Encyclopedia Astronautica
RP-318



rp318.jpg
RP-318 Rocketplane
Russian manned rocketplane. Korolev adapted his SK-9 glider in 1936 as the first rocked-powered aircraft in the Soviet Union.

It was originally to be used to flight test Glushko's ORM-65 engine, but this proved too unreliable for manned flight. Glushko developed an improved ORM-65-2 but in the 1938 he and Korolev were arrested and sent to the Gulag in Siberia to die. The work was carried on by others with delays, and the first powered flight finally came on 28 February 1940. Test pilot V P Fedorov was towed to 2600 m and cast off at 80 km/hr. The RDA-1 rocket then fired its RFNA/Kerosene engine and accelerated the aircraft to 140 m/s and 2900 m altitude. The RP-318 flew nine times before the war ended the work.

Crew Size: 1.

Gross mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 625 kg (1,377 lb).
Height: 7.44 m (24.40 ft).
Span: 17.00 m (55.00 ft).
Thrust: 1.37 kN (308 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
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, 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
  • Butowski, Piotr, "Black Reds", Air Forces Monthly Special, X-Planes, February 1998, p. 35.

RP-318 Chronology


1940 February 28 - .
  • First powered flight of the RP-318 rocketplane. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: RP-318. Summary: Test pilot V P Fedorov was towed to 2600 m and cast off at 80 km/hr. The rocket then fired and accelerated the aircraft to 140 m/s and 2900 m altitude. The RP-318 flew nine times before the war ended the work..

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