Encyclopedia Astronautica
BI-1



bi1.jpg
BI-1 Rocketplane
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian manned rocketplane. Flown 1941. The Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 was the first high speed rocket plane developed by the Soviet Union. Drawings were completed by spring 1941 but Stalin did not give the go-ahead for production until July 9, 1941.

Round-the-clock shifts produced the first aircraft in 35 days. First flight was on 10 September, but the factory had to be evacuated to Sverdlovsk. The first powered flight, following accidents in ground runs of the rocket engine, came on May 15, 1942. Problems with corrosion by the acid fuels slowed testing. On flight 7 the aircraft experienced the previously unencountered tendency of an aircraft to pitch down in high-speed flight, and the rocketplane crashed into the ground, killing the pilot. Plans for a 50 aircraft production batch were abandoned, and rocketplane testing in the USSR only resumed with the testing of German designs after the war.

Crew Size: 1.

Gross mass: 1,683 kg (3,710 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 978 kg (2,156 lb).
Height: 6.40 m (20.90 ft).
Span: 6.60 m (21.60 ft).
Thrust: 10.70 kN (2,405 lbf).

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
  • Bereznyak Russian manufacturer of spacecraft. Bereznyak Design Bureau, Russia. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/Kerosene Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons. More...

Bibliography
  • Zhelyeznakov, "Personal communication.",
  • Gunston, Bill, The Osprey Encylopedia of Russian Aircraft 1975-1995, Osprey, London, 1995.

BI-1 Chronology


1941 July 9 - .
  • Go-ahead for the BI-1 high speed rocket plane. - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Isayev. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Stalin gives the go-ahead for production of the Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 high speed rocket plane..

1942 May 15 - .
  • First powered flight of BI-1 rocketplane. - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 1 flight 1. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Spacecraft: BI-1. First glide flight was on 10 September 1941, but the factory had to be evacuated to Sverdlovsk. Accidents in ground runs of the rocket engine further delayed the first powered flight. First flight performance was: First flight BI-1. Maximum Speed - 400 kph. Maximum Altitude - 840 m. Flight Time - 189 sec.

1943 January 10 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 2 - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 2 flight 1. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Maximum Speed - 400 kph. Maximum Altitude - 1110 m. .

1943 February 10 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 3 - . Crew: Gruzdev. Payload: BI-1 # 2 flight 2. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Gruzdev. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Maximum Speed - 675 kph. Maximum Altitude - 2190 m. Date estimated..

1943 March 11 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 4 - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 2 flight 3. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Maximum Altitude - 4000 m..

1943 March 14 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 5 - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 2 flight 4. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Maximum Altitude - 4000 m..

1943 March 21 - .
1943 March 27 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 7 - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 3 flight 2. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: BI-1. Summary: Maximum Speed - 800 kph. Unofficial world speed record.The aircraft crashed into the ground, killing the pilot. Plans for production were abandoned. Rocketplane testing in the USSR only resumed with the testing of German designs after the war..

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