Category Soviet x-plenes

Sukhoi Su-24

In the mid-1960s the tactical arm of the Soviet Air Force (FA) needed a replacement for the elderly Yakovlev Yak-28 Brewer tactical bombers. The Yak-28 proved disappointing due to short range and severe restric­tions in the use of its weapons. By the mid-1960s, two important factors became evident. The first was the superiority of equivalent US designs, such as the General Dynamics F-111, due to higher performance, wider weapons range and outstandingly superior avionics. The second factor was the rapid development in surface-to-air missile technology; this required new tactical bomber to have supersonic low-level attack capa­bility, which placed high demands on airframe strength and required automatic terrain following capability.

Thus the Sukhoi design bureau (OKB) started work on a tactical bomber which would be the Soviet counterpart of the F-111. Initially the designers settled for mid-set wings with 40° leading-edge sweep. Receiving the in-house designation S-6, it was to have a top speed of 2,500 km/h (1,550 mph) and an all up weight of 20,000 kg (44,090 lb). The two crew members sat in tandem, and the two 7,200-kgp (15,870- lb st) Tumanskiy R-21F-300 afterburning turbojets were placed side-by – side in the rear fuselage, breathing through lateral air intakes.

It soon became evident that a conventional layout was inadequate for the project, and attention was turned to variable-geometry wings and lift-jets, the work proceeding in parallel on these two lines. A com­pletely new project designated T-6 was started. The first prototype, known as the T6-1, entered flight test on 2nd July 1967 with test pilot Vladimir S. Il’yushin at the controls. It had double-delta wings with 60° leading-edge sweep on the inner wings. The crew of two was seated side-by-side. Behind the cockpit were four Kolesov RD36-35 lift engines intended to improve field performance. Initially, two Tumanskiy R-27F2-300 cruise engines rated at 10,200 kgp (22,400 lb st) in full after­burner (again fed by variable lateral air intakes) were fitted; the air for the main engines was used to cool the lift-jets. The intended 11,200-kgp (24,750-lb st) Lyul’ka AL-21 F afterburning turbojets were fitted later.

The T6-1 was intended to carry air-to-surface missiles, unguided rockets, air-to-air missiles, bombs and other stores on four wing and two fuselage hardpoints. The wing span was 10.41m (34.14 ft), overall length 23.72 m (77.8 ft), height 6.373 m (20.9 ft) and wing area 45.33 sq. m (487.9 sq. ft). Maximum TOW was 26,100 kg (57,540 lb).

In the course of trials the Soviet Air Force changed its requirements; the ordnance load was increased to such an extent that lift engines were no longer viable. Also, the contradictory requirements of attack at transonic speeds at ground level and short-field capability were still there. Studies by the Central Aero- and Hydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI) showed that variable-geometry wings compared so favourably with every other possible layout that the Sukhoi OKB radically redesigned the T-6 less than six months after the first flight.

The second prototype, designated T6-2I (the T denoting izmenyayemaya [gheometriya], variable geometry) was completed in late 1969 and took to the air on 17th January 1970, again with Vladimir S. Il’yushin at the controls. The most important change was the new VG wings; they had four sweep settings: 16° for take-off and landing, 35° for loitering and cruise, 45° for manoeuvring and 69° for transonic/super – sonic flight. The fuselage was redesigned to increase fuel capacity and the air intakes were modified. The undercarriage was strengthened to let the aircraft carry an increased warload.

Tests of the T6-2I continued until 1976. The aircraft was soon joined by two more prototypes, the T6-3I and T6-4I. The results were encour­aging and in December 1971 the bomber entered series production at the Novosibirsk aircraft factory No. 153, receiving the service designa­tion Su-24; the in-house designation at the plant was “izdeliye (product) 41”. Initial operational capability was achieved in 1973 but it was not until 1975 that the Su-24 was formally included into the inventory. This version was known to the West by the NATO reporting name Fencer-A.

Modifications to the design were continually implemented as pro­duction progressed. E. g., wing span and wing area were increased soon after the beginning of production. Problems with the variable air intakes caused the intakes to be widened from the 4th production batch onwards (1972) when the to give an increased frontal area. Pressure from the WS to increase range led the OKB to increase the capacity of the number 1 fuel tank by 1,000 litres (220 Imp. gal.) starting with Batch 8, with a concurrent saving in weight which could be used for extra fuel. Operational experience showed the airframe was strong enough to carry more weapons, so two more hardpoints were added on the cen­treline, increasing the total to eight and the weapons load to 8,000 kg (17,680 lb). Weapons delivery was controlled by a PNS-24 Tigr naviga – tion/attack system enabling automatic flight along a pre-programmed route, weapons delivery and return to base.

Important changes were introduced in Batch 15 when the shape of the rear fuselage was redesigned to reduce drag. The box-like structure around the engine nozzles was replaced by a more rounded one with a deeply dished bottom between the nozzles and the brake parachute container was moved up. Extensions were added to the fin at the top and along the leading edge; the upper extension supported the A-711 navigation antenna and the leading edge now accommodated the RSDN-10 long-range radio navigation (LORAN) antenna and a cooling air intake for the generators. SPO-15 Beryoza (Birch) passive radar warning antennae in triangular fairings were placed on either side of the fin near the top. Other changes made at this time included the addition of leading-edge flaps to the outer wings and a reduction in the number of flap sections from three to two each side. This version was known to the West as the Fencer-B. An updated version with Beryoza (Birch) radar homing and warning system (RHAWS) antennae on the air intakes and near the top of the fin was code-named Fencer-C.

By 1975 the ongoing problems with the variable air intakes were finally solved by introducing fixed-area intakes from Batch 21 onwards, which also gave a weight saving of 200 kg (440 lb). Aircraft previously built with variable intakes had that control disconnected. As a result, top speed was effectively limited to 1,400 km/h (870 mph) or Mach 1.4 at sea level, except for very short emergency bursts of Mach 2. This was considered an acceptable trade-off against the elimination of previous problems, as 1,400 km/h at S/L had become the standard attack mode. Concurrently the wings were redesigned and given a different airfoil.

Although improvements were constantly incorporated, this did not affect the designation. It was not until 1975 that enough design changes took place to justify a new designation, T6-M or Su-24M (modifi tseerovannyy – modified). The eighth prototype of the Su-24 sans suf – fixe (T6-8) was converted into the Su-24M prototype and redesignated T6-8M, making its first flight on 24th June 1977. Production began in 1978; the aircraft was known at plant No. 153 as izdeliye 44; the NATO reporting name was Fencer-D.

Major changes were made to the avionics; the most fundamental one was the fitment of a new weapons control system – the PNS-24M Tigr NS. To accommodate the new equipment the forward fuselage was extended by 76 cm and lowered by 15 cm. Apart from the reshaped nose, the Su-24M could be identified by the straight air data boom at the tip of the radome replacing the F-shaped antenna assembly of ear­lier versions, nicknamed “goose” because of its shape. A Kai’ra-24M

(Grebe) day/night low light level TV system/laser designator was fitted, enabling the aircraft to carry laser – and TV-guided missiles and "smart bombs”. Also, the number of weapons carried was increased by the addition of a ninth hardpoint.

Combat capability was greatly improved by the addition of an in­flight refuelling system. An L-shaped FPSh-5M retractable IFR probe was installed just ahead of the cockpit to allow refuelling from another Su-24M fitted with a UPAZ-1A Sakhalin "buddy” refuelling pack or an ll’yushin IL-78/IL-78M Midas tanker. A new Karpaty (Carpathian moun­tains) defence system was introduced. Rounded boundary layer fences were initially fitted on the edge of the wing glove in line with the inner wing pylons; on some aircraft they housed chaff/flare dispensers. Later, when it was discovered that the wing fences improved longitudinal sta­bility but impaired directional stability, they were removed and the dis­pensers relocated to the upper rear fuselage.

In the mid-1980s permission was granted to export the Su-24M. In the late 1980s the OKB brought out an export version designated Su-24MK (kommehrcheskiy – “commercial”, i. e., export version) or izdeliye 44M. The first flight took place in 1987 and small-scale produc­tion commenced in 1988. The Su-24MK differed little from the standard Fencer-D – mainly in the avionics (particularly the IFF system) and weapons options; for example, the Su-24MK could carry more bombs – 38 FAB-100s compared with 34 on the Su-24M and four air-to-air mis­siles instead of two. All export Su-24MKs had angular wing fences, even though they were being removed at the time from Soviet Air Force Fencers. Sales reported so far are: to Iraq (24), Libya (15), Syria (12) and Iran (9).

In 1978 the OKB started full-scale development of the T-6MR recon­naissance version of the Su-24M. Intended as a successor to the out­dated and “short-legged" Yak-27R, Yak-28R and MiG-21 R, it was to operate at a depth of up to 400 km (250 miles) from the front line, day or night in any weather. The first flight took place in September 1980; two prototypes (the T6MR-26 and T6MR-34) were tested and the aircraft entered production and service as the Su-24MR ([samolyot-] razved – chik, reconnaissance aircraft) or izdeliye 48. The NATO code name was Fencer-E.

The comprehensive BKR-1 Shtyk (Bayonet) reconnaissance suite included a Shtyk MR-1 synthetic aperture side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) in the nose covering an area of 4 to 28 km (2.5-17.3 miles) from the centreline; a Zima (Winter) thermal imager; an Aist-M (Stork-M) TV camera; a Kadr (Photo exposure) PHOTINT system comprising an AP-102 panoramic camera and an AFA-A-100 oblique camera; an Efir-1 M (Ether-1 M; pronounced efeer) radiation monitor in a pod under the starboard outer wing; and a Tangahzh (Pitch, in the aeronautical sense) radio monitoring pod or a Shpil’-2M (Spire-2M) laser line-scan pod providing an image of almost photographic quality on the fuselage centreline. Data was recorded on tape but could be instantly transmit­ted to ground stations if required. Three underfuselage hardpoints and the built-in cannon were removed; two R-60 or R-60M air-to-air missiles could be carried under the port wing for self-defence.

Design work on the Su-24MP Fencer-F (izdeliye 46) electronic countermeasures (ECM) aircraft began in 1976; its mission was elec­tronic reconnaissance and neutralisation of the enemy’s air defence radars while escorting attack aircraft to their targets. The two prototypes were converted from Su-24M airframes (the T6M-25 and T6M-35) which were then redesignated T6MP-25 and T6MP-35; the P stands for postanovschchik pomekh – ECM platform. (Strictly speaking, the des­ignation ought to have been Su-24PR) The first flight took place in December 1979. Very little technical information relating to this variant has been released, but it is known to have a sophisticated suite for detecting, locating, analysing, identifying and jamming all known elec­tromagnetic emissions. The bulk of this work is handled by the Landysh (Lily of the valley) system and the aircraft can carry active jamming pods, such as the Los’ (Moose), Fasol’ (String bean) or Mimoza (Mimosette), under the fuselage with no apparent loss of performance. Only about twenty Su-24MPs were reportedly built.

Believe it or not, the Su-24 found peaceful uses as well. In the late 1990s the Flight Research Institute in Zhukovskiy operated two Su-24s – Fencer-A “15 White” (c/n 1515301) and Su-24M “11 White” (c/n 1141613) equipped with an air sampling pod for environmental moni­toring purposes.

The Su-24 achieved initial operational capability with the Soviet Air Force (WS) in 1973, even though official acceptance of the type was not given until 1975 – a move not uncommon in the USSR. After being issued to training units, Su-24s were delegated to regiments operating in the Western areas of the USSR and in the Far East. By assigning them to the Ukraine or the Baltic Republics the WS ensured they could be quickly deployed in times of trouble to Eastern Europe. Later, Su-24 units were stationed in East Germany, Poland and Hungary, but the main Fencer force remained in the USSR.

Among those types displaced from bomber divisions of the Tactical Aviation’s Air Armies were the obsolete ll’yushin IL-28 Beagle and Yak-28. A division usually included three bomber regiments, each hav­ing three squadrons with 10 aircraft per squadron. As production rate grew it was decided to equip some of the fighter-bomber divisions in the 4th, 24th and 30th Air Armies with the Su-24 capable of a more strate­gic role. These armies had been created in the early 1970s, reporting to the High Command of the Armed Forces to act as a strategic reserve (rather than to Army Fronts or Defence Districts where there was a risk of their aptitude for attacking behind the battle line being wasted in local situations). It was also easier to maintain a tighter control on the use of the nuclear bombs which these aircraft could carry.

On entering service with FA regiments that had previously operated such types as the Yak-28 and MiG-27, the Su-24 proved to be much more demanding in maintenance and service. Considering the com­plexity of its systems, this was hardly surprising and extra headaches were caused by the fact that this was the Soviet Air Force’s first experi­ence with computerised systems.

The Su-24 required appreciably more time and effort to prepare it for a sortie; on average, it needed 45 minutes work by 15 technicians. This effectively doubled ground crew workload per flight – an insup­portable situation which was tackled with alacrity. The demands of time could not be reduced because 45 minutes was the minimum time taken to spin up the gyroscopes in the navigation/attack system; some mis­sions requiring a greater degree of accuracy needed as much as 1 hour 20 minutes. Nonetheless, improvements could be made to ease the ground crews’ workload.

The biggest headaches to ground and air crews alike came from the avionics. Such was the need for this type of bomber that, as noted ear­lier, it was rushed into service before the State acceptance trials were completed. The complexity of the many systems and the use of an on­board computer stretched the knowledge and patience of the crews. Malfunctions were frequent and there were cases in the early stages of the Fencer’s career when whole squadrons were grounded for several days until remedies were found.

In-flight malfunction of the navigation and targeting system could all too easily put the crew at risk, especially on supersonic nap-of-the-earth (NOE) missions. At best the aircraft was saved but the target missed. It has been known for farms to lose valuable crops, buildings and even livestock when crews failed to realise there was a problem with the equipment and continued the attack in automatic mode, dropping their deadly load on whatever was unlucky enough to be there. There was a case of a crew getting lost, running out of fuel and having to eject because the airmen did not realise in time there was a fault.

The Sukhoi OKB went to great lengths to reduce pre-flight check time by providing easier access to engines, all systems, filters, gover­nors etc. Wheel changing was simplified by eliminating the need for lift­ing equipment. Special attention was given to the reduction of refuelling time by providing single-point pressure refuelling.

Once the teething troubles had been recognised and acknowl­edged, they were relatively easy to resolve. One particular cause for sat­isfaction was the aircraft’s ability to withstand bird strikes; a collision with a large eagle and another with seventeen sparrows resulted in no serious damage – at least not to the aircraft.

In spite of these difficulties, he pilots liked the Su-24, affectionately dubbing it “Chemodahn” (Suitcase) – an allusion to the slab-sided shape of its fuselage. They appreciated the good field of view, the well – planned flight deck and the automatic flight systems, especially on low – level operations. Flight handling was reasonably easy, even though the Su-24 could be less forgiving in certain circumstances. Slowly but sure­ly the restrictions imposed during the service introduction period were lifted until the Su-24 emerged as a first-rate tactical bomber.

The Su-24 has seen action in several armed conflicts, drawing first blood during the Afghan War where the type made its debut in the spring of 1984. With its weapons load of 7 tons (15,430 lb) – more than double that of other Soviet tactical strike aircraft, its impressive range and sophisticated mission avionics, the Fencer would make a valuable addition to the arsenal of the Soviet contingent helping the pro-Soviet Kabul government fight the Mujahideen rebels. Until then the Su-24 had been unavailable for the war, but the need for such an aircraft was now evident. It was decided to use the type from Soviet bases in Uzbekistan and Turkmenia. Thus, two regiments were seconded to the 40th Army, as the group of Soviet forces in Afghanistan was known. In early April 1984 the 143rd BAP (Bomber Regiment) with 26 Su-24Ms, then based in Georgia at Kopitnari (Kutaisi-1) airbase, was detached to Khanabad – the one in south-eastern Uzbekistan (near Karshi), not the one in Afghanistan. At the same time the 149th GvBAP (Guards Bomber Regiment) with Su-24 Fencer-Bs based at Nikolayevka AB in Kazakhstan was relocated to the fighter base at Koka’fdy near Termez, right beside the border.

The primary motive for the presence of Fencers on the Afghan the­atre of operations was the need to subdue Ahmad Shah Massoud, the most capable Mujahideen leader. As a rule, the Su-24s were used against area targets such as Mujahideen fortifications. Prior to the sor­tie, reconnaissance aircraft would photograph the target. Its coordinates would be fed into the bomber’s computer, and everything else was largely automatic; the PNS-24 nav/attack system would take the bomber there and drop the bombs. In the 149th GvBAR Sqn 1 aircraft usually carried four 500-kg bombs each and Sqn 2 and 3 aircraft were armed with twelve 250-kg bombs each; additionally, two drop tanks were always carried.

Su-24 operations in Afghanistan were not very intensive, since the ground forces were more in need of close air support than of carpet bombing. Nor were they particularly successful; the Su-24 had been designed with the relatively flat terrain of Western Europe in mind, and the radar (which could pinpoint small targets such as tanks) had trouble picking out the targets among the jumbled rocks. NOE flying was out of the question because of the many canyons and mountain ridges. Weapons efficiency was low, as guided bombs and missiles showed poor controllability in the rarefied air of the mountains. Bomb-aiming accuracy in level flight was poor; dropping bombs in a 20 to 30-degree dive produced better results but took the bombers within range of the enemy air defences. During the following months, attacks were carried out from altitudes in excess of 5,000 m (16,400 ft) – safely out of range of the Stinger man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) supplied by the Western Alliance to the rebels.

The next time the Fencer appeared in Afghan skies was in 1988. At this stage, when the Soviet Union was already pulling out of the point­less conflict, Su-24 operations were mostly of a psy-war type, intended to exert a constant pressure on the Mujahideen and keep them busy. Sorties were flown not lower than at 7,000 m (22,965 ft) because of the omnipresent Stingers.

Generally the Su-24 had a good reliability record in Afghanistan. The few failures that did take place were mostly associated with hydraulics, flap and engine controls. Initially there were problems with the main nav/attack computer but these were quickly fixed as Afghan experience built up. Sometimes the drop tanks would refuse to give off fuel and had to be jettisoned – which the crews were reluctant to do, knowing that the tanks were in short supply. Because missions were prepared hastily, programming errors occurred and sometimes the navigation data mod­ules would even be installed on the wrong aircraft.

No Fencers were lost to enemy fire in the Afghan War. However, there were a few accidents and incidents. On the night of 13th December 1988 a 149th GvBAP forgot to set the wings and flaps for takeoff (they were always rotated to full sweep on the ground to save ramp space) and took off with the wings at maximum sweep. The fully fuelled and bombed-up aircraft managed to get unstuck at the last moment, crashing through the fence around the inner marker beacon and destroying the antenna in so doing; then it climbed away with a shocking 27-degree angle of attack and proceeded to the target. The rest of the sortie went normally, except for the flapless landing on return (the flap control unit had been annihilated when the aircraft hit a fence post). The crew was saved by the bomber’s rugged design and the fiat terrain around the base (eyewitnesses said the aircraft “could have run all the way to Afghanistan”!).

In December 1988 a 735th BAP Su-24 went off the side of the run­way when landing at Khanabad in a stiff crosswind. One of the main gear units hit a pothole and collapsed, rupturing a fuel line and causing a massive fire. The crew escaped but the WSO later died from burns.

Despite the Soviet withdrawal, the Su-24s stayed around for anoth­er month, ready to support Najibuilah’s government if the Mujahideen made an attack on Kabul. In the event, however, this was not needed and the aircraft returned to their home bases in March 1989, ending the Fencer’s Afghan involvement.

The type remained in active service in post-Soviet days. Apart from Russia, in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) the Su-24 was operated by the air forces of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The Russian Su-24s were also actively used in the First Chechen War (1994-96) and the Second Chechen War (1999-2001) against Chechen separatists. These missions did not always go without losses; three Fencers were shot down by MANPADS.

It is nearly 35 years since the first flight of the Su-24 prototype and 30 years since it first entered service with the WS. Despite many improvements to the airframe, avionics and systems, it does not incor­porate the latest state-of-the-art and no attempt has been made to ren­der it stealthy. Therefore, plans were in hand to replace it with a modern strike aircraft from the Sukhoi stable – the Su-34 (Su-32FN), a two-seat side-by-side derivative of the Su-27 Flanker interceptor. Yet budgetary constraints have caused these plans to be delayed, compelling the Russian Air Force to change its approach. Several Russian companies, such as Gefest&T, are offering mid-life updates for the Su-24M. Designated Su-24M2, the first upgraded aircraft having enhanced all- weather/night capability (38 White, c/n 1041643) was unveiled at the MAKS-2001 airshow. No doubt the introduction of the Su-34 will be a high-priority task, but shortage of funds (together with upgrade possi­bilities) will ensure that the Su-24M and MR will still be in Russian tacti­cal bomber and reconnaissance regiments for a few more years.

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24Seen here at OKB-51 ‘s flight test facility in Zhukovskiy, the T6-1 (the first prototype of the Sukhoi T-6 tactical bomber) differed a lot from subsequent aircraft in the series. This view shows clearly the cranked delta wings similar to those of the Su – 15TM interceptor, the separately opening port and staboard canopy halves, the V-shaped window of the laser rangefinder ahead of the windscreen, the engine cooling air intakes on the rear fuselage and the land – ing/taxi lights on the sides of the nose. The closed dorsal intakes of the buried Kolesov RD36-35 lift jets in the fuselage are not vis­ible here.

Sukhoi Su-24

The T6-1 lacked a dielectric radome, fea­turing an all-metal nose ahead of the cock­pit windshield.

Подпись: • A “toad’s eye view” of the T6-1 seen head – on. Note the shape of the two-dimensional air intakes, the six weapons hardpoints, the straight pitot at the tip of the nose, the back-up pitot near the port wingtip and the nozzles of the lift jets between the under­fuselage pylons. The relatively narrow land­ing gear track is also noteworthy.

A three-quarters rear view of the T6-1, showing the rectangular section of the fuselage forming a box around the engine nozzles, the lack of ventral fins, the brake parachute container at the base of the fin and the radar warning receiver (RWR) antenna near the fin tip. Note the unusual variant of the Soviet Air Force insignia on this aircraft with a pentagon incorporated into the middle of the star.

Sukhoi Su-24

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After giving up on the use of lift jets which imposed an unacceptable weight penalty the OKB redesigned the T-6 radically, Incorporating variable-sweep wings to reconcile speed and field performance requirements. This is one of the prototypes of the Su-24 “sans suffixe”in the assembly shop of 0KB-51’s experimental plant in Moscow. This view shows clearly the wings at minimum sweep and the double-slotted flaps. Note that the rear fuselage, which was detachable for engine maintenance/ change, is still unpainted, indicating that the aircraft is undergoing conversion to a new variant (probably the Fencer-B proto­type). The aircraft in the background is the T10-1, the first prototype of the Su-27 fighter (NATO code name Flanker-A).

The T6-2I (coded 62 Yellow) at the flight test facility during manufacturer’s tests. Note the warning markings near the radome (“Danger, HF radiation”) and the air intake bodies (“Danger, jet intake”). Note also the Sukhoi OKB’s “winged archer” logo beneath the cockpit and the red band near the top of the fin. The land­ing lights are still built into the forward fuselage sides. The all-movable stabilizers “bled” down to maximum nose-down posi­tion when hydraulic pressure fell off after engine shutdown.

The T6-2I at the Flight Research Institute (Lll) airfield in Zhukovskiy. All six hard – points are equipped with MBD3-U6-68 multiple ejector racks carrying 250-kg (551-lb) FAB-250 bombs. Due to take-off weight limitations the two MERs under the fuselage carry five bombs each instead of six; the total number of bombs is 34, equalling a warload of 8.5 tons (18,740 lb). Note the colour of the radome, the differ­ent Sukhoi OKB badge, three test mission markers and cruciform photo calibration markings beneath the cockpit and the blue fin stripe replacing the earlier red one. An ILS aerial is mounted above the air data boom carrying pitch and yaw sensor vanes.

One more view of the fully loaded T6-2I at Zhukovskiy with wings at maximum sweep. As is the case with some Western strike air­craft, the pylons under the Su-24’s outer wings rotate as wing sweep chages, remaining parallel to the fuselage centre­line. This view shows well the intakes’ boundary layer splitter plates.

One of the Su-24 prototypes with the wings at minimum sweep. The aircraft carries 24 FAB-250s on MERs on the wing pylons and a pair of 500-kg (1,102-lb) FAB-500s on the fuselage stations, which equals an ord­nance load of 7 tons (15,430 lb).

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Sukhoi Su-24Подпись: 24 Blue, a Su-24 “sans suffixe” representing the second production version known in the West as the Fencer-B. This view illustrates some of its features - the kinked forward segment of the nose gear doors consisting of two hinged parts, the faired heat exchanger on top of the centre fuselage and the antenna faired into the fin leading edge with a cooling air intake below it. Production Su-24s featured a so-called “goose" - an L-shaped strut at the tip of the radome mounting an antenna array; the radome itself was white. Note also the faired electronic countermeasures (ECM) antennas on the air intakes and the sides of the fin near the top and the boundary layer fences forming extensions of the inner wing pylons. T

The sixth prototype Su-24 (T6-6) was coded 66 Yellow. Here the aircraft is armed with SPPU-6 gun pods with depressabie six-barrel 23-mm Gatling machine guns (here with the barrels at the maximum deflection of 45°) on the inner wing pylons, OFAB-250ShN low-drag bombs for low – level strike on the fuselage stations and Kh-23 rockets on the outer wing pylons. The T6-6I still had a straight air data boom with an ILS aerial above it and nose- mounted landing lights (they were moved to the wing roots on production aircraft); the fin top band was white.

Two views of the T6-27 (coded 27 White), another Fencer-B development aircraft, carrying three Kh-29 rockets on the inner wing and centreline pylons plus two Kh-23 rockets on the outer wing pylons. The red colour of the rockets identifies them as inert rounds for initial weapons trials; note the photo calibration markings on the rear fuselage. The wing fences were a recent addition at the time the pictures were taken – they have not been painted yet!

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24The T6-8M, the prototype of the Su-24M (NATO code name Fencer-D), at the Lll air­field in Zhukovskiy in original guise. Note the extended nose, the extended wing leading edge root ECM fairings, the non­standard twin nose gear doors which remain open when the gear is down, the patch of bare metal and the absence of sensors on the underside of the nose where modifications have been made, the modified fin leading edge and the photo calibration markings on the fuselage. Despite the redesigned nose, the aircraft retains the "goose" typical of the initial – production Su-24 (compare this to the pro­duction aircraft on the opposite page).

Sukhoi Su-24The T6-8M at a later stage of the trials wearing an unusual three-tone camouflage and the Sukhoi OKB “winged archer” badge beneath the cockpit. The sensor array under the nose has been reinstated. The aircraft carried no tactical code.

Another view of the camouflaged T6-8M, showing the shape of the rear fuselage around the engine nozzles and the ventral fuel jettison pipes under the nozzles. These features are identical to the final production version of the Su-24 «sans suf- fixe» (Fencer-C).

Sukhoi Su-24
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An early-production Su-24M coded «07 White». Note the long straight air data probe at the tip of the radome and the wing fences (making the NATO reporting name Fencer oddly appropriate). The port canopy half is secured by a retaining rod to keep it from slamming down on some­body’s head or hands when there is no pressure in the hydraulic system.

Another view of Su-24M “07 White’’, show­ing the characteristic profile of the nose radome. Production Su-24s and Su-24Ms were normally painted light grey overall with white undersurfaces.

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Two views of Su-24s parked on a rain – lashed hardstand at Ostrov airbase near Pskov, north-western Russia. The base, whose name means “island” in Russian, hosts the Russian Navy’s Combat and Conversion Training Centre (i. e., opera­tional conversion unit).

The examples in these photos are repre­sentative of the very first production ver­sion known as the Fencer-A, as indicated by the boxy structure around the engine nozzles and the placement of the brake parachute container very close to the noz­zles. Oddly, the starboard airbrake-cum – mainwheel-well-door is open on all aircraft in the lineup while the port one is closed, as it should be on the ground. Note the fuel jettison pipe between the engine nozzles.

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Su-24 “29 White” seen at OstrovAB in 1998 is an example of the penultimate version of the Su-24 “sans suffixe” called Fencer-В in NATO parlance. Note the 3,000-litre (660 Imp. gal.) PTB-3000 drop tank suspended on the centreline pylon.

Sukhoi Su-24A trio of Fencer-As at Ostrov AB; note the different location and smaller size of the yellow radiation and air intake warning tri­angles. While the aircraft are in flyable stor­age, the resident Fencer-As were awaiting retirement and disposal on site.

Sukhoi Su-24Su-24 “05 White” is an example of the final variant of the Su-24 “sans suffixe ” known as the Fencer-C. Theis version can be identi­fied by the ECM antenna fairings on the air intake bodies and the fin sides.

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Подпись: PTB-3000 drop tanks lying in a neat row on the edge of the hardstand. These huge tanks were used for both ferry flights and long-range operations. ► Sukhoi Su-24A

Another view of Su-24s with PTB-3000 drop tanks under the wings in storage at OstrovABin 1998. The incredible fact that two neighbouring Fencer-As in the line-up carry the same tactical code, 29 White (quite apart from the Fencer-B shown on the preceding page!), is explained by the fact that the Su-24s were ferried to Ostrov for storage from various units and all three bombers obviously belonged to different regiments.

Close-up of the PTB-3000 on the centre­line hardpoint of Fencer-B “29 White”. The fins were set at more than 90° in order to provide adequate clearance between tank and wing/fuselage. Typically of the Soviet/Russian Air Force, drop tanks and such were marked with the aircraft’s tacti­cal code to stop them from being stolen and used on another aircraft – but clearly that did not always help; this drop tank comes from a sister ship coded 23! The yellow rectangles on the fuselage carry maintenance stencils.

Front view of Su-24 Fencer-B “29 White”. The canopy is closed by a heavy canvas cover which protects the Perspex from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun, delaying the appearence of micro-cracks which gener­ate annoying reflections (this phenomenon is known as “silvering”).

The tails of these Fencer-As show how the Su-24 ’s rudder is cut away from below, with a radar warning receiver aerial at the base. On later versions the space between it and the fuselage was occupied by the brake parachute container which was moved up considerably.

Sukhoi Su-24Подпись: Another view of the Fencer-A lineup at Ostrov AB. Left to right: 26 White, 29 White No. 1, 29 White No. 2 (ex 43 White), 24 White and 74 Red. T Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24

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The Su-24’s wings were moved aft into fully swept position after landing to save space on the hardstand. This view shows the Su – 24’s large spoilers used for roll control.

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This Fencer-A (52 White) at Ostrov AB has had the entire forward fuselage wrapped in tarpaulins. The wraps bear the aircraft’s tactical code on a black circle. The aircraft is a late-production example, as indicated by the dorsal heat exchanger fairing usually found on later variants.

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Sukhoi Su-24As the wings are moved back into maximum sweep position the centre of gravity shifts aft, causing the Su-24 to assume a nose-up position. Fortunately, unlike some variable – geometry aircraft, even an unladen Fencer does not exhibit a tendency to tip over on its tail in this situation.

Sukhoi Su-24This Fencer-C undergoing maintenance has had a support placed under the tail – just in case. All wheel well doors are fully open. Note that skin panels mounting the centre portions of the ventral fins have been removed for access to some of the equip­ment in the rear fuselage.

Fencer-A “26 White” at Ostrov AB. The slope behind it faced with concrete slabs functions both as a revetment wall and as a jet blast deflector, allowing the engines to be run after the aircraft has been aligned with the taxiway.

This late-production Fencer-A (note heat exchanger) operated by the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet is rather more fortu­nate. When this picture was taken in 1998 it was fully operational and based at Gvardeyskoye AB in the Crimea which the Ukraine has leased to the Russian Naval Air Arm. Note the generally better surface fin­ish on this aircraft and the different design of the nosewheel mudguard. It is hard to say why a car tire has been place on top of the aircraft. The vehicle in the background is an APA-5 ground power unit on a Ural – 375D truck chassis.

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Sukhoi Su-24Подпись: ◄ Front view of a Fencer-C at Gvardeyskoye. The pilot’s PPV head-up display (HUD) is visible through the windshield. Sukhoi Su-24

Su-24 Fencer-C “23 White” on the hard – stand at Gvardeyskoye AB in the summer of 1998. This view illustrates the large, high – set brake parachute container and the fin leading edge air intake which are charac­teristic of the Fencer-B/C.

Preparations are in hand for another day’s flying training over the Black Sea as a gag­gle of Su-24s basks in the sun at Gvardeyskoye AB. The nearest aircraft is provided not with the usual tarpaulin but with a modern cockpit cover made of reflective metallised fabric which also keeps the cockpit from turning into a steam bath in the summer season.

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Подпись: Fencer-Cs “23 White", “01 White” and “21 White” await the next sortie. Note the drop tank resting on a wooden cradle next to the latter aircraft. ▼ Подпись:Sukhoi Su-24
Gvardeyskoye AB is a large and well – equipped base with a large flight line boasting an excellent surface and a con­crete-lined jet blast deflector, in post – Soviet days, however, it was not much used, and the arrival of the Russian Fencers (the Ukraine operates the type, too) was a welcome spell of activity. Note the bicycle leaned against the aircraft; ser­vicemen cycling around CIS airbases are a pretty common sight. Small wonder, as legging it around the place can get quite tiresome.

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Подпись: ◄ Three-quarters front view of Fencer-C «27 White» (c/n 2315337). Note the “clip-on” ladders. Built-in boarding steps were gen-erally rare on Soviet combat aircraft.. Подпись:Sukhoi Su-24A

Su-24s «01 White», «21 White» and «07 White» in the maintenance area at Gvardeyskoye AB. The second aircraft is unserviceable, being minus the port engine.

Another angle on the maintenance ramp, with a fourth aircraft («27 White») on the left. Note the trestle under the tail of Fencer-B «21 White». Fencer-Cs «01 White» and «27 White» are obviously recod­ed, the tactical code being applied over a blotch of darker paint.

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Fencer-C “28 White” (c/n 1715324) differs slightly in the design of the «goose» and undernose aerial from «27 White» on page 26. Interestingly, the port air intake cover comes from another example coded «26 White» (c/n 2215334).

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A trailer-mounted ground power unit stands beside Fencer-C «01 White» to pro­vide electric power during maintenance.

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Many operational Su-24s show consider­able signs of wear and tear, as exemplified by Fencer-C «27 White» at Gvardeyskoye. Note the unit badge beneath the wind­screen. Again, the aircraft is obviously recoded, the part of the intake body with the tactical code making a marked contrast with the rest of the weather-stained air­frame.

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A pair of Su-24Ms coded «53 Red» and «57 Red» makes a banked turn over the Volga River near Akhtoobinsk, seat of the Air Force Research Institute. The camera ship is a slow transport, so the bombers fly with the wings at 16° to keep formation.

This view of a Su-24M shows that the wing and stabilator leading edges are parallel when the wings are at 69° maximum sweep. The radome on this particular example is unspeakably dirty, and more dirt emanates from the wing glove fairings near the wing pivots. The retractable FPSh-5M refuelling probe is positioned on the centreline ahead of the windscreen. Note the white colour­ing of the wing/stabilator leading edges and the offset position of the dorsal heat exchanger.

Sukhoi Su-24Su-24M «67 White» parked at the Russian Navy Combat and Conversion Training Centre, OstrovAB. Note the red covers on the dipole aerial aft of the cockpit and the hemispherical sensor of the Mak-UFM missile warning sensor further aft.

Sukhoi Su-24Two more Su-24Ms, «64 White» and «68 White», under wraps at the Russian Navy Combat and Conversion Training Centre. Unlike the Fencer-As depicted earlier, these aircraft are not in storage but are actually based at Ostrov and belong to the 240th GvOSAP (Guards Independent Composite Air Regiment).

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Sukhoi Su-24Su-24M «66 White» is one of the Fencer-Ds belonging to the Russian Navy Combat and Conversion Training Centre. This example carries an L-080 Fantasmagoriya-A (Phantasm-A) electronic reconnaissance (ELI NT) pod on the centreline pylon.

Sukhoi Su-24Three more views of Su-24Ms «64 White» and «68 White». The main gear doors are fully open. Note the kinked nose gear door consisting of two parts, a characteristic feature of the Su-24M, and the curvature of the colour division line across the wing fences. Note that the tactical code is repeated on the «pig snout» plate at the tip of the nose pitot cover.

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In accordance with the 240th GvOSAP’s status Su-24M «66 White», seen here soak­ing under a horrendous downpour at Ostrov AB, wears a Guards badge (the old Soviet – style version) on the starboard side.

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Подпись: A Head-on view of a very late-production Fencer-D coded «94 Blue» (c/n 1241613), another 239th TsPAT machine.

This late Fencer-D, a Batch 10 aircraft (c/n 1041611?) belonging to the 239th TsPAT (Aviation Hardware Demonstration Centre) at Kubinka AB, represents the export ver­sion designated Su-24MK. The blue tactical code is noteworthy, but the dark green/ dark earth tactical camouflage with pale blue undersurfaces similar to the one worn by Iraqi Air Force examples is even more unusual for a Russian Air Force Su-24. Note the lack of wing fences on this aircraft.

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«94 Blue» is prepared for a mission amid a jumble of ground support equipment that

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brake parachutes on the left. 239th TsPAT Su-24MKs await the next sor-

tie. The Su-24 hardstand at Kubinka is well equipped, with an energy supply system obviating the need for mobile ground power units.

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Two more views of Su-24MK «94 Blue» (c/n 1241613) as is taxies out for a training sor­tie at Kubinka AB, the canopy still open. Unlike the other Fencers operated by the 239th TsPAT, this aircraft wears the stan­dard grey/white colour scheme. Also, this aircraft lacks the wing fences; these were removed from many Su-24s in service.

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«93 Blue», another camouflaged 239th TsPAT Su-24MK (c/n 1041623), taxies out for a training sortie. The aircraft is armed with S-25-OF heavy unguided rockets on the wing glove pylons and R-73 air-to-air missiles on the outer wing pylons. The «wet» centreline pylon mounts an UPAZ – 1A Sakhalin «buddy» refuelling pod allowing the Su-24 to refuel other tactical aircraft. The angular wing fences of «93 Blue» house APP-50 chaff/flare dispensers.

«94 Blue» is prepared for engine starting, using an APA-5D GPU in this instance; the brake parachute pack lies beside, ready for loading. The APA-5’s lateral cable booms swing out to the sides, allowing the vehicle to power up two aircraft at a time

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«92 Blue», the second of three camou­flaged Su-24MKs operated by the 239th TsPAT, fires up its Lyui’ka AL-21Fafterburn­ing turbofans at Kubinka on a bleak winter’s day. The aircraft shows signs of operational wear and tear, with weathered areas on the forward fuselage side touched up in fresher blue paint.

«92 Blue» taxies out, showing the steel plates protecting the inboard portions of the wing flaps from damage when they slide inside the wing gloves as wing sweep is changed.

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Due to the unit’s «showcase» nature the Su-24MKs at Kubinka AB were frequently displayed to various visiting military dele­gations and at open doors days. In the upper photo «91 Blue» is seen together with a Su-25 of the Nebesnyye Goosary (Celestial Hussars) display team which was disbanded soon afterwards.

Sukhoi Su-24Two more views of Su-24MK «91 Blue» during displays at Kubinka. The aircraft is fitted with six MBD3-U6-68 MERs (two of them in tandem on the

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Su-24M «11 White» (c/n 1141613) belong­ing to the Sukhoi OKB performs a simulat­ed refuelling of Su-30 «597 White» (c/n 79371010101) belonging to the Ispytateli (Celestial Hussars) display team of the Flight Research Institute during the MAKS-97 airshow.

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SU-24MK «93 Blue» (c/n 1041623) refuels a sister aircraft coded «91 Blue» during an open doors day at Kubinka AB.

Two Su-24Ms can take on fuel simultane­ously from an IL-78 tanker, as demonstrat­ed by Fencer-Ds «17 White» and «19 White» formating with IL-78M «30 Blue» over Kubinka AB.

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Su-24M «45 Red» is one of several operat­ed by the 968th IISAP (Instructional & Test Composite Air Regiment) which is part of the Russian Air Force’s 4th TsBP і PLS (Combat and Conversion Training Centre) in Lipetsk. Note the unit badge and the five mission markers on the nose applied to mark successful live weapons training sor­ties.

Su-24M «42 Red» is prepared for the day’s flying at Lipetsk AB. Like the other resident Fencers, the aircraft has been recoded. The GPU in this case is an APA-5DM based on a diesel-powered Ural-4320.

Sukhoi Su-24«41 Red», another 968th IISAP Su-24M (seen here sharing the ramp at Lipetsk with a Mikoyan MiG-29), wears 14 mission markers. It is equipped with a UPAZ-1A refuelling pod.

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Su-24M «41 Red» features APP-50 chaff/flare dispensers on the upper side of the rear fuselage to enhance the aircraft’s protection against heat-seeking missiles (see also page 44).

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Another view of the flight line at Lipetsk.

Подпись: Su-24Ms lined up under threatening skies at Lipetsk. Note the open brake parachute container clamshell doors on «47 Red».
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Interestingly, none of the 4th Combat and Conversion Training Centre’s Su-24Ms has the tactical code repeated on the fin, as is customary in the Russian Air Force. On the other hand, the tactical code is repeated on the nose gear door, which is certainly unusual.

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The flight line in Lipetsk is equipped with removable jet blast deflectors made of steel. This type of structure is more com­mon at Soviet/CIS airbases than the «built – in» version of the kind seen at OstrovAB.

Although the Su-24M’s entire nose ahead of the windshield is painted white, not all of it is dielectric. Here the extent of the actual radome is clearly visible, as the special radio-transparent white paint used on dielectric fairings has become so weath­ered as to turn a dirty grey colour.

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This view of a Su-24M shows the wings at minimum sweep, the high-lift devices (slot­ted flaps and leading-edge slats) and the four underfuselage hardpoints (two in tan­dem and two side by side). The foremost pylon and the two side-by-side pylons are fitted in this case. The airbrakes/main gear doors are just about to close as the aircraft «cleans up» after take-off.

 

Su-24M «44 Red» «burns rubber» at the moment of touchdown in Lipetsk. This is one of several Fencer-Ds upgraded by the Russian avionics/weapons integrator Gefest & T. The mid-life update can be identified by the faired chaff-flare dis­pensers on top of the aft fuselage; the fair­ings have small air intakes at the front. The aircraft carries RBK-500 cluster bombs on the centreline pylons.

 

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Sukhoi Su-24Close-up of the Gefest & T logo on the air intake ofSu-24M «40 Red», another exam­ple upgraded by the company. Note the «cross-hairs» in the middle of the Cyrillic letter F.

The Su-24Ms of the 4th TsBP і PLS are by far the most actively flying Fencers in Russia, surpassing even those the naval examples based at OstrovAB.

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The Su-24Ms of the 968th IISAP wear a badge depicting a rampant bull with the word «Vsegda» («always» in Russian). The badge signifies readiness to take on any adversary, anytime, anywhere (equvalent to the «Semper paratus» motto of some Western squadrons). A more unofficial interpretation is «we’ll have everybody, everywhere, every time and in every possi­ble way».

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Sukhoi Su-24Su-24Ms «45 Red», «46 Red» and «40 Red» make a smoky flypast in echelon starboard formation. All three aircraft carry small bombs on the centreline; a minimum ord­nance load is enough for weapons training.

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The Su-24M served as a basis for the Su-24MR Fencer-E reconnaissance air­craft. This head-on view shows the recon­naissance version’s characteristic asym­metric external stores arrangement with a Efir – 1M electronic intelligence (ELINT) pod on the starboard wing pylon and a dual missile rack with two R-60 AAMs for self – defence under the port wing.

The Su-24MR has a much smaller nose radome, as revealed by the discolouration of the dielectric parts on the T6MR-1 pro­totype («26 White») converted from a Fencer-A (c/n 0115305). The space aft of it is occupied by a Shtyk MR-1 side-looking aircraft radar (SLAR) with elongated flush dielectric panels. The prototype lacked the IFR probe of production examples.

Sukhoi Su-24The nose of the Su-24MR is painted white right up to the windshield, just as on the regular Fencer-D, in order to conceal its special nature from the adversary’s aerial reconnaissance and space surveillance assets. This example coded «15 White» carries an Shpil’-2M laser line-scan pod on the centreline pylon. The white «hump» on the dorsal heat exchanger fairing is not a cap of snow but a dielectric panel. Note that the drop tanks apparently come from another aircraft; even writing the tactical code in really huge digits does not help!

Su-24MR «12 White», seen here at the moment of rotation, carries a large photo reconnaissance/ELINT pod on the centre­line pylon.

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This Su-24MR coded «40 Yellow» (c/n 0941648) is used as a demonstrator by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and based in Zhukovskiy, hence the flashy colour scheme in the Russian flag colours of fhite, blue and red. Here the aircraft is fitted with a PHOTINT/ELINT pod; the open camera port is visible here.

Su-24MR c/n 0941648 in the static park of MosAeroShow-92. In this instance it car­ries an Shpil’-2M pod; this near head-on persoective illustrates the pod’s elliptical cross-section. Note that the AAM adapter under the starboard wing is the wrong one, i. e., it is intended for the starboard side (the upper missile should be on the outer side!).

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This view of the Su-24MR demonstrator at MosAeroShow-92 shows to advantage the special colour scheme.

 

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Su-24MR «40 Yellow» (c/n 0941648) – this time with no external stores – takes off from Zhukovskiy’s runway 12 fora demon­stration flight during one of the MAKS air – shows.

«40 Yellow» completes its landing roll on runway 30 at Zhukovskiy. The aircraft is a regular participant of the flying programme during Moscow airshows.

Su-24MR «40 Yellow» passes in front of the crowd. Note the Vee shape of the colour division lines on the underside and the dirty marks sloping downwards from the stabila – tor pivots (a result of the stabilators’ habit of«bleeding» down to maximum deflection when the engines are inoperative).

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The other special mission derivative of the Su-24M was the Su-24MP Fencer-F elec­tronic countermeasures aircraft. This view shows the square-shaped dielectric panels on the sides of the nose (hiding jammer antennas), the characteristic ECM aerials under the nose and on the air intakes, and the centreline Fasol’ jammer pod.

Sukhoi Su-24The few Su-24MPs were stationed in the Far East and the Ukraine (the latter aircraft were retained by the newly-independent Ukraine after the break-up of the Soviet Union). Here, a Russian Air Force Su-24MP in wraps sits on a snowbound ramp at Lipetsk. Note that the outer wings are wrapped up, too.

Sukhoi Su-24This 4th TsBP і PLS Su-24MP coded «15 White» is apparently due to awaken from winter sleep and make a training flight; mechanics are about to remove the canvas covers from the airframe.

«15 White», a Ukrainian Air Force Su-24MP, sits in front of a hardened aircraft shelter (HAS) at Chortkov AB. The immaculate fin­ish on this aircraft is noteworthy.

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Подпись: As is the case with the Su-24MR, the nose of the Su-24MP is painted entirely white to disguise its role and hopefully prevent its from being specially chosen as a target. ◄
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Another view of Ukrainian AF Su-24MP «15 White». The nose gear doors are open for maintenance. The 118th OAPREB (Independent ECM Regiment) at Chortkov operating the type transitioned to the Su-24MP from the Yakovlev Yak-28PP.

Sukhoi Su-24This Ukrainian Air Force Su-24M coded «19 White» carries UAF roundels on the forward fuselage (which makes an interesting com­parison with the aircraft on the opposite page) and dragon artwork. Note the L-080 Fanmtasmagoriya-A ELINTpod on the cen­treline station.

Ukrainian Air Force Su-24 Fencer-B «49 White» (c/n 1615324) undergoing mainte­nance at its home base, Chortkov AB. The radome swings open to port, revealing the two antenna dishes; the larger one is for the Puma fire control radar while the small one underneath is for the terrain following radar.

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Two more views of Ukrainian Air Force Su – 24 «49 White» (c/n 1615324) unbuttoned for maintenance, showing the positioning of the UAF roundels on the wings and the removable panels on the upper fuselage for access to the control runs and other systems.

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The nighbouring aircraft coded «50 White» is also being worked upon. The drop tank is inscribed «50 starboard» but the «5» has almost vanished – though it is hard to say why.

The Ukrainian Air Force also managed to keep some Fencer-As flying, as illustrated by «65 White» here. Note the variance in the shield-and-trident tail insignia on individual aircraft; the crudely overpainted red star is showing from under the UAF insignia on this one. The panels carrying the middle por­tions of the ventral fins are removed, show­ing that «65 White» is a bit unairworthy for the time being.

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Soviet/CIS Air Force tactical bomber units sometimes operated a mix of different Su-24 versions, as illustrated by Fencer-A «65 White» sharing the flight line with a Fencer-C. The removed access panels with the middle portions of the ventral fins are lying behind the aircraft.

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The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) was one of the few export cus­tomers for the Su-24. Apart from the Su – 24MKs delivered directly from Russia, the IRIAF retained several ex-Iraqi examples which sought shelter in neutral Iran at the closing stage of the 1991 Gulf War. Here, IRIAF Su-24MKs serialled 3-6853 (above) and 3-3810 (right) are seen at military hard­ware exhibitions at Teheran International airport.

Two IRIAF SU-24MK (3-6807 and 3-6811) cruise over the snow-covered mountains of northern Iran. These photos illustrate the two-tone camouflage worn by export Fencers.

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The rear fuselage and tail unit of the Fencer-A, the first production version of the Su-24, showing the low-set brake para­chute container. This particular aircraft serving as a ground instructional airframe at the Ukrainian Air Force Technical School near Kiev is the T6-19 development aircraft («619 White»; c/n 0215307?). Note the photo calibration marking on the tail.

This view clearly illustrates the difference in rear end treatment between the Fencer-A (background) and the Fencer-C. Note the antenna and cooling air intake built into the latter aircraft’s fin leading edge.

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The rear fuselage and tail unit of the Su-24M (illustrated here by 239th TsPAT «92 Blue»), except for the shorter, upward – curved fuel jettison pipes.

 

Close-up of the Su-24M’s brake parachute container, with the radar homing and warn­ing system (RHAWS) antenna array above

 

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Подпись: ◄ The Su-24 has four underwing hardpoints. This particular example features non-stan-dard wing glove pylons allowing two stores to be carried on each inboard station. Sukhoi Su-24Подпись: I
The outer wing pylons rotate as wing sweep changes, remaining parallel to the fuselage axis. This aircraft carries 32-round UB-32 rocket pods for firing 57-mm S-5 folding – fin aircraft rockets (FFARs).

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MBD3-U6-68 multiple ejector racks can be carried on any of the Su-24’s hard points. Up to six of these MERs can be fitted at a time for carrying FAB-250 HE bombs. The starboard one of the two elongated ventral fairings visible in the left photo houses a 30- mm Gryazev/Shipoonov GSh-6-30 six-bar­rel Gatling cannon; the muzzle opening is closed by «eyelid» shutters.

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Double launcher adapters for R-73 air-to – air missiles can be carried on the outer wing pylons. These are usually fitted to the Su-24MR (here, «40 Yellow», c/n 0941648) and Su-24MP.

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The Su-24’s hefty wing pivot box is manu­factured as a singe whole with the fuse­lage. This is the port wing pivot and the riv­eted structure around it. Note the shallos strake which organses the airflow around the wing/fuselage joint.

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Up to three 3,000-litre (660 Imp. gal.) PTB-3000 drop tanks can be carried on the fuselage and inner wing hardpoints. Small canards with negative incidence are fitted at the front to facilitate separation when the tank is jettisoned.

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Подпись: ◄ The «goose» of the Fencer-A/B/C - the characteristic L-shaped strut carrying the pitot, ILS aerial and ESM antennas. Sukhoi Su-24

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Sukhoi Su-24Close-up of the antenna dishes of the Orion-A fire control radar and the Rei’yef terrain following radar below it forming the PNS-24 Tigr navigation/attack avionics suite. The antenns are mounted on a solid frame which swings out to starboard for access to the radar sets. The stencils on the antenna dishes read «Attention! Tuned, do not touch». Note also the V-shaped win­dow of the TP-23E infra-red seeker.

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The Su-24 features a sharply swept two – piece windshield made of strong polycar­bonate. It is designed to minimise drag at high speed and withstand birdstrikes which are quite likely during low-level dashes. Note the PVD-7 pitot head in line with the windshield.

The two halves on the canopy can be opened individually, leaving a splitter run­ning down the middle. The construction number is normally stencilled on this (though not on this particular aircraft).

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Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Подпись: ► The Su-24 has a levered-suspension twin- wheel nose gear unit equipped with a mud/snow/slush guard to prevent engine damage on semi-prepared runways. Подпись:Sukhoi Su-24Close-up of the faired centreline pylons carrying MBD3-U6-68 MERs.

Close-up of the Chaika (Seagull) under­nose forward-looking infra-red seeker (FLIR)/laser ranger window and Filin (Horned owl) ESM antennas.

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

The instrument panel of the Su-24 featured illuminated push-button switches; some of the engine instruments are of the vertical strip type. The diagram in the centre with the aircraft silhouette and radial beams is the RHAWS indicator.

Overall view of the cockpit. The naviga – tor/weapons systems officer (WSO) sits on the right, detecting targets on the orange – coloured radar screen and the display above it. This aircraft is c/n 1215301 (note «12-01» stencilled in the WSO’s footwell).

Sukhoi Su-24
Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24
A

Another view of the cockpit with its conven­tional electromechanical flight instruments. The throttles are on the captain’s side con­sole.

As the Su-24 can only land safely with the wings at minimum sweep, a read emer­gency wing actuating handle is located on the l/l/SO’s instrument panel to the left of the airspeed indicator.

Подпись: ■fN i I A.I m ^ ■ і Pi 1, V7

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Aptly coded «62 Yellow», the T6-2I was the first variable-geometry prototype.

 

The T6-27 during weapons trials. The aircraft is a Fencer-B.

 

«40 White», a 149th Guards Fighter Regiment Su-24 Fencer-B which saw action in Afghanistan, operating out of Kokaidy, Uzbekistan. Note the 13 mission markers.

 

Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Sukhoi Su-24

Another Su-24M in a highly unusual colour scheme applied in the early 1990s. Note the «eyes» painted on the forward fuselage for bird-scaring. The Russian flag addition to the red star was short-lived.

 

A Ukrainian Air Force Su-24MR. Note the old-style round tail

insignia and the Guards badge.

 

An Iraqi Air Force (a! Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-lraqiya) Su-24MK serialled 24246.

 

Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24Sukhoi Su-24

A production Su-24M with the wings at 69" sweep.

Type 150

Type 150

Purpose: Experimental jet bomber.

Design Bureau: OKB-1, Podberez’ye and later at Kimry, General Director from October 1948 S M Alekseyev.

The first official history of OKB-1 to be pub­lished (in Kryl’ya Rodiny for December 1987, written by I Sultanov) stated that it was led by Alekseyev, whose own OKB had been closed, and that this aircraft was ‘designed in close collaboration with CAHI (TsAGI), the leading experts on aerodynamics and struc­tures being V N Belyayev, AI Makarevskii, G P Svishchev and S A Khristianovich’. At the end it briefly noted that ‘a group from Ger­many, led by B Baade, participated…’ It would have been more accurate to explain that OKB-1 was specifically formed on 22nd October 1946 in order to put to use several hundred German design engineers, led by Prof Brunolf Baade and Hans Wocke, who had been forcibly taken with their families to a location 120km east of Moscow where they were put to work in a single large office block. For the first three years they were fully occu­pied on the Types 131 and 140 described pre­viously. However, mainly because of doubts that the forward-swept wing would ever be
made to work, even before they left Germany they had completed preliminary drawings for a bomber of similar size but with a conven­tional backswept wing. By 1948 this had be­come an official OKB-1 project, called 150. The original Chief Designer was P N Obrubov, but Alekseyev took his place when he arrived. Workers were increasingly transferred to the 150, which grew in size and weight from the original 25 tonnes to produce a bomber inter­mediate between the IL-28 and Tu-16. The brief specification issued by the WS called for a take-off weight between 38 and 47 tonnes, a maximum speed rising from 790 km/h at sea level to 970km/h at 5km, a service ceiling of 12.5km and a range varying with bomb load from 1,500 to 4,500km (932 to 2,796 miles). Only a single flight article was funded, and this had to wait a year for its en­gines. At last it was flown by Ya I Vernikov on 14th May 1951. On Flight 16 on 9th May 1952 the aircraft stalled on the landing approach, and though the aircraft was marginally re­pairable nobody bothered, because of the clearly greater potential of the Tu-88 (proto­type Tu-16). The dice were in any case loaded against a German-designed aircraft. In late 1953 Baade and most of the Germans re­
turned to their own country, where in Dres­den they formed a company called VEB which used the Type 150 as the [highly unsuitable] basis for the BB-152 passenger airliner.

A modern all-metal aircraft, the 150 had a shoulder-high wing with a fixed leading edge swept at 35°. As this wing had hardly any taper the tips were extraordinarily broad, leaving plenty of room for slim fairings housing the re­tracted tip landing gears. The concept of tan­dem centreline landing gears with small wheels at the wingtips had been evaluated with Alekseyev’s own I-215D. At rest the wing had anhedral of-4°, reduced to about -1° 20′ in flight. Each wing had two shallow fences from the leading edge to the slotted flap. Out­board were three-part ailerons. The fuselage was of circular section, tapering slightly aft of the wing to oval. Fixed seats were provided in the pressurized forward section for two pilots, a navigator/bombardier and a radio operator who also had periscopic control of a dorsal turret with two NR-23 cannon. Underthe floor was the RPB-4 navigation/bombing radar, with twin landing lamps recessed in the front. Behind this was the steerable twin-wheel nose gear. Next came the large bomb bay, 2.65m (8ft Sin) wide and high and 7m (23ft)

long, with a load limit of 6 tonnes (13,228 Ib). Next came the rear twin-wheel truck, which on take-off could be suddenly shortened to tilt the aircraft 3° 30′ nose-up for a clean liftoff. The large fin was swept at 45°, with a two-part rudder and carrying on top the 45°-swept tailplane and three-part elevators with dihe­dral of 8°. In the tail was a rear gunner with a turret mounting two NR-23 cannon. Under each wing was a forward-swept pylon carry­ing a Lyul’ka AL-5 turbojet rated at 4,600kg (lO. HOlb). A total of 35,875 litres (7,892 Im­perial gallons) of fuel was housed in eight cells along the upper part of the fuselage, and additional tanks could be carried in the bomb bay. On each side of the rear fuselage was a door-type airbrake. Like almost everything else these surfaces were operated electrical­ly, the high-power duplicated DC system in­cluding an emergency drop-out windmill generator. Each flight-control surface was op­erated by a high-speed rotary screwjack.

Подпись: Three views of 150. Type 150Though flight testing revealed some buffet­ing and vibration, especially at full power at high altitude, the numerous innovations in­troduced on this aircraft worked well. Never­theless, it would have been politically undesirable for what was essentially a Ger­man aircraft to be accepted for production. Thus, hitting the ground short of the runway was convenient.

Dimensions

Span

24.1m

79 ft 1 in

Length (excluding guns)

26. 74 m

87 ft 8% in

Wing area

125m2

1,346ft2

Weights

Empty

23,064kg

50,84715

Loaded

54 tonnes

119,00015

Performance

Maximum speed

at sea level,

850 km/h

528 mph

at 10 km (32,808 ft)

930 km/h

578 mph

Service ceiling about

13km

42,650ft

No other data, except that design range (see a5ove) was exceeded.

 

Type 150

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colourSoviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Top: Mikoyan Ye-4 with RD-9I engine Centre: Mikoyan Ye-2A Bottom: Mikoyan Ye-5

 

Photographs on the opposite page: Top: Mikoyan I-3U in late 1956. Bottom: Mikoyan I-7U.

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colourSoviet X-Planes. in colour

♦Ир fifty іНМІ -*

 

;ч2йСЬЄЄі

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Top: Mikoyan Ye-152/Awith K-9 missiles.

Right and bottom: Two views of the Mikoyan Ye-152P.

Photographs on the opposite page:

Top and centre: Two views of the Mikoyan Ye-8/2.

Soviet X-Planes. in colourBottom: Mikoyan Ye-50/3.

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Подпись:Soviet X-Planes. in colourPhotographs on the opposite page:

Top: Mikoyan Ye-152M (Ye-166) record version at Monino.

Centre. MiG-211/1 ‘Analog’.

Bottom: MiG-21PD (’23-31′).

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Top: One ofthe Myasischev M-17 prototypes at Monino

Подпись: Opposite page: Three views of the Mikoyan 'I-44'.

Soviet X-Planes. in colourAbove, right and below: Three views of the Myasischev M-55.

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Подпись:Soviet X-Planes. in colourPhotographs on the opposite page:

Top and centre left: Two views of the Myasischev VM-T.

Centre left and bottom: Two views of the Sukhoi T-4 (‘101’).

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colourSoviet X-Planes. in colour

Подпись: Top: Sukhoi S-22I test-bed. Centre left: Sukhoi T10-3. Centre right: Sukhoi T10-24. Bottom: Sukhoi T10-20 record version at Khodynka. Photographs on the opposite page:

Top and centre: Two views of the Sukhoi P-42 record aircraft.

Bottom left and right: Two views of the Sukhoi Su-27UB-PS test-bed.

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

 

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Three views of the Sukhoi S-37, the lower two taken at the MAKS-99 air show. ,

Soviet X-Planes. in colourPhotographs on the opposite page: Top: Sukhoi Su-37 (T10M-11). Bottom: Sukhoi Su-37 ‘Berkut’.

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

Top: Tupolev Tu-155 test-bed at Zhukovskii.

 

Cen/re: YakovlevYak-141 at Khodynka.

Bottom: YakovlevYak-141 second prototype.

 

Soviet X-Planes. in colourSoviet X-Planes. in colour

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Belyayev 370, EOI

Purpose: Experimental fighter.

Design Bureau: V N Belyayev, working at GAZ (factory) No 156, Moscow.

This EOI (Eksperimental’nyi Odnomestnyi Istrebitel’, experimental single-seat fighter) was proposed in early 1939, and personally approved by Stalin in August of that year. De­sign and manufacture proceeded through 1940, and at the German invasion of 22nd June 1941 the first flight was only a few months away.

In October the Moscow factories were evacuated. It was decided to abandon the project, and the part-complete EOI, drawings and calculations were destroyed. When pho­tographs of the FBI (see above) were discov­ered it was at first thought that this must be the same aircraft. In fact, there was little sim­ilarity between the two designs apart from the basic configuration.

The EOI had the cockpit in the nose, almost perfectly streamlined, with armament in the same location. Possibly for the first time in history, Belyayev designed the entire front section of the aircraft to be separated in emergency, so that the pilot would not have to bail out ahead of the propeller. The latter was to be driven by a Klimov M-105 engine, rated at l,100hp and fitted with a TK-2 tur­bocharger. In the original scheme, like fight­ers of 1917 by Gallaudet in the USA and Dufaux in France, the propeller was to have a large-diameter hub through which passed a tube carrying the rear fuselage. Some of the ‘370’ drawings are reproduced overleaf. One shows the proposed cockpit, armament of two underfloor VYa-23 cannon and location of the cartridge-severed attachments. Anoth­er drawing shows the unique arrangement in which the wing was to be provided with a slat. This auxiliary surface was normally
housed in a recess immediately ahead of the flap or aileron. For take-off and landing it was to be swung down and forward to adopt a leading-edge-down attitude ahead of the leading edge of the wing. Thus, it was a bold­er precursor of today’s Krueger flap. Whether or not this aerodynamically powerful idea was abandoned is unknown, but Belyayev certainly abandoned the original rear fuse­lage. By late 1939 he had decided to use con­ventional twin tail booms. The specification overleaf applies to this revised scheme.

According to one document it was intend­ed that a production version should have had the M-106 engine. This would have been rated at 1,350hp, instead of 1,100hp. Whether the unconventional configuration, and espe­cially the potentially dangerous slat system, would have shown to advantage will never be known.

Sketch drawings of 370

 

Belyayev 370, EOI

11.4m 37 ft 5 in

19 nf 205ft2

700km/h 435 mph

 

On take-off and landing

Belyayev 370, EOI

 

Model of the final EOI configuration.

 

Belyayev 370, EOIBelyayev 370, EOIBelyayev 370, EOI

Bolkhovitinov S

Purpose: Ultra-fast attack bomber.

Design Bureau: WIA (air force engineering academy) located at the Zhukovskii Academy, Moscow, where Viktor Fedorovich Bolkhovitinov was Professor of Aircraft Design and head of design team.

The objective was to make the fastest bomber in the world, by using a fighter-type layout with two powerful engines in tandem. This arrangement was adopted in order to achieve engine-out safety with minimum drag. Design of the propulsion system began in 1936 and of the aircraft itself a year later. The designation stood for Sparka (Twin), but other designations were S 2M-103 (in usual Soviet style, showing the engines), BBS-1 (short-range bomber, fast, the S here mean­ing Skorostnii, speedy) and LB-S (light bomber, twin). Construction of the single pro­totype began in July 1938, the first flight was made by B N Kudrin in late 1939, and NIl-WS testing took place between March and July 1940, the pilots being Kudrin and AIKa – banov. It was found that take-off run was ex­cessive. In 1940-41 the aircraft was subjected to major modifications. ZI Itskovich re­designed the wing with increased area and a changed aerofoil profile. A different front en­
gine was fitted, and the rear engine and its propeller were replaced by an inert mass. The oil coolers were incorporated in the main radiator duct. As the redesigned aircraft neared completion snow was still on the ground, and the landing gears were all re­placed by fixed skis.

No way was found to make proper use of the bay previously occupied by the rear en­gine, and in any case performance was now unimpressive. After the German invasion work was abandoned. Plans for an improved S bomber and a derived I (or I-1) fighter with two M-107 engines were also dropped.

The airframe was entirely a modern light – alloy stressed-skin structure. The wing was based on a structural box with two plate spars with flanged lightening holes, sheet ribs and heavy upper and lower skins with flush rivet­ing. The fuselage basically comprised top, bottom and side panels all joined to four strong angle-section longerons (Shavrov: ‘later this construction was used for the IL-28’, a post-war jet bomber). The twin-finned tail had thin Dl skin throughout, the rudders hav­ing inset balanced hinges, the tailplanes being pivoted and driven by irreversible trim­ming motors and the elevators having trim tabs and a variable geared drive. Each main
landing gear retracted electrically back­wards, the wheel turning through 90°.

The 960hp M-103 engines (V-12 liquid – cooled derived from the Hispano-Suiza 12Y) were mounted in tandem, the rear engine dri­ving the rear unit of the contra-rotating six – blade propeller. Some reports state that the drive was taken via left/right twin shafts past the front engine’s crankcase, but in fact (as in the Italian Macchi M. C.72 racing seaplane of 1933) the rear engine drove a single shaft be­tween the front-engine cylinder blocks which finally passed through the centre of the front – engine propeller shaft. Both engines were served by a large ducted radiator with a con­trollable exit flap (this was positioned by one of the 29 on-board electric actuators) and two oil coolers were fitted in ducts on each side of the front engine. Four fuel tanks were housed between the wing spars, and on the trailing edge were electrically driven slotted flaps (in several reports, incorrectly called Fowler

type).

Pilot and navigator sat in tandem, far apart under a long Plexiglas canopy. The navigator also had a bomb sight, and the entire area around his seat was skinned in Plexiglas. Turning to the rear he could fire a 7.62mm ShKAS, and it was the intention later to re-

Подпись:

place this by twin 12.7mm UBT. Behind the rear spar, under the pilot’s cockpit, was a bay housing 400kg (882 Ib) of bombs, with two electrically driven doors. It was the intention later to fit fixed guns in the wings.

The second wing, of NACA-230 profile, gave improved field length. One report states that a remotely controlled ShKAS was added in the extreme tail, but this does not appear in any known photographs. Continued poten­tially dangerous problems with the rear en­gine and its drive resulted in this being removed. The front engine was changed to an M-l 05P, ofunchanged 960hp, driving a sin­gle three-blade propeller. Even with weight considerably reduced the S was then judged a failure, though tandem-engine studies con­tinued. The factory was tooled up for Pe-2 production.

Though an article by Ing V Mikhailov and Ing VPerov states that, following initial Nil testing ‘the design team was instructed to continue development’, there is no doubt the S was always on the verge of success but never getting there. The high wing loading and the failure to solve the rear-engine drive problem made it one of the programmes abandoned after the invasion of June 1941.

Dimensions

Span (original)

11.38m

37 ft 4 in

(new wing)

12.2m

40 ft X in

Length (original)

13.2m

43 ft 4 in

(one engine)

13.0m

42ft73/iin

Wing area (original)

22.9 m2

246.5ft2

(new wing)

23.43m2

252.2 ft2

S (as built)

Bolkhovitinov S

 

Bolkhovitinov S

S (as built).

 

Bolkhovitinov S

S (as built).

 

Bolkhovitinov S

S (as built).

 

Bolkhovitinov S

S (converted to single engine).

 

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

Purpose: Simple jet (rocket + ramjet) fighter.

Design Bureau: RNII (reaction-engine scientific research institute) and OKB No 55.

By 1940 the idea ofthe PVRD (ramjet) was fa­miliar in the Soviet Union, mainly to boost the speed of piston-engined fighters. In 1940 Pro­fessor Mikhail Tikhonravov, on the RNII staff, had the better idea of making a simpler and lighter fighter with a ZhRD (liquid-propellant rocket) in the tail and PVRDs under the wings. This could put together various thing s already developed in the Soviet Union to create what might have been a cheap and quickly pro­duced fighter which, apart from short range and endurance, would have had outstanding performance. Unfortunately, perhaps be­cause it appeared unconventional, this pro­ject suffered from endless argument and foot-dragging, finally falling victim to a deci­sion to abandon all such aircraft. According to Shavrov, ‘The proposal did not attract any ob­jections from A G Kostikov, Director of the RNII. It was continued as a preliminary pro­ject, and approved by the Technical Council of the RNII in spring 1941. It was later exam­ined by a commission of specialists at the WA’ (air force academy). This commission, comprising S A Christianovich, A V Chesalov, S N Shishkin, V I Polikovskii and others, pro­claimed that This project does not bring out anything new’. Work proceeded at a snail’s pace, and Kostikov then took the proposal to the NKAP (state commissariat for aviation in­dustry), where Tikhonravov defended it on 17-18th July 1942. In No vember 1942 Ko stiko v showed the proposal to K E Voroshilov, and eventually Stalin himself gave authority for work to resume, appointing Kostikov chief designer. From this time onwards many doc­uments called the project ‘Ko-3’. Funding was
provided for two prototypes, and to build these the RNII set up OKB-55, appointing as director M R Bisnovat (see earlier) and A A Andreyev as his deputy. Tikhonravov did the aerodynamic calculations, while stress­ing was in the hands of V D Yarovitskii. By spring 1943 two 302 aircraft were almost completed. Testing in the T-104 tunnel at CAHI (TsAGI) began at this time. In 1943 the original proposed ramjets were changed to a new design by Vladimir Stepanovich Zuyev. These were initially tested in a half-scale form, but full-scale testing was never carried out. After much argument it was decided to forget the ramjets and complete the aircraft as the 302P (Perekhvatchik, interceptor) with the rocket only. The PVRD attachments under the wings were faired over, and the wing span reduced. This was flight-tested as a glider at the LII from August 1943, towed to altitude by a North American B-25 and Tu-2. The as­signed pilot was initially S N Anokhin, fol­lowed by M L Gallai and B N Kudrin, with V N Yelagin as test engineer. The 302P was found to be ‘exceptionally good, stable and pleasant to fly’, and in March 1944 the second 302P was being tested in the T-104 tunnel at CAHI. In the same month the whole pro­gramme was cancelled. A recent Russian magazine article about the 302 omits any mention ofTikhonravov.

The 302 was made mainly of wood, with a monocoque fuselage and smooth skin of

Delta and Shpon veneers bonded by Bakelite – type plastics. The wings had 15-per-cent RAF.34 profile at the root, tapering to 8-per­cent NACA-230 near the pointed tip. In con­trast, the control surfaces were of Dl alloy with fabric covering, the starboard aileron, rudder and both elevators having trim tabs. The rocket engine was a Dushkin/Shtokolov D-1A with a main chamber rated at 1,100kg (2,4251b) at sea level and a cruise chamber rated at 450kg (992 Ib). Under the wings were to have been installed the ramjets, but infor­mation on these Zuyev units is lacking. Their nacelles were to have been oval, with the major axis horizontal, faired neatly into the wing. The all-rocket 302P had tanks for 1,230kg (2,712 Ib) of RFNA (concentrated ni­tric acid) and 505kg (1,113 Ib) of kerosene. The cockpit, which was to have been pres­surized, had a canopy hinged to the right and a bulletproof windscreen and frontal armour. The main and tailwheel landing gears were to have been retracted hydraulically, and the same system would have operated the split flaps. No documents have been found de­scribing how the environmental and hy­draulic systems would have been energised. Two 20mm ShVAK cannon were to have been mounted in the nose and two more in the bottom of the forward fuselage, each with 100 rounds. In addition, there was to have been provision for underwing racks for RS-82 or RS-132 rockets or two FAB-125 bombs.

Top: 302 with PVRD engines. Below: Two views of302.

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

 

Подпись: Dimensions (302) Span (302) 11.4m 37 ft Min length (excluding guns) 8.708m 28 ft &, in wing area (302) 17.8m2 192ft2
Kostikov 302, Ko-3

With the benefit of hindsight this appears to 302P in CAHI (TsAGl) wind tunnel. have been a considerable case of ‘might have been’. Kostikov was a political animal who saw in Tikhonravov’s proposal a means to gain advancement and power. Instead, in 1944 a commission headed by A S Yakovlev found him responsible for the failure of the 302 to develop on schedule; he was dis­missed from his post and later imprisoned.

Подпись: Weights Empty (302) 1,856kg 4,092 Ib Loaded not stated, but about 3,800 kg 8,377 Ib Performance Max speed at sea level, 800 km/h 497 mph at altitude 900 km/h 559 mph Time to climb to 5 km 2.1 min (16,404ft) to 9 km 2.8 min (29,528 ft) Service ceiling 18km 59,055ft Range 100km 62 miles Take-off in 16 seconds at 200 km/h 124 mph Dimensions (302P) Span 9.55m 31 fl 4 in Length (excluding guns) 8.708m 28 ft 6% in Wing area 14.8m2 159ft2 Weights Empty 1,502kg 3,31 lib Loaded 3,358kg 7,403 Ib Performance The only measured figure for the 302P was a landing speed of 115 km/h 71.5 mph 302P

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

Below: 302P inboard profile.

 

Above: 302 with PVRD engines.

 

Kostikov 302, Ko-3

MiG-17 Experimental Versions

Design Bureau: OKB-155 ofAI Mikoyan.

Throughout 1949 the MiG OKB was busy cre­ating the SI, the prototype of a MiG-15 deriva­tive incorporating numerous improvements. Most of these were aerodynamic, including a completely redesigned wing, a horizontal tail of increased sweep on an extended rear fuse­lage, and improved flight controls. The first flight article, SI-2, was flown on 13th January 1950, and on 1st September 1951 MAP Order No 851 required the SI to be put into produc­tion as the MiG-17. Because of the sheer mo­mentum of MiG-15 production the improved aircraft did not replace it in the factories until October 1952. The following specification refers to the MJG-17F, by far the most impor­tant version, which was powered by the af­terburning VK-1F, with a maximum rating of 3,380kg (7,451 Ib).

Dimensions Span Length Wing area

9.628 m 11.26m 22.64 m2

31 ft 7 in 36 ft 1 Min 243.7 ft2

Weights

Empty

3,940kg

8,686 Ib

Fuel/oil

1,170kg

2,579 Ib

Loaded (clean)

5,340kg

1 1,772 Ib

(maximum)

6,069 kg

13,380 Ib

Performance Maximum speed

at sea level

l,100km/h

684 mph

at 3,000m (9,842 ft)

l,145km/h

71 1.5 mph

Mach limit

(clean over 7,000m)

1.15

22,966ft

Time to climb (afterburner)

to 5,000 m

l. Smin

16,404ft

to 10,000m

3.7 min

32,808ft

Service ceiling

(still climbing 3.6 m/s)

16,600m

54,462 ft

Range (clean)

1,160km

721 miles

(maximum)

1,940km

1,205 miles

Take-off speed/

235km/h

146 mph

run

590m

1,936ft

Landing speed/

180km/h

112 mph

run

850m

2,789 ft

SN

In late 1953 the MiG Factory 155 produced an experimental fighter representing the next stage beyond the SU. This time the entire for­ward fuselage was redesigned to house the pivoted guns, the engine being fed by lateral inlets and ducts passing both above and below the wing torsion box (which was given front and rear fairings). Ahead of Frame 13 the entire nose was occupied by the SV-25 ar­mament installation devised by the TKB (Tula design bureau) of Afanas’yev and Makarov. This was based on a large frame mounted on needle-roller bearings on each side and piv­oted on a transverse axis over the range +27° 267-9° 28′ (not 9° 48′ as previously pub­lished). On this frame were mounted three TKB-495 lightweight 23mm guns, fed by box magazines mounted on the fixed structure. The whole installation weighed 469kg (l,0341b), requiring a balancing increase in the size of Tank 3 in the rear fuselage. As this

MiG-17 Experimental VersionsПодпись: Two different SDK-5s. Подпись:MiG-17 Experimental Versions

aircraft was so non-standard anyway the OKB took the opportunity to try a few other changes. Of course a special gunsight was needed, and it may have been to improve the optics that a new windscreen was designed, wider and longer than before and giving a bet­ter field of view ahead. The SN was factory – tested by Georgiy K Mosolov from mid-1953. It proved a failure, with seriously reduced flight performance and useless armament. Because the guns were so far ahead of the centre of gravity and centre of pressure of the aircraft, firing them at large angles from the horizontal caused powerfulpitchingmoments which threw the aim off-target. Mikoyan de­cided the problem was not readily soluble. Numerous otherwise unmodified MiG-17s were also used as armament test-beds.

SI-10

This MiG-17 was one of the original type with the non-afterburning VK-1A engine, with call­sign 214. Having studied the wing and tail of the F-86E Sabre, this aircraft was fitted with important aerodynamic and control changes. The wing was fitted with large automatic slats over the outer 76 per cent of each leading edge, large area-increasing (Fowler-type) flaps, and spoilers (called interceptors) under the outer wings which opened whenever the adjacent aileron was deflected more than 6°. In addition, a fully powered irreversible tailplane was fitted, with limits of +37-5°, re­taining the elevators driven by a linkage to add camber. Grigorii A Sedov flew No 214 on 27th November 1954, followed by many other OKB and NIl-WS pilots. Opinions were favourable, especially regarding the horizon­tal tail, but it was not worth disrupting MiG-17 production to incorporate the changes.

NIAI RK, LIG-7

Purpose: To evaluate an aeroplane with a wing of variable area.

Design Bureau: NIAI, Leningrad.

In 1936 Grigorii (according to Shavrov, Georgii) Ivanovich Bakshayev, aged 18, joined the UK GVF, the instructional combine of the civil air fleet. He was eager to test his belief that a su­perior aeroplane could be created by arrang­ing for it to have a large wing for take-off and landing and a smaller wing for cruise. As the UK GVF was in Leningrad the NIAI adopted the idea. Called RK (Razdvizhnoye Krylo, ex­tending wing), and also LIG-7 because it was the seventh project of the Leningrad Institute GVF, the aircraft was built quickly and was first flown in August 1937. Remarkably, the
system worked smoothly and reliably (better in the air than on the ground), and it led to the evenmore unconventional RK-I fighter.

Apart from the wing the RK was a simple monoplane of mixed construction, with en­closed cockpits for a pilot and observer and powered by an uncowled l00hp M-l 1 engine driving a laminated-wood propeller. It had a two-spar wing of constant narrow-chord M-6 profile, braced by pairs of wires above and below to the top of the pilot’s hood and to a pyramid truss under the fuselage. At the root was what looked like the root section of a much larger wing, with CAHI (TsAGI)-846 aerofoil profile, but with a span of only 50cm (1ft 7%in). Inside this, nestling tightly like a set of Russian Matroshka dolls, were five further
plywood wing sections each of 50cm span. The observer could crank these out by a cable mechanism, each adding 45cm (1ft 5%in) to the span of the large-chord region. It took 30 to 40 seconds to crank the telescopic sections out to their full extent, covering 60 per cent of the semi-span, and 25 to 30 seconds to wind them back.

Seemingly a ‘crackpot’ idea, the RK per­formed even better than prediction. It is diffi­cult to account for the fact that it got nowhere. The answer must be that it introduced an el­ement of complexity and possible serious danger, sufficient to dissuade any later de­signer from following suit.

NIAI RK, LIG-7
NIAI RK, LIG-7

Purpose: To create a fighter with variable wing area.

Design Bureau: NIAI, Leningrad.

From the start of his telescopic-wing studies young Bakshayev had really been thinking about fighters. He had regarded the RK mere­ly as a preliminary proof-of-concept exercise. He calculated that a fighter able to retract most of its wing area and powered by the M – 105 engine ought to be able to reach a world – record 800km/h (497mph), overlooking the fact that a fighter with a relatively small wing would have poor combat manoeuvrability. Indeed, as described below, he found a way to make the relative difference between the small and large wings even greater than in the RK, the ratio of areas being 2.35:1. In October 1938 he submitted a preliminary design sketch for the RK-I (Russian abbreviation for extending-wing fighter). After much argu­ment the concept was accepted by CAHI (TsAGI) and the WS. A one-fifth-scale model was tested in a CAHI (TsAGI) tunnel from Jan­uary 1939, but it was difficult to find an indus­trial base capable of building even the prototype. Worse, the RK-I attracted the at­tention of Stalin, who took a keen interest in combat aircraft. Excited, he demanded that this aircraft should use the M-106 engine, the most powerful then on bench test. Under
some difficulty a prototype RK-I was com­pleted in early 1940, but the M-106 engine (later designated VK-106) was still far from ready. The aircraft could have flown with the M-105, but nobody dared to fit anything but the engine decreed by Stalin. In order to do at least some testing a full-scale model was con­structed with the nose faired off, fixed landing gears and a projecting canopy, with no at­tempt to simulate armament or the radiator ducts in the rear fuselage. This mock-up was then tested in the CAHI (TsAGI) full-scale tun­nel. The resulting test report was generally favourable, but noted that sealing between the telescopic wing sections was inadequate. The CAHI (TsAGI) aerodynamicists neverthe­less concluded that with the M-106 the speed might be 780km/h (485mph). Lacking an en­gine the project came to a halt, and after the German invasion in June 1941 it was aban­doned. Bakshayev was appointed to super­vise increased production of the 156km/h (97mph) U-2 (Po-2) at Factory No 387.

The lifting surfaces of the RK-I were unique, and quite unlike anything attempted by any other designer. The aircraft was all-metal, the large fuselage being a light-alloy monocoque which would have housed the 1,800hp M-106 in the nose with the oil cooler underneath and surrounded by two 20mm ShVAK can­non and two 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns.

Behind the firewall were successively the fuel tanks, backwards-retracting single-strut main landing gears, enclosed cockpit and the gly­col coolant radiator with controllable air ducts on each side of the rear fuselage. The amazing feature was that there were two wings of equal span and narrow tapering chord, one in front of the cockpit and the sec­ond, set at a slightly lower level, behind. Each had upper and lower skins of spot-welded SOKhGSA stainless steel, and the rear wing was fitted with three hinged trailing-edge sur­faces on each side serving as flaps and ailerons. These movable surfaces, like the tail, were made of light alloy. The unique fea­ture was that on this aircraft the root of the large wing extended completely around the front wing and back almost to mid-chord of the rear wing. Nested inside it were 14 further wing profiles, which in 14 seconds could be winched out over the entire span by an elec­tric motor and cable track along the rear wing leading edge, which was at right angles to the longitudinal axis. Each section of the large wing comprised a Dural leading edge and rib with a fabric skin, the first section sealing the side of the fuselage in the high-speed condi­tion and serving as a wing end-plate in the ex­tended low-speed configuration. Shavrov gives the weight of all 28 telescopic sections as approximately 330kg (727.5 Ib). Changing

RK-800

 

to the large-area configuration was intended to have no significant effect on the rod-oper­ated flight controls, a fact confirmed by CAHI (TsAGI). Bakshayev left drawings showing that a production aircraft would have had only nine larger telescopic sections, and vari­ous other changes.

Had an M-106 engine been available this aircraft might have flown. Pilots would then have been able to assess whether (as seems doubtful) the ability to fly with much less wing

 

Dimensions

Span

Length

Wing area (large) (small)

 

area than needed for take-off and landing really offered any advantage to an aircraft designed to engage in close combat.

 

8.2m

26 ft 10s/, in

8.8m

28 ft 1014 in

28.0m2

301 H2

11.9m2

128ft2

not recorded

3,100kg

6,834 Ib

 

Weights

Empty

Loaded (estimate)

 

Performance (estimated)

Max speed (small wings) 780 km/h 485 mph

Endurance 2 hrs 27 min

Landing speed (large wing) 115 km/h 7 1.5 mph

 

Sketches of RK-I showing its two configurations.

NIAI RK, LIG-7

 

NIAI RK, LIG-7NIAI RK, LIG-7

Sukhoi T-49

Подпись: Dimensions (Broadlysimilarto PT-7) Length 19.8m 64 ft m in No other data. Sukhoi T-49

Purpose: To create a further-improved interceptor.

Design Bureau: OKB-51 ofP O Sukhoi, Moscow.

In May 1958 the OKB-51 decided that, after more than four years of effort, they had still not found the best answer to the problem of how to arrange the radar, air inlet(s) and ar­mament of a single-engined supersonic inter­ceptor. It was recognized that guided missiles would be carried externally, probably under the wings, leaving the nose free for radar, but the engine inlet still posed a problem. The PT-8 and T-47 had large radars centred in a nose inlet, and this was considered to de­grade the aerodynamics. Accordingly a new arrangement was devised, and the OKB con­veniently were able to graft it on to the in­complete T-39 (T-3 derivative). The result
thus received the designation T-49. By June 1958 work on the T-39 had been stopped, and this project was transferred as a test-bed to the Central Institute of Aviation Motors. Conversion to the T-49 was completed by Oc­tober 1958. In 1959 M Goncharov was ap­pointed to supervise flight testing, but the T-49 remained on the ground – much of the time being used for various tests – until in January 1960 it was flown by Anatoly Koznov. He re­ported outstanding acceleration and good all­round performance, but by this time aircraft in this class had been overtaken by later tech­nology. In April 1960 the T-49 was damaged in an inflight accident, and though it was re­paired it never flew again.

The T-49 was by virtue of its ancestry very similar to the simpler versions of T-4 family aircraft such as the production Su-9. Like that aircraft it was intended to be armed with two
guided missiles carried on pylons under the outer wings, but these would have been of the K-8 type as carried by the Su-11. The large fixed radome was uncompromised by the in­lets, which were located well back on each side. In side elevation each inlet was vertical, seen from the front it formed a 90° segment curved round the side of the fuselage, and in plan it was swept back at 60°. To match pres­sure recovery over the whole range of flight Mach numbers the inner wall was made vari­able in angle and throat area. The intention was to make the whole inlet system isentrop – ic (causing no change in entropy) to achieve maximum compression of the airflow. Like several other Sukhoi designs of the period there were two vertical doors in each side of the fuselage at Frame 7 to spill excess air from the ducts. The engine was a Lyul’ka AL-7F-100, with a dry rating of 6,900kg (15,212 Ib) and maximum afterburning thrust of 9,900kg (21,82515). This was achieved without the need for the injection of water, the T-39’s rear-fuselage water tank being re­placed by one for fuel. Other features includ­ed steel doubler plates left over from the T-39 near where gun muzzles would have been had they been fitted, tailplanes fitted with anti-flutter masses and driven over the ex­ceptional angular range +97-16°, and flaps whose trailing-edge roots were cut away at 45°, which was also a feature of the pro­duction Su-11.

This promising aircraft was overtaken by galloping technology.

This page and opposite top: Three views of T-49.

Sukhoi T-49

 

Sukhoi T-49

Sukhoi T-49

Tupolev Tu-4 Experimental Versions

Purpose: To use Tu-4 aircraft for various experimental purposes.

Design Bureau: OKB-156 of A N Tupolev.

In The Great Patriotic War the Soviet Union had no modern strategic bomber. Stalin cast covetous eyes on the Boeing B-29, and told Tupolev and Myasishchev to design aircraft in the same class. However, in 1944 three intact B-29s fell into Soviet hands and it was decid­ed just to copy them. Tupolev was given two years to do this immense task. The first air­craft to appear was the Tu-70 transport, which actually used the wing, engines and pro­pellers of one of the B-29s. The production bomber was designated Tu-4, and had Soviet ASh-73TK engines of2,400hp (more powerful than the B-29 engine) and a totally new defensive system with guns of 12.7mm (1st Series), 20mm (from the 8th Series) or 23mm calibre (from the 15th Series). Total produc­tion was close to 1,000. Several Tu-4 aircraft were used in air-refuelling experiments.

The Tu-4T was a single unpressurized trans­port conversion which initially was used for trials with 28 paratroops. In 1954 a small number
of 52-seat versions, again called Tu-4T, were built for the VTA (military transport aviation).

Several Tu-4K conversions were used as carrier aircraft for trials with the Mikoyan KS-1 cruise missile, for use chiefly against ships. This 3 tonne (6,614 Ib) turb ojet-engined weapon was a miniature swept-wing aero­plane with radar guidance (see page 101). The Tu-4K played a major role in the devel­opment of the entire Kompleks (electronic system) which after being cleared for pro­duction was installed in the Tu-16KS, which was the operational carrier of these missiles. Several Tu-4s were used for trials with other missiles, the earliest being with captured FilOS (so-called V-l) pulsejet cruise missiles captured in 1944-45. From March 1945 the Soviet X-10 (Kh-10) copy was on test, and numerous examples were launched from ground ramps and from Tu-2, Yer-2 and Pe-8 aircraft. In 1947 the Tu-4 became available, and several were used to test the 14Kh-l and twin-engined 16Kh, but all this work petered out by July 1955 and none of these missiles entered service.

At least 12 Tu-4s were used as engine test­
beds. Some of the early examples tested tur­boprops, of which the most startling were the three aircraft whose No 3 (starboard inner) engines were replaced by TV-12 turboprops. Take-off power ofthis single-shaft engine was initially ll,995hp, or almost six times that of the engine it replaced. The colossal thrust, which in the Tu-4 could not all be used, was transmitted by a pair of AV-60 co-axial pro­pellers each with four broad blades of 5.6m (18ft 41/2in) diameter. Later this unique pow – erplant was developed into the NK-12M of nearly 15,000hp for the Tu-95 and Tu-142. Other turboprops tested included the ex­Junkers TV-2, Klimov VK-2 (TV-4), Kuznetsov NK-2 and NK-4, and the Ivchenko AI-20, one AI-20 installation (for the Ilyushin 18) having the thrust line and jetpipe above the wing and the other (for the Antonov 10 and 12) having the thrust line and jetpipe below the wing. Jet engines tested under the fuselage of Tu-4LL aircraftincludedtheNene, AL-5,AL-7,7Fand 7P, AM-3 (RD-3), AM-5 and 5F, VD-5, VD-7, VK-2, VK-7 and VK-11.

Tu-4test-bedforNK-12turboprop.

Tupolev Tu-4 Experimental Versions