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Russian Rocket Fighters
The Soviet Union began research and test flights of rocket-propelled research aircraft before World War II. This work was interrupted by Stalin's purges which put the leading rocket engine designers in concentration camps. After the war, German designs were built and tested. As in the United States and Britain, the extreme range limitation of the rocket fighter compared to the turbojet-powererd fighter was found to outweigh the performance advantage. None of the designs were put into production.



Subtopics

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

Korolev Rocket Plane Russian manned rocketplane. Study 1938. Korolev was already sketching rocketplanes similar to the Me-163 before World War II. This was one concept from his sketchbook.

BI-1 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.

Malyutka rocketplane Russian manned rocketplane. Cancelled 1944. The Malyutka rocket point interceptor was designed by Polikarpov beginning in 1943.

LL Russian manned rocketplane. Flown 1945. The LL was a transonic aerodynamic test bed authorized by LII in September 1945. Three were built: the LL-1 with a straight wing; LL-2 with a conventional swept wing; and LL-3 with a forward swept wing.

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.

I-270 Russian manned rocketplane. Flown 1947. The MiG I-270 rocketplane began as a post-war copy of the German Ju-248 (Me-263) design. The resulting rocketplane had a more refined aerodynamic form than the Me-263 and lower gross weight.

Samolyot 5 Russian manned rocketplane. Cancelled 1949. Bisnovat was assigned the project to develop an all-Soviet equivalent to the 346 supersonic rocketplane being developed by the German Roessing team in OKB-2.

U400-10 Russian manned rocketplane. Flown 1949. Unmanned rocketplane that proved Isayev rocket engine technology in the late 1940's.



1940 February 28 - .
  • First powered flight of the RP-318 rocketplane. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: RP-318. 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..

1941 July 9 - .
  • Go-ahead for the BI-1 high speed rocket plane. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Isayev. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: BI-1. 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: Russia. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. 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 - .
1943 February 10 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 3 - . Crew: Gruzdev. Payload: BI-1 # 2 flight 2. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gruzdev. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: BI-1. Maximum Speed - 675 kph. Maximum Altitude - 2190 m. Date estimated..

1943 March 11 - .
1943 March 14 - .
1943 March 21 - .
1943 March 27 - .
  • BI-1 Flight 7 - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 3 flight 2. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: BI-1. 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..

1945 September - .
  • LL rocket-powered transonic aerodynamic testbed authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: LL. In 1946 to 1948 the LL-1 flew 30 times and the LL-3 100 times, with test pilots M Ivanov, Amet-Khan Sultan, Anokhin, and Rybko at the controls..

1947 March - .
  • I-270 rocketplane first powered flight. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: I-270.

    Studies for a copy of the Me-163B rocket fighter were already undertaken by OKB MiG in 1944. Post-war Soviet technical teams discovered the more advanced Ju-248 (Me-263) design and the decision was made that MiG would copy this design. The first airframe, Zh-1, began glider tests in December 1946. The Zh-2, rocket-powered with a dual thrust engine first flew in March 1947. The I-270 was abandoned after the Zh-2 was written off after a hard landing in spring 1947.


1948 July 14 - .
  • Samolyot 5 rocketplane first flight. - . Crew: Pakhomov. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Pakhomov. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: Samolyot 5. The first 5-1 aircraft, controlled on its first glide flight by A K Pakhomov, was dropped from a Pe-8 bomber..

1948 September 5 - .
1949 January 26 - .
  • Samolyot 5 supersonic rocketplane glide flight. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: Samolyot 5. The 5-2 second aircraft, with rocket engine installed, made its first glide flight..

1949 June - .
  • Samolyot 5 supersonic rocketplane cancelled. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Isayev. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: Samolyot 5.

    After five unpowered flights, the program was cancelled. By that time better-funded turbojet-powered fighter prototypes were already achieving the 1200 km/hr top speed of the 5. Biesnovat and Isayev would elaborate the design in unmanned form into the supersonic R-1 air-to-surface missile.



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