Military Review

The predecessor of the "Black Shark" Kamov

The predecessor of the "Black Shark" Kamov

14 April 1953, the first flight of the Ka-15 military helicopter took place - the first production helicopter of the OKB NI. Kamov

14 April 1953, a test pilot Dmitry Konstantinovich Efremov in Tushino near Moscow, lifted into the air a new rotary-winged aircraft. Tester Konstantinov during the war years was engaged in the delivery weapons and ammunition guerrillas. He perfectly understood how important and irreplaceable a helicopter is in a modern war, because, unlike an airplane, a car without wings and with a horizontal propeller was able to vertically land and take off from the smallest platforms, literally from forest glades or narrow decks of warships.

The creator of the new machine was the design team led by Nikolai Ilyich Kamov. Before World War II, Nikolai Kamov was involved in the creation of “autogyros”, the first hybrids of an airplane and a helicopter, of which later modern helicopter construction developed. It was Nikolai Ilyich Kamov who proposed using the word “helicopter” to designate a new type of aircraft, which had taken root forever in the Russian language.

The end of 40-ies of the XX century was the era of the birth of a helicopter. For the first time in battles, this new type of aircrafts was massively used by Americans during the Korean War in 1950 — 1953. In the mountains and on the islands of Korea, the US army and navy successfully used "helicopters" of the Russian émigré Sikorsky.

Within a month after the start of use, helicopters capable of taking off from the decks of ships and landing in any mountain gorges showed high efficiency and became literally irreplaceable. 12 September 1950, the American Brigadier General KK In an analytical note to high command, Jerome described the new type of air vehicle as follows:

“A helicopter in Korea meets only a benevolent attitude; anyone who asks will be sure to tell you some case, emphasizing the important role that helicopters played in this. Intelligence, communications, visual observation on the flanks, transfer by air of patrols from one important point to another, postal service and supply of advanced posts - these are the tasks that helicopters perform. There is no doubt that the enthusiastic reviews of personnel about helicopters are quite justified ... We should not spare efforts to get as many helicopters to the front, giving them priority over any other weapon ... Helicopters, more helicopters, as many helicopters as possible to Korea. "

Soviet generals and admirals, who had considerable experience in 1941 – 1945 battles, closely followed the enemy’s combat experience in the Cold War and did not want to keep up with the Americans. The Soviet Union needed its own helicopters - transport and combat.

Since 1950, the first mass multi-purpose helicopter Mi-1, created by Mikhail Leontyevich Mil's design bureau, began to be mass-produced in our country. But the beautiful rotorcraft for its time, Mil was precisely a multi-purpose helicopter, designed for both military and civilian use. For purely military purposes, especially for the tasks of the Navy fleet, required a more compact and at the same time more powerful helicopter.

Mi-1 helicopter. Photo:

The creation of such a purely military helicopter and engaged Kamov design bureau. The first prototype, Ka-8, took off at the end of 1947 of the year. The next, more advanced machine - Ka-10 - took to the air in August 1949. The Ka-10 was the first Kamov helicopter, launched in small series, in 15 machines, in the 1951 year.

Tests at sea on the ships of our fleet showed that a more powerful machine is required for the needs of the Navy. In October, 1951, Nikolai Kamov, was summoned to the Kremlin to Lawrence Beria, who demanded that he complete the development of a new helicopter within a year. Nikolai Ilyich said that he needed at least two years, to which Beria firmly advised “to turn to the social security office”, that is, either to solve the problem, or to leave ... In the mouth of Beria, such a “proposal” sounded too dangerous a hint.

Despite all the technical difficulties, the designers of Kamov in the shortest possible time were able to solve the most difficult task - to create a helicopter, both small and powerful. The Ka-15 helicopter, the design of which began in August of the 1950 of the year and was completed by the spring of the 1953 of the year, turned out to be much more “strong” than its serial contemporary Mi-1.

Ka-15 was designed for ships, so they designed it very compact. It was not easy to place in a small volume all the equipment needed to search for submarines. The length of the Ka-15 was almost two times less than that of the Mi-1.

The Ka-15 flight characteristics obtained during the tests turned out to be higher than the design ones. The machine transported a payload of 210 kg with a take-off weight of 1410 kg and engine power 280 hp, while the Mi-1 took 255 kg with a weight 2470 kg and engine power 575 hp

The final state tests of the Ka-15 took place in Feodosia from April 15 to May 11 of the year 1955. In 1956, the aircraft factory in Ulan-Ude in Buryatia began mass production of these machines. In total, the 354 helicopter of all modifications was built. It was the first series of Soviet purely military helicopters.

The helicopter could take off and land from very limited areas on the decks of warships at sea. One Ka-15 could only take on board two sonar buoys to monitor submarines. In this case, the control equipment was on the second helicopter, and the means of destruction (depth charges) - on the third.

So the Soviet Navy got their first stories helicopter complex to detect and destroy enemy submarines. In addition, the Ka-15 helicopter could be used as a scout, communications vehicle, artillery spotter, and the like.

Already at the beginning of the 60-s, Ka-15 was replaced by new, more advanced Kamov helicopters. Already today, the former design bureau of Nikolai Ilyich Kamov is one of the leading manufacturers of military helicopters in Russia. The best rotorcraft machines of the Russian army are considered to be the Kamov Ka-50 and Ka-52, the descendants of the small Ka-15, which first flew into the air on April 14 exactly 63 a year ago.
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  1. kugelblitz
    kugelblitz April 16 2016 06: 00
    By the way, the Swiss just bought the Ka-32 for themselves as a crane, because it perfectly withstands lateral gusts of wind, and even with relatively small sizes it has good lifting capacity. Also, of course, the coaxial circuit lack of a tail rotor is a huge plus. The gearbox and swashplate are really complex, but nonetheless ...

    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri April 16 2016 11: 22
      Ka-32 is in demand all over the world. For there are simply no analogues in LTX in its category.
      1. rpek32
        rpek32 April 16 2016 14: 35
        successfully used the "helicopters" of the Russian emigrant Sikorsky.

        yes, very sad
  2. Bayonet
    Bayonet April 16 2016 06: 50
    Ka-15 on the floats.
  3. sa-ag
    sa-ag April 16 2016 07: 12
    "Russia may sell a controlling stake in Russian Helicopters during privatization, Airbus and several other French companies are interested in this opportunity," said Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev.
    “The French colleagues are interested in the privatization of Russian Helicopters, a Russian holding. In particular, Airbus. It will also be privatized, but according to a different scheme - through the invitation of a strategic investor. And apparently, in the interests of the company, and not in the interests of the budget, "TASS reports." Http://
  4. aszzz888
    aszzz888 April 16 2016 07: 41
    At the same time, the control equipment was on the second helicopter, and the means of destruction (depth charges) - on the third.
    Here is such an interesting story of the Ka-15, and its capabilities at that time. Thank you for the article. +
  5. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter April 16 2016 07: 44
    Kamov's helicopters are an amazing technical solution "contrary to the West". The coaxial scheme is used only on them. And loyalty to this scheme has paid off.
    1. opus
      opus April 16 2016 12: 39
      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      The coaxial scheme is used only on them.

      Breguet-Dorand Gyroplane, 1933

      Dorand Gyroplane G. 20

      Breguet - Dorand Gyroplane Laboratore G-II

      Sikorsky X2

      There is still such a scheme

      1. kugelblitz
        kugelblitz April 16 2016 14: 30
        Experienced cars or single copies. This one is really unique ...

        And as for the overlapping pattern, this is the German Flettner Fl 282.

        And here is the Rieseler R.1 co-driver

        1. opus
          opus April 16 2016 18: 00
          Quote: kugelblitz
          Experienced machines or single copies

          Well, I actually
          Quote: Mountain Shooter
          - an amazing technical solution "contrary to the West".
      2. venik
        venik April 17 2016 17: 28
        All the samples you cited are either experimental or small-scale samples (due to the fact that it is difficult to name them very successful rotorcraft models!).
        Kamovtsev’s merit lies precisely in the fact that, unlike all the others, they HAVE BEEN ABLE to overcome the main problems of the coaxial scheme and minimize its inherent disadvantages, to the maximum
        using its advantages. And there are a hundred-oh-only problems! There are vibrational loads and "overlap" of the blades during sharp maneuvering, flutter and low efficiency of the lower rotor (which works in the flow from the upper one) and vortex flows and flutter, etc. etc. and so on .... And as a result, create a family of TECHNOLOGICAL, HIGH-EFFICIENCY and most importantly RELIABLE machines suitable for MASS production and operation. But this has not yet been possible for ANYONE !!! Although many have tried ...
  6. vodolaz
    vodolaz April 16 2016 09: 04
    The article is interesting, but immediately the first paragraph interested:
    On April 14, 1953, test pilot Dmitry Konstantinovich Efremov in Tushino near Moscow took off a new rotorcraft. Tester Konstantinov during the war engaged in the delivery of weapons and ammunition to partisans.

    What was the name of the test pilot?)
    1. Gamdlislyam
      Gamdlislyam April 16 2016 16: 51
      Quote: vodolaz
      What was the name of the test pilot?)

      Dmitry Konstantinovich Efremov, 1920 - 1962
      More details about the test pilot can be found on the site "Testing Encyclopedia" -
  7. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn April 16 2016 09: 43
    Really a story. A car worthy of its time. And you wonder how the designers managed to create such a technique using only a slide rule and their own intuition. The tasks on the part of the Ministry of Defense were set very competently and worked together and tightly, and did not think about who and how much to sell.
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri April 16 2016 11: 24
      On the line, wrong. Just in the late 40s and early 50s, the first computers appeared. It is for engineering design calculations.
    2. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri April 16 2016 11: 25
      Intuition is good, but you should not forget about purging in wind tunnels and about test benches with models.
      "On intuition and a ruler" worked at the beginning of the 20th century.
  8. Verdun
    Verdun April 16 2016 10: 15
    Kamov Design Bureau machines are the best suited for the fight against submarines. The coaxial scheme greatly simplifies the task for the pilot when hovering at one point, which often happens when working with a hydrophone. It is curious that in addition to the Kamov Design Bureau, no one was able to achieve effective and reliable operation of the coaxial circuit.
  9. volodya
    volodya April 16 2016 10: 18
    For some reason, I like Kamov helicopters more than Mil. Probably they are good each in its place.
  10. resh
    resh April 16 2016 11: 50
    Photo from the site "Ships of the measuring complex". When performing combat operations on the Ka-15, and later on the Ka-25 and Ka-27, the equipment for telemetric measurements was installed.
  11. resh
    resh April 16 2016 12: 13
    In the photo, the guys from the Chumikan are somewhere in the tropics, awaiting the arrival of the warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  12. xomaNN
    xomaNN April 16 2016 14: 39
    Kamovsky Ka-27 and in the Kiev Air Museum is, and for sure Russia. But Ka-15, we, as descendants and lovers of Soviet aircraft, kept in museums?
    1. kugelblitz
      kugelblitz April 16 2016 14: 55
      In Monino there is, in the beginning there was a terrible state. (Ka-15 and Ka-18)

      But then podshamanili outwardly.

  13. Ramzes33
    Ramzes33 April 16 2016 15: 08
    Informative article. And the comments.
  14. Yarik76
    Yarik76 April 22 2016 00: 14
    The article is definitely a plus 'meaningful polemics' Kamov is a great designer and inventor!