Theme 34 and Theme 17. Anniversaries of Soviet Developments of Stratospheric Fighters and Scouts

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Half a century ago, Minaviaprom of the USSR (and in its time it was in our country) issued an order ordering the deployment of the necessary research and experimental set of options for the creation of a promising aviation interception system for automatic drifting balloons (PAK PADA). Then the project received the cipher "Theme 34" and gained a technical task for developers.

Through 2 of the year (in 1970 of the year), the project was transformed into research work to create a special high-altitude ADA interceptor with the minimum speed of approach to targets in the stratosphere. The code of the project was renamed: "Theme 17".



Theme 34 and Theme 17. Anniversaries of Soviet Developments of Stratospheric Fighters and Scouts


In the experimental design bureau under the direction of V. Myasishchev, a system of adaptive wing mechanization was developed, which could change not only its surface area at working heights, but also the profile. This took into account the need to use at ultra-low speeds high-altitude fuse, which would destroy the shell of a drifting balloon.

What engine then decided to use for the PACK PADA? It was designed primarily for the Tu-144 RD-36, which was distinguished by its high weight. More precisely - what was planned to apply for the PAK PADA - modification RD-36-51А with a fixed nozzle for high-altitude flight. The engine developed 68,6 kN thrust. And it was he who became the basis for the implementation of the M-17 aircraft project (one of the planes was called the Stratosphere, the project itself was also called), which eventually turned into M-55 Geophysics. Engine development led a great Soviet designer Peter Kolesov.

45 years ago - in 1973 year - the construction of the M-17 starts in the helicopter plant in Kumertau (Bashkiria). But it is in the plans. In fact, the factory workers began work only after 4 of the year.



And in the 1978 year (and again the anniversary), the aircraft was taken to the test site. The event, however, was tragic. The aircraft was prepared for engine testing in terms of taxiing. At the airfield "Vorotnovka" as a result of an unplanned situation, a catastrophe occurs, as a result of which test pilot Kir Chernobrovkin dies.

For the first time, successful flight tests of the M-17 “Stratosphere” were conducted in 1982 at the Zhukovsky airfield. After the Soviet stratospheric M-17 began to rise into the air, the very reason for their development began to decline at the same time. The fact is that the US has stopped using automatic drifting balloons.

The pilots set world records on the M-17 25, they were used to study the stratospheric layers, including the influence of stratospheric phenomena on piloting parameters.

Two M-17 Stratosphere aircraft are in the museum aviation in Monino.



The first flight of the reconnaissance aircraft of the project M-55 "Geophysics" took place in August 1988.

Aircraft of the M-55 “Geophysics” project solve a wide range of tasks, for example, in the field of meteorology. So, this plane helps to study the processes in the Asian monsoons and the ionization processes in the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.
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  1. +1
    5 July 2018 12: 26
    Something is not written about the engine: on the Tu-144, EMNIP, there were NK-144 ...
    1. +2
      5 July 2018 12: 34
      There were two options for the NK - a double-circuit turbojet engine, and then this RD-36-51V turbojet engine was installed.
    2. MPN
      +3
      5 July 2018 12: 40
      Here the article is generally confused.
      Quote: engineer74
      Something is not written about the engine: on the Tu-144, EMNIP, there were NK-144 ...

      This is one blunder. Then they did not clearly divide the M-17 Stratosphere
      The power plant of the M-17 aircraft consists of one RD-36-51V jet engine of the Rybinsk Design Bureau, designer P.V. Kolesova.
      And M-55 "Geophysics"
      Therefore, the RD-17-36V engine installed on the M-51 had to be replaced by two more economical D-30-V12 turbofan engines. This allowed to increase the relative weight of the fuel from 21,3 to 33,5% of the take-off weight. Due to the installation of two engines and reconnaissance equipment, the fuselage of the M-17 aircraft had to be redone.
      And these are two different planes ..
      Engine M-17 Stratosphere

      - 1 × turbojet engine RD-36-51V
      - Thrust: 1 × 58,84 kN (6000 kgf) (nominal)
      - Take-off thrust: 1 × 117,7 kN (12000 kgf)
      - Thrust at an altitude of 21000 m: 1 × 5,88 kN (600 kgf)

      Speed ​​M-17 Stratosphere

      - Maximum speed at an altitude of 20000 m: 743 km / h
      - Maximum speed at an altitude of 5000 m: 332 km / h
      - Cruising speed: 0,7 M
      - Landing speed: 188 km / h (with a landing weight of 16300 kg)
      - Ceiling climb time: 35 min
      - Takeoff run: 340 m
      - path length: 950 m
      - Aerodynamic quality: ~ 30 (planning with the engine off)
      Flight range M-17 Stratosphere

      - Practical range: 1 km (from a height of 315 m to 20250 m)
      - Flight duration: 2 h 14 min
      - Patrol time: 48 min

      Practical ceiling M-17 Stratosphere
      - 21 550 m

      Engine M-55 Geophysics

      - Powerplant: 2 × turbofan D-30-10V
      - Thrust: 2 × 88,26 kN (9 kgf) (nominal)
      - Take-off thrust: 2 × 186,3 kN (19000 kgf)
      - Thrust at an altitude of 21000 m: 2 × 6,57 kN (670 kgf)

      Speed ​​M-55 Geophysics

      - Maximum speed at an altitude of 20000 m: 743 km / h
      - Maximum speed at an altitude of 5000 m: 332 km / h
      - Cruising speed: 0,7 M
      - Landing speed: 188 km / h (with landing weight 23 kg)
      - Ceiling climb time: 35 minutes
      - Takeoff run: 340 m
      - path length: 875 m
      Flight range M-55 Geophysics

      - Practical range: 1220 km
      - maximum flight range on the ceiling: 1315 km (from a height of 20 m to 250 m)
      - maximum flight range at 17000 m: 5000 km
      - Duration of flight on the ceiling: 2 hours 14 minutes
      - Flight duration at 17000 m: 6,5 hours
      - Patrol time: 48 minutes

      Practical ceiling M-55 Geophysics
      - 21 550 m
  2. +3
    5 July 2018 12: 35
    It will make a good analogue of Global Hawk ...
  3. +1
    5 July 2018 12: 39
    "Geophysics" in Zhukovsky is based, next to the Myasishchev Design Bureau.
    1. +2
      5 July 2018 13: 47
      And they built it at the Smolensk aircraft factory ..
      Quote: neri73-r
      "Geophysics" in Zhukovsky is based, next to the Myasishchev Design Bureau.
  4. +1
    5 July 2018 18: 42
    Attach a couple of rockets to this geophysics and teach them to fly in automatic mode.
  5. 0
    5 July 2018 19: 12
    Aircraft of the project M-55 "Geophysics" solve a wide range of problems

    There are 5 of them in total, but 2 seem to fly in general ...

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