Russian roots of American aviation

Russian roots of American aviation

From P-47 to A-10

In the middle of the founding fathers of the United States of America there are many immigrants from Russia. "Russian settlers — hard-working, high-quality crafts in a friendly disposed to place populations who settled in the Bay Area of San Francisco, had a tremendous impact on the development of California" (from the history of "Fort Ross" — a former Russian settlement in 100 km to the north of San Francisco). Who has not beheld on television saver "Warner Bros. Presents"? — The famous Hollywood studio was based the brothers Voronin from Belarus. Incidentally, the TV, as the principle of transfer-moving images at a distance, appeared through basic research of another Russian emigrant — Vladimir Zworykin.

Invaluable contribution to the history of American aviation left Igor Sikorsky — the "father of helicopter", the founder of the company «Sikorsky Aircraft». But Sikorski — it is far not the only pioneer of aviation in a number of prominent American aircraft designers and creators of the aircraft occupy a special place Kartveli Alexander and Alexander Seversky. The result of their creative union has become a famous fighter of the second World P-47 "Thunderbolt" and its modern reincarnation — anti-tank rocket attack aircraft A-10 "Thunderbolt II».

The creators of "Thunderbolts"

Russian roots of American aviationAlexander Kartveli (Kartvelishvili) (September 9, 1896, Tiflis — July 20, 1974, New-york). Artillery officer of the Russian Imperial Army. The first global war. Emigration to France. After graduating from the Paris Flight School Kartveli take the position of a test pilot in the famous firm "Bleriot". The tragedy of a long healing work in aircraft designer «Societte Idustrielle». A sudden invitation to the United States, where a casual acquaintance with Alexander Seversky — now the career of the young aircraft point upwards.

Alexander Prokofiev-Seversky (May 24, 1894, Tiflis — August 24, 1974, New-york) — the famous "Meresyev" the First World War, Commander of the George Cross, a naval pilot who lost a leg during a combat mission, but again returned to duty. After the revolution, he emigrated to the United States, where he made a firm «Seversky Aircraft» (future «Republic Aviation»). Immediately took her to the presidency, the designer and test pilot, became the main engineer of his fellow countryman, a professional Georgian aircraft designer Alexander Kartveli.

In 1939, there was a rift — under the pressure of events Seversky went out of business, becoming the leading advisory BBC. Kartveli, by contrast, continued to develop the aircraft, and in this field, headed for significant success.


The condition of tasks: a vehicle takeoff weight of 2000 kg, filled engine rated 1000 hp On the "hypothetical plane" is set aircraft gun, guns and ammo weight — 100 kg, ie 5% of the normal take-off weight.
Required to increment power weapons by setting the second aircraft cannon (additional weight 100 kg).
Q: How do I change the flight characteristics of aircraft, and that needs to be done to preserve their initial values?

From the condition of puzzles exactly that all of the speed, acceleration and maneuverability properties of several "potyazhelevshego" aircraft a little worse. But we do not compromise! Our goal — to keep all the initial performance characteristics, with all this have on board not just one, but two guns.

It would seem that the answer is very clear — in this case will be more powerful engine. But, more powerful engine was a large, languid and greedy — have usilist airframe, set over a large and heavy screw, and certainly in store increment of fuel (we're not going to sacrifice the range, right?). Already rather potyazhelevshey car to save the initial maneuvering characteristics will need to increment the wing area — and it is guaranteed to cause an increase aerodynamic drag, for which compensation will be even more powerful engine … Hell of a vicious circle!

But do not fall into a depression — this "weight spiral" is completely significant limit: it will stop when all the elements of the aircraft structure will increase and will return to the initial ratio. Simply put, we get a new plane normal takeoff weight of 4000 kg and a power of 2000 hp engine, in which the mass of the gun (the same two guns) will be 5% of the weight of the aircraft. With all of this all of the other performance characteristics — rate of climb, bend radius, range remain unchanged. Problem solved!

The fundamental laws of nature fool unreal — all of the above is one of the fundamental principles of aviation (and, in general, at least some of the technical system) when the weight of the 1st element design (tool, engine, fuselage, landing gear) for the conservation of the initial flight characteristics have changed weight of all other components.

The desired load at least some fighters second world was on average 25% of their normal take-off weight, the other three-quarters were from airframe and powerplant. Despite all the antics of designers, this proportion was just completely for all fighters in those years: the Yak-1, La-5, "Messerschmitt", "Focke-Wulf", "Spitfire" or deck "Zero" — all of these machines for utility load (fuel + gun + Bird + Pilot instruments and avionics), on average, 25% of the normal take-off weight. Another thing is that the greatest take-off weight machines varied within wide limits, and was limited only by the power powerplant.

Aircraft designer Alexander Kartveli incredibly lucky: to begin work on a promising fighter in his possession was a super-American Development Engineering — an indescribable "double star" turbo "Pratt & Whitney» R-2800 capacity of 2400 hp Kartveli managed to install this monster on his own fighter, posting a turbocharger in the rear fuselage: despite the considerable length and weight of pipelines, tremendous engine power leveled all the flaws. In addition, the tunnel air is additional protection for the pilot and the fundamental units of aircraft.
So there was a P-47 Thunderbolt («thunderclap") — one of the best fighters the second world, undefeated killer with a conventional take-off mass of more than 6 tons!

Russian roots of American aviation

Head "Medusa." 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800

"Thunderbolt" could carry a payload of 1.5 tons — twice the Messerschmitt-109G-2 or Yak-9. Just imagine what a fantastic prospect revealed in front of this machine! And Kartveli did not miss a chance to own, to the maximum saturating plane various "bells and whistles".

A chic set of navigation equipment, autopilot, radio compass, multi-channel radio, urinal, oxygen system — full of happiness South American pilot lacked only coffee and ice-cream ma
On the part of the frontal hemisphere cabin was screened tremendous engine, and the pilot was additionally protected by bulletproof glass and in front of frontal armor plate, back — back armor, additional radiator and turbo — damage to these units led only to a decrease in engine power, the rest of the plane kept fighting capacity. Bottom cab Kartveli set iron "ski", excepting the death of the pilot at a forced landing with landing gear retracted.

Russian roots of American aviation

Combat fighter created not as inflated ton of comfort — it has to fight against enemy aircraft and do everything possible to promote the success of ground troops. For these purposes, the wing "Thunderbolt" set eight mnogokalibernyh "Browning" gun with 425 rounds per gun — length of a continuous line 40 seconds! 3,400 rounds of ammunition — from the goal remains a sieve. According to muzzle power "Browning" 50-caliber superior to the German 20mm aircraft guns "Oerlikon» MG-FF. Additionally under the planes, "Thunderbolt" 10 mounted rails for rockets. All this made the "Thunderbolt" the most massive single-engine fighter aircraft armament second world war.
(Rightly see that 425 rounds — this is an obvious overload, standard ammunition was substantially less — 300 pcs. Per barrel).

But, the "Thunderbolt" as before remained a reserve payload. In view of the scene, that the greatest take-off weight of the "Thunderbolt" reached 7.8 tons (depending on version), it was found in practice that the "Thunderbolt" could no special effort to "grab the road" has a ton of bombs — as two Il- 2. But more often the fighter P-47 carried by planes mounted fuel tanks. In the application of the PTB greatest range increased to 3,700 km — is enough to fly from Moscow to Berlin and return back. Special tool to escort bombers far.

Surprisingly, but the big "Thunderbolt" was one of the fastest aircraft of its own time. Thanks to the highest load on the wing, "bellied» P-47 cut through the sky at speeds of 700 km / h! But this effect was reversible, and — despite the preservation of the general proportions of the design of the aircraft (3/4 of the mass — the design and engine, quarter-payload), Kartveli all the same went beyond the boundaries: that is take-off weight of the "Thunderbolt" was somewhat more than let the engine (even such as "Pratt & Whitney» R-2800).

196 fighters "Thunderbolt" hit the Russian Alliance in the programs from Lend Lease. It happened suddenly — a super-plane disappointment Russian pilots.

"Already in the first Minutka flight, I realized — it's not a fighter! Steady, with the comfort of the spacious cabin, a good, but — not a fighter. "Thunderbolt" have unsatisfactory flexibility in a horizontal and particularly vertical planes. Plane slowly dispersed — impact inertia heaviest machine. "Thunderbolt" is great for normal flight route without abrupt maneuvers. For a fighter that is not enough. "

— test pilot Mark Gallay

Deliveries "Thunderbolt" was immediately terminated at the initiative of the Russian side, all the received aircraft were sent to serve as a high-altitude air defense interceptor. Several cars were in the Air Force Institute, which were dismantled "screw up" — Russian professionals most interest the turbocharger and other unique "stuffing» P-47.

On the Soviet-German front air battles were fought at altitudes below 6,000 meters, our pilots often fought with the Germans in general at the surface of the Earth. In these criteria, "incarcerated" under enormous height "Thunderbolt" was a clumsy and kopotlivuyu target. Means for tracking the distant Red Army Air Force bombers are not required, and for strafing ground targets have been countless hordes over a cheap and common to use IL-2.

As for the designers of the Third Reich, these excellent engineers who have made thousands of samples "vundervaffe" — "gloomy Teutonic genius" and has not been able to do high-power piston engine, which is applicable for installation on the fighter. And without the usual power plant, all projects promising a "miracle weapons" suited only for museum display cases.

In the end, vorachivayas to "Thunderbolt" — here there are no vibrations, aircraft designer Alexander Kartveli made a real masterpiece.

Russian roots of American aviation

"Thunderjet", "Tanderstrik", "Tanderflesh"

The era of jet aircraft set new standards. In 1944 Kartveli made several fruitless attempts to establish its own "Thunderbolt" jet engine — a shame it did not sound, to no avail. The ancient structure has exhausted itself. Over the next two years on the drawing board was born a new plane — fighter-Bomber F-84 Thunderjet (first flight — Verwall 1946).

F-84 "Thunderjet" fascinating, at first, in technical terms — the first fighter in the world with a system of in-flight refueling, the first fighter-carrying nuclear weapons. Otherwise, it was a mundane plane of his time, the first-born of jet aviation pressurized cabin with ejection seats, radar sight, extra fuel tanks on the wing tips, 6 machine guns 12.7 mm, Up to 2 tons of payload on external sites.

The fighter-bomber used extensively in the Korean skies, about hundreds of them began to catch more rapid and improved MiG-15. For example, 9 September 1952 eighteen MiGs 726 IAP intercepted a group of "Thunderjet" by staging a real massacre, shooting down fourteen F-84 (all losses recognized by the U.S. Air Force).

Russian roots of American aviation

F-84 "Thunderjet" works against ground targets

On the other hand, the first 50's F-84 is not positioned as a fighter to gain advantages in the air. Task "Thunderjet" was far more prosaic — ground attack ground targets. According to statistics, in Korea, "Thunderjet" have made 86 thousand sorties, overthrew 50,427 tons of bombs and 5,560 tons of napalm, fired 5560 rockets. On account of these planes hitting the 10,673 railway tracks and highways by 1366, was destroyed 200,807 buildings destroyed 2,317 vehicles, 167 tanks, 4,846 guns, 259 locomotives, 3,996 railway wagons and 588 bridges. It may be noted the persistence with which the Americans destroyed objects: it seemed they wanted to raze to the ground all over which flew their planes.

Given certain of success F-84 in combat criteria Alexander Kartveli held a deep modernization "Thunderjet", yielding F-84F Thunderstreak (first flight — February 1951) — despite the similar title, it was a completely different plane with swept wings and transonic flight.

Russian roots of American aviation

The fighter-bomber F-84F "Tanderstrik"

"Tanderstrik" special glory is not acquired, quietly and peacefully operated in various countries until the early 70's, chronically suffering from excessive corrosion. The only trophies "Tanderstrikov" was a pair of IL-28 Iraqi Air Force violated the air border of Turkey in 1962
A bit longer serve special modification of F-84F — tactical scouts RF-84F «Tanderflesh." They say they beheld at military airfields in Greece, even in the early 90's.


Finale in Alexander's career was Kartveli fighter bomber F-105 "Tanderchif" ("Thunder"), has received in more troops and savory kutsee name "Tad" ("Thunder"). The machine is in every sense a curious — this is perhaps the most grievous single-engine plane in aviation history. Normal take-off weight — 22 tons! Severe technique.
Kartveli was faithful to the end to their traditions — big, rich as aircraft equipment with massive weaponry and the highest LTH. Armament — six-barrel "Volcano" (1020 rounds) and up to 8 tons of payload in an internal bomb bay and on external hardpoints.

Georgian-American designer is in the middle of the 50's seriously thinking about the idea to break defense as a low altitude: in theory, this should reduce the possibility of detection of enemy aircraft radar, and the highest rate of "Tanderchifa" not allowed gunners to conduct aimed fire. What or Kartveli was certainly right, but no pulse radar or twice the speed of sound, or Doppler navigation system, or an all-weather system is not blind bombing helped F-105 in Vietnam — 397 "Tanderchifov" were savagely shot down. Well, this was the price to pay for the most unsafe operation.

F-105 attacked the major objects with a stronger defense, hunting for radars and SAM positions, and in the case of a meeting with them at the MiGs were not enough chances to survive — they have had neither the supplies of fuel for air combat or high-quality weapons "air to-air "(maximum — six-barrel cannon and rockets" Sidewinder ").

On the other hand, the single-engine plane showed good persistence (the number of losses / number of sorties), and by mass bomb load it surpassed only B-52.

Russian roots of American aviation

Blocks avionics F-105

Russian roots of American aviation

Everything is ready for the Christmas disco?

Russian roots of American aviation

Cab F-105 Thunderchief.

Russian roots of American aviation

I brought gifts for you …

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