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Soviet Aircraft - Early Cold War

The unfolding scientific and technological revolution covered every year more and more new areas of human activity. The Communist Party, taking into account that science and technology are becoming increasingly important in the development of the country's productive forces, increasing its defensive capacity, has focused scientists' attention on solving the most important scientific and technical problems and strengthening the relationship between science and production.

The July 19, 1955 Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU stressed the importance of accelerating scientific and technological progress in solving the tasks of communist construction. Following the instructions of the party, Soviet scientists made a number of major discoveries in the field of physics, electronics, telemechanics, and created intercontinental missiles. The brightest demonstration of scientific and technical progress of the country was the launch on October 4, 1957, of the world's first artificial Earth satellite.

In those years the Soviet air fleet developed and improved at an accelerated pace. Entering the turn of the fifties to the threshold of large, near-sound velocities and stratospheric heights, the fighter aircraft soon crossed the sound barrier. To the transonic speeds and long distances of the non-stop flight, reconnaissance and bomber aviation came under considerable load. Automation and radio electronics increasingly became part of the equipment and armament of airplanes.

The design and development of modern aircraft, engines, where it was required to perform not only engineering and technical, but also scientific tasks, were now concentrated in several large experienced design bureaus closely cooperating with research organizations. Thanks to this interaction, Soviet aviation science and technology were able to successfully solve complex problems in the theory of jet engines, supersonic aerodynamics, strength and heat resistance of aviation materials, and so on.

These achievements have become the basis for the creation of ever more powerful gas turbine engines of various types, aircraft of perfect aerodynamic schemes possessing high combat qualities. By the mid-1950s, large aircraft series built for the Air Force subsonic MiG-15 and MiG-17, a supersonic fighter MiG-19, an all-weather night fighter Yak-25 interceptor, an IL-28 front bomber, a long-range bomber Tu -16. These aircraft formed the basis of the air power of the Soviet Union until the end of the decade, when they were replaced by new, even more sophisticated combat vehicles.

The creation of aircraft with a speed that is two to three times higher than the sound speed, capable of gaining altitude of 20-30 thousand meters, to fly without landing a huge distance was preceded by a broad in scope scientific and experimental work. Aviation science and technology are closely intertwined with many other branches of science and technology, including the rapidly developing space. Enriching each other, they provided a solution to increasingly complex tasks. Already in the early 1960s, our country carried out the first manned space flights, made its combat aircraft supersonic, missile-carrying, all-weather, approached the creation of new types of shortened and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, with a variable geometry of the wing.

The interests of a rapidly developing national economy demanded a decisive acceleration of the development of the Civil Air Fleet and equipping it with new equipment. The passenger planes Il-12 and Il-14 with piston engines, created in the first post-war years, could not cope with the growing passenger flow on the main lines. Their speed, comfort, performance did not meet the increased demands. The technical revolution imperiously demanded a transition to new speeds and a much greater economic return of each machine operating on long-distance air routes.

The issue of the creation of new modern passenger airplanes for the Civil Air Fleet was specially discussed in the Central Committee of the Party. Heads of major design teams A.N.Tupolev , SV Ilyushin, and OK Antonov received in 1954 the task of creating passenger airplanes that meet modern needs and the international prestige of our country. This requirement was in line with the party's policy of accelerating technical progress in all branches of the national economy, including in air transport.

The party aimed the workers of the country's Air Fleet to move to new speeds and even more work, to improve the culture of servicing Soviet citizens. To quickly give Aeroflot a jet passenger plane, A. N. Tupolevdecided to remake the already proven in operation bomber Tu-16. Maintaining the concept of the aircraft, its main dimensions and turbojet engines, designers re-designed the fuselage, designed first to accommodate 50 passengers with great comfort. The first version of the aircraft, called Tu-104, was accepted for serial production. Then the machine was modified. On the Tu-104B variant, the number of passenger seats was increased to one hundred. This increased the economy of the car practically without reducing its flight-technical qualities. Since 1956 and for ten years, the Tu-104 has been one of the main passenger machines on the country's main lines, initiating the equipping of Aeroflot with jet engine technology.

Design teams of S. V. Ilyushin and O. K. Antonov in accordance with the task designed multi-purpose aircraft with pipe-screw engines. With the engines of this class, the second passenger, even more powerful aircraft and the team of AN Tupolev developed . The experience accumulated by Soviet aircraft builders in the creation of combat vehicles with turbine engines allowed the designers to successfully complete the work in a short time. Already in 1957, the experienced 100-seat Il-18 and An-10 and 170-seat Tu-114s were tested and handed over to the industry for batch production.

Design teams that developed new aircraft paid great attention to their technological adaptability. use of new materials. For example, in An-10 and An-12 aircraft, it was envisaged to use advanced structures, chemical milling of large-panel pressed belts, which contributed to a reduction in labor costs in mass production.

By perfecting the military and civil aircraft that were accepted for serial production, the design teams worked hard to create new machines with even higher flight-technical data. On a number of types of fighters, the swept wing naturally became triangular. The installation of rocket weapons, even more powerful engines, greater mechanization of the wing, special equipment extended the range of their use. Fighter pilots were given the opportunity to operate at large and at extremely low altitudes, conduct an air battle and bomb-rocket attacks against ground targets. The fighter turned into a multipurpose combat aircraft.

For long-range and military transport aviation, design teams created airplanes with unprecedented carrying capacity, speed and range of flight. At the turn of the 1960s, Soviet pilots installed several outstanding records on these aircraft on these machines: on October 30, 1959, the crew of the pilot A. Lipko conducted his ship with a cargo of 25 tons along a 1000-kilometer route at an average speed of 1,028 km / and somewhat earlier, on September 29, 1959, the crew of the pilot BM Stepanov on a 201-M aircraft carrying 55 tons of cargo on board collected 13,121 meters. In the same year, 1959, our pilots flew without refueling in the air, a distance of 17 thousand km. In the spring of 1961, an absolute altitude record was set on the E-66A fighter-34,714 m. This record was blocked by the pilot A. Fedotov after 12 years.

These aircraft saw tens of thousands of Muscovites and visitors to the capital on the traditional air festival on July 9, 1961, in the sky of Tushino. The parade was a creative report of workers in aviation science and technology, design and production teams, military and civilian pilots on what they achieved, following the party's instructions to improve the domestic air fleet.

Serial supersonic fighters armed with air-to-spirit missiles, heavy high-speed bombers with air-to-surface missiles, multi-passenger passenger ships and heavy-duty vehicles showed that Soviet aviation had become a jet, supersonic missile carrier. This was a demonstration of the results of implementing the party's course to accelerate technical progress not only by aircraft builders, but also by the workers of many other interacting branches of science, technology, industry, and the results of the efforts of the entire Soviet people.

During the sixties Soviet aviation science and technology took a new big step forward. Design teams have brought to mass production a number of prototypes of supersonic fighters and bombers. New supersonic fighters and bomber missile carriers were designed and sent for serial production. On these machines, Soviet pilots gained several world records of altitude and flight speed with cargo and without cargo for different distances.

Particularly noteworthy in this respect was 1967, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the Great October Revolution. In the first half of the year, our athletes E. Martov and JI. Zaitseva set world speed records at distances of 100 km (2128.7 km / h) and 1000 km (1298.16 km / h). On October 5, the pilot M. Komarov flew along a closed 500-kilometer route at an average speed of 2,881.5 km / h, setting an absolute record. On the same day, a red star car piloted by pilot A. Fedotov flew from a 2-ton commercial cargo in the fuselage to a height of 29 777 m. At the end of October, the pilot P. Ostapenko flew 1000 km at a speed of 2920.67 km / hour, and the crew of the An-22 airship, headed by I. Davydov, set 15 records of lifting to a height of more than 2 thousand meters of maximum cargo for one flight.

Thanks to the interaction and commonwealth with scientific institutions, the design teams were able to create vertical take-off and landing aircraft in these years, with additional engines providing a reduction in take-off during take-off, multi-purpose aircraft with variable geometry in flight; the most powerful in the world - the transport An-22, capable of taking in its huge fuselage oversized cargo and equipment weighing up to 80 tons.

On the lines of the Civil Air Fleet, in those years, a second generation of high-speed comfortable passenger airplanes appeared - the intercontinental Il-62, the medium-range Tu-154, combining the best qualities of Tu-104, Il-18 and An-10, 46-75-seat turboprop An -24, turbojet TU-124 and TU-134. And for air lines of local importance, where piston low-speed vehicles dominated the design, AS Yakovlev's design bureau created a special turbojet Yak-40 combining the speed and comfort of mainline liners with the ability of piston low-speed machines to operate on small ground airfields. For these lines, a fifteen-seat turboprop Be-30 is also developed.

Evidence of the tremendous achievements in the development of Soviet science and technology in these years was the first to fly on the eve of the new, in 1969, supersonic Tu-144 passenger liner. It opens a radically new stage in the history of air transport - the stage of supersonic speeds.

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Page last modified: 09-02-2018 18:48:14 ZULU