Arranged by designers, this second installment of a two-volume set includes the aircraft of such famous names as Ilyushin, Petlyakov, and Tupolev, as well as lesser-known types. In preparing this volume, the authors combed untapped archives in the Soviet Union to uncover a wealth of data that rewrites longheld Western beliefs.
When the USA launched a new battlefield attack aircraft program which eventually led to the development of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the Soviet Union saw the need to create an equivalent. The Soviet aircraft industry had considerable experience in attack aircraft design to fall back on, dating back to the most famous of these types, the Ilyushin IL-2 Shturmovik of the World War II era. When a contest was called to produce a latter-day Shturmovik, the Sukhoi Design Bureau emerged as the winner with its T-8 project, beating competition from the Ilyushin and Myasiishchev bureaus. After a series of design changes the aircraft entered production and service as the Su-25. The book describes the Su-25's development history and its extensive combat career, starting with Operation Romb, when the then-experimental Su-25 received its baptism of fire in the Afghan War, to the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and the drug-busting operations in Peru. The type's Afghan War involvement receives extensive coverage, as does the Su-25's use in the Chechen Wars. A detailed list is given of the type's many operators, which even included a NATO country (Slovakia). In addition to the main versions up to and including the Su-25TM (Su-39) 'tank killer'. Due attention is paid to the latest programs to upgrade the Su-25 with modern requirements both in Russia and elsewhere. The book includes color artwork and detailed scale drawings in the usual Aerofax style.
The Mikoyan Design Bureau's first swept-wing jet fighter, the MiG-15 Fagot, which gained world fame (or notoriety, depending on which side of the Iron Curtain you were on) after the Korean War, served as the basis for a more refined model, the MiG-17 Fresco. No sooner had the MiG-15 entered production and service than the designers decided to increase the wing sweep from 35 degrees to 45 degrees, initially by way of experiment. The resulting aircraft showed higher performance than the MiG-15, exceeding Mach 1 in a shallow dive during a test flight, something the Fagot had been unable to do.
Following its production entry the MiG-17 was constantly improved, with Mikoyan developing a succession of production and experimental versions. Firstly, an afterburning engine was fitted to improve performance. Secondly, the increasingly frequent incursions by NATO reconnaissance aircraft, coupled with the knowledge that the West was developing all-weather fighters, led the Soviet 'fighter makers' to develop a number of radar-equipped interceptors. The all-weather versions of the MiG-17 proved to be the most successful and some of them were cleared for production.
Continue reading “Mikoyan MiG-17: Famous Russian Aircraft”
This comprehensive book shows how the imports of German aircraft and engines and the use of German scientific and technical achievements in the field of aeronautics have influenced the development of aircraft construction, air transport, and military aviation in Russia and the Soviet Union.
The book covers the very first aircraft to reach Russia before World War I, plus the Russian design bureaus' efforts to copy aircraft that were captured during the war. It goes on to cover all of the various imports throughout the years, right up through the renewed cooperation between Germany and Russia in the 1990s.
Aircraft covered in the book include the Heinkel HD-37c fighter, Heinkel He 5c, Heinkel HD-55 flying boats (known as the KR-1 in Soviet service), Dornier Wal flying boats, the Messerschmitt Bf 109b, the Heinkel He 111B bomber, the Bf 109E, Bf 110c, He 100, Ju 88A-1, He 111E, Do 17, Do 215B-3, Focke-Wulf Fw 58, Bücker Bü 131 Jungmeister, Bü 133 Jungmann, and Fieseler Fi-156 Storch.
Starting life in 1927, with Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev's first aircraft, the AIR-1, the OKB produced aircraft such as the Yak-4 light bomber, the Yak-6 light transport and the Yak-1 fighter. The latter paving the way for the highly successful Yak-3 and Yak-9. Post-war the Yak-15, -17 and -23 were fighters with a distinctive 'pod-and-boom' layout, the Yak-25 was first in a line of twin-jet tactical aircraft while the Yak-18 trainer, Yak-24 tandem-rotor helicopter, Yak-38 VTOL and Yak-40/42 airliners added variety.