ANT-31 I-14 Single speed fighter
In the years 1933-1934 in the USSR 3 types of high-speed fighters were designed and built. The first to develop a high-speed fighter was the the design bureau of A.N.Tupolev. In 1932, the design bureau was assigned to a fighter aircraft, the maximum speed of which was to be within 400 km / h. ANN Tupolev and his colleagues settled on the scheme of an all-metal monoplane with a retractable landing gear, rightly believing that the time had come for the introduction of these technical innovations in fighter aircraft. P.O. Sukhoi was appointed the lead engineer for the car, which was designated ANT-31 (the official I-14) by the design bureau. The aircraft was conceived as a gun with a dynamo-jet guns (DRP). Great difficulties arose in the selection of a suitable engine for the aircraft. For the first car we stopped at the English high-altitude engine Bristol "Merkur IV" air cooling with a maximum power of 540 hp.
In December 1932, the UHVS approved the TTT to a cannon fighter: the maximum speed at an altitude of 5,000 m was to be 375–400 km / h, the ascent time to this height was 7–8 minutes, the practical ceiling was 9000-10000 m, the range was 250 km
The prototype was completed in May 1933. On May 27, test pilot KK Popov first lifted her into the air. The prototype had a smooth fuselage casing, a closed pilot cockpit and a corrugated wing casing. The armament consisted of only one fuselage of the PV-1 synchronous machine gun, the suspension was provided under the wing of 2 APK-37 caliber 75-mm cannons. Factory tests due to the identified problems were conducted from October 6 to December 13, 1933. On January 2, 1934, the I-14 was handed over to state tests, where it was tested on skis. The main advantage of the I-14 military considered the high speed of the flight of the aircraft, the disadvantages attributed the rigor of piloting on bends, the lack of knowledge of the landing gear cleaning system and the unsatisfactory design of the closing cockpit canopy.
In August 1933, the construction of an "understudy" for the Wright Cyclone R-1830F-2 engine with a maximum power of 712 hp began, and the design bureau was designated as ANT-31bis (I-14bis). Unlike the first car on the “doubler”, the wing skin was smooth, the landing gear was changed, and the cockpit light was open, which was a step backwards. The armament consisted of two synchronous machine guns PV-1 and two guns APK-11. In February 1934, the "understudy" was taken to the airfield, where from February 13 to March 15 it passed factory and then state tests. State tests were conducted by test pilots KK Kokkinaki, A.P. Chernyavsky, I.P. Belozerov, P.M. Stefanovsky (tests of the agro-industrial complex). Fighter I-14bis even somewhat exceeded the expectations of the military. It was decided that with Wright's high-altitude engine.
For serial construction of the I-14 in July 1934, plant number 125 was built in Irkutsk. In 1936, the lead production aircraft was put to the test. According to their results, it was concluded that in an air combat, the I-14 has an advantage over the high-speed fighter I-16. In the course of the tests, the unsatisfactory spin-up characteristics of the machine were unexpectedly discovered by the design bureau, as a result of which the military delayed the introduction of the I-14 to the Air Force. Until 1937, the design bureau and TsAGI, where Professor A.N. Zhuravchenko was involved in solving this problem, fought against this dangerous defect (tests with a corkscrew were performed by A.I. Nikashin, N.S.Rybko). Repeated tests on the corkscrew of the mass-produced machine, which was carried out in 1937, showed that the work done had yielded results - the I-14 became one of the best fighters of the Red Army's air force in terms of the spin characteristics. Serial construction was continued. In the series, the plane went with the Wrights, and then with the domestic M-25 with a capacity of 700 hp.
Numerous delays in serial production of the I-14 (especially during the "antistop-type" epic) led to the fact that with the advent of a simpler and cheaper to manufacture, and most importantly - more high-speed fighter I-16, the I-14 lost its meaning, because it was inferior to that in flight performance. He had the advantage only in maneuverability and had a simple take-off and landing. But undoubtedly, the I-14 was a significant milestone in all-metal aircraft construction. During the design and construction of this machine, valuable experience has been gained in the application of smooth siding and secret riveting. In total, at plant number 125 there were 55 I-14 aircraft in construction, but only 18 were completed, which in 1936-1937 entered the Air Force.
|I-14bis ("doubler") with Wright Cyclone R-1830F-3 engine:|
|aircraft length||6.11 m;|
|wing span||11.25 m;|
|aircraft height||3.74 m;|
|normal take-off weight||1540 kg;|
|maximum speed at an altitude of 3000 m||402 km / h;|
|ascent time to 5000 m||8.7 min;|
|practical ceiling||8500 m;|
|machine gun armament||2 x PV-1|
|cannon armament||2 x APK-37;|
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