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Tu-107 Military Transport

The Tu-107 was an experimental military transport version of the Tu-104. Tu-107 was a cargo transport version built in 1958. It was able to carry light artillery, armored vehicles or up to 70 paratroopers. The passenger cabin was replaced with an unpressurized cargo bay heated by hot air from the engines. A cargo door was installed beneath the tail part of fuselage. Only one Tu-107 was built. In 1965 it carried paratroopers to the height of 14,400 meters to set a world record.

Even before the first flight of the Tu-104, in July, 1954, the Government Order to OKB-156 ordered the creation of a jet military transport aircraft. Observing its traditions, the OKB team led by A.N.Tupolev took the developed passenger Tu-104 for its basis. The idea of the unification of the two machines seemed good and, most importantly, allowed to reduce the cost and development time of the military transport aircraft. After all, almost everything was designed and tested: (the wing, chassis, tail, radio engineering, flight-navigation and electrical equipment used the former).

It remained to refine the fuselage, making a huge cargo hatch, and to placing the fuselage elements. However, time judged differently. In July 1955, the Air Force Commander approved tactical and technical requirements for a jet transport aircraft, the basis for the construction of which was the March 1956 decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. According to the assignment, the aircraft, which was subsequently designated Tu-107, was supposed to carry military cargoes of 10,000 kg (maximum load 15,000 kg). These included landing landing of up to 100 soldiers, or 69 stretcher casualties, or up to 70 paratroopers in full equipment.

In addition to the transportation of people, the assignment determined the possibility of transporting the BS-3 cannons, D-1, D-44 howitzer, SD-44 and SD-57 self-propelled guns, 122-mm howitzers, AT-L5A artillery tractors, BTR-40 armored personnel carriers and BTR- 152, cars GAZ-6Z and GAZ-69.

According to preliminary estimates, the aircraft fleet consisting of 150 Tu-107 and 50 Tu-104, was to be able to provide rapid operational transfer of troops and cargo of an infantry division, with two flights at a distance of 1500-1600 km in 9 hours.

The Tu-107 aircraft with RD-3M engines was built in 1957 at the Omsk Aircraft Plant No. 166 and, flying around, but not having passed factory tests, was transferred to the Air Force Research Institute in two years. The crew of the aircraft consisted of two pilots, a navigator, a radio operator, an air shooter and an airborne operator stationed in one sealed cabin. Leading at the stage of state tests were engineer KM Kabanov, pilot KD Tayursky (co-pilot A. S. Borzov) and navigator MK Kotlyub.

Unlike the passenger aircraft Tu-104, the cargo bay was made "leaky" [ie, not pressurized], but warmed by warm air, taken from the engine compressors. The cabin of the crew was separated from it by a sealed partition, similar to the one that stood on the Tu 104. In the cargo compartment, the GL-1500 winches were installed and the P-109T conveyor was provided, allowing the placement and attachment of up to 9,000 kg of cargo in standard packagings and packages. For landing the optical sight OPB-1R and the sight of AIP-32 were mounted.

All loading (unloading) operations, as well as landing in flight, were carried out through the cargo hatch, which was closed by a corresponding ladder. The latter consisted of the front and rear parts, connected by a special unit with a drive from the electromechanism. To load (unload) military equipment and cargo, both parts of the ladder fell to the ground as a single unit at an angle of 22.5. For parachute landing, the front part of the trap fell down to an angle of 6.5, and the rear part went up to the limit. In the case of the release of goods, only the rear doors of the cargo hatch opened.

In the rear part of the fuselage a remote-controlled artillery installation DK-7T with two guns AM-23 was placed. The installation had angles of fire in the horizontal plane of 63 in both directions, and in the vertical plane: upwards - up to 50 and downwards - up to 40. The guns were aimed at the target with radar (PRS-3) and television (TP-1) sights. But the weapons were not tested during state tests. The machine was equipped with an oxygen liquid system KPZH-3O, radio equipment PDSP-2 for driving to the landing area by the tail guard station Sirena-2, the equipment "own-alien" SRZO-2, the navigator had a hand-held infrared monocle SIM-1. To control the accuracy of landing, aerial cameras AFA-42/50 and AFA-42/75 were installed.

For fire safety the fuel tanks on the Tu-107 introduced a neutral gas device and changed the order of fuel production from different tanks to provide more forward centering in flight at the time of landing.

State tests of the Tu-107 began in the autumn of 1958 and stretched for a year and a half. The reasons for this delay were not a few, including a four-month break, connected with the replacement of the right engine on the RD-3M with the emergency traction mode. To assess the landing equipment of the aircraft, 176 jumps of paratroopers with parachutes PD-47 and D-1-8 and 23 dumps of manikins (through the front manhole with parachutes MPLK-49) were performed. It was found out that the landing speed (more than 350 km / h on the device) for ordinary paratroopers-paratroopers of the combat units, which had a small number of jumps, was high. The target landing speed should not exceed 300 km / h.

Although the aircraft in the technique of piloting, stability and controllability was similar to the Tu-104 and Tu-16 and withstood the test, but it was not recommended for adoption. There were too many grounds for this. The machine could not land with a maximum estimated landing weight, which was limited to 55 tons due to insufficient strength of the wheels, although in some cases this limitation increased to 60 tons, but with mandatory application of brake parachutes. The emergency departure of the aircraft by crew members with parachutes in an uncontrolled flight was impossible. When leaving the Tu-107, the paratroopers got into the jets of engines, which hurled them mercilessly.

But the program still ended successfully with 13 world records. Among them: a group jump of nine athletes with an immediate opening of a parachute and with a maximum delay, all this - day and night, as well as for men and women. There were also single jumps. Of course, incidents also occurred. With a prolonged jump on the afternoon of September 21, Olga Komisarova could not resist seeing the earth from the stratosphere, and fell face down. The payment followed immediately: the neck and part of the face were frozen (at the height of the jump was -64 C). From such a height, they fall backwards and turn to the normal position only at an altitude of about 3000 m. But there were 13,500 m of free fall. No parachutist had ever managed to do this! World record!

And men had an emergency. One athlete could not occupy the necessary position in the stratosphere in the group, because of which the whole record of the group could fail. The women's group jumped from a height of 14,252 m and made the way (marked as a world record) in a free fall of 13,716 m. Valery Raevsky overcame a free fall path of 14540 m in solitary jumping on the night of September 30. After the jump, he needed a day to recover.

Long stay in the stratosphere with a simple oxygen mask was just torture. And "Tupolev" could not rise quickly to an altitude of 14.8 km. Then there was only warm clothes and a simple oxygen mask - nothing compared to a spacesuit or other comfortable ammunition. In addition, every athlete had to take two large barographs to record a record (the requirement of a sports commissar). The equipment weighed 40 kg. The last night jump the leadership of women was banned - the men's group barely survived the load. Athletes were very upset, despite the previously achieved world records. Among them was Svetlana Evgenievna Savitskaya, who later became the world champion in aerobatics, and later flying into space.

The conclusion of the state commission was harsh: "The Tu-107 aircraft can not be used for high-speed transportation of military cargoes by its flight-technical data" (instead of it it was possible to use the Tu-104A-TC passenger aircraft converted into a transport variant). Marshal NS Skripko, commander of military transport aviation (BTA), expressed a special opinion about the machine: "The proposed Tu-107 can have limited application in the interests of the Soviet Army for the following reasons: it can be operated from airfields no lower than 1st class; the minimum speed is great, which excludes the parachute dropping of people and cargo: the range is small with limited time of possible stay in the air. This excludes the simultaneous use of a large number of aircraft, as a result, the time of landing or troop deployment is stretched, thereby increasing the possibility of being hit by enemy missiles."

In unison NS Skripko said and the commander of the airborne troops, Lieutenant-General IV Tutarinov: "With the opinion of the commander of VTA agrees ... For the airborne troops, this aircraft is not suitable for parachuting (...), and landing methods (not always we we will be able to capture airfields of the 1st class)."

It all ended with the Tu-107 being transferred to the Ryazan Airborne School. September 29, 1965 from the Tu-107, which rose to a height of 14,400 m, a group parachute jump was performed, according to the results of which several world records were registered in the FAI. In addition to the Tu-107, several Tu-104 were converted into educational and navigational machines. A biography of the prototype TU-104 USSR-L5400 was completed when the aircraft, which by that time received the designation Tu-104LK, began to be used as a flying laboratory. In the nose of the car, instead of the navigator's lantern and its workplace, the Smerch radar sight was placed, under the wing - two pylons with launchers for homing missiles. In accordance with the order of the GKAT of January 20, 1962, flight tests of K-80 air-to-air missiles with a thermal homing head and a Smerch radar sight on parachute targets began at Tu-104. Three planes were converted into flying laboratories for cosmonaut training for weightlessness. These machines were part of the Aviation Regiment imeni. VS Seregina.

Modification Tu-107
Wing span, m 34,54
Length of aircraft, m 38,85
Aircraft height , m 11,90
Wing area, m 2 174,40
Weight, kg- empty airplane 43,000
-maximum take-off 76000
Type of engine 2 x TRD RD-3M-500
Traction, kgf 2 x 9500
Maximum speed, km / h 900
Cruising speed, km / h 775
Practical range, km 3020
Practical ceiling, m 11200
Crew, people 5
Payload up to 100 soldiers or 10,000 kg of cargo.
Tu-107 Tu-107 Tu-107


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