TS-3 heavy attack
In the early 1930s aircraft designers tried to create a strong attack with armored protection of the crew of the aircraft. However, the attempts by using biplane schemes did not bring success. Speed barely reached 200 km/hr, agility was clearly insufficient, and length of the runway is very large. In 1930, under the leadership of Tupolev, TsAGI developed preliminary designs for heavy twin-engine (M-2 34 to 750 hp) attack aircraft ANT-17 (TS-B) and the ANT-18. These projects were not implemented.
In 1931-1933 Menzhinsky built several attack aircraft: light LS, special purpose SEAN heavy TS-1, TS-2 (with motor M-17), TS-3 (with a motor M-34). The construction was completed all of them except for the LS, and the TS-2 was released in a small (10 copies) series. However, the flight performance data of these aircraft were low enough and they did not receive further development. Thus, in the early 1930s, designers failed to solve the problem of creating a specialized attack aircraft with weapons, armor and aircraft tactical data that meet the requirements placed thereon.
It is not difficult to see the failure of all attempts to create a special armored attack during this period, especially the lack of powerful engines, as well as armor and other constructive-insulating material with high specific weight and strength characteristics. As a result, without exception, have experienced lower thrust-attack aircraft. In addition, almost did not manage to solve the problem of reliable cooling of engines placed on the breastplate.
Another major drawback of stormtroopers was very low combat effectiveness due to poor review forward and down. The fact is that during this period the main and almost the only tactic to attack aircraft were to attack ground targets strafing at extremely low altitude, whereas the angle forward and down was extremely small.
In 1932, a team of designers led by Sergei Alexandrovich Kocherigin and M.I.Gurevich [the future founder of MiG] began a project to develop heavy ground attack monoplane scheme under the engine M-34 with a capacity of 750/830 liters, rated at 750-830 hp. At the end of 1933 a prototype monoplane with low-wing area of 45.04 square meters and struts, located on the center section was built, and was named TS-W (Tyazheliy Stormovik - heavy attack - 3).
The TS-3 project was one of the first projects of armored aircraft direct support of infantry. When it was designed for the beginning of the 1930s it was the most advanced of the type, like all the Soviet aircraft at that time. The aircraft was a secret, and the drawings were not published. The first public mention of the TS-3 appeared only in 1969 in the monograph VB Shavrova "History of aircraft design in the USSR until 1938".
TS-3 was to be armed with two batteries, five machine guns ShKAS located on both sides of socks wing and defensive machine gun, placed on the rear of the firing installation. Under each wing, between the side members, could be suspended six fragmentation bombs. The wing design was fitted with special holders for them, the maximum load was 400 kg. There was also a possibility of transport and use of equipment for chemical attacks. The body armor TS-3 was laid out in flat pieces of armor. This was done because the Soviet Union is not able to make curved armor for aircraft. The details of armor combined the box with screws and duralumin parts. This also had its difficulties, the metal to be drilled, but the material warped and cracked, as a result of fitting sheets was quite a complex operation. The basis of the TS-3 aircraft on the back truss fuselage were steel pipes, on top of it sheathed metal. The wings and tail were sheathed with duralumin.
The front sheet of armor had a thickness of 8 mm, 6 mm remaining, the topsheet 5 mm. The engine was not covered with armor. The radiator located at the bottom was covered with a 6-millimitrovoy armor. During the attack, the flight radiator was moved into the fuselage. The motor was cooled by an armored scoop [bronsovok] and slot located behind the radiator, it was equipped with blinds, but it was not enough. The TS-3 was heavy armor weighed just 576 kg.
The very design of the armored box dramatically reduced the aerodynamic performance of the machine, but other options to protect the crew were not taken into account. Kocherigin believed that the shape of a box is the most suitable. The bad aerodynamics and weight caused a sharp decline in flight characteristics.
In the summer of 1934 the aircraft was presented for factory test flights to TS-3 carried out a pilot Vladimir K. Kokkinaki. The maximum speed near the ground is equal to 247 km / h, range - 470 km, 3 km climb aircraft expend 11 minutes. However, the tests were delayed, and during these tests, the aircraft had become outdated. It did not go into series producton, and not a single copy survived.
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