From this page about nuclear bombers:

enter image description here

It seems out of Wild Wild West. What is this (Russian?) aircraft from another era? and what has been its use?

Update:We know now the image has been created using CG software, based on a real aircraft, that seems interesting and is by itself quite a mystery and technical feat that deserve explanations.

Why this design? gondolas, size, holes in wings, angular panels...? for apparently not so many people on-board.

Images of actual aircraft are found in answers. Also this one:

enter image description here

Thanks to @user52723a and @RonBeyer for providing details.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you look close, you can see the people are computer generated... Here is an article on Snopes.com, not that Snopes is a great reference, but the computer-generated-ness is a lot more apparent. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 1 '17 at 23:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer That's not "an article on Snopes" -- it's a post on Snopes's discussion forums. (But I agree that it's more obvious there that the images are CGI.) $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '17 at 23:43
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby Article, post, rant, not a lot of difference on the 'net these days... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 2 '17 at 2:49
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    $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer No, there's a huge difference. The articles on Snopes are reasonably well researched and are OK as sources; the discussion forums are just random people posting random stuff. You wouldn't, I hope, say "According to an article on some respected news organization's website" if what you actually meant was "According to the comments posted under that article." Same thing here. $\endgroup$ Mar 2 '17 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ It's also similar to the ANT-20 and other aircrafts from that era $\endgroup$
    – user189035
    Mar 2 '17 at 19:11

It is in fact fake but its most likely loosely based on a real plane. The Russian Kalinin K-7 contains a lot of the same design elements.

enter image description here (source)

It appears that the real plane was also boarded from the landing gear area.

enter image description here (source)

On a bit of a funny note this article mis-uses the photo you have linked in reference to the Kalinin K-7

  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, the picture in the article is not exactly the same as in the question. The one in the article does not have this "cage" over the cockpit, but has additional cannons. A strange case of manipulation, IMHO ... $\endgroup$
    – Marco13
    Mar 2 '17 at 13:29

It's a fake -- somebody having fun with computer graphics. Never existed in real life, sorry.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That picture has been around the internet for several years, but it's pure vaporware. The thing would be way larger than the Spruce Goose if it were real, and probably even more badly under-powered. All CGI, nothing more. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Mar 1 '17 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ It is supposedly based on the Kalinin K-7, but much bigger $\endgroup$ Mar 1 '17 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ @user52723a: Thanks for providing this clue, good find. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Mar 2 '17 at 6:39

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