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.

Soviet X-Planes. in colour

  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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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

BOK-1, SS

Purpose: To investigate high-altitude flight, and if possible set records.

Design Bureau: The Byuro Osobykh Konstruktsii, the Bureau of Special Design, Smolensk. BOK was formed in 1930 in Moscow as a subsidiary of CAHI (TsAGI) to build experimental aircraft ordered by the Revolutionary Military Council. Despite starting on existing projects it made slow progress, and in September 1931 was transferred to the CCB (TsKB) as Brigade No 6. It had undergone other transformations, and been relocated at Smolensk, by the time work began on BOK – 1. Director and Chief Designer was Vladimir Antonovich Chizhevskii.

One of the bureau’s first assignments was to create an aircraft to explore flight at extreme altitudes, seen as ‘Nol priority’. Close links between the USSR and Junkers resulted in BOK sending a team to Dessau in 1932 to
study the Ju 49, and in particular its pressur­ized cabin. This strongly influenced their thinking, and led to many studies for a Soviet counterpart, but the only hardware built was the balloon SSSR-1, with a pressur­ized gondola, which in 1933 exceeded 18km (59,055ft). In 1934 a major conference of the Academy of Sciences issued a programme for future research, one requirement being a high-altitude aircraft. The contract for the SS (Stratosfernyi Samolyot, stratospheric aero­plane) was signed with BOK.

By this time Tupolev had designed the long – range RD (ANT-25), and to save time BOK used this as the basis for the BOK-1. The main task was to design the pressure cabin, but there were many other major modifications. The BOK-1 was built at GAZ (State Aircraft Factory) No 35 at Smolensk, where it was first flown by I F Petrov in (it is believed, in Sep­tember) 1936. It was repeatedly modified in order to climb higher. It was successfully put
throughGOSNIl-GVF State testing by PM Ste – fanovskii. Shavrov speaks of’ a lighter variant’ achieving greater heights, but there is no evi­dence of a second BOK-1 having been built.

The airframe was originally that of one of the military RD aircraft, but modified by GAZ No 35. The span was reduced by fitting new constant-taper outer panels, restressed for significantly reduced gross weight achieved by greatly reducing the fuel capaci­ty. The massive retractable twin-wheel main landing gears were replaced by lighter fixed units with spatted single wheels. The engine was an AM-34RN liquid-cooled V-12, rated at 725hp, driving a three-blade fixed-pitch propeller.

The main new feature was the pressure cabin, seating the pilot and a backseater who acted as observer, navigator and radio opera­tor (though no radio was ever installed). This cabin was a sealed drum of oval cross-sec­tion, with closely spaced frames to bear the

BOK-1

 

BOK-1, SS

bursting stress, constructed of Dl light alloy with 1.8 or 2.0mm skin riveted over a sealing compound. Design dP (pressure differential) was 0.22kg/cm2 (3.2 lb/in2). The front and rear were sealed by convex bulkheads. The entry hatch was at the rear and an escape hatch was provided in the roof. One report says there was no room for parachutes, which were stowed in the rear fuselage. There were five small glazed portholes for the pilot and one on each side ahead of the backseater. There were also four small portholes to admit light to the unpressurized rear fuselage. A re­generative system circulated the cabin air and removed carbon dioxide (one report says ‘and nitrogen’). A controlled leak through a dump valve was made good by oxygen from bottles to keep oxygen content approximate­ly constant. The engine cooling circuit heated a radiator covering the cabin floor to keep in­ternal temperature at 15-18°C.

Flight testing revealed satisfactory flying characteristics and a lack of vibration. On the other hand, on any prolonged flight the cabin became uncomfortably hot. Despite this, and electric heating of the portholes, the glazed surfaces quickly misted over. In any case, ex­ternal vision was judged dangerously inade­quate.

Shavrov states that the cabin was qualified for flight to ‘8,000m and more’; this is am­biguous, and the original design objective was that the interior should be equivalent to an altitude of 8,000m (26,250ft) at the design ceiling of the aircraft. The engine cooling cir­cuit was modified, and the portholes were re­placed by double-layer sandwiches with not only electric heating but also a dessicant (moisture absorber) between the panes. This overcame the condensation, but nothing could be done to improve field of view.

In spring 1937 the BOK-1 was fitted with an 830hp M-34RNV engine, driving a four-blade fixed-pitch propeller. This engine was then fit­ted with two TK-1 turbosuperchargers, de­signed by VI Dmitriyevskiy so that the combined turbo exhausts also added a thrust of 70kg (1541b). With the new engine instal­lation the altitude performance was much improved (see data), but during an attempt to set a record for height reached with 500 and 1,000kg payload one of the turbos blew up. Shavrov says merely ‘the attempt failed’, but another account says the exploding turbo se­riously damaged the forward fuselage and re­sulted in the BOK-1 being scrapped.

The BOK-1 was only the second aeroplane in the world to be designed with a pressure cabin. It achieved most of its objectives, but failed to set any records.

BOK-1, SSBOK-1, SSПодпись: Dimensions Span Length Wing area 30.0m 12.86m 78.8m2 98 ft 5 in 42 ft n in 848 ft2 Performance Max speed at sea leve at 4,000m, (13, 123 ft) (after engine change) Time to climb to 5,000 m 210km/h 242km/h 260 krn/h ISmin 130 mph 150 mph 162 mph (16,404ft) Weights to 9,000m 38min (29,528 ft) Empty (as built) 3,482 kg 7,676 Ib Ceiling 10,700m 35,100ft (after engine change) 3,600 kg 7,937 Ib (after engine change) 14,100m 46,260 ft Fuel 500kg 1,102Ib Endurance (both states) 4 hours (after engine change) 1,000kg 2,205Ib Loaded 4,162kg 9,1751b (after engine change) 4,800kg 10,582 Ib Top: BOK-1 pressure cabin. Centre: BOK-1 inboard profile. Bottom: BOK-1 (final form).

 

Kalinin K-7

Purpose: To create a super-heavy bomber. Design Bureau: OKB ofK A Kalinin,

Kharkov.

From 1925 Kalinin made himselffamous with a series of single-engined aircraft charac­terised by having a quasi-elliptical mono­plane wing. In 1930 he sketched a gigantic transport aircraft, the K-7, with a tail carried on two booms and with four 1,000hp engines mounted on the wing, which was deep enough to house 60 passengers or 20 tonnes of cargo. No engine of this power was readily available, so in 1931 he redesigned the air­craft to have seven engines of (he hoped) 830hp. GUAP (the Ministry of Aviation Indus­try) gave permission for the aircraft to be built, but with the role changed to a heavy bomber. This meant a further total redesign, one
change being to move the centreline engine to the trailing edge. This near-incredible ma­chine was completed in summer 1933. Ground running of the engines began on 29th June, and it was soon obvious from serious visible oscillation of the tail that the booms were resonating with particular engine speeds. The only evident solution was to re­inforce the booms by adding steel angle gird­ers, and brace the tail with struts. Flight testing by a crew led by pilot M A Snegiryov began on llth August 1933, causing intense public interest over Kharkov. On Flight 9, on 21st November, during speed runs at low alti­tude, resonance suddenly struck and the right tail boom fractured. The aircraft dived into the ground and burned, killing the pilot, 13 crew and a passenger; five crew survived. Kalinin was sent to a new factory at Voronezh. Here
a plan was organised by P I Baranov to build two improved K-7s with stressed-skin booms of rectangular section, but this scheme was abandoned in 1935, the K-7 no longer being thought a modern design.

The basis of this huge bomber was the enormous wing, of typical Kalinin plan form. It had CAHI (TsAGI) R-II profile, with a thick – ness/chord ratio of 19 per cent, rising to 22 per cent on the centreline, where root chord was 10.6m (34ft 9%in) and depth no less than 2.33m (7 ft 7%in). The two main and two sub­sidiary spars were welded from KhMA Chro – mansil high-tensile steel, similar lattice girder construction being used for the ribs. The wing was constructed as a rectangular centre sec­tion, with Dl skin, and elliptical outer sections covered mainly in fabric. A small nacelle of Dl stressed-skin construction projected from

Kalinin K-7

K-7 over Kharkov.

 

A view of the modified aircraft.

 

Kalinin K-7

Подпись: K-7 final form

the leading edge. On the leading edge were six 750hp M-34F water-cooled V-12 engines, each with a radiator underneath, and driving a two-blade fixed-pitch propeller; a seventh engine was on the trailing edge. Walkways along the wing led to each engine, and on the ground mechanics could open sections of leading edge to work on the engines without needing ladders. Metal tanks in the wings housed 9,130 litres (2,008 Imperial gallons, 2,412 US gallons) offuel. Just outboard of the innermost engines were the booms holding the tail, 11 .Om (36ft P/in) apart, each having a triangular cross-section with a flat top. The el­liptical horizontal tail carried twin fins and rudders 7.0m (22ft 11 Jfin) apart. All flight con­trols were driven by large servo surfaces car­ried downstream on twin arms. Under the wing, in line with the booms, were extraordi­nary landing gears. Each comprised an in­clined front strut housing a staircase and a vertical rear strut with an internal ladder. At the bottom these struts were joined to a huge gondola. Each gondola contained three large wheels, one in front and two behind, holding the aircraft horizontal on the ground. In front of and behind the front wheels were bomb bays with twin doors. Maximum bomb load was no less than 19 tonnes (41,8871b). De­fensive armament comprised a 20mm can­non in a cockpit in the nose, two more in the ends of the tail booms and twin DA machine guns aimed by gunners in the front and rear of each gondola. Total crew numbered 11, all linked by an intercom system.

Though a fantastic and deeply impressive aircraft, the K-7 was flawed by its designer’s inability to solve the lethal problem of har­monic vibration. Even without this, it would probably have been a vulnerable aircraft in any war in which it might have taken part.

3

 

Dimensions

Span Length Wing area

53.0m

28.184m

454m2

173 ft W. in 92 ft 554 in 4,887ft2

Weights

Empty

24,400kg

53,792 Ib

Fuel/oil

6,500+ 600 kg

14,330+1,32315

Loaded (normal)

38,000 kg

83,774 Ib

(maximum)

46,500 kg

102,513Ib

Performance

Maximum speed (design)

225 km/h

140 mph

(achieved)

204.5 km/h

127 mph

Long-range speed

180 km/h

112 mph

Service ceiling

3,630m

11,910ft

Normal range

3,030 km

1,883 miles

 

Nose of the modified aircraft.

 

Kalinin K-7

MiG-8 Utka

Подпись: MiG-8 original configuration.

Purpose: To create a safe and easily flown light aeroplane.

Design Bureau: OKB-15 5 ofAI Mikoyan.

Previously famous for a succession of high – performance fighters, the MiG bureau began to relax as the Great Patriotic War ended. Without any requirement from GUAP, Aeroflot or anywhere else, its principals de­cided to investigate the design of a light air­
craft with an M-ll engine which could re­place the Po-2 (originally designated U-2) as a machine which could be safely flown by any pilot from almost any field. The project was assigned to students at the WA (air force academy) under Col (later Professor) G A Tokayev. The OKB kept a close watch on the design, and soon judged that its slightly swept wing could be useful in assisting the design of future jet fighters. The main ele­ments ofthe design were settled by July 1945, and thereafter construction was rapid. The aircraft was named Utka (duck) because of its canard configuration. Aleksandr Ivanovich Zhukov made the first flight on 19th Novem­ber 1945. The wingtip fins and rudders proved unsatisfactory, and for the next six months the MiG-8 was modified repeatedly, as ex­plained below. Its flight testing was handled by OKB pilot Aleksei Nikolayevich Grinchik, assisted by I Ivashchenko and other pilots of the LII MAP (Ministry Flight Research Insti­tute). By the summer of 1946 the MiG-8 was considered more or less perfect. No explana­tion is available for the fact that this aircraft never went into production as the Po-2 re­placement. The MiG-8 was used for many years as the OKB’s communications aircraft, and also as a test-bed for various kinds of re­search.

The MiG-8 was a small cabin aircraft distin­guished by a pusher engine at the tail, a ca­nard foreplane and a high-mounted wing at the rear. Construction was of wood, mainly pine, with ply skin over the fuselage, wing leading edge and fixed foreplane. The wing had Clark Y-H section, with a thickness/chord ratio of 12 per cent. In plan the wings were un­tapered but swept back at 20°, with V-struts to

MiM-8 UTKA

 

Подпись:MiG-8 UtkaПодпись: Top left: MiG-8 original configuration. Top right: On ground with spats. Подпись:

the bottom ofthe fuselage. The fuselage com­prised a cabin with a door on each side, ta­pering at the rear around the M-11F radial engine rated at HOhp, driving a 2.36m (7ft 9in) two-blade wooden propeller. A total of 195 litres (43 Imperial gallons) of fuel was housed in aluminium tanks in each wing. At the front of the cabin a Po-2 instrument panel was installed for the pilot, and two passenger seats were added behind, with a small space for luggage behind them. Ahead of the cabin a slender nose was added to carry the delta foreplane, fixed at 3° incidence. This was fit­ted with fabric-covered elevators provided with trim tabs, with movement of ±25°. Total foreplane area was 2.7m2 (29ft2). On the outer wings were fabric-covered ailerons, ahead of which were large fixed slats on the leading edge. On the wing tips were delta-shaped fins carrying one-piece rudders, with a total com­bined area of 3m2 (32.3ft2). All control sur­faces were operated by rods and bellcranks. The landing gear comprised a levered-sus – pension nose unit with a 300x150mm tyre, and spatted mainwheels with 500 x 150mm tyres and pneumatic brakes on cantilever legs pivoted to the strut attachment bulk­head, with bungee shock absorbers in the fuselage. Provision was made for skis, but no photographs show these fitted. The first flight showed that directional stability was poor. The wing was given 1 ° anhedral, and the fins and rudders were moved in to 55 per cent of the semi-span and mounted vertically, with a mass balance projecting ahead from the bot­tom of each rudder. The spats were removed, and a new nose gear was fitted with the same wheel/tyre as the main units. Later the wing anhedral was increased to 2°. Considerable attention was paid to engine cooling, and eventually the projecting cylinders were fitted with individual helmets, though no pho­tographs have been found showing this (they were eventually removed except over the two bottom cylinders). In its final form the MiG-8 had a single fuel tank between the fire­wall and engine. An important further modifi­cation was to remove the slats, and photographs also show that in the final con­figuration the wingtips were angled down­wards. At one time the entire aircraft was covered with tufts to indicate the airflow. In its final form the MiG-8 was nice to fly, and re­covery from a spin was achieved merely by releasing the flight controls.

Despite its unusual configurationthe MiG-8 was eventually developed into an excellent aircraft, safe to fly and easily maintained, though at the end of the day it was j udged that future jet fighters should not have a canard configuration. No explanation has been given for the fact that the MiG-8 never led to pro­duction utility, ambulance or photographic aircraft.

MiG 1.44

Purpose: Technology test-bed to support the 1.42 multirole fighter.

Design Bureau: ANPK (Aviatsionny i Nauchno-Promishlennyi Kompleks) MiG, now the main design unit of RSK ‘MiG’.

In 1983 the large and powerful MiG OKB began general parametric study of an MFI (Mnogofunktsionahl’nyi Frontovoi Istrebitel, multirole tactical fighter). This was to be a to­tally new aircraft as ahead of global competi­tion as the MiG-29 had been. It was to be larger than the MiG-29, to serve as a succes­sor to the long-range MiG-31 and MiG-31M interceptors, but also with the supermanoeu­vrability needed for close combat and the ability to fly air-to-ground missions as well. In 1986 the Council of Ministers issued a direc­tive ordering MiG, Sukhoi and Yakovlev to make proposals for a ‘fifth-generation’ fighter to counter the threat posed by the USAF’s Ad­vanced Tactical Fighter, which later led to the F-22A Raptor. The WS called the require­ment I-90 (Istrebitel, fighter, for the 1990s). The MiG project staff eventually settled on two configurations, called Izdelye (product) 1.41 and 1.43. After prolonged discussion with the WS, features of both were combined in the 1.42. In late 1986 contracts were placed for a static-test airframe, a dynamic and fa­tigue-test airframe and two flight articles, as well as for the totally new AL-41F engine,

N-014 radar and various special test rigs. Supervised by General Constructor Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov, detailed design pro­ceeded under Chief Project Engineer Grigorii Sedov, later succeeded by Yuriy Vorotnikov. So great was the designers’ faith in the 1.42 that complete manufacturing documentation and software was completed at an early stage. Largely computerised manufacturing began at the Mikoyan experimental shop in 1989. The first flight article, designated 1.44, is a simplified technology demonstrator to prove the aerodynamics and flying qualities, performance and propulsion. Compared with the 1.42 it has an almost pure delta wing (in­stead of a cranked leading edge) and a slight­ly different air inlet system, and lacks the radar, mission avionics and internal weapons bay. By 1991 the 1.44 was structurally com­plete, but was awaiting flight-cleared en­gines, the agregat (accessory gearbox) and several other components. By this time col­lapse of the Soviet Union had begun to cut off funding and seriously delay the programme. The original first-flightdate of1991 -92 was for­gotten, but in December 1994 the 1.44 was completed and brought by road to the OKB’s flight-test facility at the Zhukovskii NIl-WS (air force flight-test institute). On 15th De­cember 1994 Roman Taskaev, then Chief Test Pilot, began fast taxying trials. Though sever­al crucial elements had not been cleared for
flight it was hoped to display the aircraft ‘Blue 01’ at the MaKs 1995 show in August 1995. However, in May 1995 the hope of imminent flight trials was dashed when ANPK MiG be­came part of MAPO, whose sole interest was producing aircraft, such as the MiG-29 and various other types (by no means all of MiG design) to raise money. Things changed in September 1997, when Sukhoi flew the rival S-37 and Mikhail Korzhuyev was appointed ANPK MiG’s General Director. He was deter­mined not to let this rival, and possible link to the next generation, languish in its hangar any longer. In December 1995 he got the WS to declassify photographs taken on first rollout in 1994. He then obtained permission for guests, including Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev, to walk round the 1.44 on 12th Jan­uary 1999. On that occasion the aircraft rolled out under its own power (with astonishing quietness), Vladimir Gorboonov in the cock­pit. At least one observer was impressed, Air Force/Air-DefenceForce C-in-CCol-GenAna – toliy Kornookov saying ‘This aircraft can do everything you want it to’. Gorboonov began the much-delayed flight-test programme on 15 February 2000, Korzhuyev saying ‘We can make the first five or six flights without exter­nal financing’.

The 1.44 is an extremely large single-seater, designed to fly significantly faster than any air­craft it might encounter. Each wing is an al­
most pure cropped delta with a thickness/ chord ratio of about 3.5 per cent and leading – edge angle of about 48° (50° over the inner­most section). On the leading edge are almost full-span hinged flaps, while on the trailing edge are large inboard and outboard flaperons driven by power units in underwing fairings. Unlike the MiG-29, the wing is not blended into the fuselage, nor does it have a LERX (leading-edge root extension). As far forward as possible without interfering with pilot view are enormous canard foreplanes, driven over a large angular range. Each has a sharp dogtooth, and a second smaller dog­tooth due to the fact that these are 1.42 ca­nards which do not perfectly match the large bulging fixed roots of the 1.44. Like the MiG – 29 a structural beam projects behind each wing to carry the outward-sloping upper fins, but these beams are much further apart. Thus, there is now a wide space between the beam and the adjacent engine, and in this is placed a secondary elevator, driven by a pow­erful actuator in a projecting fairing. Each fin has an inset rudder, and under the beams are vertical underpins with powered rudders. The basic aircraft is designed to be longitudinally unstable and to fight at alphas (angles of at­tack) up to at least 100°, which explains the unprecedented 16 flight-control surfaces. These are needed because, unlike the F-22 (say Mikoyan) the basic aircraft is designed for close air combat. At high alphas powerful lift is generated by the canards and by the flat nose and huge flat underside of the fuselage. Absence of LERXs means that, instead of there being an inlet under each wing, there is a single giant rectangular inlet a considerable distance below the forward fuselage. In view of the high design Mach number, the upper wall is fully variable, the sides are cut sharply back in side view, and the lower lip hinges down in high-alpha flight. The ducts diverge immediately to pass the nose gear, and then rise over the weapons bay (in this prototype occupied by instrumentation). The faces of the engines cannot be seen externally. The Saturn (Lyul’ka) AL-41F augmented tur­bofans are quite close together. Prototype engines were made available because, un­like the S-37, the Mikoyan aircraft is the offi­cial choice as the next-generation fighter. Dry and maximum ratings are approximately 12,000kg (26,455 Ib) and 20,000kg (44,090 Ib). This engine, said General Designer Dr Viktor Chepkin, was designed for ‘the new tactical fighters of the 1990s’. In 1993 he told co-au­thor Gunston that the dry weight ofthe AL-41F is ‘about the same as that of the previous-gen­eration engines with half the power’, the ac­tual T/W (thrust:weight ratio) being 11.1 compared with 8 for the AL-31F. On the pub­lic rollout of the 1.44 the engines were aston­ishingly quiet. By 1997 a total of27 AL-41 and AL-4 IF engines had run, and extensive flight testing had taken place under a Tu-16 and in the left position of a MiG-25. T/W ratio of the clean aircraft is no less than about 1.33. The nozzles are circular, with petals giving a vari­able convergent/divergent profile, their inner faces being coated with a tan-coloured ce­ramic. Each nozzle can be vectored over lim­its of ±15° vertically and ±8° horizontally. In the nose is a forked pair of pilot tubes. The canopy swings up and back on four parallel arms. Above the huge wing the fuselage has visible waisting, and the broad but shallow central spine (which can readily be enlarged

Mikoyan 1.44

MiG 1.44

 

Mikoyan 1.44

MiG 1.44

 

MiG 1.44

if necessary) terminates in a capacious bay for a braking parachute. The landing gears all have levered trailing-link suspension, the sin­gle-wheel main units swinging forward into compartments beside the ‘weapons bay’ and the steerable twin-wheel nose unit retracting backwards to lie between the ducts. There is no problem with nosewheel slush entering the ducts, the height of the landing gears being dictated by landing attitude. Though Blue 01 has the full Avionika KSU-I-42 digital control system, which interlinks all the flight controls and engine nozzles, it does not have the intended Fazotron N-014 (beetle) multi­mode radar nor the aft-facing radar and coun­termeasures which in the 1.42 would occupy the two tailcones. In an armed aircraft provi­sion would be made for a heavy load of weapons internally and on wing pylons (the 1.44 has hardpoints for six), and also for a 30mm gun. Dielectric flush antennas face in all directions, though in the 1.44 many are empty. The 1.44 lacks a RAM (radar-ab­sorbent material) coating, but Mikoyan claim the RCS (radar cross-section) of the MFI would be ‘similar to that of the smaller F-22’.

Had the MFI progressed according to its

original schedule it could well have been, if not a world-beater, at least a formidable rival to the much slower F-22. As it is, unless ANPK MiG can find a rich foreign partner, it could gradually be overtaken by foreign competi­tors. In any case, the days when MiGs sold partly because of their low price are over. Several analysts consider that a production MFI would have to be priced at not less than US$100 million. Indeed, Korzhuyev has gone so far as to suggest that, instead of being one step away from a production MFI, the 1.44 must be regarded as ‘a flying laboratory to as­sist the development of a new fighter that will be smaller and cheaper’.

Dimensions (estimated)

Span about Lengthabout Wing/canard area about

15.5m

20.7m

120m2

50 ft 1014 in 67 ft 11 in

1,292 ft2

Weights

Weight empty about

18 tonnes

39,683 Ib

Loaded (normal)

27 tonnes

59,500 Ib

(maximum)

35 tonnes

77,160 Ib

Performance Maximum speed (high altitude)

2,765 km/h

1,718 mph (Mach 2.6)

Maximum cruising

speed(drythrust)

l,800km/h

1,1 18 mph (Mach 1.69)

Range (internal fuel) not less than

3,000 km

1,864 miles

MiG 1.44

Rafaelyants Turbolyot

Подпись: Turbolyot

Purpose: To evaluate a wingless jet VTOL aircraft.

Design Bureau: Aram Nazarovich Rafaelyants, chief engineer of GVF (civil air fleet) repair and modification shops at Bykovo.

Rafaelyants was working at Bykovo, on the Volga, in 1929-59. He had previously pro­duced two lightplanes, flying his RAF-2 to Berlin in 1927. In 1941 his RAF-1 Ibis transport nearly went into production. He worked on many aircraft, and after 1945 handled pro­jects concerned with jet engines and their testing. The Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig (‘Flying Bedstead’) of 1953 inspired him to produce the Turbolyot. This was flown teth­ered to a gantry in early 1957, and was pub­licly demonstrated in free flight in October of that year. Nearly all the flying was done by he­licopter test pilot Yu A Garnayev. Because of its historical interest, the Turbolyot is today stored in the WS museum at Monino, al­though it was not a WS aircraft but a civilian flying test rig.

The engine selected was the Lyul’ka AL-9G, a single-shaft turbojet rated at 6,500kg (14,330 Ib). This was mounted vertically in the centre of a cruciform framework of welded steel tube. The engine had special bearings
and lubrication, and was fitted with a high – capacity bleed collector ring. On each side was a fuel tank, with fuel drawn equally from both. In front was the enclosed pilot cab, with a door on the right. The bleed system served four pipes, one to each extremity of the vehi­cle, where downward – and upward-pointing nozzles were provided with a modulating valve under the management of the pilot’s control column. The same system also oper­
ated rods and levers governing a two-axis tilt­ing deflector ring under the engine nozzle. Each of the four main structural girders was provided with a long-stroke vertical landing leg with a castoring wheel.

This device never crashed, and provided a solid background of data for the Yak-36 and subsequent jet-lift aircraft.

Tsybin 2RS

Tsybin 2RS

Purpose: To create a strategic reconnaissance aircraft.

Design Bureau: OKB-256, Podberez’ye, Director P V Tsybin.

As noted previously, the 2RS was launched as a project in January 1956. It was to be a mini­mum-change derivative of the RS, carried to high altitude under the Tu-95N and subse­quently powered by two RD-013 ramjets. However, it was decided that such an aircraft would be operationally cumbersome and in­flexible, and that, despite a very substantial reduction in operational radius, it would be preferable to switch to conventional after­burning turbojets and take off from the ground. The revised project was called RSR (described later). The Ministry gave this the go-ahead on 31st August 1956, but work on
the 2RS continued until is was terminated in early 1957. As it was no longer needed, Tupolev then stopped the rebuild of the Tu – 95N carrier at Factory No 18 at Kuibyshev.

The 2RS would have differed from the RS principally in having the canard foreplanes re­placed by slab tailplanes. Behind these was installed a braking parachute. Provision was made for large reconnaissance cameras in the fuselage ahead of the wing. Surviving drawings (below) also show provision for a 244N thermonuclear weapon, this time as a free-fall bomb recessed under the fuselage further aft. Carrying this would have moved the main landing gear unacceptably close to the tail.

Though there was much to be said for air launch, the basic concept looked increasing­ly unattractive.

Dimensions

Span (over engine centrelines) 9.0 m

29 ft 6% in

Length

27.4 m

89 ft 1 13/ in

Wing area

64.0 m2

689ft2

Weight

Empty

9,030 kg

19,907 Ib

Fuel

11,800kg

26,014 Ib

Loaded (cameras only)

20,950 kg

46,1 86 Ib

Performance

Max (also cruising) speed

at 20 km (65,61 7 ft)

2,700 km/h

1,678 mph (Mach 2.54)

Service ceiling

27 km

88,583 ft

Range (high altitude)

7,000 km

4,350 miles

Landing speed/

230 km/h

143 mph

run

800 m

2,625 ft

Purpose: To create an improved reconnaissance aircraft.

Design Bureau: OKB-256, Podberez’ye, Director P V Tsybin.

The preliminary project for the revised aircraft, able to take off in the conventional manner, was dated 26th June 1957. Design proceeded rapidly, and in parallel OKB-256 created a sim­plified version, using well-tried engines, which could be got into the air quickly to provide data (see NM-1, next). These data became avail­able from April 1959, and resulted in significant changes to the RSR (see R-020). The basic de­sign, however, can be described here.

Though the RSR was derived directly from the 2RS, it differed in having augmented by­pass turbojet engines (low-ratio turbofans) and strengthened landing gear for convention­al full-load take-offs. A basic design choice was to make the structure as light as possible by selecting a design load factor of only 2.5 and avoiding thermal distortion despite local skin temperatures ofup to 220°C. By this means the use of steel and titanium was almost eliminat­
ed, though some skins (ailerons, outer wing and tail torsion boxes) were to be in alumini – um/beryllium alloy. As before, the wing had a t/c ratio of 2.5 per cent, 58° leading-edge sweep and three main and two secondary spars. The tips, 86mm deep, carried Solov’yov D-21 bypass engines. These bore no direct re­lationship to today’s D-21A1 by the same de­sign team. They were two-shaft engines with a bypass ratio of 0.6, and in cruising flight they were almost ramjets. Sea-level dry and aug­mented ratings were 2,200kg (4,850 Ib) and 4,750kg (10,472 Ib) respectively. Dry engine mass was 900kg (l,9841b) and nacelle diame­ter was 1.23m (4ft 1/2in). The fuselage had a fineness ratio of no less than 18.6, diameter being only 1.5m (4ft 1 lin). All tail surfaces had a t/c ratio of 3.5 per cent, and comprised a one- piece vertical fin with actuation limits of ±18° and one-piece tailplanes with limits of + 10°/-25°. All flight controls were fully pow­ered, with rigid rod linkages from the cockpit and an artificial-feel system. The main and steerable nose landing gears now had twin wheels, and were supplemented by single­
wheel gears under the engines, all four units hydraulically retracting to the rear. A braking parachute was housed in the tailcone. A total of 7,600kg (16,755 Ib) of kerosene fuel was housed in integral tanks behind the cockpit and behind the wing, plus 4,400kg (9,700 Ib) in two slender (650mm, 2ft 1 V-im diameter) drop tanks. An automatic trim control system pumped fuel to maintain the centre of gravity at 25 per cent on take-off, 45.0 in cruising flight and 26.4 on landing. In cruising flight the cock­pit was kept at 460mm Hg, and the pilot’s pres­sure suit maintained 156mm after ejection. An APU and propane burner heated the instru­ment and camera pallets which filled the cen­tre fuselage, a typical load comprising two AFA-200 cameras (200mm focal length) plus an AF A-1000 or AFA-1800 (drawings show four cameras), while other equipment included optical sights, panoramic radar, an autopilot, astro-inertial navigation plus a vertical gyro, a radar-warning receiver and both active and passive ECM (electronic countermeasures) During construction this aircraft was modi­fied into the RSR R-020.

Tsybin 2RS

RSR inboard profile

 

Tsybin 2RSTsybin 2RSTsybin 2RS

Antonov M

Purpose: To create a superior jet fighter.

Design Bureau: No 153, Oleg K Antonov, Novosibirsk.

In 1945 Antonov was impressed by the German He 162, and consid­ered it a good way to produce a simple fighter for rough-field use pow­ered by a single turbojet. In spring 1947 his staff had completed the design of the SKh (later designated An-2), and he quickly schemed a fighter to be powered by a single RD-10 (Soviet-made Junkers Jumo 004B) above the fuselage. He tested a tunnel model, but on 6th April 1947 received an instruction from NKAP (the state commissariat for aviation industry) to design a fighter with two RD-lOs. By this time he had recognized that jet engines not only made possible unconven­tional new configurations for fighters but might even demand them. He quickly roughed out the Masha, abbreviated as the ‘M’. A A Batu – mov and V A Dominikovskiy were appointed chief designers, with 11 Yegorychev in charge of construction. Design was virtually com­plete when in late 1947 the NKAP instructed OKB-153 to redesign the aircraft to use the RD-45, the Soviet-built copy ofthe Rolls-Royce Nene. Apart from the forward fuselage, the redesign was total. Following tunnel testing of models, and free-flight testing of the E-153 (which was used as both a detailed full-scale wooden mock-up and a towed glider), construction of the M prototype went ahead rapidly. In July 1948, when the prototype was almost ready, and Mark L Gallai was about to begin flight testing, the project was cancelled. The La, MiG and Yak jet fighters were thought sufficient. (In 1953 Antonov again schemed a j et fighter, this time a tailed delta powered by an AL-7F, but it remained on paper.)

The original 1947 form of the Masha featured side inlets to the RD – 10 engines buried in the thick central part of the wing. Outboard were

Antonov M

Model of the 1947 jet fighter project.

broad wings tapered on the leading edge with squared-off tips carry­ing swept fins and rudders. Beyond these were small forward-swept ailerons. The main wing had leading-edge flaps and aft spoilers. Hav­ing studied side doors to the cockpit, Antonov settled for a sliding canopy. Armament comprised two VYa-23 and two B-20. This arma­ment remained unchanged in the M actually built, which had a single RD-45, rated at 2,270kg (5,000 Ib) fed by cheek inlets. The wing was re­designed as a round-tipped delta, with the swept vertical tails posi­tioned between two pairs of tabbed elevons.

Antonov considered that the final M ought to have been allowed to fly. He considered it would have dramatically outmanoeuvred any contemporary competition, and could later have had radar and a more powerful engine.

Antonov M

Dimensions (data 194 7)

Span

Length

10.8m

10.6m

35 ft 5 in 34 ft 914 in

Dimensions (data 1948) Span

9.3m

30 ft &/, in

Length

10.64m

34 ftQ/, in

No other data.

 

Antonov M

! I

 

! [

*J

 

 

Original scheme for M, 1947

 

Definitive M, 1948

 

Antonov MAntonov MAntonov M

Antonov MПодпись: Three photographs of the An-181

Purpose: To explore the Custer channel­wing concept.

Design Bureau: Oleg K Antonov, Kiev, Ukraine.

Little is known about this research aircraft, other than what could be gleaned by walking round it on 18th August 1990 and reading the accompanying placard. Its one public outing was on Soviet Day of Aviation, and the venue the airfield at the village of Gastomel, near Kiev. The configuration was instantly recog­nisable as being that of the ‘channel-wing’ air­craft proposed by American W R Custer in the mid-1950s. The key factor of this concept was powered lift gained by confining the pro­peller slipstream in a 180° half-barrel of aero­foil profile. Custer claimed the ability to take off and climb almost vertically, or to hover, whilst retaining full forward speed capability. Resurrecting the Custer concept was aston­ishing, as the claims for the channel-wing air­craft were soon shown to be nonsense, and instead of 1958 being the start of mass-pro­duction of the CCW-5 series version the whole thing faded from view. It was thus to­tally unexpected when the ‘181’ appeared at an Open Day hosted by the Antonov OKB. It was not just parked on the grass but tied down on a trailer. Visitors were able to climb on to this and study the aircraft intimately, but there was nobody to answer questions.

The ‘181’ was dominated by its two Custer – inspired channel wings, with aerofoil lifting surfaces curved round under the propellers so that they were washed by the slipstream. Whereas the Custer CCW-5 had pusher pro­pellers above the trailing edge, the Antonov aircraft had tractor propellers above the lead­ing edge. They were driven via shafts and gears by a 210hp Czech M-337A six-cylinder aircooled piston engine. Apart from this the aircraft appeared conventional, though the tail was of ‘butterfly’ configuration to keep it out of the slipstream, and of exceptional size in order to remain effective at very low air­speeds. Beyond the channel wings were small outer wings with ailerons. The nose was fighter-like, with a large canopy over the side-by-side cockpit, and the tricycle landing gear was fixed. The nose carried a long in­strumentation boom, and there was a dorsal antenna, presumably for telemetry. The whole aircraft was beautifully finished, and painted in house colours with the Antonov logo. It bore Soviet flags on the fins, and civil registration SSSR-190101.

Construction of this research aircraft must have been preceded by testing of models. These must have given encouraging results, which were not reproduced in the ‘181’. Co­author Gunston asked Antonov leaders about the ‘181’ and was told that it had been a seri­ous project, but perhaps ought not to have been put on view.

Dimensions

Span

Length

Wing area (total projected)

7.3m

7.31m

7.0m2

23 ft m in

23 ft 11% in 75 ft2

Weights

Weight loaded (normal)

820kg

l,8081b

(maximum)

900kg

l,9841b

Performance

Maximum speed (placard)

820 km/h

510 mph

Range (placard)

750km

466 miles