuit. The Solkol space suit on display was worn by Cosmonaut Viktor Michailowitsch Afanasjev during the Soyuz TM-11, TM-18 and TM-29 missions.

The orange SK-1 is a spacesuit that was developed specially for Yuri Gagarin and then used from 1961 to 1963 for Vostok space missions

SK-1 Space Suit

Orlan DM space suit used from 1985-1988 for Salyut-7 and Mir missions by Soviet Cosmonauts

Orlan DM spacesuit

The Solkol space suit from Cosmonaut Viktor Michailowitsch Afanasjev used for the Soyuz TM-11 , TM-18 and TM-29 missions

Sokol Space Suit

Kazbek Seatliner from a Russian Soyuz capsule, individually made for each Cosmonaut and used during launch and landing

Kazbek Seatliner

Orlan Cooling Suit

SPM Survival Suit used for Soyuz landings, the suit is worn over the Sokol KV-2 spacesuit

SPM Survival Suit

Antonov An-22 cargo plane

Some very large vehicles are on display at the outdoor area of Speyer Technik Museum including a submarine, a coast guard ship and the Soviet made Antonov An-22 cargo plane. The An-22 is the world’s largest turboprop-powered airplane and was the world’s heaviest aircraft until the An-124 and An-225 were developed. The An-22 of the museum was build in 1966 and used as a military transport by the Soviet army.

The Antonov An-22 cargo plain was build in 1966 and is now one of the highlights of the Technik Museum

The Antoniv An-22

The cargo bay of the giant An-22 that is mainly used for Military Transport purposes by the Russian army

An-22 cargo bay

Visitors can walk inside the aircraft to marvel at its giant dimensions, the cargo bay alone measures 33m in length. The hallway connecting the cargo bay with the cockpit looks more like the interior of a ship then part of an aircraft. The navigators station is located in a small area in the nose of the aircraft below the cockpit. Stairs lead to the upper deck where the entrance to the cockpit is located. Walking around in this giant plane is a great experience, which we have not yet encountered in any other museum.

Entrance from the cargo bay to the crew area of the An-22, the interior almost looks like a ship

Hallway

The Navigators station in the nose of the An-22, last use in 1999 when the aircraft flew from Kiev to the museum

Navigators station

Cockpit of the An-22 the largest aircraft for a long time and is still the world's largest turboprop-powered aircraft

Cockpit

East German Government Antonov An-26

Another interesting Soviet made aircraft on display as walk-in plane is an Antonov An-26S that supposedly belonged to the East German government and was used to transport high ranking officials like General Secretary Erich Honecker. The aircraft is furnished with a bed where the official could sleep in, a desk to work on and fitted with a luxurious toilet. A GDR Gaz M13 Chaika government car is transported in the rear section of the aircraft and can be offloaded via the cargo ramp.

Antonov An-26S aircraft that was used by the GDR government to transport high ranking officials like Erich Honecker

Antonov An-26S

Cockpit of the An-26, built in 1980 for the East German government with two turboprop engines

An-26 cockpit

The An-26 of the Speyer Technik Museum did not serve as GDR government plane in reality, the museum made this up to make the plane more interesting for visitors. It probably served as a normal transport plane for the East German army or national airline Interflug. The East German government actually flew in Il-18 and Il-62 aircraft and Honecker preferred Volvo over Soviet cars. The Gaz M13 Chaika limousine on display was actually used as the official duty car by the Soviet Trading Agency in Hamburg.

Living and working compartment of the GDR government aircraft with a desk, bed and working area

An-26 interior

Toilet of the An26 that was used by high ranking GDR government officials including General Secretary Erich Honecker

An-26 Toilet

Gaz M13 Chaika limousine that was used as the official duty car by the Soviet Trading Agency in Hamburg

Gaz M13 Chaika

Soviet, Czechoslovakian and Polish aircraft

Both military and civilian aircraft were relatively cheap to buy in East Germany and the Eastern Bloc countries during the late eighties and early nineties, the Speyer Technik Museum took full advantage of this and owns a sizeable collection. A MiG-15UTI training jet hangs on the ceiling in one of the exhibitions halls as if it is performing a ground attack. A pink MiG-21PFM towers on a a pole above the museum terrain and is painted in the colours of the "Red Archers", an acrobatics team of the Indian Air force in the 1970s. A MiG-23BN that belonged to the Letecke museum in Prague is displayed in a black a Czech Air Force colour scheme.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI Fagot training jet hanging on the ceiling in one of the exhibitions halls

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15UTI

MiG-21PFM painted in the colors of the

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21PFM

MiG-23BN that belonged to the Letecke museum in Prague with a Czech Air Force color scheme

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN

A second A MiG-23BN belonged to the GDR Air Force and was painted in a special Federal Air Force scheme when the GDR and BRD Air Forces were merged. The MiG 23 was bought by the museum in 1990 and is displayed upright. The museum also owns a Yak-27R that was stationed on the Soviet Werneuchen Air Base in the GDR close to Berlin. The Su-22M4 on display belonged to the East German Air Force, which had acquired 48 units of this type between 1984 and 1987, short before the end of the GDR.

MiG-23BN painted in a special Federal Air Force scheme when it was taken over from the GDR Air Force in 1990

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN

Yakovlev Yak-27R that was stationed on the Soviet Werneuchen Air Base in the GDR close to Berlin

Yakovlev Yak-27R

Sukhoi Su-22M4 from the East German Air Force, which had acquired 48 units of this type between 1984 and 1987

Sukhoi Su-22M4 Fitter

The Museum also has three Czechoslovakian aircraft on display. An Aero L-29 Delfin trainer build by the Aero Vodochody works and painted in Czechoslovakian Air Force scheme hangs on the ceiling in one of the exhibition halls. It’s successor, the Aero L-39ZO can be foun don the museum parking lot and is painted in Czech Air Force colours, although it actually belonged to the East German Air Force. Another Czech aircraft is the Cmelak Let Z-37, an agricultural aircraft produced by the Czechoslovak manufacturer LET Kunovice.

PZL106 Kruk single-engine single-seat agricultural aircraft produced by the Polish manufacturer WSK-Okecie

Pzl-106 Kruk

Aero L-29 Delfin trainer build by the Aero Vodochody works and painted in Czechoslovakian Air Force scheme

Aero L-29 Delfin

Aero L-39ZO in Czech Air Force colors but actually an example from the former East German Air Force

Aero L-39ZO Albatros

Communist Poland is represented by a PZL106 Kruk single-engine single-seat agricultural aircraft produced by the Polish manufacturer WSK-Okecie. No aircraft exposition is complete with the mass produced An-2, the museum An-2TP that was donated to the Technik Museum Speyer by the Russian city of Kurk, a partner town of Speyer.

The Cmelak Let Z-37A agricultural aircraft produced by the Czechoslovak manufacturer LET Kunovice

Cmelak Let Z-37A

Antonov An-2TP that was donated to the Technik Museum Speyer by the Russian city of Kurk, a partner town of Speyer

Antonov An-2TP

Mil Helicopters

No collection of Soviet period aircraft is complete with the addition of some Mil helicopters. The Speyer Technik Museum owns for examples; a Mi-2, M-8, Mi-14 and a Mi-24 gunship. The Mil Mi-2 is located in the Space Exhibition hall. It belonged to the Soviet Air Force and is now painted in Aeroflot scheme.

The Mil Mi-8 helicopter is painted in Aeroflot colours. The Mi-8 was first produced in 1961 and used by over 50 countries, 17.000 of these helicopters were build until today making it the most produced Helicopter in the world. The Mi-8 was also used as military transport; the passenger compartment can transport 24 troops in addition to its armament anti tank rockets.

The Mil Mi-14PL anti-submarine helicopter is not seen as often in museums compared to the other helicopters. The Mi-14 of the Speyer Technik Museum saw service in the East German Peoples Navy before it was sold to the museum. The helicopter was equipped with towed sonobuoys and retractable search radar to hunt down submarines. The anti submarine warfare station from where the navigation officer would track down enemy submarines is still fully equipped and accessible for museum visitors.

Twelve brand new Mi-24P gunships were delivered to the East German Army just before the wall would collapse in 1989. One of these great looking helicopters ended up with the Speyer Museum and is now mounted on poles so visitors can view it from all around. This version of the Hind had a fixed side-mounted 30-mm GSh-30K twin-barrel cannon that replaced the 2.7-mm machinegun as seen on most other Mi-24 models.

Helmets, suits, ejection seats and simulator

The space exhibition hall not only hosts the Buran and other space exhibits but also a large amount of military aviation related items including flight helmets, pressure suits, ejection seats and even a MiG-15 flight simulator. The KKO-5 pressure suit was introduced for pilots of Mach 2 aircraft such as the MiG-21 and Su-9 at the beginning of the 1960s. The KM-1 Ejection Seat was used in various soviet fighter models including the MiG-21 and MiG-23. We were not able to determine the exact specifications of the Soviet flight simulator on display. The cockpit instruments suggest that it was used to familiarize pilots with the MiG-15 instruments before they would fly the jet for the first time.

KKO-5 Pressure Suit

Early Soviet KM-1 Ejection Seat that was used in various models including the MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighters

KM-1 Ejection Seat

View inside the cockpit of the MiG-15 simulator that was probably used in a fly school of the Soviet Air Force

MiG-15 Simulator

A large section of the exhibition is dedicated to high altitude pilot helmets with many Soviet models. Most of these helmets can be bought on Ebay or in dump store, but seeing them all together is sill interesting. The GSh-4 and GSh-6 models date from the 1960s and were used until the early 1980s by Mig-21, MiG-23 and MiG-25 pilots. The ZSh-3 helmets with KM-32 oxygen mask were also introduced in the 1960s and used in virtually every type of Soviet-made aircraft. The ZSh-5 models with KM-34 oxygen mask were standard issue for Soviet jet pilots during the 1970s and are still in use today. Models from the 1980s include the ZSh-7AS with KM34D Series II oxygen mask, the ShL-78, ShLO-78, ShZ-78 and ShZ-78 models. The Polish THL-5CN Helicopter Pilot Helmet was used in most Mil helicopters and is a copy of the American SPH-4 helmet. The THL-5W is another Polish Helmet from used with a KM-32-4 oxygen Mask.

Soviet GSh-4MS high altitude Helmet used between 1961 and 1967 by MiG pilots

GSh-4MS

Soviet GSh-6A Helmet used between 1967 and 1968 before it was replaced by the GSh-6A

GSh-6

Soviet GSh-6A Helmet used between 1968 and 1980 for Mig-21's, MiG-23's and MiG-25's, replacing the GSh-4

GSh-6A

The ZSh-3 Pilot Helmet was first introduced in the early 1960's and is used in virtually every type of Soviet-made aircraft

ZSh-3

Soviet ZSh-3M Helmet with KM-32 oxygen mask was introduced in the 1960s and is still in use today

ZSh-3M

The ZSh-5 helmet was standard Soviet issue for its pilots in the 1970's, huge numbers have been manufactured until the late eighties

ZSh-5

Soviet ZSh-5A Pilot Helmet with KM-34 oxygen mask used by the Soviet and Russian Air Force from the 1970s until today

ZSh-5A

Soviet ZSh-5AN Pilot Helmet with KM-34 oxygen mask used by the Soviet and Russian Air Force from the 1970s until today

ZSh-5AN

Soviet ZSh-7AS Pilot Helmet with KM34D Series II oxygen Mask produced in 1986 for the Soviet Air Force

ZSh-7AS

Soviet ShL-78/82 Pilot Helmet with PG-1M visor and KM-16 Mask used between 1982 and 1986

ShL-78/82

Soviet ShLO-78/82 Pilot Helmet with Ya-89 visor and KM-15 Mask used between 1982 and 1986

ShLO-78/82

Soviet ShZ-78/82 Pilot Helmet with PO-1M visor and KM-32 Mask used between 1982 and 1986

ShZ-78/82

Soviet ShZ-78/82 Pilot Helmet with PO-1M visor and KM-19 Mask used between 1982 and 1986

ShZ-78/82

The THL-5CN Helicopter Pilot Helmet is a Polish copy of the American SPH-4 and used for the Mi-24

THL-5CN

Polish THL-5W Pilot Helmet from the Polish Air Force with Soviet KM-32-4 Mask

THL-5W

Train Locomotives

The outdoor exhibition of the Speyer Technik Museum also includes a section with some rare locomotives and other railway exhibits. The star exhibit is a giant Chinese QJ steam locomotive. The QJ was the principal heavy freight steam locomotive used by China Railways until they were replaced by the Diesel locomotives in the 1990s. Also on display is a DRB Class 52 with a Soviet Red Star on the front, the DRB Class 52 was a German steam locomotive built in large numbers during the Second World War, many were used by the USSR after the war. A yellow work locomotive was build in the GDR for the VEB BKK Brigade OttoSchlag in the city of Deuben.

The QJ is the principal heavy freight steam locomotive used by China Railways until they were replaced by the Diesel locomotives in the 1990s

Chinese QJ Steam Locomtive

The DRB Class 52 was a German steam locomotive built in large numbers during the Second World, many were used by the USSR after the war

DRB Class 52 Kriegslokomotive

East German VEB BKK Brigade OttoSchlag work locomotive used in the city of Deuben

VEB BKK Steam Locomotive

Miscellaneous Soviet and GDR related exhibits

Slightly disappointing was the lack of any Soviet or GDR cars in both the Sinsheim and the Speyer Technik Museum, a single Trabant represents the cars from the East. One other exhibit is the Stalin Tractor; a Soviet version of the Caterpillar used during World War II and afterwards for the rebuilding of the USSR. Two sections of the Berlin Wall are found on the extensive outdoor terrain.

The Technik Museum Speyer has a large collection of rare, beautiful and expensive cars but almost no Eastern European cars except this Trabant

Trabant

Soviet version of the Caterpillar D7 that was called

Stalin Tractor

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