Military Review

Project “Ivanov”: The plight of Polikarpov’s plane

Project “Ivanov”: The plight of Polikarpov’s plane

In the 30s of the last century, a program codenamed “Ivanov” took place in the USSR, within the framework of which the country’s leading designers had to offer their own version of a military aircraft capable of performing the functions of a reconnaissance aircraft and a light bomber.

Along with I.G. Neman and P.O. N.N. went dry to the finals of the competition. Polikarpov.

By the middle of 1936, the latter had already prepared two aircraft designs - a high-wing and a low-wing, designated by the same index "P", denoting "reconnaissance".

As a result, the designer settled on a low-wing design, which, in fact, was the focus of all three participants in the competition.

After some adjustments to the design of his aircraft for the M-62 engine, which at that time was still in development, Polikarpov already in 1937 presented a full-size wooden model of the future multi-purpose winged aircraft.

In general, almost all the performance characteristics announced by the developer: maximum speed of 350-400 km/h, ceiling - 10 km, landing speed of up to 95 km/h and flight range of 1500 km corresponded to the task. Regarding the latter, however, some “friction” arose, since according to the terms of the program it was supposed to reach 2 thousand kilometers.

Meanwhile, Polikarpov was given the go-ahead to build his aircraft, and on July 25, 1938, the first flight model was ready.

On August 3, test pilot Thomas Susi took Polikarpov’s brainchild into the air for the first time. However, already on the next flight, the landing gear was damaged during landing. The car was sent to the factory for repairs.

A month later, Polikarpov’s “Ivanov” returned to testing. However, there were still many shortcomings. After almost every flight, the car was lifted onto trestles.

However, the pilots' assessment of the reconnaissance/light bomber was quite positive.

The plane is simple to fly and makes a good impression in flight.

- Thomas Susi wrote in his report.

In general, this aircraft might have been brought to fruition if not for the tragedy that occurred in mid-December 1938 - test pilot Valery Chkalov crashed on Polikarpov’s newest I-180 fighter. In the following days, no one dared to let Polikarpov’s planes fly.

A sample of a multi-purpose aircraft created as part of the Ivanov program was returned to the factory.

Two months later, Polikarpov’s Ivanov returned for testing with the new M-63R engine, which was produced in only a few copies.

However, in March 1940, during a test flight, the “capricious” M-63R failed. It was not possible to find a second such engine, and in April of the same year a regular M-63 was installed on a prototype aircraft.

However, it didn’t matter anymore. The Su-2 P.O went into production. Sukhoi, and Polikarpov’s brainchild was laid up until better times, which never came.

Photos used:
archive photo

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  1. novel66
    novel66 27 September 2023 17: 33
    Wasn’t the IL-2 born in the “Ivanov” program?
    1. vovochkarzhevsky
      vovochkarzhevsky 27 September 2023 18: 27
      Wasn’t the IL-2 born in the “Ivanov” program?

      In general, the Ivanov program is a program to create a combat aircraft for peacetime, and the Su-2 was such. The machine had to be universal in order to practice all types of combat use, as well as training pilots for the class. Therefore, in addition to the turn and slide indicator, there was an attitude indicator on the instrument panel.
      In addition, with a sufficient supply of resources to last longer. Many innovations were also used, such as shielded wiring and the introduction of many electrical actuators. They also did not forget about comfort for the crew.
      Because of this, the aircraft turned out to be quite expensive; depending on the plant, it was 1,5-2 times more expensive than the SB-2.
      Of course, they tried to make a mobilization option based on it, but it didn’t work out.
      And only Rezun’s fevered imagination could declare a series of 100 pieces.
  2. Ulan.1812
    Ulan.1812 27 September 2023 17: 43
    Polikarpov also had other interesting vehicles that would be very useful to the army.
    For example VIT-2.
    Unfortunately, Chkalov's death deprived Polikarpov of a strong lobbyist and supporter similar to Stalin himself.
    There was already a decision to launch the I-180 into series, but the Gorky Aircraft Plant failed the task.
    1. boriz
      boriz 30 September 2023 22: 09
      This is a very interesting point. On the topic of Stalin's "omnipotence". GAZ (aviation) “failed” all tasks that did not correspond to the interests of the Kaganovich clan. They even sent Yakovlev. And they didn’t have anything for it. But as soon as the task came to release LAGG, the task began to be carried out at an accelerated pace. There, the chief designer of the required nationality was placed at the helm and everything went according to plan. Moreover, Lavochkin is the most talented and decent of the “young and promising” designers who took part in the defeat and robbery of the Polikarpov Design Bureau. It was not they who smashed and robbed, of course, this was the level of the PB of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks.
      1. ivan2022
        ivan2022 7 October 2023 18: 17
        Heh... heh... This is the “level” of those who came to power and financed the aircraft industry in the USSR. What bastards they were, they smashed and robbed!!

        But the damned commies didn’t know that the people would still do everything in their own way! laughing With Yeltsin, Gaidar and other people's favorites.

        PS Once you read the comments, you will understand that even the famous “Notes of a Madman” are no longer relevant..