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Great Patriotic War - I (IstrebÝtel - "Fighter")

As is well known, the military leadership of any country, as a rule, is very conservative. Thus in the 1930s the military was not sure of the advantage of a monoplane fighter over a biplane, because the horizontal maneuverability of the latter was significantly higher. Because of this, some states (for example, Italy) for a long time did not dare to put into service monoplanes. The Soviet Union chose its own way: it was decided to produce both types of time in parallel, setting up a military interaction between "high-speed" monoplanes and "maneuverable" biplanes.

At the end of the Great War, many countries began to model and improve new types of fighters. So, plywood biplanes turned into all-metal monoplanes with closed cockpits. At that time, new fighters wore a pair of machine guns and developed a speed of up to 450 km/h. If there was some competition between the monoplane fighter planes (when choosing a model for weapons adoption), then the designs of the biplanes of the Soviet Air Force for a long time had one author - repeatedly mentioned on the pages of history - Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov. His I-15, I-15bis and I-153 aircraft were constant combat friends in all the wars of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Polikarpov was called the "king of fighters": for more than 10 years in the 1930s, the USSR Air Force was armed only with his aircraft.

The Soviet military aviation in 1936 occupied a leading position in the world. I-15 and I-16 fighters, whose serial production has just begun, were advanced, as well as DI-6, SB and DB-3, R-10 aircraft, training UT-2 and others. The TB-3 bombers were not outdated yet, and the R-5 reconnaissance aircraft could also serve. A number of records were set and outstanding flights made. But it was all over. During the Spanish Civil War. When it turned out the gap from the German aircraft Messerschmitt Bf.109E in speed and armament. The TB-3 and R-5 aircraft no longer met the requirements of the time. The war in Spain showed that the most important factor is the advantage in speed, both horizontal and vertical, without which maneuverability does not matter. At Khalkhin-Gol, the appearance of the I-153 aircraft and new modifications of the I-16 saved the day.

Biplanes fighters after 1939 exhausted themselves, monoplane scheme became the only possible fighter. "Theory of two fighters", i.e. the interaction of the high-speed I-16 and maneuverable I-15, was rejected in 1939. But in 1940, the already outdated I-153 fighter continued to be produced. Almost the same was with the I-16 aircraft.

By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, fighter aviation was a perfectly formed class of military equipment. The main world powers owned several main types of fighters. In Germany, Me-110, Bf-109 of various modifications are very marked. In the USSR, the I-16 and I-153 were mixed, in England - the Hurricane and the Spitfire. More developed in this respect were Japan, the United States and France.

By the beginning of hostilities in Europe, designers had not yet understood with the most important advantage of fighters - maneuverability or speed. At that time it was difficult to create something uniting the two characteristics, on the basis of this and the schemes of these or other aircraft differed from each other. At the end of the experience and the beginning of the war, during the course of combat air operations, everyone realized that one engine is significantly better than two.

The huge demand for fighters during the Second World War was based on the need for constant assistance to assault and bomber aircraft. It was at this time that the tactics of using and the main methods of army aircraft, and especially fighters, were recognized. The upcoming development was the reason for the creation of the Yak-9B, which was planned as an improved model with more effective impact properties. This aircraft was the first step to the emergence of fighter-bombers.

With the upcoming development of fighter aircraft, piston models were simply upgraded to the last of their own capabilities. But the plane on the propeller was not able to overcome the sound barrier, which the designers wanted to achieve. At the end of the war, Germany was the first to launch the production of jet fighters - Me-262, Not-162, missile fighters - Me-163. They were faster than any in the world at the time, and, of course, owned significantly better flying features.

But the finish of the war was close, the anti-Hitler coalition was already at the wall of Germany and a huge part of the factories and military factories were wiped off the face of the earth. The small batches produced by the new fighters could not make a weighty contribution to the upcoming developments.

It was necessary to take emergency measures to overcome the backlog. Work on the creation of new aircraft was launched, and a new generation (after the I-16) of monoplane fighter aircraft appeared soon - the Yak-1, LaGG-3 and MiG-3, whose speed reached and exceeded 600 km / h at the calculated flight altitude. In addition to the fighters, the Pe-2 and Tu-2 high-speed dive bombers, the Il-4, Er-2 and TB-7 (Pe-8) bombers, the Il-2 attack aircraft, the Su-2 reconnaissance aircraft and other aircraft were developed.

In a short time, in two years, they managed to create completely new and modern fighters, bombers, attack aircraft. The base for serial production was prepared, but it was just beginning, and the new aircraft were not widely mastered by pilots. The pace of construction of new plants was insufficient, and by the beginning of World War II, they still did not produce. Almost the entire burden of the first period of the war fell on the aircraft of the 1930s. But since 1943, the ever-increasing production of aircraft has allowed Soviet aviation to achieve superiority in the air.

As of June 1, 1943, the USSR had 10,252 aircraft, and from the German - 2,980. This speaks first of all of the fact that the command rate was based on the quantity, not on the quality of weapons, and this was reflected in the number of dead pilots. The irretrievable losses of the air force of the Red Army Air Force from 1941 to 1945 amounted to 48,158, including 28,193 pilot pilots. Germany lost in the same period killed and missing more than 66,000 people flying on two fronts. According to other sources, the Luftwaffe from 1939 to 1945 lost about 24,000 killed and 27,000 missing.

Unrealized fighter projects

I-6 (IL-4, IL-400b) - in the fall of 1925, the designer developed a draft design of the IL-4 fighter, which in some documents was designated as I-6 or IL-400b. The designer assumed that in the course of serial production a new version would gradually replace the IL-3. The main idea of ??the project was to create on its basis a number of modifications, with the possibility of their interchangeability in combat conditions. With an additional insertion in the fuselage and some increase in the wing area of ??a single-seat fighter, a double IL-400b or a double reconnaissance R.L.400b was obtained. Works were discontinued in 1926.

I-9 (1929-31) - due to the fact that TsAGI "failed" the task for the I-9 fighter, it was handed over to the OSS TsKB. In August-October 1929, N. N. Polikarpov made sketches of I-9 pre-sketch projects in semi-plan and monoplane designs. For reasons clear from the next chapter, he was not able to participate in the development of the aircraft. But his backlog was used by the new chief designer of the plant No. 25 S.?. Kocherigin in designing the I-9 variants with the Curtiss Concorver engines, M-19, M-32. By early 1931, the Air Force canceled the assignment for the I-9 due to the lack of these engines.

I-10 (1930) - was in terms of a fighter plane with a new M-41 engine. The release date of all aircraft was planned for 1932-1933. The engines did not come out in time, the I-9 and I-10 aircraft were not built.

I-11 (1931) - until the middle of 1931. Polikarpov continued to develop aircraft in custody. Here the I-6 fighter was developed and built (the second with the same name), and the design of the I-11 fighter began .

I-13 (ANT-32) (1932) - 1932, the brigade No. 3 of N.N.Polikarpov and No. 4 of TsAGI. The chief of the brigade is P.O.Sukhoi, and N.N.Polikarpov is one of his deputies. The work on the I-13 fighter aircraft was continued; the project receives the designation ANT-32 for designation under the M-32 liquid-cooled engine. Due to engine unavailability, the work was stopped.

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Page last modified: 04-11-2018 17:41:37 ZULU