Myasishchev Molot - Flight Testing
The first prototype "M" (Head - 4300001) was founded May 15, 1952, and while working in three shifts over the fall. In Fili band factory airfield was small, so it was dismantled on aggregates transported to the FRI airfield in Zhukovsky, where reassembled. On the machine has not been established drogue parachute, most weapons, no mechanism "vzdyblivaniya." After a cycle of ground tests of the aircraft prepared for the first flight, which took place on January 20, 1953 Experienced bomber crew ran a test pilot F.F.Opadchego (A.N.Gratsiansky copilot, navigator A.I.Pomazunov, radioman II Rykhlov, flight engineer G.A.Nefedov leading engineers and I.N.Kvitko A.I.Nikonov). Compete with the airplane "M" Tupolev machine "95-1" had already passed its test path, rising in the air November 12, 1952
By Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 2957–1271 of December 17, 1953, Marshal S.I. was appointed chairman of the state commission for state tests. Rudenko, and his deputy - Marshal A.A. Novikov. The commission also included the leading test pilot of the Civil Aviation Research Institute of the Air Force A.V. Sarygin.
But the deadline set by the government was not kept, and only on March 30 of the next year, 15 days before the end of factory tests, the bomber was presented to the Air Force Research Institute. During the period of factory tests, the experimental machine made 46 flights with a total flight time of 147 hours and 15 minutes. In connection with the conduct of training flights and participation in the May Day parade, state tests began on May 4.
Tests of machine number 0001, held with the participation of test pilot V.D. Khromov, navigator Selivanov and engineer Sviridenko, confirmed the discrepancy between the received flight performance and the specified. The very first flights to a range showed that it does not exceed 6500 km with a full bomb load and 9800 km with a load of 5000 kg bombs, subject to planning from a height of 11,000-12,000 m and subsequent flight in a circle with two engines running. In case the aircraft landed with all engines running, the range did not exceed 9620 km. The practical range with an air navigation reserve was 9,500 km.
In the first phase of production tests performed 28 operations, and after modifications, in which, inter alia, established a mechanism "vzdyblivaniya", and another 18. Tests were pretty hard. Revealed serious problems with the strength of a number of units and hydraulic boosters, observed the nose landing gear shimmy. Several times in the air there were very dangerous situations. For example, one partially collapsed elevator, but Opadchy, showing great skill, successfully planted prototype. However, the most frustrating thing was that the government task requirements were significantly narrowly missed, in particular, showed bomber estimated range. In other contexts, it could lead to the closure of the program, but May 11, 1953 the first Tu-95 crashed, and right after that a draft government decision to launch aircraft "M" in the mass production, and the two plants - - 23 and Kuibyshev - 18, which were going to build the Tu-95. Signed this document was not, but on September 19 issued a decree on the issue in the 1954-55 priod for Factory 23 for a pilot batch of 11 aircraft.
However, this did not mean that Myasischev could rest on his laurels. He was instructed to urgently bring the airplane "M" in accordance with the tasks for which the project required major rework. The main problem was overweight. According to calculations, the mass of the aircraft structure had to be 70 m, and in fact it has grown to 79.7 m, with a maximum takeoff reached 181.5 tonnes, which was the limit in terms of the take-off cha-govooruzhennosti and strength.
Taking this into account when creating the second prototype was announced premium of 50 rubles for each "shot" kilogram. "Licking" design has yielded positive results. In addition, the directional stability was unnecessary, thus shorten the fuselage on the meter, as well as to reduce the weight of the aircraft, the designation "DM" ("stand-M") and the factory - 4300003. It installed almost the entire set of weapons and equipment, the mechanism of "vzdyblivaniya" to improve the landing characteristics of the area and increased the deflection angles of the flaps. The plane first flew in January 1954 under the control of the crew B.K.Galitskogo.
April 30 first prototype "M" was transferred to State Joint Tests (SIT) in NII VVS. Before you start flying on their program, the aircraft was demonstrated on air parade on Red Square in honor of the Day. The show made a strong impression on the domestic public and foreign diplomats. Soon formidable NATO aircraft assigned designation Bison.
May 5, the first flight for the ICG. Test "edinichki" were accelerated pace and already completed on August 30. Their main task was to study the flight characteristics, as well as stability and controllability of the airplane. Most were able to confirm the stated characteristics, in particular, has received a top speed of 950 km / h at an altitude of 6700 m and 12300 m ceiling on official flights were carried out on the range "understudy", which entered the NII VVS in March 1955 Their results no joy, instead of those in government job 12000 km plane showed only 9500. (TU-95 in the final stages CIO in October 1957 reached a practical range of 13000 km). But primarily on the "DM" tested equipment and weapons. However, prior to the receipt of "emok" the troops managed to hold only discharges of conventional bombs. On state tests also engaged one of the first production aircraft (mid - 1114). In total, three machines were performed 99 flights. HSI ended July 25, 1955 signing of the Act, which, in particular, noted that the aircraft is suitable for use in combat units. In the same period, the bomber was officially designated the M-4.
Time does not wait. Even before the first flight "understudy" as standard documentation has been amended, requiring continuous improvements only upcoming snap. It was slightly nervous period for the plant. The company experienced a radical reconstruction, which is also not conducive to the rhythm of work and implementation of the plan. And it was not just that the new aircraft was much larger than the Tu-4. A simple example: on the Tu-4, all actuators are electric, and the new machine changed their hydraulics, and a hydraulic system was not yet on any of the Soviet machine. Only one basic control weighed about 1500 kg! For assembly and testing of hydraulics needed to create a new production sites and dozens of booths. Sharply increased purity requirements in areas of precision parts manufacturing, quality work surfaces, etc.
Pre-production took place directly from the sketches, whereby the serial construction of M-4 began in 1954, and in August was ready to head ship (mid - 0104). But serial production has appeared as such only conditionally - in each series was one item, the items were made for each optional, which facilitated their refinement and reduced several fatal marriage, but affected the rate of production, so that the monthly plans often not implemented. And although the main terrible shadow "curator" Beria is not hanging over their heads, the personal responsibility of each did not decrease. System of rewards and punishments in the country still has not changed, and many of those forever hardened the slogan Gulag years, "Remember that a couple of lines: operates to reduce the sentence."