At the beginning of the 1920s, a discussion broke out among the aircraft designers of the young Soviet Republic, from which it was necessary to build airplanes. The abundance of forests in the USSR, it seemed, should have been inclined to the idea that Soviet aircraft should be made of wood. But there were among the Soviet aircraft designers and those who adhered to the fact that the USSR should produce all-metal aircraft. Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev was among them.
TB-1 (ANT-4) - became the first Soviet mass-produced bomber, and also, it is the world's first mass-produced all-metal heavy twin-engine bomber monoplane. The aircraft was designed by A.N. Tupolev, its development took 9 months. In 1925, the aircraft was made in metal. Serially produced from 1929 to 1932, a total of 212 bombers of this type were built. He was in service with the Red Army until 1936. Then he began to be transferred to the Civil Air Fleet and the Polar Aviation.
The tests carried out in the USSR proved that aluminum airplanes have better flight characteristics than wooden ones. Despite the fact that aluminum has a larger specific gravity than wood, the planes built from aluminum turned out to be lighter than wooden ones. This was explained by the fact that in wooden planes the lower strength of the wood was compensated for by the increased thickness of the side members, ribs, frames and stringers.
The success of light all-metal airplanes, which Tupolev had created earlier, convinced the country's leadership in the expediency of creating a heavy all-metal bomber. November 11 The 1924 of the year, commissioned by the Special Technical Bureau at TsAGI, began work on the design and construction of TB-1.
The TB-1 is a twin-engine, full-carrying, all-metal monoplane. The main material of the body is duralumin using steel in particularly stressed areas. The bomber glider could be divided into separate units, which facilitated its manufacture, repair and transportation.
The construction was based on trusses made of steel and duralumin pipes, which bore the main load. The corrugated skin provided the aircraft with torsional rigidity and strength.
The plumage of the TB-1 bomber was free-carrying, all steering surfaces were equipped with horn compensation. The stabilizer could be adjusted in flight. The angle of its installation could be changed using the steering wheel, which was located to the right of the left pilot. The aircraft was equipped with a BMW VI or M-12 17-cylinder water-cooled engines manufactured domestically. The operation of the machine allowed the use of one M-17 engine and one BMW VI. The engines were started using autostarter or compressed air, and, if necessary, manually, by unscrewing the propeller.
The propellers of the TsAGI design were wooden, two-bladed, left-handed. The diameter of the screws was 3,3 meter. They were made from ash or oak and supplied with aluminum fittings.
The aircraft had 10 gasoline tanks with a total capacity - 2100 liters, all the tanks were combined into one system. Tanks were suspended in the wing of the aircraft on metal ribbons with felt pads. Every engine apart from everything
other things equipped with a special oil tank on 56 liters, which was located in the engine nacelle behind the fire wall.
The TB-1 chassis was pyramidal and equipped with rubber cord damping. The wheels were needles. Initially, imported Palmer wheels of 1250 size on 250 mm, and later on domestic 1350 sizes on 300 mm were used. In the rear part of the fuselage there was a metal crutch with rubber damping. In winter, the wheels of the bomber could be replaced by skis. Also, instead of a wheeled chassis on the plane, you could install floats, while the tail crutch was removed.
TB-1, equipped with floats, additionally received floating and bottom anchors, mooring devices and hook. A speed indicator, an altimeter, an AH-2 compass, an Eger watch, a thermometer were installed in the front cockpit
outdoor temperature and other equipment. In the cockpit there were indicators of turn, slip and speed, altimeter, 2 tachometer, compass AL-1, clock, 2 thermometer for oil and water, as well as 2 gasoline and oil gauges. In the rear cockpit, there was an altimeter, an AN-2 compass, a speed indicator and a clock.
The bomber’s radio equipment included a short-wave receiving and transmitting telegraph station 11SK intended for communication with aerodrome radio stations at long range, as well as a station 13SP, which served to receive signals of radio beacons. Both could work with a rigid, tensioned between the uprights on the wing, as well as the exhaust antenna. Electrical equipment consisted of navigation and code lights, two landing lights, night lighting in the cockpit.
The bomber's small arms included 3 twin installations with 7,62-mm machine guns. Originally it was the English "Lewis", later the domestic YES. Machine guns were mounted on the Turre-5 turrets (fodder, rolling from board to board) and Tur-6 (bow). The total weight of the bomb load could reach 1030 kg. Possible boot options were: 16 bombs caliber 32, 48 or 82 kg in the bomb bay. Or up to 4-x bombs weighing in 250 kg on an external sling. The aircraft was equipped with a German Hertz FI.110 bomber sight.
The bomber crew consisted of a 5-6 man: the first pilot, the second pilot (for flights with a maximum duration), the scorer, and the 3 gunner. The flight mechanic could perform the functions of one of the shooters.
Performance characteristics of TB-1:
Dimensions: wingspan - 28,7 m., Length - 18,0 m.
Wing area - 120 square. m
Aircraft weight, kg
- empty - 4 520
- normal takeoff - 6 810
- maximum take-off - 7 750
Engine type - 2 PD M-17, HP 680 power. each
The maximum speed is 207 km / h.
Cruising speed - 178 km / h.
Maximum flight range - 1 000 km.
Practical ceiling - 4 830 m.
Crew - 6 person.
Armament: 6X7,62-mm machine guns PV-1 and up to 1000 kg. bombs.
A prototype of the TB-1 bomber took off on November 26 of the year 1925.
This plane became a truly legendary machine, to which in many cases it was possible to apply the phrase “first Soviet”. It was the first Soviet monoplane bomber, the first Soviet all-metal
bomber, the first Soviet bomber, which entered mass production. In addition, TB-1 became the ancestor of a whole family of multi-engined aircraft. It is with TB-1 that the formation of strategic aviation begins in our country.
The TB-1 was quickly mastered by Air Force personnel. 1 May 1930 bomber participated in the May Day parade in Moscow. A group of heavy bombers passed the formation over Red Square. For the second time, the aircraft was publicly shown on July 6 at the Central Aerodrome, where a solemn ceremony of handing over the Air Force of new vehicles, which were considered a gift to the XVI Congress of the CPSU (b), was carried out. By August 25 of this year, the Red Army Air Force had 203 aircraft of this type, more than 1 / 3 of them were based in the Moscow Military District. However, in the autumn of 1932, bomber brigades began to rearm new TB-3 four-engined bombers. By the spring of 1933, only 4 squadrons armed with these aircraft remained in the Air Force. At the May Day parade of 1933, the TB-3 in the sky was already 2 times larger than the TB-1. Gradually, a twin-engine bomber was ousted to the role of transport and training aircraft. The pilot, who did not undergo training, was not allowed to fly on the new four-engine giants.
The combat use of the aircraft was limited. The 95 th trao in Central Asia has had one TB-1933 since the middle of 1. He participated in actions against basmachs in Turkmenistan, and served not only for transportation. Periodically, the aircraft was loaded with small bombs for strikes against gangs that were concentrated near settlements and wells. At the end of the 1930s, TB-1s were also found in other transport units and subunits, such as the 14s and 15s in the Air Force OKDVA, 8s under Kharkov. The 19 squad in Transbaikalia, among other vehicles, had two disarmed TB-1, which were used to transport goods from Chita to the front line during the fighting at Khalkhin Gol in May - September 1939.
The century TB-1 in the Red Army was short-lived. Since 1935, TB-1 aircraft began to be transferred to the Civil fleet or even write off. The weapons remaining in the Air Force were removed. They were also used in flight schools, which trained pilots, navigators and riflemen for bomber aircraft. On April 1, 1936, there were 26 such machines in flight schools. On September 25, 1940, only 28 TB-1 aircraft remained in the Air Force.
From 1935, obsolete bombers under the brand G-1 began to transmit to aviation GUSMP, and then to the Civil Air Fleet. All weapons were removed, the openings of the turrets were usually sewn up with a sheet. Often eliminated all the glazing navigator cabin. Over the pilot's seats mounted roof and made the side windows.
These aircraft were usually used as cargo, but sometimes they were transported and passengers. Most of them were exploited on the outskirts of the country: in Siberia, in the Far East and the Far North. These durable and reliable aircraft played a significant role in the development of low-habitable areas.
During the war with Finland, several G-1s joined the North-Western Special Air Force Group of the Civil Air Fleet, which served the active army. They transported food, ammunition and evacuated the wounded.
G-1 polar aviation in the UVN museum of the Civil Air Fleet
By the beginning of the war, the GVF had 23 G-1, they were included in the transport groups and detachments attached to the fronts and fleets. For the front line G-1 not sent, tried to use in the rear. Therefore, the losses were small: until the end of 1941, they lost only four G-1, and another lost in 1942. Old corrugated planes met at the forefront until the end of 1944.
Polar aviation aircraft were used throughout the war, but they were conducting ice reconnaissance and even searched for submarines. The last G-1 polar explorers wrote off in the 1947 year.
Based on the TB-1, the long-range reconnaissance P-6 (ANT-7) was created.
The plane was ordered by a multiple choice - at first they wanted to make a heavy escort fighter out of it, but already in August 1927 of the year (after the project was shown to the leadership of the Air Force) the specialization was changed to a reconnaissance aircraft and a light bomber. Accordingly, he was given the designation P-6, but Tupolev himself completely disagreed with this turn of affairs. The chief designer continued to insist on the further development of the aircraft as an escort fighter, with enhanced armament. However, the rapid improvement of aviation in the 30-ies and the increase in speed did not leave a chance for the P-6 in this role. It was not possible to create the P-6 in a purely fighter version.
The “reconnaissance” specialization for P-6 was left unchanged, but the military brought the requirements for maximum bomb load from 588 to 725 kg. November 9 The 1927 of the year has been updated requirements for the aircraft. According to the TTZ P-6, a crew of five was supposed to have a bomb load of 890 kg and armament of eight 7,62-mm guns. According to the calculations of the design bureau, after such a modernization, the aircraft significantly increased in size and lost in speed, which decreased to 160 km / h.
The first experienced P-6 was built at the beginning of 1929. Factory tests, which took place at the end of winter, were quite successful, but very significant flaws of the intelligence officer were revealed at state tests. The customer was very upset about the low performance of the aircraft, related to its insufficient speed and rate of climb. The flight range was insufficient, and in terms of maneuverability, the P-6 could hardly have fought with a similar fighter. In total, 73 revealed various defects in the aircraft design, after which the P-6 was sent back to TsAGI to eliminate the deficiencies.
June 24 reconnaissance was again presented to the military, and in the process of a new test phase, the 24 defect was discovered. However, the customer recommended the machine to mass production - firstly, the P-6 had a very impressive firepower, secondly - the plane could be used in many variants and, thirdly - in terms of its characteristics, the plane was not inferior to world analogues.
According to the construction plan in 1929-1930. Plant No.22 was supposed to produce 10 aircraft, and over the next three months of the new year - another 17. In reality, by the end of 1931, only two P-6 series of 5 and 10 scouts were released, respectively. The first two planes were not transferred to combat units - they were used only for tests.
The first serial P-6 was equipped with the German BMW VI engines, the Hertz Fl 110 sight and the Sbr-8 bomb dropping system. Bombs were placed only on the external suspension on Der-7 holders. The reconnaissance small arms consisted of two DA machine guns on the Tur-5 turret in the forward fuselage and one more DA in the ventral turret of the TsKB-39 turret.
Layout of the P-6 aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur
After successful tests, the P-6 decided to install the M-17 engines and the aircraft with such a motor installation began to be tested from November 3 1931. With the Soviet engines constantly overheating, the weight of the aircraft increased by 126 kg, the speed decreased by 13 km \ h, the ceiling - by 1000 meters. In addition, all the P-6 variants had insufficient lateral stability, poor visibility for the pilot straight ahead and heavy loads on the steering wheel. Nevertheless, it was decided to continue mass production, making a number of significant changes to the design of the scout.
Most of the first production aircraft 15 hit the Air Force only in the spring of the year 1932, leaving 4 of them for testing at the factory.
In total, plant number 22 in 1932 year appeared float version of the scout - P-6a.
They installed floats of TB-1 on it and carried out a number of works aimed at refining the machine to the level of a marine intelligence officer. The tests that began on December 30 ended at the end of March 1933, and a new intelligence officer was put on the conveyor under the designation MP-6.
According to pilots reviews, compared with Western counterparts, the MP-6 did not have the required stability and seaworthiness, but it was favorably distinguished by greater maneuverability on the water and in the air and lower fuel consumption than the usual P-6. At the end of 1933, the MP-6 was sent to the 19 th MRAE and the 51 th AO Air Force of the Baltic Fleet, who had previously flown on Italian S-62bis flying boats and German Do “Val”. Closer to the summer of the 1934 of the year, the MP-6 got into the Pacific Fleet - these aircraft were introduced into the 30-th KRAE.
Almost at the same time with him, a new version of the intelligence officer, the KR-6 (Cruiser-Scout-6), arrived. According to the plan, his tasks included both reconnaissance and direct support of groups of bombers, for which the supply of fuel was brought to 3000 liters, and the oil supply went up to 250 liters, which made it possible to increase the flight distance. Ammunition nasal DA YES now was 20-24 disk, and the ventral tower was dismantled. In addition, outwardly, the KR-6 was distinguished by a new horizontal tail and a new form of motorcaps. The bomb dump system was replaced with Sbr-9. In April, the 1934 of the KR-6 was tested from the summer of the 1934, after which they conducted comparative tests of the marine modifications of the KR-6 with German engines. They wanted to build both versions in series, but mostly they released the first one. The overall release of the KR-6 was about the 222 of the aircraft, including the 72 of the KR-6 aircraft.
Very interesting were the experiments on installing heavy cannon weapons on the P-6. In 1930, even before the start of serial construction of the scout, they planned to install a 37-mm gun Hotchkiss or tank a semi-automatic 20-mm gun, but, due to low ballistic characteristics and strong recoil when firing, they were found unsuitable for installation even on such a heavy aircraft as the R-6. Then they began to consider options with Erlikon F and L aviation guns of 20 mm caliber, which were made in Switzerland, although it also did not come to the construction of a scout with such a gun installation.
In the middle of the 30-ies on the P-6 worked out suspension and the use of chemical weapons. In particular, bombs of the G-54, G-58 and G-59 type were suspended under the plane (its components included 300 small thermite bombs). The “chemical” P-6 units were not received.
It so happened that during the operation, the P-6 almost always lost to the reconnaissance aircraft of the biplane scheme.
Created in 1935, the KP-6-T float torpedo bomber (it was later modified and renamed KP-6T) was not accepted for service, in part because of its low TTX, in part because of the P-5T already in the formation. In mass quantities, P-6 appeared in the 1933 year, and CR-6 - in the 1935 year. But they almost immediately began to be transferred to reserve units or sent to warehouses. The moral and technical obsolescence of the aircraft was already clear then. On 31 December 1937, the units still had 227 reconnaissance aircraft of various modifications and a 81 float plane. By 1 on April 1940, their number was reduced to 171 aircraft and, in October, by order of the leadership of the Air Force, the last 116 reconnaissance aircraft Р-6 \ КР-6 were taken out of the first-line units. Regiments and squadrons that have passed their P-6, received in return biplanes Р-Z or more modern Р-10.
Converted reconnaissance aircraft first entered civil aviation as early as 1935. In October, the first two aircraft were sold to Dalstroy by the NKVD for courier work, where they were given the designation MP-6 (float-operated Р-6а) and ПС-7 (Р-6 on the wheeled chassis). These designations were subsequently assigned to all aircraft transferred to the Civil Air Fleet. Somewhat earlier, in the middle of 1933, the P-6 was reworked to civilian standards, removing all military equipment from it and equipping it with a passenger cabin for seven people. The crew was reduced to a pilot and navigator, and instead of the Soviet M-17, the aircraft again received BMW VI engines. The aircraft, renamed ANT-7, was transferred to the SUAI, where it was successfully broken by the 5 of September 1933. No more attempts were made to create a purely civilian vehicle from the P-6.
But P-6 and P-6, one might say, “found themselves” flying in the structure of the Civil Air Fleet and similar structures. Planes flying in the north of the country received indexes “H”. The H-29 and H-162 vehicles flew out to ice reconnaissance and performed transport functions, and the H-166 distinguished themselves during the rescue of the Papanin expedition. In the first flight of 21 March 1938, the crew of PG Golovin took the 23 man with him, and the whole 80 was evacuated.
Two KP-6 were remade under the standard PS-7 “limousine”, having equipped them with a passenger cabin. At 1939, the GVF had an 21 PS-7 aircraft.
Since the beginning of World War II, the squadron of the Red Army Air Force had very few reconnaissance aircraft of the type P-6 and KR-6. Neither in Spain nor in Mongolia, these aircraft flew because of the outdated design and, as a consequence, the inability to use these reconnaissance aircraft as full-fledged combat aircraft. By the time of the war with Finland, two P-6s were each part of 10, 24 and 50 of the second UE. They were used mainly for transport purposes, although very little is known for their more specific application.
By June 1941, the P-6 and the KR-6 remained a few. In order to replenish the aviation units that were significantly thinned in the first months of the war, the old reconnaissance aircraft began to be withdrawn from warehouses and flying schools. In the autumn of 1941, the 2 AG was established on the Baltic Sea under the command of I.T. Mazuruka. The group consisted of four aircraft that took off for ice reconnaissance. Before the end of their operation (at the beginning of 1943 of the year), only one car was lost - it was smashed during an emergency landing of 25 in June of 1942.
The largest unit of the war, in which the former P-6 reconnaissance aircraft were exploited, was the Airborne Force Corps deployed on the Kalinin Front. It was composed, in addition to the gliders A-7 and G-11, the mass of a wide variety of aircraft, ranging from the old SB and ending with the relatively new IL-4. They also included P-6, recruited together with the Security Council, mostly from the Saratov Military Glider School. When the brigade was fully recruited and relocated to the Engels airfield, it turned out that the P-6 and KP-6 aircraft make up an 43 copy. Work for them was selected the most diverse.
Part of the P-6 and SB initially involved in the operation "Antifreeze", which lasted from 12 to 16 November 1942 of the year. The aircraft towed gliders in which there were tanks with coolant directly to the airfields near Stalingrad. Then, until the summer of 1944, the P-6 was actively used to supply partisan groups in the territory
occupied Belarus. For these purposes, Begoml and Selaschina airfields were allocated, from where the planes dragged the gliders and transported various cargoes themselves. On the combat losses of the P-6 involved in such sorties, at the moment there is only one reliable fact - in March 1943, the plane of G. Chepik was set on fire by a German fighter, but the pilot managed to land the wounded car “on the belly”, having had time to unhook the towed glider.
In 1942, another aircraft was sent to the front from the Kulyab airfield. This machine was a conventional PS-7 on which, in order to save time and money (and also due to the complete lack of spare parts), the wheels from PS-9 and shock absorbers from the captured Ju-52 \ 3m transported to Central Asia were installed. .
The longest PS-7 and P-6 have been using 87-th OTRAP and 234 AO. The first took an active part in the hostilities, carrying 12688 people and 1057,7 tons of cargo during the hostilities, losing two planes in battle. The 234 Squad served builders in Siberia and the Far East and only handed over their aircraft at the beginning of 1946.