North American WS-300 / A3J Vigilante heritage of MiG-25 layout

blackkite

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Hi! Any one has the 3-view drawing of this North American Vigilante mock up? This mock up is historically and technically very important because this is mother shape of MIG25,F-15 and FA-18,etc. And please show me the reason why North American chose single vertical tail stabilizer design.
 

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Merv_P

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pometablava said:
is mother shape of MIG25

Is that true?

Not sure that it's true; but the Vigilante itself looks as though it derives from the North American WS-300A design, and went back to a single fin at some stage.
 

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hesham

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Hi,

I think it was a fighter derivative.
 

blackkite

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Hi! I get this picture from the net, don't worry.
 

flateric

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Some extra mockup pics
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Supposedly, Mikoyan asked someone to sketch a layout "along the lines of the Vigilante" which led to the MiG-25.
 

flateric

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Regarding MiG-25 as copy-cat of A3J design - there are two theories:

"Rumour has it that the story of the MiG-25 began with a conversation between Chief Designer Artyom Ivanovich Mikoyan, who had just returned from the 1959 Paris Air Show, and project designer Yakov I.Seletskiy. Mikoyan ran into Seletskiy as he was passing along a corridor of the OKB-155 office and suggested that Seletskiy should 'draw an interceptor along the lines of the [North American RA-5] Vigilante but powered by two R15-300 engines, designed to fly at 300 km/h (186 mph) and without all-too-sophisticated high-lift devices'. At the time, such a phrase from the OKB chief was tantamount to an official go-ahead.

Other sources state that the aircraft's general arrangement was drawn up unofficially before any information on the Vigilante became available. The sketches were shown to PD section chief Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov (who later succeeded Mikoyan as OKB-155 head), then to Nikolay Z. Matyuk and finally to Mikoyan. However, actual work did not begin until mid-1959. Other sections of the OKB were called on to help the PD section with the aircraft's unusual layout.
After a few weeks' hard work a design was born that obviously had good potential. However, it was immediately apparent that the development of this aircraft called for a new approach to designing the airframe, avionics and weaponry and, most importantly, new manufacturing technologies."

Source: Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat: Guardian of the Soviet Borders
Yefim Gordon
MIDLAND An imprint of Ian Allan Publishing

Personally, I still follow the first version...very strange switching from the 'flying supersonic tubes' to this arrangement.
 

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In regards to the MiG-25's resemblance to the Vigi, do you think there's any relationship between the MiG-25 and Avro Arrow? It's been speculated (by The History Channel, FWIW) that the US worked so hard to kill the Arrow because the CIA learned of Soviet espionnage within the Arrow project. I would tend to discount this theory due to the Foxbat's more conventional layout. It should also be noted that the Foxbat represented a step beyond the Arrow and Vigi due to its higher speeds and the need for different structural materials and hydraulic fluids to compensate.

As for the single-tail vs. twin-tail study for the Vigi, I would speculate that it was due to the operational requirements. The Vigi flies fast and straight, and a single tail would be effective. Twin tails work better when you're in a nose-up attitude and the airflow around the vertical stabilizer is disrupted by the nose.
 

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Two tails versus one: In addition to the aerodynamic benefit, two tails apparently provided the hangar deck height clearance without requiring folding. I'm only speculating here but my guess is that when the North American engineers refined their weight estimate, they found that a single folding tail was lighter than two non-folding tails. So why did Grumman and McAir stick with two tails on the F-14 and F/A-18? Because the high alpha advantage was worth the extra weight, if the two tail design is in fact heavier. There is probably also a cost and complexity (reliability, maintainability, etc.) penalty for two tails versus one.
 

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flateric said:
Regarding MiG-25 as copy-cat of A3J design - there are two theories:

"Rumour has it that the story of the MiG-25 began with a conversation between Chief Designer Artyom Ivanovich Mikoyan, who had just returned from the 1959 Paris Air Show, and project designer Yakov I.Seletskiy. Mikoyan ran into Seletskiy as he was passing along a corridor of the OKB-155 office and suggested that Seletskiy should 'draw an interceptor along the lines of the [North American RA-5] Vigilante but powered by two R15-300 engines, designed to fly at 300 km/h (186 mph) and without all-too-sophisticated high-lift devices'. At the time, such a phrase from the OKB chief was tantamount to an official go-ahead.

Other sources state that the aircraft's general arrangement was drawn up unofficially before any information on the Vigilante became available. The sketches were shown to PD section chief Rostislav Apollosovich Belyakov (who later succeeded Mikoyan as OKB-155 head), then to Nikolay Z. Matyuk and finally to Mikoyan. However, actual work did not begin until mid-1959. Other sections of the OKB were called on to help the PD section with the aircraft's unusual layout.
After a few weeks' hard work a design was born that obviously had good potential. However, it was immediately apparent that the development of this aircraft called for a new approach to designing the airframe, avionics and weaponry and, most importantly, new manufacturing technologies."

Source: Mikoyan MiG-25 Foxbat: Guardian of the Soviet Borders
Yefim Gordon
MIDLAND An imprint of Ian Allan Publishing

Personally, I still follow the first version...very strange switching from the 'flying supersonic tubes' to this arrangement.


After the American Secret Fighters book came out I began to wonder if they got their inspiration from the WS300A instead. It was earlier than the Vigilante and from the same company, and the Mig-25 resembles it more than it does the Vigilante.
 

blackkite

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Hi CFE and Tailspin Turtle! Thank you for excellent explanation for the reason why NAA chose single vertical tail stabilizer. I vote to your opinions. Here is another picture. Enjoy.
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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You know, I thought that WS300A was the Advanced A3J derivative with the J-58's in it. I wonder what that advanced A3J derivative with the J-58's in it actually looked like?


KJ Lesnick
 

flateric

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NAGPAW was Model 233
WS-300 was Model 237

it can make some clue of what was the first.

P.S. Higher-res photo of mockup from the first post
 

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blackkite

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flateric! Many thanks again. We can see slanted ramp in air intake. It generate lift due to air compression in supersonic speed and contribute total lift of this plane(compression lift). This intake shape is different from F-4 phantom and arrow's intake.
 

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"Rumour has it that the story of the MiG-25 began with a conversation between Chief Designer Artyom Ivanovich Mikoyan, who had just returned from the 1959 Paris Air Show, and project designer Yakov I.Seletskiy."
This is not true.
The "Vigilante" was not exhibited at the Paris Air Show in 1959, but in the edition of 1961 and it was in that year that Mikoyan visited the exhibition.
This is proved by this picture of him in front of the mock-up of the "Super Caravelle" .....
1qpuom.jpg


I can say this because I was there in both the years.
 

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Further .....
In his book "Mikoyan OKB - A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft" (Midland Publishing - 2009) Yefim Gordon wrote something slightly different but, in some way, more precise ..... but thereby deepening his mistake .....

"Rumours has it that the story of the aircraft that would become famous as the MiG-25 began with a conversation between Chief designer Artyom I. Mikoyan, who had just returned from the 1959 Paris Air Show, where the North American RA-5 Vigilante had been on display, and project designer Yakov I. Seletskiy."

I confirm ..... year could not be 1959, because in that year the Vigilante was not displayed and the aircraft was not a RA-5 (which was yet to come) ..... but a A3J-1 (NATC Pax River - ST 852) ..... and, as I have already written, this occurred in 1961.
 

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30mlkht.jpg


North American A3J-1 "Vigilante" - Paris Air Show - Le Bourget - 1st, or maybe, June 2, 1961
 

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Tailspin Turtle said:
Two tails versus one: In addition to the aerodynamic benefit, two tails apparently provided the hangar deck height clearance without requiring folding. I'm only speculating here but my guess is that when the North American engineers refined their weight estimate, they found that a single folding tail was lighter than two non-folding tails. So why did Grumman and McAir stick with two tails on the F-14 and F/A-18? Because the high alpha advantage was worth the extra weight, if the two tail design is in fact heavier. There is probably also a cost and complexity (reliability, maintainability, etc.) penalty for two tails versus one.
Word I had from a former co-worker who was at NAA-Columbus from circa 1950 to the early 1970's is that the single vertical was a USN request; no details as to why. This is strictly my own opinion, but it could be that going to a single vertical made for a distinct reduction in the cost of the forged and machined frame that included all the tail surface spindles. From what he said, the cost of re-designing this frame was one reason Vigilante derivatives with engines larger than the J79 were not extensively considered.
 

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WS-300A suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?
 

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Stargazer2006

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circle-5 said:
It's hard to believe we're looking at something designed barely 10 years after WWII.

Indeed! Comparatively there wasn't much of a leap in design between this and, say, some RALS proposals of the 1970s.
 

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Which engine was planned for the NAA WS-300A? I assume two J-79s?

I am probably wrong on this; but my understanding of WS-300A was that its cancellation brought about the procurement of the all-weather (courtesy of the APN-105) F-105D after F-105B production.
 

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archipeppe said:
It suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?

I doubt they stole the design, though I could be wrong. They did use the NAA FX submission as a starting point for the T-10. However, given similar technology and similar missions, performance wise, it isn't uncommon to end up with similar configurations.
 

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Sundog said:
archipeppe said:
It suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?

I doubt they stole the design, though I could be wrong. They did use the NAA FX submission as a starting point for the T-10. However, given similar technology and similar missions, performance wise, it isn't uncommon to end up with similar configurations.

In this particular case I find it hard to believe. If you look at previous Russian designs they look nothing like this. I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. Notice the similarities between the F-100B/YF-107's intakes and the intake on the testbed Ye-8 as well?
 

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Nice looking aircraft, ahead of its time indeed. If the wing were flush with the upper fuselage and blended it would look very "F-15-ish" as well. The horizontal tail surfaces look very large in comparison to the wing on the model. very nice.
 

archipeppe

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sferrin said:
In this particular case I find it hard to believe. If you look at previous Russian designs they look nothing like this. I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. Notice the similarities between the F-100B/YF-107's intakes and the intake on the testbed Ye-8 as well?


This is exactly my point of view. There is a lot of common features among some MiG works and NAA projects ranging from such WS-300 proposal to the A3-J all the way to the YF-107.


Only coincidences?
Hard to believe them....
 
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Sundog said:
archipeppe said:
It suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?

I doubt they stole the design, though I could be wrong. They did use the NAA FX submission as a starting point for the T-10. However, given similar technology and similar missions, performance wise, it isn't uncommon to end up with similar configurations.


This is quite incorrect. The starting point for the T-10 was the T-4MS. I lost a big post detailing the T-10 origins, will post tomorrow.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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sferrin said:
Sundog said:
archipeppe said:
It suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?

I doubt they stole the design, though I could be wrong. They did use the NAA FX submission as a starting point for the T-10. However, given similar technology and similar missions, performance wise, it isn't uncommon to end up with similar configurations.

In this particular case I find it hard to believe. If you look at previous Russian designs they look nothing like this. I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. Notice the similarities between the F-100B/YF-107's intakes and the intake on the testbed Ye-8 as well?


Nope. Both WS-300 and MiG-25 owe a debt to the A3J Vigilante. This story has already been told many times - supposedly Mikoyan told one of his guys to draw up a new fighter based around the Vigilante configuration without all the complicated blown flap nonsense after seeing it at an airshow. Look at the tailplanes - directly mounted on the fuselage - while WS-300A has F-15 style boom mounted tailplanes. If anyone copied WS-300 layout it would have to be McDonnell-Douglas :)


NAA obviously influenced themselves too - the WS-300 config is A3J inspired with small stubby wings suitable for a land based low level attack role. And a very similar ventral intake to the Ye-8 popped up on the P.1103 in Britain in 1955; maybe they all copied it from a NASA technical report.
 

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
sferrin said:
Sundog said:
archipeppe said:
It suspiciously looks like the later MiG-25 Foxbat, did the Soviets stole the original NAA design?

I doubt they stole the design, though I could be wrong. They did use the NAA FX submission as a starting point for the T-10. However, given similar technology and similar missions, performance wise, it isn't uncommon to end up with similar configurations.

In this particular case I find it hard to believe. If you look at previous Russian designs they look nothing like this. I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. Notice the similarities between the F-100B/YF-107's intakes and the intake on the testbed Ye-8 as well?


Nope. Both WS-300 and MiG-25 owe a debt to the A3J Vigilante. This story has already been told many times - supposedly Mikoyan told one of his guys to draw up a new fighter based around the Vigilante configuration without all the complicated blown flap nonsense after seeing it at an airshow.


NAA obviously influenced themselves too - the WS-300 config is A3J inspired with small stubby wings suitable for a land based low level attack role. And a very similar ventral intake to the Ye-8 popped up on the P.1103 in Britain in 1955; maybe they all copied it from a NASA technical report.

No idea. I'd heard the story about the Mig-25/Vigilante connection but I was thinking the WS-300 came before the Vigilante. As for the intake design that wouldn't surprise me. It'd be interesting to see the timeline and try to decipher what actually happened but we'll probably never know. It's not impossible they all came up with it independantly but considering the various prior designs and the degree of similarity it strikes me as unlikely there wasn't cross pollination.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Well, they were actually roughly contemporary (WS-300A studied 1954-1956 and Vigilante 1954 onwards with first flight in 1958) but Mikoyan never got to see WS-300A at Paris so he probably wasn't much influenced by it.

Incidentally it was 1961 when Mikoyan saw the Vigilante at Paris, as we figured out in another topic, not 1959, and 1961 when Mikoyan started this design, initially as recce/strike aircraft, and not until 1962 was the fighter version added.
 

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Well, they were actually roughly contemporary (WS-300A studied 1954-1956 and Vigilante 1954 onwards with first flight in 1958) but Mikoyan never got to see WS-300A at Paris so he probably wasn't much influenced by it.

Incidentally it was 1961 when Mikoyan saw the Vigilante at Paris, as we figured out in another topic, not 1959, and 1961 when Mikoyan started this design, initially as recce/strike aircraft, and not until 1962 was the fighter version added.

Yes, but if they had an "inside source" they wouldn't necessarily have had to wait until Paris.
 

Stargazer2006

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Incidentally it was 1961 when Mikoyan saw the Vigilante at Paris, as we figured out in another topic, not 1959, and 1961 when Mikoyan started this design, initially as recce/strike aircraft, and not until 1962 was the fighter version added.

Very interesting. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling you make it sound like Mikoyan had to actually see the article for real to be influenced by it.
Other posts in this thread seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations.
Surely, Soviet intelligence also relied on Western aeronautical publications, many of which showed even more of some of the designs than Mikoyan might have perceived on the Le Bourget tarmac.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Incidentally it was 1961 when Mikoyan saw the Vigilante at Paris, as we figured out in another topic, not 1959, and 1961 when Mikoyan started this design, initially as recce/strike aircraft, and not until 1962 was the fighter version added.

Very interesting. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling you make it sound like Mikoyan had to actually see the article for real to be influenced by it.
Other posts in this thread seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations.
Surely, Soviet intelligence also relied on Western aeronautical publications, many of which showed even more of some of the designs than Mikoyan might have perceived on the Le Bourget tarmac.

It's common knowledge that both sides were spying on the other. One side comes up with a unique new design and then the other miraculously comes up with a very similar design shortly thereafter? Occam's Razor. Whether it was a mole, stolen information, a technical publication or what not is pretty much irrelevant.
 

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It is a well-documented fact that Soviet manufacturers would shamelessly photograph every detail of Western aircraft at every opportunity, namely Farnborough and Le Bourget. A Tupolev executive even whipped out a tape measure in an attempt to get an air intake dimension off Concorde 001 at the Paris Air Show, during an official meeting with the delegation.

Soviet industrial espionage efforts of every kind were relentless throughout the Cold War. The amount of influence that Free World technology had on their designs cannot be underestimated.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Stargazer2006 said:
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Incidentally it was 1961 when Mikoyan saw the Vigilante at Paris, as we figured out in another topic, not 1959, and 1961 when Mikoyan started this design, initially as recce/strike aircraft, and not until 1962 was the fighter version added.

Very interesting. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling you make it sound like Mikoyan had to actually see the article for real to be influenced by it.
Other posts in this thread seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations.
Surely, Soviet intelligence also relied on Western aeronautical publications, many of which showed even more of some of the designs than Mikoyan might have perceived on the Le Bourget tarmac.

The *story* is that, after Paris 1961, Mikoyan asked one of his designers to draw up something like an A3J without high lift devices.

He was almost certainly aware of A3J before this point, given it first flew in 1958. Nevertheless he didn't ask a designer to draw up something like an S3J in 1954, or 1956, or 1959, but in 1961, when he would have been armed with hundreds of detailed photos of the design. If this putative "NAA mole" existed and provided detailed info on WS-300A or A3J in 1956, why didn't this information get used in 1956? I guess we can say "they had the info in 1956 but it wasn't until 1961 that a requirement for a recce/strike aircraft was circulated". but Occam's razor applies. Detailed A3J info was in the public domain by 1961. Mikoyan designed an A3J inspired aircraft in 1961. There is no reason to suppose an NAA mole.
 

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Interesting how, "I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. " gets twisted into, "seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations."

I said no such thing. I said I'd wondered about it. Mainly because of the Mig-25, the YF-107/Ye-8 inlet, Sukhoi's fascination with NAA's F/X, etc. Big difference between wondering about something and stating it was a requirement. No offense.
 

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sferrin said:
Interesting how, "I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. " gets twisted into, "seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations."

I said no such thing. I said I'd wondered about it. Mainly because of the Mig-25, the YF-107/Ye-8 inlet, Sukhoi's fascination with NAA's F/X, etc. Big difference between wondering about something and stating it was a requirement. No offense.

Sorry for the bad formulation.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
sferrin said:
Interesting how, "I've long wondered if they had a mole in NAA. " gets twisted into, "seem to imply that the Soviets needed "moles" at NAA to know about advanced fighter configurations."

I said no such thing. I said I'd wondered about it. Mainly because of the Mig-25, the YF-107/Ye-8 inlet, Sukhoi's fascination with NAA's F/X, etc. Big difference between wondering about something and stating it was a requirement. No offense.

Sorry for the bad formulation.

The internet can sometimes be a pain in the backside in that regard. ;)
 

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Sukhoi's Scientific and Technical Information Cell held copies of foreign magazines, and reviews and digests by TsaGI, NIIAS, TsIAM, VIAM, translated foreign articles and maintained files dedicated to specific aircraft. These files were particularly popular with the general layout (later, design) team. There was an FX file, of course, but like all the files at Sukhoi it was almost entirely made up of information from public Western sources.

The T-10 design started in November 1969 when Oleg Samolovich, head of general layout, tasked one of his designers, Vladimir Antonov, with coming up with a new fighter design. Antonov's day job was on the fixed wing T-6, but he worked on some aerodynamic and layout ideas. Oleg Samolovich recommended looking at Leonid Bondarenko's T-4MS layout, then achieving lift/drag ratios of 17.5 in wind tunnel tests and which general layout Sukhoi had patented ("took out inventor's certificates") in July 1969. He also suggested looking at the sinusoidal wing concept published in a 1960 issue of British journal "Aircraft Engineering" which had demonstrated a vortex bound to the wing almost to the wingtip.

Antonov has some reservations on the applicability of a large bomber layout to a fighter design, and investigated different aerodynamic and layout ideas including LERX.

As he struggled to make headway on integrating these ideas, in January 1970, perhaps in response to the FX award to McDonnell-Douglas on 23 December 1969, Oleg Samolovich (T-4, T-6, T-8 layouts), Vladimir Antonov, Leonid Bondarenko (in charge of T-4/T-4MS) and Valeriy Nikolayenko (in charge of T-6 (Su-24)) all came to work over a weekend to hammer out a design. The work done that weekend allowed Antonov to come up with the very first fully worked up T-10 layout in February 1970.


Sources:
Oleg Samolovich, Next to Sukhoi (1999)
Pavel Plunsky, Vladimir Antonov et al Su-27 Fighter, Beginning of Story (Be & Co, 2005)
Ildar Bedretdinov, Strike-Reconnaissance Aircraft T-4 (Be & Co, 2005)
 

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Bill Walker

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circle-5 said:
It is a well-documented fact that Soviet manufacturers would shamelessly photograph every detail of Western aircraft at every opportunity, namely Farnborough and Le Bourget. A Tupolev executive even whipped out a tape measure in an attempt to get an air intake dimension off Concorde 001 at the Paris Air Show, during an official meeting with the delegation.

In the mid 70s my boss at a certain Canadian aircraft manufacturer made me hold one end of the tape measure while he measured the competition at a couple of air shows. Maybe he was a communist?
 
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