220: why

Weapons 13/01/20 220: why “Fighter Stalin’s” flying only 200 meters

In the mid 30-ies of the last century, the Soviet Union could be proud of their aircraft, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Most countries at that time wasn’t involved in military aviation, and the arms of England and France were the planes, representing a modification of the machine of the First World. However, by the beginning of World war II, the Soviet Union began to take shape the gap. In particular in the fighter. Armed with the most advanced countries appeared the speed of the machine, which the Soviet I-16 And I-15 just had no chance to catch up.

it was Necessary to take urgent measures. But as a result measures were taken a little by surprise. Polikarpov, who is rightly called “king of fighters”, instead of to support and strengthen, in fact, dispersed. Allocated a separate team of designers in frequency was established, Mikoyan, where they passed the project of the plane 220. The Polikarpov normal basis for creating new aircraft had.

At the turn of the 40-ies in the USSR was developed about ten projects of various fighters. One of the new bureaus headed by Sylvan Alexander. His biography prior to this appointment was more than modest — he worked as an engineer on supply in one of the aircraft factories. However, it has at its disposal aircraft plant №153 in Novosibirsk, who were engaged in the production politicheskogo-16. He was transferred to one of the projects Polikarpov, called 220, but with the motor M-88.

the basis of the new KB is made up of former employees of D. P. Grigorovich, who died in 1939. A team of experienced, created, including, some good fighters. The new chief was a man of penetration, and provided decent conditions of work and at first everyone liked it. The prospects looked bright.

the Plane, cuome index-220, called also “is”. Did it mean “Fighter Sylvan” or is it, as was then customary, such abbreviation means “Joseph Stalin”, unknown. We can assume and “Fighter of Stalin”, which is consistent with the ballyhoo around the plane. The output expected something very extraordinary.

However, the office staff very quickly became suspicious upon realizing that the new chief designer does not distinguish Aileron from a longeron. And decisions he took, to put it mildly, strange.

And with the draft it was not so easy. The original version of the Polikarpov fighter was created under the engine M-58. But the designer planted, and the engine itself and not brought. Had to put the engine M-88, representing a licensed version of the French Gnome et Rhone 14K Mistral Major. This engine was put on bombers DB-3 and su-2, pilot fighter I-190 and I-180. But since the new motor was different in size and weight, and had to change a lot in the original design, that is, in fact, to create anew.

Upstairs was upbeat reports, but in fact it was difficult. The dimensions of the glider was varied, weight increased. Project fighter had a powerful armament: two 20-mm cannon and four machine guns. But as the weight of the plane rolls over and he would have not flown, then Sylvan safely facilitated the car. So get rid of “yet” from guns, deciding to install them at the next sample.

In the end, the airplane is still built and brought to the test. After the first run revealed unpleasant news. The screw was too big and clung to the ground. One of the young engineers have offered to take off to dig a groove for the propeller, but was not joking. Sylvan decided the screw to be shortened. Moreover, without any engineering refinements, using a simple handsaw. However, during further ground tests burned the engine M-88. Put a lighter M-87, which changed the alignment of the aircraft.

However, colored in red “Fighter of Stalin” in January 1940 brought to Moscow. For tests Sylvan somehow attracted the chief pilot KB N. N. Polikarpov pilot Ushina. One, although not from the first attempt, but managed to pick up 220 in the air and even flew a couple hundred yards. Then he expressed his opinion about the plane, which lead on paper is impossible. Then there was another pilot, but he couldn’t even fly skills are not enough.

Despite this Sylvan got permission to bring the plane and even received a new base — aircraft factory No. 287 in the village of Podlipki, near Moscow. But since there was already a fighter Sukhoi su-1, then do nothing in time, timing out, and 220 ceased. Sylvan even tried, but not for the wasted millions, and for what they took from the factory state the car ZIS-101, used in their own needs, and even drowned in the ditch.

About the Sylvan further known by a few, it seems like he was engaged in the project “space plane”, has worked at the Queen. As for his appointment to such a high and responsible position, despite the complete lack of ability and basic knowledge, everything is explained simply. He was “only” son-in-law the first people’s Commissar of the aviation industry Mikhail Kaganovich.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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