The first amphibious gliders appeared in our country in the early thirties, when a specialized amphibious assault brigade, led by PI. Grokhovsky, created the glider G-31 "Jacob Alksnis", capable of carrying up to sixteen paratroopers. In 1934, the G-31 was successfully tested. However, the series production of the G-31 was not deployed, since in those years the military leadership had not yet formed a clear concept of using such equipment.
The impetus for the further development of landing gliders was the Second World War. In real combat, the Germans were the first to use them. Four hundred paratroopers were flown on the 41 glider DFS 230 10 in May 1940 to the Belgian fort Eben Abel and captured it. A year later, already on about. Crete, the German "commandos" jumped out of the doors of the DFS 230, in a hurry to ensure the landing of transport aircraft carrying heavy weapons for paratroopers.
But for the most part, gliders at the time were used to transport various cargoes. So to a large extent, with their rescue, the German troops who got into the boiler under the town of Holm in 1942 were obliged to the transport gliders Got-242, which delivered weapon, food and medicine. With the help of gliders, the 6 Army of Paulus surrounded in Stalingrad was assisted.
Domestic gliders were widely used to supply the necessary weapons and ammunition of partisan formations.
Gliders were created in various design bureaus, and during the war years several brands of these aircraft were produced: A-7 О.К. Antonov, G-11 V. K. Gribovsky, KC-20 developed by D. N. Kolesnikov and P. V. Tsybin. In the early postwar years, the military ordered more advanced and lifting gliders that could deliver heavy artillery weapons and vehicles by air.
In the summer of 1947, at a meeting in the Kremlin, issues of improving the airborne troops were examined, various options for the delivery of military equipment, including armored vehicles and Tanks. The leadership of the Airborne Forces, referring to the experience of the past war, especially to the successful landing of the Allied forces in Normandy in 1944, complained about the absence of heavy transport gliders. Those devices that were built earlier, could only lift armed fighters and small loads. Launched in 1944 in the production of the cargo glider Ts-25 design P.V. Tsybin contained a Willis car with an anti-tank gun - this was no longer enough. I.V. Stalin, after listening to the wishes of the "paratroopers", proposed to build the desired gliders, and instruct design bureau Ilyushin and Yakovlev.
Design Bureau A.S. Yakovlev was tasked with designing a glider with a tonnage capacity of 3 capable of carrying a truck or a small self-propelled gun. Although in recent years the design bureau has specialized in fighters, and the gliders to most of the designers were a wonder, the task itself did not seem to be particularly difficult. The test pilot S.N. Anokhin. He recalled that the German airframe Gotha-242, which our pilots overtook from Germany in 1945, was under Narofominsky, was transported to the factory yard, dismantled and thoroughly studied. Naturally, many successful design elements were used. The project of its airframe, the development of which involved LM. Schechter and E.G. Adler, was ready in October 1947. It was a high-profile with a large box-shaped fuselage truss. The nose and tail parts of the fuselage were folded back, which allowed the airframe to be loaded from two directions. The main reason for this decision was the assumption that in a combat situation during landing, the glider could crash into an obstacle, after which unloading through the nose would be impossible. The location of the pilots was initially in the center of the fuselage. Already during the discussion of the project A.S. Yakovlev proposed to move the pilot cockpit to the left to improve the review of the glider crew commander.
Under the designation Yak-14, in November already, the 1947 of the year began to be built at an aircraft factory in the city of Dolgoprudny, near Moscow. The chief engineer was appointed E.G. Adler Just put two prototypes. The first copy of the Yak-14 flew 31 on January 1948 of the year, and factory tests completed 4 on March.
As a towing aircraft used IL-12. In conclusion, according to the test results, it was noted that the Yak-14 is fully consistent with its purpose, it is stable in flight in tow and in free flight, the view from the cockpit is excellent. Testers B.G. Peskov and V.G. Ilyin piloting the airframe was rated as very simple and it was believed that the Yak-14 could be mastered by a pilot of average skill.
At the same time, it was noted that as the speed increased to 260 km / hour, the load on the steering wheels increased, in addition, the pilots noticed the appearance of shaking. There were some other flaws that were eliminated in the second prototype. The design of the Yak-14 №02 was slightly strengthened, the number of stringers in the upper part of the fuselage increased. To increase the road stability, the vertical tail is increased with forklining. To reduce the load on the controls at higher speeds, the aerodynamic compensation of the elevators and the turn was increased. Cabin and instrumentation equipment, cargo compartment elements were modified.
The second glider was tested from May 10 to June 22 1948. The changes made were assessed as positive, the loads on all controls became small and harmonious. Significantly improved ground resistance at large slip angles. The tests carried out with open spoilers, designed to reduce the landing distance of the airframe, showed their effectiveness. According to the test pilots, after modifications Yak-14 became available for piloting by pilots below the average qualification.
After passing state tests in the middle of 1948, the Yak-14 was recommended for serial construction. It is worth noting that during the tests it was loaded with the most diverse armament and equipment of the airborne forces: 57-mm anti-tank gun with a GAZ-67B tractor; 76-mm gun with the same tractor; 37-mm anti-aircraft gun; 122-mm howitzer; 160-mm mortar with GAZ-67B; GAZ-51 truck and the heaviest cargo for the airframe - self-propelled artillery installation АСУ-57. The dimensions of the cargo compartment ensured the placement on board of the Yak-14 of all the listed vehicles without any problems. The only comment was made only on the transportation of ASU-57, whose weight was more than the calculated one for the glider.
For 1949 year at the Rostov aircraft factory number XXUMX released five serial Yak-168. Simultaneously with the release, tests were conducted in the troops and relevant improvements. Requirements for the glider in the spring 14, even more increased. In connection with the transfer of ASU-1949 self-propelled self-propelled guns to mass production (weight with 57 crew, 3 kg), the weight of the lifted load needed to be brought to 3400 kg, in addition, devices were needed for landing on an unprepared site (arable land).
The development of the Yak-14 at this stage was done by the appointed senior engineer L.L. Selyakov. The new modification received the designation Yak-14M, the airframe design was strengthened, a metal floor was installed, new mooring devices were installed. Landing skis were equipped for landing on arable land in the lower part of the fuselage. In addition, improvements have been made to the equipment of the cockpit, and the effectiveness of intceptors has been increased. The Yak-14M plant No. 464 was undergoing state tests in the second half of 1949. The results were considered positive, and the Airborne Forces Command confirmed the previously issued order for gliders of the Yak-14 type in the number of 200 copies. Now the series should have been built Yak-14M. Over the 1950 year, the Rostov Aviation Plant produced the 189 gliders Yak-14 and Yak-14М.
In pursuance of the order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Army Air Force No. 0346 from 6 on July 1950, military tests of the Yak-14 were launched at the Lipitsy airfield. In total, 9 airframes for production of plant # 168 were provided for testing. The flights began on August 10, however, August 24 was stopped due to the ban on flying IL-12 tugs.
Military testing continued in the summer of 1951, at the airport of the city of Pskov. This time 13 Yak-14 was presented. Nine gliders flew in squadron formations, 4 were tested during landing on arable land. Il-12D, produced by plant No. 30 of December release 1949 of the year, and IL-12Т of release 1947-48 of the years were used as towing aircraft.
In conclusion, according to the results of the Yak-14 military tests, it was noted that the average landing glider of the Yak-14 military tests passed satisfactorily. As disadvantages of the group of glider trains consisting of IL-12 aircraft and Yak-14 gliders were:
- flights in squadron formations are possible only in simple weather conditions during the day, with a weak bumpiness, and at night under the same conditions as part of individual trains and a link with lights on aircraft and gliders;
- a small range of speeds and limited maneuver during flight in the 4 formation. The squadron wedge makes it necessary to fly only in the “column of links” with a large turning radius, as a result of which large battle formations are strongly stretched; - when flying as part of even a squadron, the practical ceiling is equal to 2500 m, which, when flying as part of large groups, allows you to have a height not higher than 2000 m;
- a large runway length and take-off distance requires airfields with runways of at least 1800 m, with open approaches, which, with an insufficient radius of action of glider trains, further limits the possibility of their use;
- towing gliders, especially in flight systems, requires constantly increased modes of operation of the engines, which leads to their rapid wear.
In a word, despite all the advantages of the Yak-14 glider itself, its mass use in large military operations seemed rather complicated and was constrained, first of all, by the capabilities of the IL-12 tug plane. One of the options to improve the flight performance of glider trains could be the installation of rocket launch accelerators on the Il-12, but it is not known whether such experiments were conducted.
As for the assessment of the Yak-14 airframe itself, based on the results of military tests, it basically coincided with the previous positive reviews. There was something new: “The cockpit is not separated from the cargo compartment of the airframe, as a result of which the paratroopers have the opportunity to follow the actions of the pilots in flight, which is highly undesirable.”
Operation of the Yak-14 was estimated as simple and could be carried out by a single mechanic with the involvement of the flight crew. To facilitate the loading of equipment, as well as when landing on skis, the mechanic relieved the pressure in the shock absorbers. If this operation was carried out in a parking lot, the glider, according to eyewitnesses, resembled a camel, which was preparing to take the riders. When the air valve was opened, the right main landing gear first followed, the nose landing followed by the left landing. So, slowly, swaying like a camel, the Yak-14 sank almost half a meter. Before takeoff, the pressure was raised to normal, and the shock absorbers raised the airframe.
Storage of the airframe in the open air was complicated by its lack of tightness. Russian climatic conditions, as we know, a small amount of rain does not differ, so the problem of extracting rainwater from the inside of the Yak-14 was quite serious. Despite the existing drainage holes, moisture accumulated, and it had to be poured out using the ancient method; rock the machine, tilt it on its side, on its tail. But it was already a domestic problem, and the Yak-14 in the landing forces took root. According to the results of the first operating experience, it was decided to increase the order for the Yakovlev cargo glider to 400 units. From 1951, the Yak-14 began to be produced at the aircraft factory No. XXUMX in the city of Chkalov (Orenburg).
Yak-14 based on the airfield from the western borders to the Far East. Pilots who had previously mastered the C-25 and G-11 flew on these gliders. It should be noted that, in contrast to the C-25, which had 15 aerodynamic quality and performed flights to the aerobatic zone, this parameter was equal to 12,5 in the Yakovlev machine, and it did not fly to the zone anymore.
In the fifties, two unique in the world aviation practice of glider flights to the Arctic. The idea of such a flight arose even before the landing of the first Arctic station, the North Pole. Soon after the legendary salvation of the Chelyuskinites, O.Yu. Schmidt proposed P.I. Grokhovsky create housing for polar explorers. Grokhovsky suggested using gliders that he developed for this, but then it never came to the realization of this project. Again, the idea of using gliders in the Arctic latitudes returned in the second half of the forties. It was the flights to the Arctic that became the "swan song" of Soviet non-powered machines. The first of them was made in 1950 by two Ts-25 gliders and Il-12D tugboats to the North Pole region. This flight was a breakdown before the unusually complex and lengthy flight of 1954, which ran through our entire country, from West to East. It was performed by the Yak-14, which at that time were the only aircraft that were capable of transporting large-sized equipment and machinery. The flight was carried out by four gliders and IL-12D to the drifting station SP-4. Yakovlevskaya machine delivered a bulldozer to a drifting ice floe.
During the preparation of the Arctic flight, the aeropod worked out an unusual type of landing - the towing vehicle was tethered with the Yak-14. On the preplant, the straight heavy glider was uncoupled from the aircraft, planned and, after landing, quickly otrulival to the side in order to free the lane followed by gliders. In total, the air expedition spent 109 hours in the 21 air, making a flight along the route Moscow-Kazan-Sverdlovsk-Omsk-Novosibirsk-Krasnoyarsk-Turukhansk-Khatanga-Tiksi-Pevek-Mys Schmidt-SP4.
Use in the troops of the Yak-14 lasted until the mid-fifties. Due to the advent of heavy transport aircraft (An-8, AN-12), interest in this means of cargo delivery by air gradually faded.
Abroad Yakovlev cargo was operated in the Czechoslovak army. He got there in the year 1953 in accordance with the bilateral agreements, according to which we transferred the X-YUMX gliders Yak-10 and 14 to Czechoslovakia - Ts-2. There they were given the designation K-25 and K-14, respectively. The first pair of Yak-25 were brought by Il-14 in tow in the city of Presov, located in eastern Slovakia. At the end of the test, the gliders relocated to the Kleba airfield near Prague. In the second half of 12, after training the pilots, the Yak-1953 entered the 14 Squadron of a separate transport aviation regiment. In April 4, these gliders took part in the exercises of the Czechoslovak army. With their help, Tatra T-1955 vehicles with artillery guns and six soldiers were delivered by air. In the fall of 805, two Yak-1955s were demonstrated at an aviation festival held at the Prague Airfield in Ruzigne. Czech Yak-14 was operated up to 14 of the year.
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