In the article about the fighter LaGG-3, some readers asked a question, albeit slightly off topic (yes, there is a little, quite past), but deserving a separate analysis.
We are talking about the fighters Polikarpov I-180 and I-185, which allegedly surpassed everything that was available at that time in development. And if it were not for the evil genius of Yakovlev, who “stalked” these planes, the alignment would have been completely different.
Let's analyze everything again with a cool head. Basically, it is simple.
Let all supporters of the idea of “Yakovlev spread rot to Polikarpov” calmly appreciate the situation. To begin with, yes, at the time of 1940, Alexander Yakovlev was special, close to the emperor. The young designer, and even "on trust" in power.
However, the same Shahurin, rehabilitated and caressed by Khrushchev, never in his memoirs, he did not confirm that Yakovlev, being his deputy, “snatched” something for himself. Moreover, there were mountains of complaints about Yakovlev, while at that time they were looked at somewhat differently than they are now. And checked.
Confirmations are available from Molotov. Felix Chuev published conversations with him, there they talked a lot about what. Including on similar topics.
And the most important thing. To get "up" in those years was very easy. I think no one will argue on this topic. But how about a hold? But it was much more difficult to stay. As Stalin led the personnel policy, I think you should not repeat. The fact that Yakovlev, who had fallen on the post of deputy director, was trying to get rid of her with all his strength, is also a fact. As a fact, the Yakovlev Design Bureau was by no means the largest and most sophisticated in terms of technology. Everything is also confirmed.
Yakovlev had many ill-wishers; don’t go to your grandmother! What issues did the Yakovlev supervise over at the People’s Commissariat of the Aviation Industry? Yakovlev, being a designer "on trust", was engaged in pilot aircraft construction. And it was smart and right. But the issues of mass production were dealt with by completely different people: Pyotr Vasilyevich Dementiev and Pavel Andreevich Voronin. People who made for the development of our aviation industry is plentiful.
Could Yakovlev "kill" the plane at the development stage?
On time. Moreover, it was his responsibility. And it spawned a bunch of detractors. There is no need to go far for examples.
Moskalev Alexander Sergeevich. The author of 35 designs and modifications of aircraft, the founder of the swept form of the delta wing. The creator of the unique CAM-5, CAM-7, CAM-10, CAM-13 aircraft. Built 23 aircraft, but none was built serially.
In his memoirs, Moskalev directly blames Yakovlev that he did not put his CAM-13 aircraft into action. The plane was really unique, created by the "push-pull", with two engines. Had very good flight characteristics.
It would seem that Yakovlev is a pest. And no! The CAM-13 was a very interesting machine, but its armament did not leave much to be desired, but was completely sad. The maximum that managed to squeeze into the plane - four ShKASA. About large-caliber machine guns and the more guns were not discussed at all. And Moskalev himself admitted this. But - his "fe" remarked.
Pashinin, Florov, Borovkov, Yatsenko, Bisnovat - all built planes. And they tried to compete with Yakovlev, Lavochkin, Mikoyan.
But, for example, the Bisnovat SK-1 aircraft, which flew 100 km / h faster than the Yak-1, could not carry weapons at all. A radiator was the wing. An interesting record aircraft, from what Bisnovat called him a fighter, did not become one.
And so you can find on each item for those who are "offended" by Yakovlev. It is easier to blame someone else than to admit one’s own mistakes.
Here is a completely different alignment. Pupil of the great Sikorsky. "King of fighters". Polikarpov developed and built the basis of the country's air security: Р-5, И-5, И-15, И-153, И-16.
Not without problems, of course. Both the “alien class element” and Sikorsky were remembered, and Polikarpov turned out to be in the CDB-39.
But the case was closed, released, given the opportunity to do what he loved.
The fact that Polikarpov was not a fighter-excellent pupil of the front, is also a fact. But, on the other hand, weak-willed and spineless in those days simply did not survive. Peculiar natural selection was present in all spheres of life, and aircraft designers are no exception.
I would single out Polikarpov and Bartini aside, since both showed a slightly different approach to their work. But this is really, except for the origin, not to explain.
Thanks to the articles of a fair amount of writers whose names it is indecent to cite here, Polikarpov was fairly so idealized. The image of a genius who is absolutely not fit to fight. This is after the "sharashka" something and time?
Well and the main thing. "King of fighters", whose aircraft did not go into the series solely because of Yakovlev. A sort of poor, offended by all.
Employment record: from February 1933 to July 1936, Polikarpov works as head of the brigade No. 2 of the Central Design Bureau based on the aircraft factory No. 39. This is the very "sharaga".
August 11 1936 Polikarpov was appointed chief designer of two plants at once: No. 84 in Khimki and No. 21 in Gorky. Polikarp KB (104 man) was relocated to plant number 84.
Fine? From the sharashka to the GK of two plants. Weak? I would not say. Weak would not put in those days.
Let's get on the planes now.
And-16 was a very advanced machine for its time. But here it is worth referring to the pilots who flew it. Memoirs - cars. The essence is the same. Difficult to manage the plane. But if you mastered and could fly - you are a god. You will fly on everything.
The plane turned out to be unnecessarily difficult to master flight crew. Fact. how armory the platform was a strong middling. Two synchronized ShKAS machine guns and something else in the wings (from machine guns to cannons) is still not very good.
And, by the way, Polikarpov was also blamed for having a personal “PR manager” pushing planes through the Kremlin. This, of course, is about the pilot-pilot Valeria Chkalov. Well this is, as we have already found out, crap of that time.
And-16 was a harsh aircraft, not without flaws. The main thing - the wings were destroyed, could not withstand even normal overloads. It was a "trick", approximately, as the failure of the skin on the Yak-1.
In the memoirs of S. Abrosov "Air war in the sky of Spain" refers to a large number of non-combat losses due to the destruction of the wing. 10% of the total number of dead pilots.
The wing turned out to be weak on the I-180 too. This was reported after test flights 1939, test pilot Stepan Suprun. But on i-180 a bit later.
And 17. The blame for this plane was also laid on the NKAP, read, Yakovlev. Not brought to the series, and what was the plane! But sorry, he just was! Yes, work on equipping the I-16 with a narrow water-cooling motor was under way, but it was going on like this ... Neither shaky nor swath. In order initiative CB.
Moreover, when problems arose with the landing gear, the solution was found instantly: the chassis was made non-retractable, and the tests continued Engine! There were absolutely no specific results, respectively, the NKAP did not include the I-17 in the plan for the experienced machines for the 1939 year. And there it was not even before him.
The fact that Polikarpov suddenly threw the plane into a real engine, and I noticed in the previous article that we didn’t develop a motor for a plane, but a plane for a motor, was it also the fault of NCAP? You do not get, you know, to work Polikarpov!
Here, by the way, the picture. Polikarpov does not want to refine his AND-17, which looks painfully similar to Spitfire and Me-109. But none of the NKAP dares to reproach him, everyone understands that the I-180 and I-185 are more promising.
“Terpily” I do not see. I see a designer who himself chose what to work on. It would have turned out - orders, Stalin prizes and so on. It did not work ... Well, they also knew how to "encourage." Because everyone did not just work, but plowed.
But I still see how many "historicalIn his works, frothing at the mouth, some writers tell how bad things were with Yakovlev. "Raw" planes on which suicide bombers flew and the like "truth".
In no way I will not condemn anyone, everyone has their own truth.
Yes, with the I-26 (the future Yak-1) everything was not smooth. Yulian Piontkovsky, test pilot of the Yakovlev Design Bureau, in the first series of factory tests in 43 flights made 15 forced landings! And 27 April 1940 was a disaster that took the life of this wonderful pilot.
Presumably, this happened due to the destruction of the center-section plating caused by the chassis failure from the locks. But they say that the reason was the two "barrels" that Piontkovsky spun, just out of boredom, before the next landing ...
Yes, the death of a test pilot does not honor the design bureau. But, on the other hand, everyone who pokes it with Yakovlev, quietly forget that the two Polikarpov projects, I-180 and I-185, took THREE testers to life. Died: V. Chkalov, T. Susa, V. Stepanchonok.
The same problems of reliability, durability, speed ...
Yes, I would like to talk for a long time about the fact that the car should go "like candy", but in 1940, in our country, no one had any doubt that there would be war, and it would be soon. Worked as they could.
All OKB faced the same set of problems, made approximately the same mistakes and made similar decisions. But they went their way.
I would say that Yakovlev was either lucky or his instincts were. But his bureau was pretty much more operational than others. Perhaps because he worked as a constructor alone. Not a duet, like Mikoyan and Gurevich, and not a triumvirate, like Lavochkin, Gorbunov and Gudkov.
And attempts to push through on state tests and (and suddenly!) In a series of "raw" car were generally all KB. This is normal, I hope you don’t need to tell why? Order did not press anyone yet.
And at least criticize, but I don’t see here oil paintings “bad Yakovlev and good Polikarpov”. I do not see yet.
But if you look a little further, you start to clutch at all.
Polikarpov was really the “King of Fighters”. And its 185 was really just a great car. And, go to the series, the Germans would have to be tight.
But there is one small nuance.
There was nothing to build the Royal X-NUMX fighter.
Moreover, it was clear in 1940 year. And Yakovlev had nothing to do with it. Here the numbers speak for themselves.
1940 year, 1 quarter. Of the 10 000 of the aircraft industry put to the People's Commissariat of duralumin, only 7 307 t was actually supplied, and the main factor limiting the production of duralumin was the lack of aluminum.
Plant No.95, a leading enterprise for dural casting, in January 1940 received 69% of the planned amount of aluminum, and in February - 54,5%.
The NCAA order for high-alloyed steels in 1940 was satisfied by 93%, for aluminum - from 31% to 92% (depending on the grade).
On ignition devices, the NCAP plan was performed on 55%, and on armament - on 81%.
What to say about what happened in 1941, after the loss of Ukrainian factories?
But even in the non-military 1940 year, the NCAP of the USSR consumed almost 45% of all aluminum, almost all magnesium and 93% of high alloy steels. Without a chance of increase, all reserves at that time were used.
I think this is the main answer to the question why. Because at that time we simply could not afford to build an all-metal fighter. There was nothing.
What was the way out? Yes, the simplest. Create a fighter of mixed designs with acceptable characteristics. Can? Can.
By the way, our opponents came to this at the end of the war, when even projects of jet planes were accepted only if they had wood. The winged metal of the Germans ended. Examples? Heinkels Non-162 and 176. "Bachem" WA-349.
It is difficult to say who was very clever in the NKAP or whether Stalin was clever. And he understood that after the start of the war the metal would simply disappear at cosmic speed. And he will go mainly to the production of bombers. Because they, too, will start to fade.
Do you think Yakovlev did not understand that an all-metal plane is better than a wooden one? Or Lavochkin? It is a pity that Nikolai Nikolayevich Polikarpov did not leave his memories. Yakovlev can perfectly read on this topic in the “Purpose of Life”, and in “Notes ...”.
What and how Polikarpov thought in terms of duralumin and other metals, we unfortunately do not know. What did Yakovlev - known. Maximum removed deficient metal from the structure.
"Kremlin suck"? Our pilots on wooden coffins fought against the Germans on the CM "Messers", and Yakovlev ... We will not hurry.
1940 year. NCAA in all its factories manufactured more than 2 000 all-metal (CM) aircraft. 1106 DB-3F, 100 Ap-2 and around 1000 Sat.
1942 year. Plants produce more than 3 thousands of CM-aircraft. 2524 Pe-2 and Pe-3 and 858 Il-4.
What does this mean? But about what! Besides the fact that we came under the Lend-Lease, the NKAP robbed all the fighter factories WITHOUT EXCEPTION in terms of metal-cutting and metal-working machine park.
No metal - no machine needed. Is it logical Full Probably, the machines selected together with the workers.
We look and see: Yakovlev launches a series of Yak-9 with metal wing spars (only spars) in the second half of 1942. But in parallel with the Yak-9, the Yak-7B continues to be produced with a FULLY wooden wing at 153 plant in Novosibirsk until December 1943, and at 82 plant in Moscow until July 44.
Yak-XNUMHU with all-metal wing began to release only after the war.
Lavochkin? No better. La 5FN with metal spars was ready in March 1943 of the year, the decision to launch it in the series was issued in June of the same 1943 of the year. And in the series, this much-needed Air Force aircraft went in May 1944.
Sabotage? Not. It's simple: there was no metal-cutting equipment and metalworkers at plant number XXUMX. After receiving the machines and specialists, the aircraft began to be produced.
You can search for a long time who is to blame, but the truth is there, in the lack of materials and equipment. I am sure that both reasons took place.
So even the adoption of the I-185 first of all would require reworking the CM wing on the wing of a mixed design. And rushed ... It would have caused an increase in the weight of the aircraft and further deterioration of its characteristics. Perhaps we would have to solve the problem of weight by arming. Lavochkin did so.
Yakovlev? Here he acted simply. "I blinded him from what was." The plane of those materials that were available and with the engines that were in the series, and, really. But about engines in general, a special conversation.
And, by the way, Yakovlev was in the groundwork of the I-30.
With five fire points and under the motor M-107. But he did not wait for 107, and launched aircraft with M-105.
Yak-1 with M-105P
And here for NKAP is a very simple choice: either the Yak-1, which is already flying, with the cheapest and most profitable wooden structure, or the I-185. Which will need to be redone from CM to a tree. And what will be there at the exit, the grandmother said in two.
But the wing is still half the battle. Engine.
There was no engine for the 185 either.
In general, to be fair, the engine was not yet for I-180. And-180 was planned under the engine M-88, which was on paper. I-180-2 was charged with an M-87B engine, according to which the calculations were theoretical.
Then M-88 went into a series, and then it began ... It turned out that the engine was not a cake at all. Or rather - complete rubbish. Complaints on M-88 swept the river. The motors gave less power than the M-87B, guzzled gasoline twice (they did not solve this problem, but at least found the cause - the AK-88 carburetor), and they also burned with enviable regularity.
As a result of all this in the summer of 1940, the M-88 motors were discontinued. Production was restored only with 13.11.1940. Given the entire range of engine problems, if the X-NUMX would hypothetically go into series, it is unlikely that thousands of fighters would be released, as some say. Rather - as the Su-180, who had the same engine and a very short fate.
Now by i-xnumx. Polikarpov developed the aircraft under the motor M-185. In addition to M-90, the use of AM-90, M-37 and M-120 was assumed. The list perfectly describes the moment: none of these engines were serially produced.
The M-90 engine passed 50-hour tests only in March 1942 of the year, M-71 - in February 41-th, and M-82 - in April of the same year. In reality, in the 1941 year, M-71 worked out the failure of the entire 12-15 watch. It's all clear, but we're talking about 1940, the year ...
And there are documents that say that Polikarp's OKB had the following work plan for 1941 year:
1.TIC-2 with motor AM-37 - 3 ind.
2. ITP with motor M-107 - 2 ind.
3. And-185 with motor M-90 - 1 ind.
4. And-185 with motor M-71 - 2 ind.
5. And-185 with motor M-81 - 1 ind.
6. And-190 with motor M-88 - 1 ind.
7. And-185 with motor M-82 - 2 ind.
8. Glider "C" - 2 ind.
9. Aircraft "ODB" - 2 ind.
The list is more than indicative. That Stalin is credited with the "historical" phrase about the fact that "Polikarpov ran out of steam" ... Do you agree? Me not.
Sorry, but as if the work is more than a lot planned. Yes, we omit the problems with the engines, and then you can think about the presence of a certain fraud.
Where is Polikarpov exhausted, is not entirely clear. In the list you can see a rather extensive work on four fighters and one bomber at once. This, in my opinion, no one had.
Yes, by the way, here it is worth adding the works that were carried out by the new OKB Mikoyan and Gurevich, selected from the Polikarpov Design Bureau. Which were made from the I-200 MiG-1, and then the MiG-3. But Mikoyan and Gurevich went somewhat along their own path, because the MiG went into the series. Not with AM-37, but with its predecessor AM-35, but it went.
But with the fighters of Polikarpov, the situation was really more than ugly: there is no engine, no excess metal, no machines, no skilled workers.
All in all, the task is to find the engine, redo the wing of the aircraft and start production.
Where are the machinations of Yakovlev, I do not understand. It’s definitely not Yakovlev who advised Polikarpov’s motors, which aren’t, but basically willn’t. And Yakovlev did not allocate resources, other people were engaged in this.
Moreover, Yakovlev’s letters to Shakhurin (official documents), in which he spoke of the need for fine-tuning M-71 or M-107 for I-185, and that this aircraft is needed, are completely preserved. Together with the Yak-9 with M-107, but nonetheless.
Summarize. The tale of how the deputy director Yakovlev interfered with the designer Polikarpov, this can be archived. The guilt of Yakovlev I do not see that the preachers of the idea of a "Kremlin conspiracy" did not write there.
Duralumin for aircraft Polikarpov was not. Duralumin was needed for bombers and attack aircraft. Yes, the fighters suffered, but to do something was just unreal. Who is to blame, the king-father, who did not build factories, or Stalin, who built little, I do not want to understand.
But even this is not important. The main thing - the engines for the aircraft Polikarpov was not there. And this is the main problem. Here miscalculation only Nikolai Nikolaevich. And by the time the I-185 tests began with the M-82 engine, the LaGG-3 with the same engine had successfully turned into a La-5.
By the way, I-185 and LaGG-3 were tested together. But this is a topic for a separate article.
By order of the NKAP No. 438 from 13 of May 1941 of the engine M-82, all designers were invited to carry out work on the use of this motor.
“... 7. Chief designers tt. Mikoyan, Yakovlev, Sukhoi and Polikarpov ensure the installation of M-82 engines on airplanes and begin flight tests:
a) on the MiG-3 - 1 July 1941;
b) on an experienced twin-engine fighter designed by Mikoyan and Gurevich - 25 September 1941 of the year;
c) on the Yak-3 (this is another Yak-3 - approx.) - 15 July 1941 of the year;
d) on the Su-2 - 1 July 1941;
e) on an experienced fighter designed by Polikarpov (I-185) - 15 June 1941 of the year. ”
Yakovlev experimented on the Yak-7 with M-82, but could not solve the problem of uneven blowing of cylinders. In addition, the short Yak chassis did not allow to install a screw with a diameter of more than 2,8 meter, which did not allow to remove the full power of the motor. As a result, Yakovlev lost interest in fine-tuning the aircraft.
Polikarpov was also in no hurry. He hoped to surpass all of his competitors by installing a more powerful motor - M-90 or M-71. Yes, I-185 with M-82 was built, but it was tested and refined third-party systems.
I-185 with motor M-82
And in the end, Polikarpov was left without a motor at all. But where is Yakovlev here?
Purely human understand. Polikarpov wanted to show that the king of fighters remains king. The layout of the royal fighter was. Even the flying prototype was. But the royal engine M-71 or M-90 was not.
If you carefully comprehend all the arguments, I hope it will become clear that all these cries and “facts”, there is nothing behind them. There was a really great designer Polikarpov, who knew how to build airplanes. But when choosing engines for their development, the designer made a fatal mistake by relying on new developments.
And the developments "did not take off." It is good, of course, that there was Yakovlev, on whom all sins can be blamed. But in fairness it is worth saying a word in defense of Alexander Sergeyevich. He was guilty that the Zaporizhzhya factory worked hard on the M-71, and after moving to Omsk more than 30 engines a month could not be physically produced, there was none.
What could have been done on the 30 front (actually less), albeit magnificent planes, I think everyone understands. This is one air regiment plus spare engines. And in the Red Army Air Force there were ... a few more.
Here you can put a full stop. Polikarpov lost to younger designers, but did not lose in the undercover games. Yes, the Yak-1, LaGG-3 and MiG-1 (works of the Polikarp Design Bureau) were not masterpieces. They really sculpted from what was. But they flew and could fight.
How well an 185 would do it is difficult to say because of the numerous “if”. If the industry produced as much metal as was required, if there were engines ... There was no metal, engines too. The plane "did not take off." And during the war years they did not fight with paper TTX, but with quite real combat vehicles. Alas.
Today, of course, the divine army can talk as much as you like on the free theme “but if”. But in the 1942 year, it was not the arguments that were put on the planes, but quite specific motors. And the fact that Klimov and Shvetsov could not provide the promising Polikarpov fighter with the promising M-107 and M-71 (or M-90) engines can also kill any reasoning as killed by the I-185.
Yakovlev? Dementiev? Shahurin? Who is guilty? Or did Polikarpov, Klimov and Shvetsov? The last two could not bring to the mind in time the promising (2 000 hp in M-71 - this is strong) development, Polikarpov did not want to work with M-82. But the principle of "either all or nothing" here gave just "nothing."
But in this mistake of the king of fighters there is absolutely no fault of Yakovlev.