Encyclopedia Astronautica
346



okb2346.jpg
346 Rocketplane
Russian manned rocketplane. 4 flights from 1946. Post-war Soviet version of the German supersonic DFS 8-346 rocket reconnaissance aircraft. Abandoned in 1951 after the prototype crashed.

OKB-2 was formed 22 October 1946 in Podberzye for development and exploitation of German rocketplane technology. Soviet director was A Ya Berznyak, and chief designer was German engineer Hans Roessing. OKB-2 was tasked with continued development and flight of the German supersonic DFS 8-346 rocket reconnaissance aircraft. The 346 featured a 45 degree swept wing, a prone pilot looking through a Plexiglas nose, and a dual-thrust Walter HWK 109-509C engine. Maximum speed was to be Mach 2 after a two minute rocket burn. Wind tunnel tests began at TsAGI in March 1947. Four 346 aircraft were built. As with the American XS-1, they were launched from captured B-29 or Tu-4 bombers. German pilot Wolfgang Ziese conducted all of the initial flight tests. Following initial glider flights (346P, 346-1) in 1948, the first powered flight of the 346-2 came on 30 September 1949. The flight was successful but Ziese was injured after the landing skid collapsed after a fast landing. Following repairs, 346-2 flights continued in October 1950 with Russian pilot P I Kasmin at the controls. Ziese resumed flight with the final version, the 346-3, on 15 August 1951. This flew again on 2 September but the aircraft went out of control on 14 September and Ziese bailed out of the aircraft. The destruction of this rocketplane resulted in further tests being abandoned. All German engineers were repatriated to East Germany and OKB-2 dissolved by the end of 1953.

Crew Size: 1.

Gross mass: 5,230 kg (11,530 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,330 kg (7,340 lb).
Height: 13.45 m (44.12 ft).
Span: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Russian Rocketplanes The story of rocketplanes and spaceplanes in the Soviet Union was one of constant setbacks due to internal politics, constant struggle with little result. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • Butowski, Piotr, "Black Reds", Air Forces Monthly Special, X-Planes, February 1998, p. 35.

346 Chronology


1946 October 22 - .
  • OKB-2 formed for exploitation of German rocketplane technology. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. Summary: Soviet director was A Ya Bereznyak, and chief designer was German engineer Hans Roessing. OKB-2 was tasked with continued development and flight of the German supersonic DFS 8-346 rocket reconnaissance aircraft..

1949 September 30 - .
  • First powered flight of the 346-2 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. As with the American XS-1, the rocketplane was launched from a captured B-29 bomber. German pilot Wolfgang Ziese conducted all of the initial flight tests. Initial glider flights with the 346P, 346-1 aircraft were flown in 1948. The first powered flight was successful but Ziese was injured after the landing skid collapsed after a fast landing.

1950 October - .
  • Second powered flight of the 346-2 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. Summary: 346-2 flights continued in October 1950 with Russian pilot P I Kasmin at the controls..

1951 August 15 - .
  • First flight of the 346-3 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. Summary: Ziese resumed flight with the final version of the 346, the 346-3..

1951 September 2 - .
  • Second flight of the 346-3 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. Summary: Ziese was at the controls again..

1951 September 14 - .
  • Final flight of the 346-3 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: 346. Summary: The aircraft went out of control and Ziese bailed out of the aircraft. The destruction of this rocketplane resulted in further tests being abandoned..

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