Soviet military aircraft designation system till 1940.


10 February 2009
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I looked in the Search Option if lately or at all such a theme has apeared and I haven't found.
I'm interested in the list of designations of these machines, which were qualificated to the system ;
there were projects, prototypes, experimental aircrafts built in small quantities, at last in big series ..
Someone someday said, that because of communist system and planned economy
there were much less Soviet aircraft models than in the Democratic West.
Maybe he was right, but he haven't count them all. I've tried ... And only these ones with figures
belonged to the system.
The work seems to be never done, so please help.
See attached list.
Have I found all categories, have I found all fighters in I category ( И - истребитель ),
what about the gaps in the series, f. e. АРК-1 & АРК-2 ( ARK category - arctic airplanes )
and so on ... ?


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In Soviet Aircraft and Aviation 1917-1941, Lennart Andersson lists the ARK-Z-1 as a design by Zlokazov, based on the PS-4 copy of the Junkers W.33, only one built. The ARK-2 is simply listed as a project, with no further information.

Regards Bailey.
I-18, I-19, and DI-7 were all 1936 Polikarpov projects based on the I-17. I-18 was version of I-17bis (TsKB-19) with smaller wing and increased wing load (137.5 kg/m2). I-19 was a version with Mikulin M-34FRN engine, counterpart for Ilyushin I-21. DI-7 of course was two-seat version, and what's interesting - during its evolution a twin-engine version appeared, with tandem-twinned M-100 engines, which became "start point" for well-known Bolkhovitinov "S" high-speed bomber. Also there were I-17 derivatives - I-172 with M-103 engine (year 1938) and I-173 with M-105 (1939). Any of them wasn't built (though I-19 existed as full-scale mockup), but I-173 became a precursor for both the ITP heavy cannon fighter and I-200 (MiG-1). All these projects are mentioned at and also in other sources.

There were even two projects of long-range sea recon aircraft called MDR-8: one by Beriev and the other by Samsonov. Both were discussed in May 1939 but both weren't built. Source: Панатов Г.С., Удалов К.Г. Иллюстрированная энциклопедия самолётов ТАНТК им. Г.М. Бериева. Т.1. М., Авико-Пресс, 1998 (G. Panatov, K. Udalov. Illustrated encyclopedia of Beriev TANTK aircraft. Vol.1 - Moscow, Avico-Press, 1998).

Beriev KOR-3 was projected KOR-2 successor. There were some different projects in 1940-41. Some of them were de facto KOR-2 versions with M-64R or M-89 engines instead of M-63; besides them there was a version with M-107 (also based on KOR-2, but the engine was fuselage-mounted!) and even a floatplane - something resembling Su-2 on floats and with twin-fin empennage. (The same source).

MI-4 multiplace fighter was Tupolev project from early-to-mid 1930s, firm designation ANT-34. (Source: "Aviatsia i Kosmonavtika" magazine, No.1-1998).

IP-3 was a twin-boom, pusher fighter with M-34R engine, designed at the same time by engineers Zaslawsky and Bas-Dubov. The prototype was partially built but unfinished. (Source: "Aviatsia i Vremya" (Aviation & Time) magazine, No.5-1998. There is a 3-view of this project).

Also I think the aircrafts with letter codes instead of digits also must be included in your list. Such as:
Grigorovich I-Z cannon fighter:
Markov/Skarbov R-Z reconnaisance aircraft (considered by many as Polikarpov, but it wasn't, despite being an evolution of Polikarpov R-5):
Bolkhovitinov DB-A long-range heavy bomber:
Belyaev DB-LK long-range bomber:
Tupolev TSh-B heavy attack / bomber projects (ANT-17, ANT-18)...

Combined "DI" and "IP" category - Tupolev/Sukhoi DIP (ANT-29):

And one little correction. There were no SB-2, SB-3, and SB-1 even more - only simple SB! Despite their popularity, these designations are all incorrect: the ANT-40 was designated oficially only as SB, without any digits. I guess that "SB-2" popular name is a misinterpretation of full "long" designation - SB 2M-100 (i.e. SB with two M-100 engines).
Really thanks, redstar72, for the informations.
Could we talk about Tupolew DI-8 now ? Some roots say, that it was two-seater fighter
in the category, so what with 7 ? Others say that it was long-range equiped with three - four crew.
The same problem I have with I-29 ; was it one-seat, or, as BB-22, two ... ?
And this is my Королева Маргот, who patiently translates Russian texts for Polish.


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Hi, Boogey!

Concerning the list of designation...

I think, that whole line of Grigorovich "M" types could be written out from the list - this name' origins starts in Tsarist Russia, and not used by any other designer in post-Revolutin era.

There were some fighters with "И", greater then 100 - И-180, И-221 and so on. They just demonstrate how fluid the Soviet system of designations became at the beginning of 1940th...

And please note, a number of foreign-build aircraft haven't had the appropriate "miltary" designations - for example, Junkers types, or Dornier wal.

Of course, this just my humble opinion :cool:

Thank you my dear Redstar72,

and can you display the IP-3 twin boom aircraft ?,and was those designers
related to Grigorovich company ?.
Hi all!
Boogey, the Tupolev DI-8 was really 3-seat. I gave more detailed description of it at,7951.msg70342.html#msg70342. It seems that in this particular case, "DI" means Dalniy or Dvukhmotornyi Istrebitel, not Dvukhmestnyi. I can't say why it wasn't referred to "LK" category, like Grokhovsky LK-2 and Grigorovich LK-3 which were its direct counterparts.

This "LK" category (rus. ЛК - Лёгкий крейсер (light cruiser), or Летающий крейсер (flying cruiser)) is forgotten completely in your list. The LK-2 and LK-3 were discussed at the same topic as DI-8:,7951.0/all.html. Also Tupolev/Myasischev ANT-41 felt initially into this category: by some sources it was LK-1, by the others LK-4. But during design works, it was "reorientated" into a torpedo bomber and renamed into T-1 (another category, though ANT-41 was its sole representative).

Sometimes it happened that the same letters meant different things - DI-8 wasn't an unique example. Most likely that, unlike Ilyushin BSh-2, in the case of BSh-1 (БШ-1) these letters didn't mean Бронированный штурмовик, but rather Бомбардировщик-штурмовик (bomber/attack). There was not much armor on BSh-1 (Vultee V-11), only backrests...

Anotter category forgotten by you was "P" (rus. П), for Переходный (Perekhodny: literally - "transitional" aircraft). In fact, they were advanced trainers, and the category name implied the pilot's "transition" or "transfer" from the basic trainer ("U" category - school aircraft) to real military planes). Two representatives of this category are known: Polikarpov P-2 first flown in 1927 and built in 55 pieces during 1928-30 (, and Bedunkovich P-3 (LIG-5) from 1936 (prototype only) mentioned in Shavrov's encyclopedia.

Talking about Yakovlev I-29 - according to, it was 1-seat. But I can't say it with confidence, because any reliable photo of I-29 isn't known. It's also a question for me, why didn't Yakovlev develop the I-29 further (concretely 1-seat version of it). To my mind, with M-105RA or M-105PF engines (not to say about M-107, or possibly M-82 radials) it could became a quite good twin-engine fighter in P-38 Lightning category: much better than the oversized Pe-3.

Boogey, can you tell me about Yakovlev's "WT-1" and "WT-2" mentioned in your list? I didn't hear about such aircrafts, Shavrov doesn't mention them, and I can guess that it's some kind of misinterpretation. That is very atypical to use letter "V" in Soviet seaplane designations: usually letters "M" (Morskoi) or "P" (Poplavkovyi) were used.

About IP-3 - please wait some days, I will do a scan.
Thanx, dear redstar72, and thanx You too, dear hesham, for turning attention to the IP-3 cannon fighter.
I will rather keep the M serie in my list, as those are military aircraft ( mostly training, but some of them
were recco and fighters ) and I know that the serie started in pre-revolution Russia, but it's listed
on the Самолеты до 1945 года link in the Военно - морской флот России site.
I'll look for the LK category of course :) Thanx.
I think the Tupolev DI-8 was rather long - range fighter ; some roots indicate it.
I wrote in both Yakovlev's WT machines to my list before I've started to describe the aircraft
with the bibliography and now I don't remember what book I read about them in. I'll be looking for.
There was Jakovlev VT-2 / Яковлев Як-20 or Яковлев Я-20 ( Polish : Jakowlew WT-2 )
for sure ; look here :
I'm also waiting for the IP-3.
Boogey said:
There was Jakovlev VT-2 / Яковлев Як-20 or Яковлев Я-20 ( Polish : Jakowlew WT-2 )
for sure ; look here :

H'm... Yes, I see there VT-2 designation according to Yak-20, but it is the first and only source known for me where it is designated in this way! In any case, Yak-20 was postwar and wasn't a seaplane.

Yakovlev Ya-20 (Я-20) and Yak-20 (Як-20) were two totally different aircrafts! Ya-20, also appearing as AIR-20 or simply Yakovlev No.20, was nothing else than the UT-2 (UT, not VT!) - it was Yakovlev firm designation for it. In literature, sometimes, the name "Ya-20" relates only with UT-2 version with inline MV-6 engine, which didn't pass through prototype stage - but only for simplicity (to distinquish it from all other UT-2s). The Ya-20 MV-6 actually flew with floats, and even broke 3 world records in this configuration.

Yak-20 was also a 2-seat trainer, but this was the only similarity between them. Yak-20 was very tiny and light aircraft, with side-by-side cockpit layout (very unusual for Soviet trainers) and 80-hp Ivchenko AI-10 engine, built in 1949 in two prototypes:


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I started to fulfill my list with LK and P category aicraft ; it's quite new for me.
I guess that from
- НИАИ Бедункович ЛК-1 ;
- Гроховский ЛК-2 ;
- Григорович ЛК-3 ;
- НИАИ Бедункович ЛК-1
only LK-2 and LK-3 belong to the right category, as the 1 and 2 are sport planes, aren't they ?
Should I write in Tupolev T-1 to the list ?

Next step will be making order with the designation system after 1940.
When I have it ended I'll please of Your comments.
Hi Boogey
Here are a few missing links
MU-5 by Mikhelson (1938) / only project /
IP-3 by Zaslawsky and Bas-Dubov / only project /
and a number of projects V.Shavrov's on threads:,8602.0.html


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Boogey said:
only LK-2 and LK-3 belong to the right category, as the 1 and 2 are sport planes, aren't they ?

1 and 4, maybe? Yes, they were. To be correct, Bedunkovich LK-4 (NIAI-4) was a sport and training aircraft, and Lisichkin/Rentel (not Bedunkovich) LK-1 (NIAI-1) was a small passenger/transport plane carrying 5 persons or 500 kg payload. Both were pure civil, and the "LK" index in these cases has no connection with military "LK" category - it's only a coincidence. These two aircrafts were designed in Leningrad aeronautic research institute (Ленинградский научно-исследовательский аэроинститут - therefore NIAI index), and "LK" letters were for Ленинградская конструкция (Leningrad design) or Ленинградский комбинат (Leningrad integrated works).

Both these civil "LK" were interesting and unusual airplanes. See LK-1 here:, and LK-4 here: The LK-1 (NIAI-1) was even produced in 20-piece series. The production aircrafts were used by Aeroflot and by Polar aviation, and became more known under another name, a little bit amusing: Fanera-2 (Plywood 2, due to wide usage of this material in their construction). The LK-4 had unusual ability to be converted into different configurations: biplane, sesquiplane, parasol and low-wing monoplane. It was recommended into serial production, but for some reason it didn't actually happened. The Bedunkovich P-3 (LIG-5) I mentioned before was de-facto an enlarged version of LK-4.
Thanx dear borovik and redstar72 for Your informations.
By work on the Russian historic aircraft I use the following sites : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and and don't work anymore.
I'll be very grateful for any other useful sites.
Very nice projects borovik,

do you have some technical data for both?

I'm not borovik, but I can answer about IP-3.

Technical data for IP-3 (projected):
Wingspan - 14.0 m
Length - 9.46 m
Powerplant - one Mikulin M-34RN engine (820 hp)
Maximum speed - 450 km/h (at 7000 m altitude)
Armament - initially 2 recoilless guns, later 12x 82-mm rocket missiles (Yes, it could be a "cannon fighter" ("IP") without cannons!)
Sorry another characteristics aren't known...
Maveric said:
do you have some technical data ?
Hi Karsten !

MU-5 by Mikhelson
OKB plant number 23 (Leningrad)
Engine MV-6 / 220hp
aerofoil - CLARK YH-15
retractable landing gear (manual)
armament - 1 automatic gun and up to 100kg. bombs

Source: G. Petrov, "Seaplanes and WIG Russia "
not mention the size of the aircraft, but if necessary can be calculated based on the motor MV-6
I'm still working on my list ; by the way I've found a very interesting prototype of a speed fighter,
built by Nikolay Ivanovitch Efremov, with the designation SI-1 ( Ефремов СИ-1 ),
so we can talk about another category Скоростной истребитель.

@ redstar72 What book did You take the information of IP-3 from ?
Hi Boogey!

Boogey said:
prototype of a speed fighter

I wonder, if there were any "low-speed" or "slow-speed" fighters in any country exists :cool:

By the way, instead of aircraft' system of designation, the other one consistent and non-breaking system of designation system exists in USSR - for tanks.

The "T" for "танк" remains even now. Although - there were a lot od side steps and mysteries. Did you knew "Josef Stalin", "Klim Vorososhilov" series of heavy tanks? They just lacks "T" prefix - and have been successfully used in service.

@ Silencer1 Of course, I know these Soviet heavy tanks designations ( don't forget I'm Polish ;D ) ;
I've always had problems with the system of Soviet tanks designation,
as it seems that it wasn't chronological and some particular numbers had been given
from a year of project or other situations.
My favourite site on Soviet ( and not only ) tanks is
Back to the aircraft ...
I have a problem with P-1 Perekhodnyj ; Some roots say that it was Krylov R-II modification,
others that it was Moiseenko 2U-B3 ...
The only information about P-3 I found in
Hi, Boogey!

I'm not tank's fan, I'm just compare the designation systems in various areas of Soviet/Russian military services.

Thanks for the links!

I should say, that the second one is a pure copy (with som typos, yet) of Vadim Shavrov' fundamental book "History of aircraft' structures designs in USSR".
So, you could thrust this source :cool:

Many types, mentioned in this book, remains poorly (or not at all) described by other authors, for various reasons. I think, that one of them, is a lack of public intersest to the non-combat types of aircraft. Somewhere there photos and descriptions exists, but who need to find them? I don't know.

Anyway, I suggest you to use Shavrov' books as basis for your's researches.


P.S. If you want to knew more about Shavrov - visit,8602.0.html
Hi all! Excuse me please for the late answer.

Silencer1 said:
I wonder, if there were any "low-speed" or "slow-speed" fighters in any country exists :cool:

Maybe it sounds a bit curious, but in 1930s “high-speed fighter” was actually a special term in the USSR. The opposite was, of course, not “low-speed”, but “maneuverable” fighter (Маневренный истребитель). There was a conception that the Air Force must have both these two types of fighters in service, supplementing each other (like heavy fighters and light fighters of nowadays – F-15 and F-16, Su-27 and MiG-29). Already Polikarpov I-3 and Tupolev/Sukhoi I-4 were ordered and designed in context of this conception (I-3 was “speed fighter”, I-4 “maneuverable”). But the “classic” pair illustrating this theory was, of course, I-16 and I-15/152/153.

But even at that time, fighters of both kinds were placed into common “I” category. Saying about much later Efremov project (or Yefremov, to spell more correctly), it is difficult to say if “SI” really could become a new category, or it would be only an exclusion. There were some other “unusual” designations which didn’t become “true” categories, because each of them had only one representative – remained at prototype stage, or even unrealized. Here are some of them:

MTBT (МТБТ, Морской тяжелый бомбардировщик-торпедоносец – Heavy sea bomber/torpedo bomber): Tupolev (ANT-11), 1929, project only. See at,7923.msg69811.html#msg69811.

TOM (Торпедоносец открытого моря – Torpedo bomber for open seas): Richard (“Rishar” – Russian spelling) TOM-1, 1930, 1 prototype built.,,

LSh (ЛШ, Легкий штурмовик – light attack): prototype by TsKB, 1930. Before the end of construction, rebuilt as an armoured TSh-1. See at

ShON (ШОН, Штурмовик особого назначения – special purpose attack aircraft): prototype by TsKB (#23), 1931. TSh-1/2 derivative with folding wings, designed for planned aircraft carriers.

LR (ЛР, Легкий разведчик – light reconnaissance): Kocherigin, 2 prototypes in 1933-34 (also designated TsKB-1).,

SR (СР, Скоростной разведчик – high-speed reconnaissance): Kocherigin, 1935-36, 3 prototypes (also designated TsKB-27).

MPI (МПИ, Многоместный пушечный истребитель – multi-seat cannon fighter): Polikarpov MPI-1 – a version (or just another designation) of the VIT-1.

LBSh (ЛБШ, Легкий бронированный штурмовик – light armored attack aircraft, or simply “Sh”): Kocherigin, 1939, 2 prototypes built (Sh-1 with M-88 engine and Sh-2 with M-87A). R-9 derivative.

SPB (СПБ, Скоростной пикирующий бомбардировщик – high-speed dive bomber): Polikarpov, 1940, 5 built and some more unfinished. VIT-2 derivative, competitor for Petlyakov PB-100 later known as Pe-2.

OPB (ОПБ, Одноместный пикирующий бомбардировщик – single-seat dive bomber): Kocherigin (OKB-5, sometimes mentioned as OPB-5), 1940, prototype was built but not tested due to absence of valid engine.

VI (ВИ, Высотный истребитель – high-altitude fighter): Petlyakov VI-100 – 1 prototype, 1939-40, Pe-2 and Pe-3 precursor.

OBSh (ОБШ, Одноместный бронированный штурмовик – single-seat armored attack aircraft): Kocherigin (OKB-3), late 1939, project only (OPB precursor).

MDRT (МДРТ, Морской дальний разведчик-торпедоносец – long-range sea recon/torpedo bomber): Beriev, 1940, project only.

TI (ТИ, Тренировочный истребитель – trainer fighter): Gribovsky TI-28 (G-28), 1940, 1 prototype built, 2nd unfinished.

PBSh (ПБШ, Пикирующий бронированный штурмовик – diving armored attack): Mikoyan PBSh-1 and PBSh-2, both 1940, projects only.

ShB (ШБ, Штурмовик-бомбардировщик – attack/bomber): Sukhoi 1940 prototype, derived from Su-2.

DIS (ДИС, Дальний истребитель сопровождения – long-range escort fighter): Mikoyan DIS-200 (MiG-5), two prototypes (1941 and 1943).,

This list can be continued… Actually, the “SB” category also can be added here – the only difference is that sole representative of it became mass-produced and very popular aircraft. What about the reasons for all this variety - I must say that not all these indexes were actualy military designations, but some of them were given by designers themselves (especially these from 1939-40).

Returning to the IP-3 - I have mentioned my source in my first post. It is Ukrainian aviation magazine Авиация и время (Aviatsia i Vremya; Aviation&Time), No.5-1999. In this issue was Mikhail Maslov's monograph about aircrafts with Kurchevsky's recoilless guns. Its main subjects were Grigorovich I-Z and Chernyshov/Tupolev I-12 (ANT-23), with many photos and scale drawings of both. But beside them, some projects were also described - such as Cheranovsky BICh-17, and the IP-3.
I'd like to ask once again all my Russian aviation friends, what about the Perekhodnyj P-1 ?
Was it Krylov's R-II or Moiseenko's 2U-B3 ?
Long time haven't been on our Polish site and while visiting it today
I'd found a very nice description of the Nikitin - Shevchenko's IS Istriebitiel Skladnoj fighters.
I would let be killed for a draft or photo of the Grokhovskij LK-2, I'd willingly see the Grigorovich LK-3
and Beriev KOR-3.
And here You have some information about Miasishtchev LK-4 & T-1 if someone havn't seen it yet ...

@ redstar72 The descriptions of Jakovlev's VT-1 & VT-2 I found in the DDR album
" Das Große Flugzeug Typenbuch " by Wilfried Kopenhagen & Rolf Neustädt.
Maybe it isn't quite cridibly root, but ...
It's seems that Archangielskij SB-1 was one of the ANT-38 & ANT-39 prototypes, then the basic SB-2
and SB-3 training version in the end ; that's from the Polish " Samolot Bombowy SB-2 " by Krzysztof Cieślak,
fascile No 63.
@ Stargazer2006 If only redstar72 spoke Polish, he should say " Mamo, mamo, chwalą nas " ;D
My understanding, right or wrong is that the Grokhovsky G-38 and the LK-2 are the same aircraft.

Regards Bailey.


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Thanks, dear Bailey.
I don't know why I associated Antoine Marie Jean - Baptiste Roger de Saint - Exupéry immediately ::)
I'd like to ask once again all my Russian aviation friends, what about the Perekhodnyj P-1 ?
Was it Krylov's R-II or Moiseenko's 2U-B3

Lennart Andersson gives the Krylov R-II as a Transition Trainer and Moiseenko's 2U-B3 as a Conversion Trainer

Cheers Bailey.
Andersson gives the Moiseenko 2U-B3 as the P-1, Russian Aviation Museum says,
that P-1 was Krylov's

So I still have this unsolved problem :
P-1 ???
Polikarpow P-2 ... 1II– Tn.
Biedunkowicz P-3 ... 1II– Tn.
Andersson gives the Moiseenko 2U-B3 as the P-1, Russian Aviation Museum says,
that P-1 was Krylov's

Andersson gives both of them the P-1 designation, which further complicates the issue.

Cheers Bailey.
Hi all!
I'll try to answer your questions.

1. Bailey, of course G-38 and LK-2 is the same aircraft. LK-2 is the military designation and G-38 is Grokhovsky's firm designation.

2. I think it's quite possible that both Krylov R-II and Moiseenko 2U-B3 obtained P-1 designation. At that time this designation system was only newborn, and there could be many inexactnesses like this. Remember that there were two aircraft designated I-1 (Polikarpov monoplane and Grigorovich biplane) and some different aircraft named R-2 or R-II.

3. I have to repeat again; there were NO SB-1,-2 or -3, only simple SB! Now it is known perfectly, thanks to Mikhail Maslov, Vladimir Rigmant (official historian of Tupolev OKB) and some other researchers. The names "SB-2", "SB-3" were never used as official, they aren't even from that era. They appeared firstly in literature much later, and used only for simplicity. And "SB-3" isn't a trainer version - this name is usually connected with the late production SB powered with M-103 engines into sharp-nose nacelles, while "SB-2" is an initial version with M-100/100A engines and characteristic frontal radiators. Actually, the so-called "SB-3" was designated SB bis during tests, but came into production and service only as SB 2M-103 (this "2" is no more than quantity of engines, not the type number!). All SB trainer versions were designated USB (УСБ), with no difference if they were based on "SB-2" or "SB-3".

Look at,,

If you stay with "SB-2" and "SB-3" designations, then "SB-1" would be the first prototype of all this family, powered by R-1820-F3 radials ( - but it also would be only a speculative designation. Officially it was ANT-40-1 or SB 2RС (СБ 2РЦ; "РЦ" for Райт-Циклон (Wright Cyclone) and "2" is again the quantity of engines, no more!).

What about the ANT-38 and -39? For the ANT-38, VSB-1 army designation was used (ВСБ-1, Высотный скоростной бомбардировщик - yet another "category for one"). But it actually wasn't even a project, only a "theme name". It appeared in 1934 when the VVS ordered a high-altitude, high-speed bomber with 600 km/h maximum speed at 13-14 km altitude, with service ceiling 15 000 m (!), carrying 5000 kg bomb load! Of course it was absolutely fantastic for middle 1930s - only the B-29, built 8 years later, had similar performance (with lower altitude characteristics ;)). Tupolev and his team understood it, so they began to negotiate with the VVS about the specification. As a result, the specification was revised and became more realistic - but the projected bomber obtained new designation: ANT-42 (which later came to service as the TB-7 and then was renamed into Pe-8). So, the ANT-38 story came to finish before start...
(Source: V. Rigmant, Aviatsia i Kosmonavtika 1/1998)

And the ANT-39 is a mystery - even Rigmant (official Tupolev historian!) doesn't have any info about it. Was the number skipped for some reasons? Who knows...

4. I attach here a 3-view of one version of Beriev KOR-3 (from Later I will post some more pictures of it, in better quality (and different versions) - but I must do the scans for this.


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Now I know how I could not percive Beriev KOR-3 in ;
it was hidden in Самолеты разных конструкторов ;D
Well, it's hard to resign a category in my list, especially that I find many intrigues infos all the time,
f. e. " The prototype of the SB-1's first flight performed on 7th October 1934 with 720 hp engines. ".
This site speaks not much, but indicates the ANT-38
& ANT-39 as the prototypes of SB.
Anyway now I research the IS folding wings fighters history :D ; Found a nice photo of IS-4 in flight ;
I asked the daughter of my ex to scan it for me, so if anyone curious, I'll show it here.
As I said before in the Tupolev thread, in the early 1950s French weekly Aviation Magazine did a complete series on Tupolev aircraft and one of the installments featured an ANT-39 which they called the SB-1, as opposed to the ANT-40 which they called the SB-2. Yet later monographies have been consistent in putting every SB under ANT-40. Makes you wonder...
Boogey said:
" The prototype of the SB-1's first flight performed on 7th October 1934 with 720 hp engines. ".

Yes, it was really so: the first SB prototype made its first flight at October 7, 1934.
It was SB 2RC with 720-hp Wright R-1820-F3 Cyclone engines (called RCF-3 / РЦФ-3 in Russian, and later being produced under license as the M-25):

Yes, if we call the SB 2M-100 (with frontal radiators) "SB-2", and SB 2M-103 (late production, with sharp-nosed cowlings) "SB-3", then this initial version would be "SB-1". You can use this name for simplicity, but it wasn't an official designation.

And it surely wasn't ANT-38 or 39. Despite it was smaller and had many other differences from its mass-production offsprings, despite totally different powerplant - it already was ANT-40: ANT-40-1, to be correct.
OK, redstar 72, but please look what I happily found searching in net for the Sukhoi UTB-4 * where in description of the ANT-40 You'll find all three designations : SB-1, SB-2 and SB-3.

@ Bailey Following the suggestion of redstar 72 I keep both Krylov's R-II and Moiseenko's 2U-B3
as " perekhodnyi " type P-1 in my list ; Shavrov writes about R-II with the additional designation P-1.
I also found the information about the DI-8 as a two-seat fighter by Shavrov.

* I've got over one hundred sites of the aircraft history in my favourites ;
lately I saw a notice of it somewhere and now I don't remember where and I can't find ;D

P. S. From over thirty years I collect aircraft monographies in the TBiU fascile series
and today the postman woke me up early in the morning and brought me this new fascile :
Hi Boogey!

Boogey said:
OK, redstar 72, but please look what I happily found searching in net for the Sukhoi UTB-4 * where in description of the ANT-40 You'll find all three designations : SB-1, SB-2 and SB-3.

Thank you for the link, but I must note: this book is not very reliable source - there is a lot of mistakes in it. I had only a quick look on it, but already found some. For example, at Page 88 (ANT-51/Su-2 article), "nine-cylinder Mikulin M-62 of 830 hp" and "new 950hp Mikulin M-87" are mentioned; at Page 90 you can find "Mikulin M-82" which development was ostensibly the ASh-82 radial engine! In reality, M-62 and M-82/ASh-82 engines were both designed by Arkadiy Shvetsov (therefore ASh), M-87 by Nazarov, while Mikulin never designed radial engines at all! Also, ASh-82 wasn't a later development of the M-82 - it was simply the same engine, just redesignated.

Then, at Page 90 you can see a 3-view signed as "ANT-58" - but this is actually a serial production Tu-2 (103V), or ANT-60! The real ANT-58 or "103" was very different aircraft - see a profile attached here and a photo at The ANT-58 photo is placed on Page 94, signed as "ANT-63P/Tu-1" - you can see real Tu-1 at, it looks similar but different. And the ANT-57 (PB) 4-motor project isn't mentioned at all.

At Page 82 you can read that ANT-40MMN (improved SB) was nicknamed Shuku ???, which (ostensibly) means "pike"... There is no word "shuku" in Russian, and the popular name of MMN aircraft was Shchuka (Щука). The only true thing is the translation - it actually means a pike (a fish - "Szczupak" in Polish, not a weapon "Pika" which is also "pika" in Russian)... It's strange to see such a mistakes in a book which author (one of them - Andrei Kandalov) seems to be a Russian...

Another mistake (Page 88) is that BB-1/Su-2 was (ostensibly) nicknamed "Ni Tu, ni Su" (not a Tu, not a Su). In reality, this nickname was given to Sukhoi UTB (as it was designed by Sukhoi, but derived from Tupolev Tu-2). The Su-2 was regarded by all as true "Su" - and don't forget it was the first "Su" at all...

So, you can decide for yourself - can you rely on this source or not.
Regarding SB-1, -2 and -3: I can only add that Duffy & Kandalov published their book in 1996, when the usage of these designations was common... You can find a lot of literature where these indexes are used. If you like them you can continue to use them, of course. But they weren't official.

And yet another mistake in Duffy/Kandalov's book: they wrote that USB trainer version was produced only as based on the "SB-3". But "SB-2"-based USB also existed: I attach here a photo of one, and you can see more at! Actually, only 29 USB aircraft were new-built - and 81 training cabines were sent to the service units and air schools to convert existing SB bombers into USB trainers. It's logical that the bombers used for this weren't the newest - so maybe most of USB trainers were actually based on "SB-2"...

Boogey said:
I also found the information about the DI-8 as a two-seat fighter by Shavrov.

Yes, Shavrov wrote that DI-8 was 2-seat (and Duffy & Kandalov repeated this after him). But, in this case, he was mistaken. I attach here a DI-8 cutaway by Ivnamin Sultanov, published in Krylia Rodiny magazine No.10/1996 - you can see 3 crew members.


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Dear redstar 72, thanks for all Your informations, comments and advices on the SB bomber ;
I make my list only for my pleasure, so if I still keep all three versions of the SB in it
I know now, thanks to You, that it is an unofficial designation ;D
When I showed here the cover of the DB-3 / Ił-4 * fascile I haven't looked it though yet
and I'd been hoping that I'd find there something interesting and that had became true in fact ...
I've discovered the Iliuszyn BB-2 ; works on it begun in 1934 in the CKB with its number the CKB-26,
it has to be a two - engined monoplane with fully rectractable gear, driven by the French engines
type Gnôme - Rhône 14K Mistral Major, 14 cylinder air - cooled, 588 kW each.
The airplane was also called in the VVS the SB-39 ( Skorostnyj Bombardirowszczik, Factory No 39 ).
In the end of 1934 a full dimension mockup of the BB-2 was built
and in the same time the original CKB-26 was been constructed. Suddenly came an VVS order
to take the Iliuszyn project out of plan because the Archangielski's SB had been decided
to the mass production, so Sergiej Władymirowicz has beared the disignation CKB-26
to a project of the long range bomber developed later to the CKB-30 and becoming the DB-3
in the end.
In the appendix 1 of Lennart Andersson - Soviet Aircraft And Aviation 1917 - 1941 ( thx B. :D )
the BB-2 is mentioned as a 1939 project of Gruszyn, but checking it in Szawrow's
I've found a bomber designated the BB-MAI.

To all reading this post I wish Happy New Year, only good people to meet, only good things
to happen and many interesiting discussions on the forum. When anybody of You in Poland
for any reasons I heartly invite serving with help and love ;D

* According to Charles Baudelaire I'm too lazy to translate Russian names and designations
from Polish to English having my du Vin et du Haschisch now, enjoying the Silvester Night.

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