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PS-40 / PS-41 - passenger plane

In the Soviet Union of the 1930s, where distances were calculated in thousands of kilometers, and the development of transport communications was assessed as insufficient, the need for a high-speed transport aircraft [transportnii samolet] capable of carrying out urgent air transportation was very important. The ANT-9, K-5 and PR-5 being in operation coped well with their tasks, however they overcame the space with a speed of not more than 200 km / h.

The appearance of the SB high-speed bomber, flying twice as fast, significantly reduced the distance between remote areas of the country and therefore there is nothing surprising in its subsequent civilian use. In accordance with the rules adopted by the Civil Air Fleet, it became known as PS-40, where the PS was usually interpreted as a “passenger plane” [Passazhnyy Samolyot], and in the case of the Security Council - as a “postal plane” [Pochtovyj Samolet]. PS-40 is a civilian modification of the famous SB-2 bomber. In 1936-41, Aeroflot received about a hundred PS-40 and PS-41 (a similar version of the SB with M-103 engines). These aircraft were partly reworked from demobilized bombers, and partly built specifically (In 1938, the Moscow Aviation Plant No. 22 produced the 85th and 89th series of high-speed bombers, which officially surrendered as PS-40). Used to transport mail and urgent cargo, flew on the lines Moscow - Vladivostok, Moscow - Irkutsk, Irkutsk - Vladivostok, Moscow - Rostov, Moscow - Ashgabat, Moscow - Tbilisi, Moscow - Leningrad, Tashkent - Urgench. 4 PS-40/41 was available in Polar Aviation, the same amount was received by the aircraft manufacturing plants to provide urgent transportation. The alphabetic characters entered in the identification marks meant the following owners (the list is not given in full, but only in relation to PS-40 and PS-41):

  • "I" - The main department of the aviation industry. Later, from January 1939 - People's Commissariat of the aircraft industry.
  • "L" - CAF management.
  • "X" - People's Commissars and individual organizations.
  • "T" - Training aircraft in different organizations.
  • "F" - Office of aerial photography.
  • "Sh" - schools and educational units of the Civil Air Fleet.
  • "N" - CAF control when used on international lines.
  • "H" - Polar Aviation Administration (UPA).

Already on October 21, 1936, the first unarmed SB with factory number 2221 under the designation PS-40 was registered as USSR-I188. Initially, the aircraft was equipped with M-100 engines and was listed for the aircraft engine plant number 26 in Rybinsk. Later, this copy, already with the M-103 engines, was reassigned to the aircraft engine plant number 16 in Voronezh. The aircraft was used for the urgent delivery of technical documentation, samples of parts and equipment, if necessary, deliver the necessary specialists from one enterprise to another. Shortly before the end of 1936 - December 27 - another PS-40, factory number 2204, onboard USSR-SH1114, entered the 1st flight school of the Civil Air Fleet in Tambov. It was from this school that three Bulgarian pilots, Pikar Ivanov and Volkan Goraiov, went to the war in Spain three months earlier from the position of flight instructors. Ivanov died in January 1937 when performing a combat mission on the SS. Goranov at the end of the year returned to the USSR and became a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Despite optimistic ideas about the immediate use of the high-speed "postal service", its introduction in civilian departments was initially delayed. In 1937, almost all of the SB were sent to the Red Army air force. Therefore, in that year only three copies received civil identification marks: PS-40 SSSR-L2137 (later re-registered for USSR-T2137), PS-40 SSSR-Sh1113 and PS-40 SSSR-I233. These machines allowed to work out the method of their use in civil organizations and to determine the list of necessary changes during serial production. In this period, the RI GVF developed and tested a wheel-ski chassis, allowing the aircraft to operate during the spring thaw period.

In 1938, the Moscow Aviation Plant No. 22 produced two series (85th and 89th) of high-speed bombers, which officially surrendered as PS-40. The vehicles were equipped with M-100 and M-100A engines, they were not equipped with defensive weapons, scopes, bomb racks and bomb spreaders. A payload of up to 1000 kg was located mainly in the bomb bay. Also for the cargo or passengers used the cabin navigator and gunner. At the same time, the PS-40 was surrendered by the manufacturer, taking into account the likely re-equipment again into an armed version. Armament kits for each aircraft transferred to the CAF were transferred in the form of an emergency reserve (NZ) to a special warehouse No. 1 of the People’s Commissariat of Defense (NPO) located in Balashikha, near Moscow.

In 1938, 44 PS-40s were commissioned, of which 4 copies were received by aircraft manufacturing plants to provide urgent transportation - USSR-I258, USSR-I266, USSR-I277, USSR-X193. Aeroflot received 40 PS-40, of which 4 copies were used for training flight crews - PS-40 USSR-L2452, USSR-T228, USSR-Sh1280, USSR-Sh1281. Thirty-six copies arrived for operation on overhead lines.

In 1938, some of the SB-2M-100A was transferred to the Civil Air Fleet, where they were used on airlines under the designation PS-40. As a rule, airplanes that served the Air Force and passed overhaul were transferred to the Civil Air Fleet. They removed the rifle installations, bomb weapons and other special equipment and instruments. The PS-40 fuselage was equipped with three cargo compartments with a total volume of 2.58 cubic meters. The maximum flight weight of the PS-40 should not exceed 6400 kg. With a ski fixed landing gear, the speed of the PS-40 near the ground was 308 km / h, at an altitude of 3800 m — 341 km/h. The first test flights on the Moscow-Vladivostok route began in the autumn of 1938. Regular flights of PS-40 aircraft on this very long-haul airline, 7,000 km long, began operating from 1939. In winter, the PS-40 traveled to Vladivostok with regard to intermediate landings and bad weather. three days. Flight time was significantly reduced, but the flights themselves were largely constrained by complex meteorological conditions. July 20, 1939 PS-40 USSR-L2460 when falling into a powerful thunderstorm cloud collapsed in the air. In 1939, the GVF received only two new PS-40. One car, the USSR-L2454, got into the Western Siberian Department of Civil Air Fleet, the second — the USSR-X254 — into the People's Commissariat of the forest industry. It is obvious that by the end of 1939 there was a need for new supplies of civilian security forces.

New arrivals to the Civil Air Fleet began in February 1940. PS-40 aircraft with M-100A engines went to flight schools and flight training courses. In 1940, Aviation Plant No. 89, which was part of the Civil Air Fleet, issued a new passenger modification, designated PS-41. These were the decommissioned high-speed bombers SB-2M-103, which were transferred to the Civil Air Fleet as mail and transport aircraft. The main differences from the PS-40 were new propeller units with M-103U engines and chassis with retractable skis in flight, which were pressed against the lower surfaces of the nacelles, where the corresponding fairings were made. More sophisticated PS-41 aircraft with M-103U engines and water-cooled radiators of the SB-bis-3 type (that is, located under the engine) were delivered to the overhead lines. The first PS-41 SSSR-L3533 (factory number 6/215) passed state tests at the Research Institute of the Civil Air Fleet before the onset of March 1940. Improvement in all performance indicators was noted, including an increase in the pilot's view, the possibility of skiing, the presence of a landing light. According to the conclusion of the tests, the PS-41 was allowed to fly on lines CAF as a main mail plane with a flight allowable weight of 7000 kg.

On the basis of the PS-41 was created postal aircraft with increased flight range. This modification with the same M-103U engines received the designation PS-41 bis. She was distinguished by the installation of two outboard tanks with a capacity of 270 kg of gasoline each. The weight of gasoline and oil increased from 1300 to 1730 kg.

Assessing the operation of civil aircraft of the Security Council for 1940, the leadership of the Civil Air Fleet for the first time evaluated their use from a commercial point of view. As a result, it was recognized that PS-40 and PS-41 aircraft are unprofitable and in the future they should be used mainly for training and training purposes. Part of the reason for such conclusions was the introduction on the air lines of the much larger American aircraft DC-3 and their Soviet counterpart - PS-84.

With the beginning of the war, in June 1941, all civil aviation aircraft operated in the western part of the Soviet Union were consolidated into special air groups of the Civil Air Fleet (since 1942 the regiments of the Civil Air Fleet). The main task of these air groups was to ensure the fighting of the Red Army in various directions. Airplanes PS-40 and PS-41 were involved in the delivery of weapons, ammunition, urgent documents and maps of the area. In addition, they were used to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines and send leaflets. There have been cases of combat use . In particular, three PS-41 of the Northern Air Group (formerly the Northern CAF Directorate), based at the Shosseynaya airfield near Leningrad, were armed and used as night bombers.

Actions in the front line were accompanied by losses. In the period from June 22, 1941 to the onset of the new one, in 1942, in the Special Groups of the Civil Air Fleet, 8 PS-40 and PS-41 were lost (2 shot down by air defense, 1 destroyed at the airfield, 2 were missing, 3 were broken down in accidents and disasters ). From the second half of 1942, the "Dogs" together with the army SSs are used to tow gliders to partisan areas. Cargo was transported using gliders and in the rear.

Modification PS-40 PS-41
Wingspan, m 20.30
Aircraft length, m 12.30
Aircraft height, m 3.48
Wing area, m2 56.00
Weight, kg - empty aircraft -
maximum take-off 57607000
Engine type 2 x PD M-100A M-103
-power, hp 2 x 860960
Maximum speed, km / h 423428
Cruising speed, km / h 396 398
Practical range, km 21501130
Practical ceiling, m 95607750
Crew, pers 2
Payload, kg 15682450.

PS-40 PS-40 PS-40 PS-40 PS-40 PS-40 PS-40


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Page last modified: 20-10-2018 18:43:55 ZULU