Military Review

Stories about weapons. ANT-25 / 36. Political bomber


Of course, all versed in aviation they know perfectly well that this plane was not a bomber. And he is famous, of course, for his record flights under the control of the crews of Gromov and Chkalov. And that is why it was also referred to as RD airplane - a range record.

All right, but it was created ANT-25 with an eye as a long-range bomber.

7 December 1931, the Commission at the USSR Revolutionary Military Council decided to build an aircraft and organize a flight in the summer of 1932 to the maximum range of 13 000 km. The aircraft project was completed in July 1932. Developed at TsAGI by the team of P. O. Sukhoi under the direction of A. N. Tupolev.

The construction of the aircraft began 1 June 1932 g. The first flight with an M-34 engine without a gearbox took place 22 June 1933, under the control of MM Gromov. The construction of a backup aircraft with an M-34P engine equipped with a gearbox began in August 1932 g. The first backup flight took place on September 10 1933, also under the control of MM Gromov.

However, one interesting document was preserved in the archives of the Ministry of Defense. Report to Alksnis, the head of the Red Army Air Force.

Chief of the Red Army Air Force
G. Alksnis

By 1 May 1933 a record aircraft of the RD brand (distance record) will be manufactured. The aircraft is designed for 45 flight hours and has in its wings large containers (for 6 tons) for gasoline. This aircraft can be used for airborne chemical attack. To do this, it is necessary to leave the storage for gasoline 1 — 2 tons, and the remaining storages to accommodate the liquid poisonous substance (4 — 5 tons) in them.

Head of the Military Chemical Directorate and Chemical Forces of the Red Army (Fishman)
Head of the 7 sector of the Air Force Scientific Research Institute (Pearls)

Resolution: t. Goroshchenko. At the same time, work out the task I have already given to Comrade Petrov about the possibility of adapting the RD as a long-range bomber. Alksnis.

It is difficult to say what the military expected. ANT-25 really was an aircraft capable of long-haul flights. But its speed (244 km / h near the ground and 256 km / h at the height of 4000 m) did not allow it to look at least competitively against the LTH of the fighters of that time.

The practical ceiling in 7500 m, however, made it possible to consider the aircraft almost invulnerable from both fighters and anti-aircraft artillery. The 30's fighters did not climb above 4 thousands of meters, although the same British Hawker Fury (333 km / h) and Polish PZL Р-7 (315 km / h) were considerably better than ANT-25.

Nevertheless, ANT-25 was still considered as a potential bomber, which was given the name ANT-36.

ANT-36, or DB-1, was finally designed in August 1933. And, as we often have in stories, was adopted by the military and immediately launched into a series. It was planned to create 50 bombers.

The differences between ANT-36 and ANT-25 were that a bomb bay was placed in the center section, in which ten 100-kilogram bombs were placed. The capacity of the fuel tanks was reduced to 4900 liters, and the flight weight did not exceed 7806 kg.

In addition to the bombing, defensive weapons were also planned - two machine guns for firing up and one at a time - for firing back and forth with a common 1500 ammunition ammunition. In the summer of 1935, the Air Force Institute was tested onboard portable pivot under the machine gun YES.

The navigator’s cabin where one of the machine guns was installed

In the autumn, the first serial RD flew around, but the military commission refused to accept it as clearly unsuitable for use in the Air Force. The same fate awaited the following seven aircraft, requiring, at best, a lengthy refinement.

18 built 2 aircraft rejected, not allowing to operate, 3 remained at the plant (TsAGI brigade), 1 - in Leningrad, 2 in the Air Force Institute, and only 10 machines were transferred to Voronezh, stationed under Voronezh.

Between 1936 and 1937, the average annual flight time of the aircraft was only 25 — 30 hours, although some of them flew up to 60 hours.

Basic data of the ANT-36 aircraft (DB-1):

aircraft length - 13,4 m;
wing span - 34,0 m;
wing area - 88,2 m2;
normal take-off weight - 7806 kg;
bomb load - 1000 kg;
maximum flight speed - 200 km / h;
practical ceiling - 3000 m;
flight range - 4000 km;
machine gun armament - machine gun 4 YES caliber 7,62-mm;
crew - 3-4 people.

In general, the car turned out to be unsuccessful, in 1937, all aircraft transferred to the Air Force were mothballed.

And the progenitor, ANT-25, nevertheless realized the goal for which it was built.

20 July 1936 launched a flight from Moscow to the Far East (crew commander - V. P. Chkalov, co-pilot - G. F. Baidukov, navigator - A. V. Belyakov). The 9 flight 375 km continued 56 hours before landing on the sand spit of the island Udd (today - Chkalov Island) in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.

18 June 1937, the ANT-25 aircraft took off from the Schelkovo airfield and flew from Moscow to the North Pole to the United States of America, landing on the Pearson airfield in Vancouver, WA (crew commander V. Chkalov, co-pilot G F. Baidukov, navigator - A. V. Belyakov).

12 July 1937, the second (more precisely, the first version of the ANT-25) aircraft ANT-25 took off from Schelkovsky airfield and flew the route Moscow - North Pole - United States of America, landing on a pasture near San Jasinto, California (crew commander - M. M. Gromov, co-pilot - A. B. Yumashev, navigator - S. A. Danilin). When performing this flight, the world record for a distance in a straight line (10 148 km) and the world record for a distance on a broken line (11 500 km) were set.

And here an interesting thing happened.

Without exaggeration, the whole world was shocked by the flights of Chkalov and Gromov. And even the skeptics had to believe that the Russians were able to create a plane, to which there is no equal.

And then reconnaissance worked, which “allowed” to remove to representatives of foreign countries (simply, spies), as at plant # XXUMX, which was located in Voronezh, airplanes similar to ANT-18 went out into the sky.

And when it turned out that the ANT-36 "did not go in," a leak of "secret information" about the aircraft’s somewhat inflated LTX was organized.

But everyone in the world believed, in the wake of Chkalov and Gromov’s success, that the USSR had such weapon. And it played a certain role.

So right at the beginning I called this plane “a political bomber” for a reason.

And one moment. The only surviving ANT-25 aircraft, the one on which Chkalov made his flight, is located in the Valery Chkalov Museum in the city of Chkalovsk. And the one that I shot as an example, which is in the exposition of the aviation museum in Monino, was built in 1989 year and is its prototype copy.

The plane on which Gromov flew to America was used as a target at the bombing range.

This is the fate.

Shavrov V.B. The history of aircraft structures in the USSR to 1938
31 comment

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  1. Cat
    Cat 15 August 2017 07: 08
    It is sad that we do not protect history!
    I have the honor!
    1. Amurets
      Amurets 15 August 2017 08: 06
      Quote: Kotischa
      It is sad that we do not protect history!

      I did not find anything new for myself, I read about this plane earlier. But I completely agree with your opinion.
      Here is a link to a neighboring branch, about our attitude to memory and monuments, an article appeared today.
      Yes, and recently there was an article about the firstborn of our nuclear fleet, the K-19 nuclear submarine Leninsky Komsomol.
      Americans don’t bother with anything, which is probably why they have a fleet of memorial ships. And we have the first domestic nuclear submarines do not know where to put.
      1. michell
        michell 20 August 2017 13: 35
        Quote: Amurets
        Yes, and recently there was an article about the firstborn of our nuclear fleet, the K-19 nuclear submarine Leninsky Komsomol.

        The first-born of our nuclear submarine fleet was the K-3 Lenin Komsomol. K-19 - a bit from another opera ...
  2. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 15 August 2017 07: 28
    Thanks to the author. Interesting and informative.
  3. irazum
    irazum 15 August 2017 08: 23
    I watched on the topic ANT-25 a wonderful film by V. Pelsh; "People who made the earth round." I learned a lot of new things. Who did not watch, I recommend to everyone, you will not regret it!
  4. DimerVladimer
    DimerVladimer 15 August 2017 10: 46
    but the ANT-25 was created precisely with an eye as a long-range bomber

    So served - author captain evidence ...
    Where it is not described, even in a documentary, which is an extreme degree of popularization.
  5. tchoni
    tchoni 15 August 2017 11: 41
    A very interesting approach to the interpretation of the machine and its purpose)))
  6. iouris
    iouris 15 August 2017 12: 21
    I know Jacob Alksnis. And who is G. Alksnis?
    In essence. The only function of the ANT-25 is the political effect of flying through the North. Pole. In this way, the general public of the United States became acquainted with the USSR. It was a congenial move by the Soviet leadership.
  7. Bert
    Bert 15 August 2017 13: 03
    Even enviable at that time. lived created developed. The country was growing stronger. Not without mistakes, of course. But as a whole do not create Stalin, then industry will not win the war for us for nothing. With a pitchfork on the tank you can of course. They got out of shit at that time. What now? Their civilian bytes. And since they do not release further about. I do not need to take off. No plants or specialists. By the way, civilian forces during the war are already issuing military orders. Even Belomorkanal hummingbird 7.62 after a couple of hours, machine-gun cartridges instead of cigarettes. Hitler before the war with civilian capacities in one fell swoop launched the release of bombers. (Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany did not have the right to have military aircraft).
  8. Curious
    Curious 15 August 2017 13: 31
    "But its speed (244 km / h at the ground and 256 km / h at an altitude of 4000 m) did not allow it to look at least somehow competitive against the background of the fighter aircraft of that time. "
    The Soviet heavy bomber TB-3, adopted a year earlier, in 1932, in its first modifications with M17 engines, had a maximum speed at an altitude of 3000 m 177 km / h. And only by 1935, TB-3-4AM-34FRN / FRNV with AM-34FRN / FRNV engines with increased power and four-blade propellers, with improved aerodynamics reached 300 km / h.
    The design and construction of the aircraft occurred just in years, let’s say, a generational change. In just a few years - from the beginning to the mid-30s - the speed of the bombers almost doubled: from 225-250 to 400-450 km / h.
  9. andrewkor
    andrewkor 15 August 2017 19: 22
    The author refers to VB Shavrov when describing the military modification of the ANT25, which is the RD-VV (DB-1, ANT36), and it only refers to four100 kg of bombs suspended vertically upside down. This variant of the bomber in 1934 no longer suited the military as slow-moving and lightly armed. Attention was directed to the twin-engine version of this DB2 (ANT37) aircraft, which became the no less famous record Rodina aircraft, but it did not become such a bomber for the same reasons. The USSR lagged behind in the production of powerful aircraft engines, by 800-900 hp you don’t fly much, except for range!
    1. Aviator_
      Aviator_ 17 August 2017 09: 00
      Tupolev walked along a dead end, believing that for long range you need a wing of long elongation with low inductive reactance. Ilyushin on his TsKB-30 achieved a decent range on the wing of a significantly smaller scope, in addition, the M-88 engines gave a decent speed for that time of 400 km / h. Tupolev, as he could, slowed down the work of a competitor, but unsuccessfully, eventually sat down. And the modified Central Design Bureau (IL-4) fought the whole war.
      1. Dooplet11
        Dooplet11 17 August 2017 16: 46
        For long range, really, you need a wing of great elongation. Or a large weight return for the possibility of placing a larger supply of fuel. Multiparameter optimization problem. DB-3 range 3100km, cruising speed 320 km / h, wing of moderate elongation. DB-2 range of 5000 km,cruising speed 250 km / h, wing of great lengthening. The military preferred 28% higher speed with a 61% lower range. Apparently, they considered the operational radius of 1500 km sufficient. For this, Tupolev and an even larger team (including Bratini, Korolev, Petlyakova) from different design bureaus and research institutes sat down - article 58, but hardly because they all impeded the work of Ilyushin.
        1. Aviator_
          Aviator_ 17 August 2017 16: 58
          Not everyone slowed down, before the war Tupolev felt like a gentleman, even failed to bring a license for DS-3 from the USA (or did not want to?), He had to finish it. The fact that the wing was of great elongation and, consequently, low speed, and the concrete runway (how many were there at the end of the 30's in the USSR? - only one) did not suit the war in Europe, he did not care. And the military wisely decided that the main theater would not be in 5000 km, but much closer.
          1. Dooplet11
            Dooplet11 17 August 2017 17: 17
            One feels a personal hostility towards Comrade. Tupolev. wink That's just everything that you wrote about him, without documents and evidence, it looks like gossip. The military decided wisely.
            There were more concrete strips in the USSR than one.
            1. Aviator_
              Aviator_ 18 August 2017 16: 14
              About Tupolev more specifically.
              [/ quote] (Aviation History magazine No.34 2010)
              Unfortunately, it must be admitted that by the 1937 year the NKVD had, in the full sense of the word, accumulated a mass of incriminating material against Andrei Nikolaevich and many of his associates. In order not to be unfounded, I will give a few complaints that could be presented to this constructor.
              In 1935-36 years in the Soviet Union, the French D500 fighter was tested, with a top speed of about 400 km / h and armed with an 20-mm automatic gun. In addition to this, there was a lot of fairly reliable information from various sources that in the near future fighter aircraft with even higher speeds will begin to be armed with aviation of foreign countries. Nevertheless, despite all these data, A.N. Tupolev’s design bureau was able to start mass production of the DB-1 single-engine long-range bomber, built on the basis of the record-breaking ANT-25RD aircraft, with a maximum speed of less than 200 km / h and with defensive weapons from two machine guns rifle caliber. A year later, the DB-2 twin-engine long-range bomber was launched into serial production, having slightly higher flight data and equally weak defensive capabilities. In addition, as it soon became clear, the design of this machine had a number of serious miscalculations. The question is relevant, what could the crews of these aircraft count on long-distance raids in enemy space? Finally, another conflict situation arose in 1937, when the construction of the twin-engine VIT-1 twin-engine high-speed attack bomber began, designed by N. N. Polikarpov, whose design characteristics significantly exceeded the Tupolev Security Council, A. N. Tupolev directly slowed down the progress of work on this the car and even explicitly forbade the director of the factory №84 to show this plane to the customer, that is, representatives of the Red Army Air Force! .. And this despite the fact that the money for the creation of this aircraft was allocated by the government in a targeted manner and as soon as possible !! This immediately raises a couple of unpleasant questions, but for what, in fact, the A. Tupolev Design Bureau and the aircraft industry as a whole were created? .. And the Red Army Air Force? .. It turns out that, apparently, in the opinion of Andrei Nikolaevich, for personal enrichment !. There were questions from the NKVD authorities about how the TB-3 was created, and most importantly, how the KB officers eliminated in the process of serial production the design miscalculations revealed in the process of serial production and operation on these aircraft, which at that time formed the basis of the air force’s striking power RKKA. It is not surprising that sooner or later the denouement should have come. And she came in the evening of October 21 1937, when A. N. Tupolev was arrested. And “so that it would not be boring for him to sit in the cell alone” and it was easier to remember the details of his activities, soon the “craters” began to take away one after another his associates. In the end, he was not the only one who made mistakes in his work ...
              1. Dooplet11
                Dooplet11 21 August 2017 09: 22
                I re-read this article by Bulach. In it, he opposes Corned Beef. In many ways, I agree with Bulakh. But in the part of the passage quoted by you, Bulakh not far from Solonin. There are no references to sources, the charges are in the air, the arguments are largely controversial and far-fetched. Again, the foregoing relates to the Tupolev / Polykarpov relationship. Where is Ilyushin and opposition from Tupolev in this bunch? Your thoughts and assumptions? Again, everything is at the gossip level. No specifics (indictment, interrogation protocols, etc., where?)
                1. Aviator_
                  Aviator_ 21 August 2017 19: 53
                  Well, in general, give you scans of business. And if you just compare the facts? Of the distant bombers, only Il-4 turned out to be more or less reliable, Pe-8 was made only in the amount of 79 copies, a very complex and expensive aircraft to manufacture, although according to its data, the B-17 was close. Yes, and with aviation diesels, we had a complete failure, despite the launch of them in a series, this is a complaint to Charomsky. After the war, a technical assignment was issued for a jet bomber capable of bombing in the States and returning back. Myasishchev introduced M-3, Tupolev - Tu-95. As a bomber, the M-3 was much closer to the technical requirements than the Tu-95. Andrei Nikolayevich could not forgive this competitor in any way, he ate the M-50 and imposed the raw Tu-22 on the Air Force.
                  1. Dooplet11
                    Dooplet11 22 August 2017 06: 01
                    We switched to "you"?
                    So where is the evidence that Tupolev was put behind wheels in Ilyushin’s wheels? In addition to a reference to an article by Bulakh, in which a VERSION is given that Tupolev was put into wheels Polikarpova and for rifle caliber machine guns in DB-2?
                    And where does the reliability of long-range bombers during the war? If we are talking about the mid-30s? You deliberately turn the thread of discussion into a mess?
                    1. Dooplet11
                      Dooplet11 22 August 2017 06: 15
                      Before Tu-95, 3M (nee M-4, not M-3, by the way!) And M-50 were still Tu-4, Tu-16, not counting the experimental vehicles of Tupolev, Ilyushin and captured Germans. 3M, maybe it was closer to TK than Tu-95, but it turned out to be difficult to operate, only in the first three years of operation there were 6 accidents for 34 cars, not counting accidents. And the range is shorter than that of the Tu-95. Tu-95 is still flying.
                      1. Aviator_
                        Aviator_ 22 August 2017 17: 59
                        Glory to the Great and infallible Tupolev !!! Now satisfied?
          2. Dooplet11
            Dooplet11 18 August 2017 09: 24
            DB-2 completely taxied and took off from airfields with a natural surface:
          3. Dooplet11
            Dooplet11 18 August 2017 09: 28
            In this work:
            you can find information on the number of airfields with artificial turf in the Western border military districts before the war. > 1 belay
            1. Aviator_
              Aviator_ 18 August 2017 16: 17
              In addition, about the Tu-22 aircraft, launched in a series instead of the Myasishevsky M-50 in the middle of the 60's. Tu-22 is a very complex aircraft. In the Air Force he had the nickname "Shilo" (for the shape of the fuselage), and "Eater" (for high accident rate). The nickname "Strategic Defective Carrier" is sometimes referred to. This plane was the most emergency machine of the Soviet Air Force: only until 1975 of the year about 70 vehicles crashed (20% of the fleet). In the history of operation of the Tu-22, there were several unpleasant cases of crew failures to fly on this type of aircraft. This is to say that there were always disassemblies between Tupolev and competitors, after the war Myasischev managed to get around him, making the M-3 bomber to those regimes that Tupolev considered unattainable. Here, using personal authority, Tupolev sent to the Tu-22 series, and Myasishchev went to manage TsAGI.
              1. Dooplet11
                Dooplet11 21 August 2017 09: 34
                With which about the strategist M-50 and the long-range bomber Tu-22, who did not reach the strategist, did they stand on the same line? M-50, - the first flight in the 59th. Tu-22. - beginning of development, - 65th. Aircraft not only of a different class, but also of different generations. The reason that the M-50 did not reach the series was, rather, not the Tu-22, but the Khrushchev innovations with missiles, from which not only Myasishchev got, but also the same Tupolev. You are somehow more careful with the construction of causal relationships! For Tu-22, do not provide data on how many aircraft out of 70 aircraft were lost due to the human factor, but how many due to design flaws? To clarify the picture?
                1. Dooplet11
                  Dooplet11 21 August 2017 10: 31
                  At first, the development of the Tu-22 was wrong. Confused with the Tu-22M. I apologize. The development of the Tu-22 began in the 55th, the first flight in the 58th.
                2. Aviator_
                  Aviator_ 21 August 2017 19: 55
                  M-50 in its first version without the brought engines to the strategist did not pull.
                  1. Dooplet11
                    Dooplet11 22 August 2017 05: 54
                    And so, instead of it, they launched the “non-strategic" Tu-22 into the series? Smiled at such an argument. laughing
                  2. Dooplet11
                    Dooplet11 22 August 2017 06: 28
                    But Myasishchev was also put in wheels for Ilyushin’s wheels? What about Petlyakova? What is your version, dear Aviator?
  10. Dooplet11
    Dooplet11 22 August 2017 11: 38
    Quote: Aviator_
    Yes, and with aviation diesels we had a complete failuredespite launching them in a series, this is a claim to Charomsky.

    About the "complete failure" is a very controversial statement. Only the Germans and the USSR were able to produce serial diesel engines for military aircraft.
    "The Air Force of the spacecraft in the person of the head of the Main Directorate of Orders and Technical Supply of the Brig engineer N.P. Seleznev. Wrote a letter to the head of the aviation department of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, Vavilov, in which he requested the annulment of the" devastating "GKO decision No. 1440ss of March 14, 1942 In particular, Seleznev wrote:
    "The M-30 aviation diesel engine, tested in combat operations on the TB-7 aircraft, confirmed the positive qualities of the diesel engine.
    To eliminate the main motor defect: self-shutdown when planning at heights of more than 4000 m, Plant No. 82 designed a combined boost to the M-30 motor: from a turbocharger and a centrifugal driven supercharger. Such a motor was manufactured and at the beginning of March 1942 successfully completed a 50-hour bench test. To decide on the launch of the M-30 with a combined boost in a series, only small flight tests are needed.
    The M-30 motor has a development prospect and can be brought within 4-5 months to a power of 1750 hp.
    ... The only plant in the USSR for the production of aircraft diesel engines No. 82 has extensive experience in refining diesel engines and manufacturing small batches, has the necessary equipment and technology for serial production, has qualified personnel who absorbed the culture of aircraft diesel engines and are able to establish serial production in the next 4-5 months ” . "
    Yes, there were childhood diseases. Moreover, they were connected not with the engine itself, but with its mounted units. There was simply not enough resources to cure them during the war. Healed after the war. But, since more promising jet and turboprop engines were already mastered in aviation at that time, Charomsky's products found application in IS tanks and hydrofoils. Complete failure this can not be called.
  11. Dooplet11
    Dooplet11 22 August 2017 20: 42
    Glory to the Great and infallible Tupolev !!! Now satisfied?

    No. I will be pleased when you say something like this: "When I, the Aviator wrote"Tupolev, as he could, slowed down the work of a competitor, but unsuccessfully, eventually sat down. ", I, the Aviator, got a little excited, and gave my assumption as a fact."