The 100th anniversary of flight, "Russian Knight"!
article by Alexander Samsonov site
May 26, 1913 made the first flight of the world’s first multi-engine aircraft, "Russian Knight" engineer Igor Sikorsky. Young engineer created this machine as a prototype for further exploration. It could accommodate both two and four motor. The plane was originally called "Grand" or "Big Baltic", and after some modifications was named — "Russian Knight".
August 2, 1913 plane set a world record for duration — 1 hour 54 minutes. This aircraft, surpassing in size and take-off weight of all cars built up to this point, has become the basis for a new direction in aviation — the heavy aircraft. "Russian Knight" became the ancestor of all subsequent heavy bombers, transport, intelligence and passenger airliner in the world. The direct successor of "Russian Knight" became the four-engine plane, "Ilya Muromets", the first copy of which was built in October 1913.
Back in the First World War to the inventor came to the conclusion that the future of small single-engine airplanes, and for large aircraft with two or boleedvigatelyami. They had the advantage of flight distance, transportation, and safety. The airship with several members of the crew and several engines were safer if one engine broke down, the others continued to work.
Igor Sikorsky spoke about his plans for the construction of a large airship Shidlovskii Mikhail Vladimirovich, who was head of the Russian-Baltic Carriage Company. Shidlovskiy listened attentively to the young inventor, has studied his work and gave permission to work in this direction. During this period, most experts do not believe in the possibility of creating a large aircraft. It was believed that a large aircraft can not fly at all. Sikorsky built the world’s first four-engine airplane, the predecessor of today’s large aircraft. The work proceeded rapidly, enthusiasts have worked 14 hours a day. In February 1913, all of the aircraft that the factory people, generous to all sorts of nicknames, called "Grand", which meant "big", basically were ready.
It should be noted that Shidlovskiy played a prominent role in the development of Russian heavy aircraft. The nobleman and an officer of the Navy, he graduated from the Alexander Military Law Academy, after retirement, he served in the Ministry of Finance and proved himself a talented entrepreneur. He became a high-ranking official, was a part of the State Council and was appointed commander of a squadron of airplanes (CG). The squadron has a special connection, which during the war was flying bombers Sikorsky "Ilya Muromets". As chairman of the P-BVZ Shidlovskiy quickly increased productivity and profitability. In addition to launching the production of Sikorsky Aircraft, Shidlovskiy supervised the production of the first and only car of the Russian Empire, entered the history as the "Russo-Balt". These cars have performed well during the First World War. Another contribution to the defense Shydlovsky Empire — production in 1915, the first and only Russian aircraft engine.
Thanks Shidlovskii Grande project has been launched and is fully paid off. By the beginning of March 1913 has been completed general assembly of aircraft. It was a true giant: the upper wing span was 27 meters lower — 20 and their total area — 125 square meters. m Take-off weight of the aircraft — more than 3 tonnes (with a load of up to 4 m), height — 4 m, length — 20 m plane had to fly up four German motor "Argus" of 100 liters. s. They are located on the lower wing, two on each side of the fuselage. The car could carry the load of 737 kg and fly at a speed of 77 km per hour (maximum speed of 90 km). In the carriage — 3 people, 4 seats. The world’s first plane had a large enclosed cabin and passenger compartment with large windows for crew and passengers. Pilots could get out of the cabin to the balcony, which was located in front of the machine. In addition, the side outputs are also provided, which led to the lower wings, which provided access to the engines. This created the opportunity to repair in flight.
Igor Sikorsky at the forward balcony "Russian Knight"
The bow of the "Grand"
After a few test trials, 13 (26) May 1913 around 9:00 in the morning on a meadow adjoining the airfield Freestanding Petersburg aviator designer Igor Sikorsky with 4 passengers made a brilliant, quite successful flight in an aircraft "Grand" ("Big") . The plane climbed to an altitude of about 100 m and is not at full strength until the gas has a top speed of 100 km / h, very well made some big turns and landed smoothly. Watch this audience was delighted. This mission Sikorsky clearly refuted the predictions of many "experts" that the "Big" will not be able to fly … ". Many foreign experts in the field of aviation abandoned the idea to build a large aircraft. However, the Russian inventor clearly destroyed all their theoretical constructs. It was a triumph of human ingenuity and the victory of Russian designer on numerous critics and spiteful critics.
|Wing span, m|
|Wing area, m2||120.00|
|Engine Type||4 PD Argus|
|Horsepower||4 x 100|
|Maximum speed, km / h||90|
|Cruising speed, km / h||77|
|Service ceiling, m||600|
May 27, "Big" made another flight. On board was a Sikorsky Jankowski and four mechanics. Flights were given a huge amount of information and good food for thought. Testing the "Grand" were the basis for a more perfect plane — "Ilya Muromets". A role in the development of the project has played the emperor. Being in the village of Red, Nicholas II expressed a desire to examine the car. The aircraft ferried there. The king inspected the plane outside, climbed aboard. Knight "made a big impression on the emperor. Sikorsky soon received from Nicholas II commemorative gift — a gold watch. Positive opinion of the monarch protect aircraft from trying to tarnish the reputation of this amazing project.
Sikorsky has begun to establish the second aircraft, which he called "Ilya Muromets". Construction of a second aircraft-athlete began in the fall 1913 and was completed in January 1914.
Thus, the priority of Igor Sikorsky in creating multi-engine heavy ships absolutely indisputable and it is the subject of our great national pride.