• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

VV Kondratyev's project to copy the F-86 Sabre (Origins of Sukhoi OKB-51)

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,631
Reaction score
1,163
The whole story of how a TsAGI engineer got his own OKB to reverse engineer the F-86 Sabre was told in Samoleti Mira Jan/Feb 1997.


The article can be found online here:


http://www.dorogavnebo.ru/st/st.php?n=007&s=1 (3 pages)


Kondratyev worked on testing of the F-86, managed to get Stalin interested in the idea, and was given permission to create a new OKB-1 at plant number 1 in Kuibyshev. As this was rather remote, the OKB was actually housed in TsAGI in Moscow to speed up work.

A set of experts was held on the long-established pattern - people were sent according to a deflated "top" distribution list from the adjacent factories and design bureaus. The backbone of the new group were employees and former employees of BNI Kondratiev on TsAGI, the team leader and the layout was Evgeny Adler, who went on to AS Yakovlev. Already by the beginning of September, the OKB-1 in Moscow reached the authorized strength. Worse was the case with the formation of DB at the plant in Kuibyshev - the place was not the right people, and to move there from the capital nobody wanted. As a result, for the replenishment of the state bureau Plant № 1 he sent to Moscow his drawers, and work on the implementation of the production aircraft delivered to a non-existent branch of OKB-1 to the plant.
But in the new circumstances intervened: in December 1952, the decision of the Government Plant № 1 was reoriented to the mass production of IL-28 instead of the MiG-15, and its director VJ Litvinov came to the leadership with a request for removal from the factory tooling to build an F-86A. As a result, it was decided that part of the order (production wings, center wing and tail) will be transferred to the plant № 292 in Saratov, and a plant in Kuibyshev will only manufacturer with pressurized cockpit and the general assembly.
Whether on-site VV Kondratiev more prepared for the job, and most importantly, more acceptable to the management of MAP man can, "Soviet Sabre" and would emerge into the light. But all the time gets closer, as the case with the construction of a "living" machines in Kuibyshev situation was still important. In the circumstances, the chief designer had to somehow show their activity. See one way - to get the job to build a new plane. By January 1953 in design department bureau, headed by Adler was a proposal on the establishment of the now fundamentally new "high speed fighter." The aircraft was a midwing normal scheme with a delta wing and two-keel vertical tail, placed in view of the washers on endings stabilizer. Two turbojet designed by AI Mikulin had a common nose air intake and were located in the tail of the fuselage vertically, one above the other. The configuration data of the aircraft were (a slash are the values ​​for the examination TsAGI)
Maximum speed - 1940/1650 km / h,
Ceiling - 18700/18000 m
Maximum range - 2100/1500 km.
Special counter new project is called, specialist TsAGI VV Struminsky even wrote quite benevolent review. MAP guide, forced to respond to the request, in a letter to Bulganin, gave an evasive answer, the essence of which was to ensure that Kondratiev was not the first to suggest the creation of such a promising machine "... declared aircraft performance data suggested that Kondratiev new fighter is not confirmed by the calculations of TsAGI and were lower compared with those frontline fighters, proposed chief designers Comrades Mikoyan and Yakovlev ... "and" Regarding the new scheme of the aircraft (with a delta wing), both reported to you earlier, a similar proposal for a new aircraft with a delta wing that is made chief designer Antonov better flight data ... ".
In conversations with himself Kondratyev officials referred to the fact that to build such an aircraft requires a strong manufacturing base, what's OKB-1 was not. According to the existing order of strong production produced only by the implementation of a specific government task. It is a vicious circle. "Bomb" finally worked. Could only wait for the wrong steps by inexperienced chief designer.
The calculation was correct. Kondratiev was unable to sit still, and new projects as soon baked pancakes - at intervals of one month: February 16, he proposes a "supersonic fighter with a maximum speed of 2000-2200 km / h and 21 km altitude with two new engines with a thrust of 5000 kg each design that Mikulin "(AM-11F), and March 17 - with a new project" high-altitude interceptor with a maximum speed of 3000-4000 km / h and 30 km altitude, using .. . turbine engine working on a new principle "(the engine" MD "design Shpitalnaya BG). And if for the first of them answer the MAP was still evasive, by the time the second issue the political situation in the country has changed significantly. After Stalin's death, as a result of staff changes NA Bulganin moved to the chair of Defense and lost the opportunity to directly influence the course of events, as President of the Council of Ministers took the GM Malenkov, and the Ministry of Aviation Industry for some time (from April to August 1953) ceased to exist at all, since it was merged with the Ministry of weapons in one general Ministry of Defense Industry (MOS), which was appointed Minister DF Ustinov (which was previously minister of armaments). His deputy is appointed MV Khrunichev.
These events could not but affect the fate of the OKB-1 and its chief designer. In April 1953, Ustinov was appointed a representative committee to consider a joint proposal of the chief designers of Kondratieff (OKB-1) and Shpitalnaya (DB-15) to create a "high-altitude fighter-interceptor with a molecular motor MD-53." Conclusions were discouraging: "The statement ... characteristics of the engine and the aircraft is technically unfounded and unreal. ... Offer can only be seen as a technical adventurism and not as a serious engineering proposal. The offer ... ... essentially an attempt to mislead the Government " . It is now difficult to say what caused the sharp tone findings. Perhaps in a changed environment industry leaders decided to get even with Kondratiev for past wrongs. The case has turned good - the project engine MD-53, designed "non-professional" Shpitalnaya was utopian, what did the emphasis experts committee, which included AI Mikulin, SK Tumansky and AM Cradle. As for the aircraft so firm conclusions have not done. More than that - it was said that to practice questions flying at such high speeds requires extensive and deep research work that is recognized as an obvious gap of fundamental research on the needs of practical science. However, this fact did not prevent run bureaucracy. It only remained to wait for results.

VV Kondratyev
By the beginning of May 1953 already discussed the very existence of the OKB-1. Now, almost no one remembers all that it was once created. Career VV Kondratyev as chief designer ended with the release order of the Minister for the number 233 of May 14, 1953 The document is written the following:

"Due to the fact that the chief designer of the OKB-1 t Kondratiev not able to create new prototype aircraft does not have sufficient experience of this area and, in the opinion of the expert committee, adopted the way of technical adventure, order:
1. that is exempt from duties Kondratiev Chief Designer OKB-1;
2. appointed chief designer of OKB-1 PO Sukhoi... "

So ended up in the short history of the Soviet Union fighter "Sabre". The new chief designer PO Sukhoi, obviously, in agreement with the Ministry of Aviation Industry, works in this area are no longer engaged. He began to develop a fundamentally new machines, later embodied in the metal under the name S-1 and T-3. Government resolution legitimizing the work of OKB-1 on the subject, published in August 1953, and the year-end design office finally assume its manufacturing base - a branch of OKB-155 in the former plant number 51 in one corner of the field Khodynsky . Hence the new name: DB-51. It should be noted that the original versions of the layout of aircraft T-1 and T-3 is largely based on the proposals that have been developed EG Adler at OKB-1 at Kondratiev, and some technological innovations with the "Sabre" very successfully implemented in their design.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,669
Reaction score
40
Very interesting Overscan
Thanks for sharing!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,242
Reaction score
102
Recreating the Sabre

After graduating in 1952, the as-yet unknown designer Vladimir Kondratyev was sent to the newly created OKB as the leader of conceptual design team. This bureau was established to reverse-engineer and rebuild a captured American fighter F-86 "Sabre" and further develop this type of aircraft in domestic aviation. For that reason, the plane was to be widely advertised in the English-language press as the "MiG killer."

Once started, the newly formed Kondratyev bureau faced a number of challenges, chief among which was the need to replace the American jet engine at home. It was decided that instead of using the U.S. General Electric turbojet engine, which was completely unserviceable, the VK-1 aircraft engine should be installed, but its large dimensions took up all the fuselage space initially devoted to accommodating the fuel tanks.

It was therefore suggested to give the "Sabre" a new Soviet engine, the AM-5, with a progressive axial compressor. Although created along the lines of the U.S. engine, it would be much easier to operate and smaller in size. Having the same thrust as the G.E. model, the AM-5 would result in a gain of weight and space, which could significantly increase fuel capacity, and therefore the range of the aircraft. Once the proposal was approved, further work has done in this direction, though not without a squeak.



In search of an alternate fighter design

Kondratyev asked design project leader Eugene Adler to design a new fighter on the side. But where to start from? Remembering the Polikarpov's words about the fact that a fighter's success was 60% dependent on the choice of engine, Adler advised his boss to enquire about what motorists had to offer.

After comparing the the characteristics of several promising aircraft engines, the two men stopped on the AM-11, a turbojet engine project by Alexander Mikulin with an estimated 5,000 kg thrust and a weight of only 650 kg. Now that the engine was selected, the wing configuration had to be thought about. At that time, two directions coexisted within TsAGI - swept wings and a diamond-shaped wings. Kondratyev and Adler chose something in between: the trailing edge of the wing would be straight. Two AM-11 engines would be fitted one above the other, adapting themselves to the flat sides of the fuselage, while the swept-back delta wing stabilizer was placed at the ends of the spaced vertical tail, also triangular in shape. The layout of the new fighter was now basically ready.

As was the tradition back at the Yakovlev Design Bureau, Adler ordered a wooden model of the project and presented it to Kondratyev. Apparently, the latter did not expect to see so quickly such a harmonious and simple project, to which was attached a short aerodynamic calculation performed by Alexei Druzhinin, also originating from the Yakovlev design bureau. He had already consulted with TsAGI and boldly announced a speed a 1,700 km/h at an altitude of 7 km (M = 1.6). With this project, Kondratyev hastened to MAP and was received by the Deputy Minister and Sergey Shishkin, Chief of experimental aircraft at TSAGI. Shishkin commented that the design looked good, though he wondered where the pilot would be seated.

With his project in hand, Kondratiev darted around in circles, being taken from one office to the next as was often the case in the aviation industry: the job to build such a plane, they all said, might be a good idea on paper, but where would Kondratyev get the industrial base? Indeed, Kondratyev had only a design bureau and no factory of his own.

The illusion of the molecular engine

Kondratyev was a little desperate, but soon found a sympathetic ear to his misfortune in famous aircraft weapon designer Boris Shpitalniy. This elderly creator of machine guns and cannons suddenly hit on the idea he had invented a molecular motor (MD), the principle of which he explained to Kondratyev and Adler. Shpitalniy developed a molecular motor with a massive piston moving freely inside the cylinder with two combustion chambers deadlocked over its ends. Thermal process was completely borrowed from a two-stroke diesel engine: fuel injection at the time of compression of air and exhaust gases through the dropping of the corresponding window in each combustion chamber. Unlike petrol, the piston was not used as an energy source, as the exhaust gases themselves formed the basis of the jet. Adler thought that such an engine could be realistic only if one could find a way to cool the extremely hot air flux between the two chambers of combustion and find heat-resistant materials for the windows.

Boris Shpitalniy wrapped his project in a veil of secrecy and did not admit anyone to the stand which was supposedly hiding his mysterious MD engine. Not being able to verify the existence of the MD engine, Adler reluctantly set to work and badly needed dimensions and characteristics. After trying to make the resulting aerodynamic calculation of the project, staff member Lesch Druginyn obtained a fantastic speed - 5000 km/h with M = 6 at an altitude of 30 km! Suspecting something was wrong, Adler decided not to design a special plane, and replaced the single MD engine with the two AM-11 engines that had already been studied at TsAGI in the initial project.

The demise of the Kondratyev OKB

After a few days of confusion and bewilderment Kondratyev decided to send a memo to the government. Adler understood at that point that this was the end of the project and that both men would soon have to look for another job. Soon the Kondratyev-Shpitalniy project was taken from their hands, and the case taken to court. The subject of the hearings was not so much the feasability of the plane itself, of course, as the molecular motor supposed to power it.

Chief aircraft engine designer Alexander Mikulin, supported by his scientific assistant Boris Stechkin, dismissed Shpitalniy's drawings before the court and compared them with similar engine projects developed by Mikulin himself, which had proved to be unsuccessful for a long time. "I officially declare that this engine will never work as this has already been fully and thoroughly tested within the engine design bureau, in which I have the honor to be the chief designer!" Shpitalniy was faced with an ultimatum: to present the MAP Commission with a functional molecular engine within ten days. But of course no engine was presented by that time as none ever existed.

It was recommended that the Minister of Aviation Industry and the Minister of Defense Industry should deny V. V. Kondratyev and B. G. Shpitalniy the title of chief designers and remove them from their positions on the grounds of "technical adventurism." Kondratyev, who fell out of favor with Stalin, had now been rehabilitated by his successor Malenkov and stayed holed up at home, waiting for further developments.

All of Kondratyev's assets was transfered to the reborn Sukhoi OKB. Sukhoi settled on the Central Airport which previously hosted the now-defunct Polikarpov OKB. He inherited the remnants of his own design bureau, as well as what was left of the companies Yermolayev and Polikarpov after their demise. Pavel Sukhoi himself called Adler and offered him to come and work for him. Thus he stayed on at the Sukhoi Design Bureau as a crew chief conceptual design and worked on what would become the Su-7.



Adapted from How the Su-7 was born, by Eugene Adler, published in Krylia Rodine, February 1998.
 

Attachments

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,631
Reaction score
1,163
Thanks Stephane, excellent work.
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,242
Reaction score
102
Glad you enjoyed it. As usual when I translate from a language I do not speak, using an automatic online translator, there was a lot of rewriting involved. And as usual there were a few small passages that I left out because the meaning of the original escape me and/or I couldn't find a satisfactory translation for them... but on the whole one should get the jist of what the article was about.

Here's a little bonus I made using the original sketch as a basis.

I can't help thinking something looks wrong with the way the nose's cross section looks oval, but I chose not to modify it. Thoughts, comments anyone?
 

Attachments

Apteryx

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
145
Reaction score
1
Stargazer2006 said:
Here's a little bonus I made using the original sketch as a basis.

I can't help thinking something looks wrong with the way the nose's cross section looks oval, but I chose not to modify it. Thoughts, comments anyone?

Oboy! Pompous pedantry ON!


The original sketch is obviously a quickie, and the intake oval is not quite right. If you are drawing a rounded shape in perspective, you need to take two axes into account, not just squash it. The drawing below shows a plan of an oval and a rounded rectangle above, and the same shapes in perspective view, with the vertical axis unchanged. You can see that they're not just narrower--they're pretty distorted. If you treat a perfect (well, close enough) circle the same way, you do wind up with a regular ellipse, but it's tilted off the vertical.
 

Attachments

visvirtusvoluntas

Never Enough
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
101
Reaction score
2
Hi all,
interesting indeed but there's a big "but" for me.
Please watch at the original drawing and read the short description: it is all in cyrillic exept for the third and fifth row where is written "Vmax" and "Hmax". Strange enough.
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,242
Reaction score
102
visvirtusvoluntas said:
Hi all,
interesting indeed but there's a big "but" for me.
Please watch at the original drawing and read the short description: it is all in cyrillic exept for the third and fifth row where is written "Vmax" and "Hmax". Strange enough.
I wouldn't worry too much about this myself. Scientists all over the world use abbreviations and terms borrowed from Latin or English. Perhaps there was no easy abbreviation for this in Cyrillic? Or it was commonly used because they had thoroughly read and perused the many NACA reports published until then?

I'd love to hear what the Russian members have to say on this one. Was it that rare or weird to use these? Or did it sometimes occur in other Soviet documents of the time?
 

visvirtusvoluntas

Never Enough
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
101
Reaction score
2
In 1 hour I'll be on chat with a russian friend and I'm burning in my shoes! I hope he could make me understand. There's another oddity and my russian is too poor to help:
сверхзвуковой одноместный истребитель
фиг.1 проект окб кондратьева 1953г.

means something like:
single supersonic fighter
Fig.11 Kondrat'yev OKB project year 1953

why "single"??? :-\
 

flateric

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
8,806
Reaction score
265
single seat
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,242
Reaction score
102
visvirtusvoluntas said:
why "single" ??? :-\
This is one word I chose not to translate considering that Google gives translations as varied as "single", "double" and even "triple" for that one word!!!
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,631
Reaction score
1,163
From the memoirs of E. Adler, a designer mostly associated with Yakovlev, who worked for Kondratyev.

On a frosty day in late 1948, an unusual revival reigned at the LII aerodrome near Zhukovsky. Famous aircraft designers walked around the newly built military aviation novelties presented by each leading design bureau in their parking lots. However, after waiting in vain for two hours, everyone parted, and did not see the Minister of Defense of the country Nikolai Bulganin. He only informed that he was postponing the show the next day.

The ceremony repeated the next day: at the appointed time, Andrei Tupolev, Alexander Yakovlev, Artem Mikoyan, Semyon Lavochkin arrived, and only Pavel Sukhoi was absent.

This time, as if on purpose, the minister began an inspection from the site of Sukhoi Design Bureau, but without meeting the chief designer there, without even looking at the exhibits, he quickly went to Yakovlev's exposition. Having greeted him, he quickly headed for the open door of the large Yak-14 glider, which was supposed to be on duty as the lead designer, and stepped inside. Suddenly, his boots slid across the plywood floor and the powerful Minister of War ... fell at my feet. Motivated by natural sympathy, I made an attempt to come to his aid, but immediately recoiled back, realizing that the elderly man stretched out in front of me was accompanied by bodyguards, they were armed and it was still unknown what they would think when they saw me bowing over the fallen man. Thus, I left Bulganin to get out of the glider himself. His face was distorted by a grimace of either anger or pain. Heading away, he came face to face with the late Sukhoi, who tried to speak with him and return him to his exhibits. The irritated minister, apparently still not calmed down after his unfortunate fall, evil interrupted him half-word:

“I asked you to be there.”

“Yesterday I waited for you here for two hours to no avail, and today I’ve been late for just five minutes, and you’re already angry. Please excuse me and see our exhibits.

- I do not intend to return. And, in general, I don’t need your services anymore, ”said Bulganin, as he snapped.

Later it became known that the decision of the Military Industrial Commission of the Sukhoi Design Bureau was abolished due to inefficiency in the work and the recent accident of the Su-15 prototype fighter.

Having become an accidental witness to the fateful conversation between Pavel Sukhoi and Nikolai Bulganin, I never imagined that Sukhoi and I would soon meet.

After working a couple of years at Yakovlev Design Bureau as the lead designer of the next Yak-50 fighter, where test pilot Sergei Anokhin first overcame the sound barrier, I left work for study for two years. After graduating from it, in 1952 he was sent to the newly created OKB of an unknown designer Vladimir Kondratyev as the head of the sketch design team.

This design bureau was formed to recreate and reconstruct the captured American fighter F-86 Saber and to further develop this area in domestic aviation. Then this aircraft was widely advertised in the English press as the "MiG killer."

Having started work, the newly made Kondratyev Design Bureau faced a number of difficulties, the main of which was the need to replace the American jet engine with a domestic one.

By the time I arrived, it had already been decided to install the VK-1 engine, the Soviet version of the outdated English engine with a centrifugal compressor, instead of the American turbojet engine of General Electric, which had completely fallen into disrepair. This decision was unsuccessful, since the VK-1 was distinguished by its large dimensions, which ate up the entire fuselage space, designed to accommodate fuel tanks.

We proposed to install on the Sabre a new Soviet AM-5 engine, created, like the American one, with a progressive axial compressor. He was much lighter than the American and less than him. Having the same traction as General Electric, the AM-5 gave a gain in weight and space, which allowed to significantly increase the capacity of fuel tanks, and therefore the flight range of the aircraft.

This proposal has passed, and further work has already been carried out in this direction. However, the work on the reconstruction of Saber proceeded with a creak, which was facilitated by the inexperience of the chief designer, the diversity of the team, and the incompetence of some employees.

Once Kondratyev suggested that I take up the preliminary project of a new fighter. Where to begin? Remembering the words of Polikarpov, that the success of a fighter is 60 percent dependent on the choice of engine, I advised:

- Let's see what motorists offer.

Soon Kondratyev obtained in MAP the characteristics of promising aircraft engines. We settled on the project of Alexander Mikulin - turbojet engine AM-11 with an estimated thrust of 5000 kgf with a weight of only 650 kg.

I had to think about the wing. As I already wrote, in TsAGI then two directions coexisted: swept and rhomboid wings in the plan. The question naturally asked itself: if you can make the wings of a supersonic aircraft with the usual and reverse sweep of the trailing edge, then why not make it perpendicular to the axis of the plane, simply straight? So they decided.

We placed two AM-11s one above the other so that one advanced slightly, pushed to the flat sides of the fuselage a triangular wing and swept horizontal tail, at the ends of which we installed a spaced vertical tail, also triangular in shape, and the scheme of the new fighter was basically ready.

Design fighter design bureau V.V. Kondratiev
According to the tradition of Yakovlev Design Bureau, I ordered a wooden model with a nice coloring and presented it to Kondratiev. Apparently, he did not even expect to see so soon such a harmonious and simple project, to which was attached a brief aerodynamic calculation performed by another native of the Yakovlev Design Bureau, Alexei Druzhinin. He had already managed to consult with TsAGI and boldly declared a speed of 1700 km / h at an altitude of more than 7 km. With this project, Kondratiev hastened to MAP, where we were received by Deputy Minister for Experimental Aircraft Engineering and TsAGI Head Sergey Shishkin. At the same time, the head of the second TsAGI laboratory, Vladimir Struminsky, was present. To his credit, he instantly orientated himself, took our model in his hands, turned it this way and that, saying:

- Look, Sergey Nikolaevich, he’s flying right!

To this, a rather dry and cautious Shishkin answered:

- He flies well, sits somewhere.

One way or another, even with the reinsurance “Struminsky amendment” introduced by TsAGI in order to reduce too high speeds obtained from the calculation, the final calculated speed was the value agreed with TsAGI - 1500 km / h.

With this project in his hands, Vladimir Kondratiev swept in a vicious circle, long since invented by cunning officials from aviation:

- Kondratiev’s task to build such an aircraft could be given, but he does not have a production base;

- the production base, of course, could be allocated, but why should it be allocated if it does not have a specific task?

Desperate Kondratiev, little thought of the fact that sooner or later they would ask him where the Saber he had recreated, began to search and, of course, found sympathy for his misfortune. It turned out to be the famous designer of aircraft weapons Boris Shpitalny. This elderly designer of aircraft machine guns and cannons suddenly burst into flames with the idea of a molecular engine (MD) "invented" by him. He described the principle of its work to us with Kondratiev: “If you burn fuel under a pressure of 70-150 atmospheres, you will get MD”.

What happens in the MD combustion chamber? With increasing pressure, the temperature rises, but when it reaches 6000 degrees, its growth stops. Why? Where does the energy go? It is no longer spent on increasing the speeds of oscillating gas molecules, i.e., on increasing temperature, but is spent on dissociating molecules, on breaking, breaking molecular bonds. Such a gas, consisting of single atoms, with a decrease in pressure again associate into a molecular one, releasing at the same time the heat that was previously expended in dissociation. Its expansion now proceeds at a constant temperature until the association of the molecules is complete, and only after this further expansion occurs with a decrease in both pressure and temperature.

Shpitalny developed a molecular engine with a massive piston freely moving in a cylinder with two dead end combustion chambers. The thermal process was completely borrowed from the two-stroke diesel engine: fuel injection at the time of air compression in each combustion chamber and exhaust gas discharge through the corresponding windows. But, unlike the Diesel engine, it was not the piston movement that was used as an energy source, but the exhaust gases that were the target of this engine, and were the basis of the jet stream generated by the molecular engine.

In my opinion, in such an engine everything would be realistic if we could find a way to cool the free piston rushing about between two combustion chambers and pushed by explosions, and even find heat-resistant materials for windows that could pass hot gases through their holes without being melted wherein.

Having let out a fog of secrecy, Boris Shpitalny, stocky, moon-gray, with short hair, among whom a Ukrainian forelock stood on top of his head, didn’t let anyone on the cannon shot where his MD was hiding. When asked why he, the gunsmith, undertook to develop an aircraft engine, he replied:

- The same physical processes operate here and there: explosions, high pressures and temperatures, rate of fire or cycle frequency, and automatic operation.

Shpitalny set Kondratiev to design a plane for his engine. Unable to verify the existence of this engine, I reluctantly set to work.

- We need the dimensions of the engine and its characteristics.

Kondratyev soon brought the dimensions, but Shpitalny did not give him the characteristics, apparently not representing the form in which they are usually issued.

“Give me yours, and I'll give mine,” he said.

I composed the characteristics of a non-existent engine, preserving the semblance of a real turbojet engine, and sent them to Boris Gavrilovich. These were traction curves depending on speed and altitude.

Soon I get an MD with fantastically high thrusts that are weakly dependent on speed and, which looked especially implausible, they almost did not change from the flight altitude.

Having suspected something was amiss, I decided not to design a special aircraft, but to replace both AM-11 engines with one MD engine in the design of the aircraft already tested by TsAGI.

In order not to change anything, I had to divide the exhaust pipe of the future MD into two sleeves and put them into the holes designed for AM-11 nozzles.

- Ask Boris Gavrilovich whether he will be against the separation of the exhaust pipe MD.

“Divide it by at least one hundred sleeves,” Spitalny answered.

Trying to make the aerodynamic calculation of the resulting aircraft, Lesha Druzhinin received a fantastic speed of 5000 km / h at an altitude of 30 km!

After another visit to Shpitalnoy, Vladimir Viktorovich asked me to do an advance project of the fighter with MD, putting the engine data in one folder along with the calculated characteristics of the aircraft.

- Of course, this can be done, only for God's sake, you do not send this folder anywhere until you see this engine in operation with your own eyes.

- No no. This is only necessary to show the Shpitalnom that we are working.

A few days later, the embarrassed Kondratiev says:

- You see, I haven’t slept all night, but by the morning I decided finally - I’ll send it to the government.

And sent! Well, I think that's it. Need to look for another job. But, having cooled down a bit, I decided not to rush things, but to have patience and wait.

I did not have to wait long. First, on March 5, 1953, Stalin died. After the mourning rally, in the smoking room, I hear conversations:

- How will we continue to live now?

- How? Or maybe we’ll heal better.

Soon, the Kondratyev-Shpitalny project migrated from the government to the MAP, where a hearing resembling a court was organized. Naturally, the discussion was not so much about an airplane as a molecular engine. Opponent was the chief designer of aircraft engines, Alexander Mikulin, with the support of his assistant for science Boris Stechkin. The drawings presented by Shpitalny and the drawings of a similar engine, which, as it turned out, had been unsuccessfully and rather long ago developed by Mikulin, were hung up.

Turning to the Shpitalny, Mikulin began as follows:

- Just look: I have a cylinder, you have a cylinder, I have a piston, you have a piston, I have windows, you have windows, my engine does not work, but for some reason it works for you?

“You never know what,” replies Shpitalny. - Nudelman and I made similar air guns. He has a barrel, I have a barrel, he has a shutter, I have a shutter, he has a spring, I have a spring, his gun did not work, but it worked well for me!

“Okay, what is your window area?” Gas will not go into such windows!

- And I went.

- Then show the engine in work.

- Now I can’t. It has been disassembled for prevention.

- When can you?

- When it works.

- I officially declare: such an engine will never work, and this fact has been thoroughly, thoroughly, theoretically and practically tested in the engine building design bureau, in which I have the honor to be the chief designer!

“This is an unfounded statement,” Shpitalny did not give up.

The decision was as follows: B. G. Shpitalnoy demonstrate to the MAP Commission a working MD engine no later than ten days later. Neither ten, nor thirty days later the engine was presented.

Then a new decision followed: "Recommending the Minister of Aviation Industry and the Minister of Defense Industry to deprive the title of chief designer and dismiss VV Kondratiev and B. G. Shpitalny for technical adventurism."

How Shpitalny reacted to this decision, I do not know for sure. There were rumors that they wanted to transfer the Shpitalnaya experimental plant to radar. When they tried to enter into their rights, Shpitalny, strengthening the security, held a circular defense for two days.

Kondratiev chose a different tactic. First, he protested in his letters addressed to the Minister of Aviation Industry the words “technical adventurism”, proving that there were no complaints against him as an aircraft designer, but he could not be held directly responsible for the engine. Having obtained from a minister who took pity on him, a change of wording to another, where he was relieved of his post “due to a change in subject matter,” he immediately transferred a fire of complaints to the minister himself, asserting, not without reason, that the design bureau’s subject matter had already been transferred to Pavel Sukhoi , has not changed a bit.

The death of Stalin was a favorable event for Sukhoi. Malenkov ordered not only to restore the Sukhoi Design Bureau, but even apologized to Pavel Osipovich for the forced inaction, which was usually not practiced.

Sukhoi settled at the Central Aerodrome, on the territory of the former Polikarpov Design Bureau. He inherited the remnants of his own design bureau, as well as what remained of the design bureau of Ermolaev and Polikarpov after their death.

Upon learning of the transfer of the entire Kondratyev Design Bureau to the hands of Sukhoi, rehabilitated by G. M. Malenkov, I sat at home waiting for further developments.

The call of Sukhoi interrupted my fictitious "illness."

- What's wrong with you? Why don't you go to work? Are sick?

- To be honest, Pavel Osipovich, I am completely healthy.

“Then what is the matter?”

- You probably know my involvement in the project, to put it mildly, with a fair amount of fiction?

“I know that.” But about you I have authoritative statements of people with whose opinion I reckon. I'm counting on you. Get back to work, please.

- Well, I'll be back tomorrow.

So I stayed to work in the Sukhoi Design Bureau as the head of the sketch design team.

This was preceded by an episode in the MAP, when the furious minister convened his collegium in order to put an end to Kondratyev’s clauses. I was invited.

- Why aren't you working? - asked Peter Dementyev from Kondratiev.

“You yourself removed me from work.”

- At this work, the light did not converge. Work elsewhere.

- They don’t take anywhere.

- How so? Tsybin needs a deputy. Is Tsybin here?

- Here, Pyotr Vasilyevich.

- Will you take Kondratiev to yourself?

- With pleasure.

- The question is settled, go to work and stop blabbering.

I never saw Kondratyev again, only much later I heard a rumor that during the next certification campaign in Tsybin Design Bureau he was considered inappropriate to his position and demoted.
 

Vasily41

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
33
Reaction score
18
Amazing find! Gives a unique view of what it would have felt like to live back then.
 

redstar72

Soviet Aviation enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
518
Reaction score
19
I can't help thinking something looks wrong with the way the nose's cross section looks oval, but I chose not to modify it. Thoughts, comments anyone?
The Kondratyev fighter had two engines placed one above the other (like in the British BAC Lightning), so the fuselage width must be about twice less than its height - and I think the nose cross-section and intake shape were really oval, not round anyway.
 
Top