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

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
13,445
Reaction score
7,116
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
2,110
Reaction score
652
Very interesting Overscan
Thanks for sharing!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Maveric

Fight for yor Right!
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
2,025
Reaction score
430
3view drawing from FlugzeugClassic
 

Attachments

  • Kondratjew F-86 Seibr-.jpg
    Kondratjew F-86 Seibr-.jpg
    148 KB · Views: 1,173

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,225
Reaction score
804
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.

index.php


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

  • Kondratyev fighter with two AM-11 engines.gif
    Kondratyev fighter with two AM-11 engines.gif
    46.2 KB · Views: 946

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,225
Reaction score
804
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

  • kondratyev-fighter.jpg
    kondratyev-fighter.jpg
    365.2 KB · Views: 709

Apteryx

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
152
Reaction score
20
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

  • 4 ovals.jpg
    4 ovals.jpg
    20.4 KB · Views: 577
  • circle.jpg
    circle.jpg
    11.2 KB · Views: 588

visvirtusvoluntas

Never Enough
Joined
Aug 29, 2012
Messages
111
Reaction score
34
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

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,225
Reaction score
804
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
111
Reaction score
34
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

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,247
Reaction score
1,660

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,225
Reaction score
804
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 (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
13,445
Reaction score
7,116
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

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
99
Amazing find! Gives a unique view of what it would have felt like to live back then.
 

redstar72

Soviet Aviation enthusiast
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
519
Reaction score
73
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.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
13,445
Reaction score
7,116
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)

Original article no longer available. I've attached a full translation.

---
CHRONICLE OF BIRTH OF OKB-1

Pavel PLUNSKY

The history of Soviet aviation contains many interesting pages, one of which is an attempt to copy the American F-86 Sabre fighter, undertaken in the USSR in the period 1952-53. The veterans of the Sukhoi Design Bureau helped the author to restore the actual course of events on the basis of archival materials and personal memoirs: E.G. Adler, P.M. Drigo, A. Yu. Ongo, I.S. Ponomarev, as well as L.E. Krylov. I express my sincere gratitude to all of them.

To provide air defense for North Korea in November 1950, the 64th IAK was formed as part of the USSR Air Force, whose aircraft from the end of the same year were directly involved in repelling American air raids on DPRK facilities. From our side, MiG-15 and MiG-15bis participated in the battles. Their main adversary was the latest US Air Force F-86 Sabre fighter, modifications A, E and F.

The inevitable question arose about comparing the characteristics of these machines (it is interesting that the debate about the merits and demerits of the MiG-15 and F-86 has not subsided until now). The best way to find out the truth would be flight tests of a real plane. Attempts to capture the MiG-15 by the Americans were unsuccessful - our pilots were strictly ordered not to fly south of the conventional demarcation line that ran along the 38th parallel. The Americans solved this problem after the end of hostilities in Korea. On September 20, 1953, North Korean Air Force Lieutenant Kim Sum No flew on a MiG-15bis aircraft (serial number 2015337) to the territory of the Republic of Korea and surrendered. The vehicle was flown to the United States at Wright Peterson Air Force Base. During 1954, US Air Force pilot Tom Collins performed a comparative flight test program on this aircraft, which made it possible to reveal the actual level of performance of the main fighter of the USSR Air Force. American experts gave him a very high assessment.

The Soviet Union also showed interest in the possibility of studying new enemy technology "live". In April 1951, by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, a special group of GNIKI test pilots, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Dzyubenko, was even sent to Korea, who was assigned the task of "capturing" the F-86 and forcing them to land at their airfield. Then this plan was not implemented, but later, during an air battle on October 6, 1951, one of the destroyed Sabres made an emergency landing on the coast of North Korea. The pilot was picked up by the US Air Force's search and rescue service, and the plane, after a long epic of transportation at the end of 1951, was taken to Moscow for study.

Initially, the F-86 was at the State Research Institute of the Air Force, but soon it was transferred to TsAGI for a more detailed study and drawing up a detailed report. A preliminary inspection showed that the aircraft was not suitable for flight tests - the damage it received during landing and transportation was too great (the nose of the fuselage was badly crumpled on the aircraft, and the skin and power set were damaged in its lower part; in addition, there were numerous holes ). We decided to limit ourselves to the study of the aerodynamic characteristics of the exact (according to the available sample) Sabre model in the TsAGI wind tunnels, check the strength of the aircraft on static tests, carefully study its design features, and reproduce only some of the most interesting units and systems in natural form. There were no disagreements with the Air Force on this issue, and a joint letter with the text of the draft of the corresponding Resolution, signed by Marshal of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevsky, Air Force Commander Colonel-General of Aviation P.F. Zhigarev and the Minister of the Aviation Industry M.V. Khrunichev in mid-January 1952 was sent to the USSR Council of Ministers.

The government decree No. 478-152, issued on January 26 of the same year, confirmed the proposed plan and set a deadline for the completion of the work - the month of April. TsAGI was involved in the work - to study the aerodynamic layout, CIAM - the engine, VIAM - the materials used, NIAT - on the technology of aircraft and engine manufacturing, OKB-155 (A.I. Mikoyan) - to study the control system. A little earlier, at the end of December 1951, a separate government decree TsKB-589 of the Ministry of Armaments and NII-17 MAP instructed to copy the automatic sight A-C1 and the associated AN / APG-30 radio rangefinder installed on the Sabre. The corresponding domestic devices were coded "Snow" and "Grad".

By the beginning of May 1952, the study of the captured F-86 was completed. The summary report in the middle of the month was approved by the leadership of the MAP and the Air Force and on May 23 was sent to the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Of particular interest is the assessment given by TsAGI specialists:

“The F-86A aircraft has basically satisfactory aerodynamic characteristics in all flight modes up to M = 0.93-0.94. Tests of its models ... show that starting from M = 0.8, the F-86A aircraft gets a sharp dive, and when M> 0.9 - a sharp decrease in the efficiency of the elevator. ... Satisfactory flight performance of an aircraft at high flight speeds (M> 0.8) is achieved using a stabilizer controlled in flight, and at high angles of attack - using slats distributed over the entire wing span.

The aircraft has large ailerons providing good lateral control both at low and high flight speeds ...

The aircraft is equipped with large brake flaps, which increase the aircraft drag by about three times without changing the longitudinal stability characteristics.

Boosters are used in the aileron and elevator control system, which provides acceptable handling characteristics without the use of specially developed aerodynamic compensation.

A feature of the F-86A aircraft layout is the use of the old scheme with a low wing position, which made it possible to achieve satisfactory lateral stability characteristics with a small relative vertical tail area. In addition, this scheme made it possible to separate the horizontal tail from the vertical and place it on the fuselage. However, with such an aerodynamic layout on the F-86A aircraft, it was not possible to eliminate the sharp pulling into a dive, and this required the use of a stabilizer controlled in flight.

... With the numbers M = 0.93-0.94, there is a loss of efficiency of the elevators and ailerons ... Therefore, the number M = 0.94 is the maximum permissible ... for normal operation ...

Comparison of the aerodynamic characteristics of the F-86A and MiG-15 bis models shows that their drag and lift coefficients in the range of angles of attack up to a = 14 ° practically coincide. The F-86A aircraft has a larger size, greater flight weight and an engine with less thrust compared to the MiG-15bis. As a result, according to the calculation data, it follows that the F-86A aircraft is somewhat inferior to the MiG-15bis in maximum speed at low altitudes and is significantly inferior in terms of vertical speeds and rate of climb at all altitudes. The steady-state dive speeds of the F-86A and MiG-15bis aircraft with open brake flaps are practically the same, however, in horizontal flight, the F-86A aircraft decelerates more intensively than the MiG-15bis aircraft.

The design destructive overload ... is approximately equal to 12 ..., which coincides with the design overloads established for this class of aircraft by our strength standards. ... "

The conclusion read: “As a result of the conducted ... research ... it was established that the layout and aerodynamic layout of the aircraft are not of particular interest, with the exception of the application:

a) ailerons with large relative chord and span;
b) brake flaps with a large relative area;
c) effective landing mechanization in the form of a slotted flap;
d) slat;
e) booster control of ailerons and elevator ”.

Similar conclusions were made by other specialists who took part in the study of aircraft systems. For example, it was noted the use of duplicated cable wiring in the control system of the RV, the stabilizer regulated in flight and the use of high pressure in the aircraft hydraulic system (up to 211 kg / cm2, while on the MiG-15bis - no more than 150 kg / cm2). Material scientists drew attention to the high content of cobalt in heat-resistant alloys (noting at the same time that the domestic industry has developed new heat-resistant alloys that do not contain cobalt in short supply in our country, which are superior to American alloys with cobalt), as well as the use of a special sealing material based on thiol, vulcanized without heating. CIAM specialists, who studied the J47-GE-13 engine, noted the use of a protective grill at the engine inlet, steel blades of high relative elongation in the compressor rotor, the simplicity and reliability of the combustion chamber and the compressor disc mounting system. The use of JP-3 fuel, which is a wide-fraction mixture, which has a high yield from oil in comparison with kerosene, made it possible to increase the starting height of the engine and improve its operation at low temperatures.

Several caveats should be made here. Judging by the data given in the text, it is not clear which modification - A or E - was the plane that came to us. Judging by the serial number, from which the first five digits 49-131X are known, it follows that it was F-86A-5, tk. "Sabres" of modification E in all reference books belonged to the order of 1950 and their numbers began with the number "50". But if you trust American sources, then some of the mentioned design features of the aircraft (such as, for example, the controlled stabilizer or the J47-GE-13 engine) were introduced only starting with modification E, while the F-86A appears everywhere in the text of the report. As for the "controlled stabilizer" - here, obviously, just terminological confusion: our designers meant the so-called "adjustable" stabilizer, which was not directly included in the longitudinal control channel and was used only for balancing and trimming. Such a stabilizer was installed on aircraft of the F-86A type together with elevators, in contrast to the F-86E, on which a stabilizer controlled from the handle was installed, which was deflected together with the elevators. And the engine, apparently, did not have to be selected in the field, and what was at hand at the moment was put on the plane. In terms of seats, full interchangeability of engines of all modifications was ensured. And most importantly: it is not entirely correct to make an unambiguous conclusion about the advantages or disadvantages of a particular machine only on the basis of calculations. It is very easy to make a mistake here - the calculation results and the actual flight data of the aircraft may differ. This is confirmed by the testimonies of Soviet and American pilots who took part in the battles, about the Sabre's better maneuverability in the horizontal plane due to the installation of slats, which ensured exit in a bend at large angles of attack and the absence of such strict restrictions as on the MiG-15. speed due to the installation of an adjustable stabilizer and boosters in the longitudinal channel). This allowed the Americans to effectively evade the attacks of our pilots, using a sharp entry in the "dive" from the coup. It was difficult to repeat this maneuver on the MiG-15bis due to the rapid increase in speed. the plane became poorly controllable already at M> 0.92. The Americans, however, managed to pull this border to large values of the number M.

The recommendations of the report, in fact, provided for the development by the domestic industry and the use of individual units, components and materials in the designs of new aircraft. They did not even have a hint of the possibility of copying and building the F-86A in the USSR. Such a statement of the question should be recognized as justified. It was inappropriate to copy the Sabre in 1952 with the aim of launching it into a series if there were domestic MiG-15bis / 17 machines in production (despite all their shortcomings). In this opinion, the leaders of the MAP and the Air Force were united. In addition, some innovations with the F-86A (radio range finder coupled with an optical sight, increased area brake flaps, a booster in the RV control system and others), on the recommendation of the military, taking into account the experience of the Korean war, have already either been worked out as prototypes. or were introduced into the series on the MiG-15bis and MiG-17 aircraft. It was assumed that this direction will be reflected in the government's decision.

It should be noted, however, that not all senior army leaders were of the opinion about the advantages of the MiG-15. So, the commander of the fighter aviation (IA) of the air defense, Lieutenant-General of Aviation E.Ya. Savitsky, who traveled to part of the 64th IAK, following the results of these trips, repeatedly expressed his concern to the country's top officials about the state and prospects for the development of aviation of the Air Defense Forces. At least twice - in February 1952 and in April 1953 - he applied to the Council of Ministers with letters in which, based on an analysis of the experience of the IA units that were part of the 64th IAK, he raised the question that the MiG type aircraft -15 cannot effectively fight the F-80 and F-84 fighters at low altitudes and are inferior to the F-86A and F-86E in maneuverability at low and medium altitudes. He proposed to create in the USSR a special fighter for medium and low altitudes, more effective than the existing MiG-15. Perhaps his opinion later played a role.

In the meantime, things took an unexpected turn. In May 1952, with a letter addressed to I.V. Stalin, a certain V.V. Kondratyev, an employee of TsAGI, who proposed "to build the F-86A" Seibr "aircraft in serial production, while maintaining its complete resemblance to the original", and in the future - "to critically master the methods of the American school by working on improving this aircraft with the aim of modifying it." He motivated this proposal with considerations of the best maneuverability of the Sabre in comparison with the MiG-15bis, and at the end of the letter he made a "modest" proposal - to use himself as the chief designer.

Here we need to make some digression for clarification. At the beginning of 1952, Kondratyev worked at TsAGI as the head of the brigade in the 3rd department (strength) and was the direct executor of the work on testing the F-86A design. It is no longer possible to find out how he got the idea of copying "Sabre". In those days, a person who declared himself in this way knew (could not help but know!) What his initiative would turn out to be in case of failure. But the fact remains - Kondratyev himself came up with such a proposal to the leadership and, as we will see it below, despite the desperate resistance of the department, he managed to get official support. There were rumors that the idea of copying "Sabre" in the highest echelons of power was carried out by N.А. Bulganin, and that Kondratyev was his distant relative. But this is only a version. I will only note that at that time Bulganin held the post of Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and oversaw the work of the defense industries. Most of the documents on the construction of the Sabre, found in the MAP archives, relate specifically to the correspondence between the ministry leadership and Bulganin's secretariat.

Within the framework of the existing administrative-command system, Kondratyev's proposal could have the most unpredictable consequences and the MAP leadership was forced to take retaliatory measures. Bulganin received a letter from the minister, in which Khrunichev quite objectively expressed doubts about the need to copy the F-86 and launch it into series. But it was already too late: by this time, I.V. Stalin. It was possible to learn about how further events developed from the story of E.G. Adler (from the words of V.V.Kondratyev himself).

In June 1952 G.M. Malenkov, who oversaw the work of the MAP in the Central Committee, summoned a group of chief designers - A.N. Tupolev, A.I. Mikoyan, A.S. Yakovlev and "hero of the occasion" V.V. Kondratyev, accompanied by Deputy Minister S.N. Shishkin. The leader was ill and only Malenkov himself went to him. The rest of the guests were waiting in the waiting room. After a while Malenkov came out and turned to Shishkin: “Iosif Vissarionovich said that you underestimated the Sabre. It is not hard to imagine what the deputy minister might have experienced after such a statement. But no conclusions were drawn, and after a pause Malenkov, addressing the designers, said: “It has been decided to copy the plane. How many of you will take on this job? " Tupolev, obviously mindful of the recent epic with the B-29, refused immediately, Mikoyan also did not show much enthusiasm, and only Yakovlev immediately and unconditionally agreed with the proposal. The atmosphere in the reception was somewhat discharged. Malenkov went back to Stalin, and all those present were already congratulating their colleague on a new "successful" assignment. But Malenkov, who again left the office, reported Stalin's final resolution: "To copy the Sabre, organize a special OKB-1, the chief designer of which is to appoint Kondratyev."

Orders, as you know, are not discussed, but are accepted for execution. This time it was impossible to make a mistake: the instructions of Comrade. Stalin had to be executed to the point, but there was a possibility of interpreting the instructions themselves. Apparently, the MAP leadership did not change its attitude to the idea of copying the Sabre, as evidenced by the subsequent course of events. In the draft resolution prepared by the ministry, obviously not without intent, it was decided to place OKB-1 in Kuibyshev at plant No. 1. On the one hand, Stalin's order on the formation of a design bureau was carried out, since the organization of experimental design bureaus at serial factories at that time became a widespread practice, and on the other hand, a "time bomb" was brought under the work - the design bureau was deprived of its own production base, and its placement in isolation from the main branch organizations of the MAP greatly hampered communications, staffing with qualified personnel and reduced the efficiency of work.

Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 2804-1057, entitled "On the F-86A Sabre aircraft", was issued on June 18, 1952. Its essence boiled down to the fact that an experimental design bureau was organized at the plant No. 1 in Kuibyshev for (directly according to Kondratyev ) copying, construction and further development of the F-86A aircraft, and V.V. was appointed the chief designer of this OKB-1. Kondratiev. The copied plane was asked to build in three copies: two for flight tests and one for static ones and equip it with a domestic VK-1 engine. The deadline was set very tight: exactly one year later, that is, in June 1953, the aircraft was to be transferred for flight tests.

As expected, the government decree was reinforced by departmental order No. 706 dated June 20 of the same year, which, in particular, provided for the temporary placement of OKB-1 in Moscow on the territory of the TsAGI branch in order to speed up work on the production of drawings. In this case, the branch was understood as BNI (Bureau of New Information), located on the "old" territory of TsAGI on Radio Street.

The recruitment of specialists took place according to a long-established scheme - people were sent according to the order issued "from above" from adjacent factories and design bureaus. The backbone of the new team was made up of BNI employees and former employees of Kondratyev at TsAGI, and E.G. Adler, who passed to Kondratyev from A.S. Yakovleva. By the beginning of September, OKB-1 in Moscow had reached its regular strength. The situation with the formation of the design bureau at the plant in Kuibyshev was worse - there were no necessary specialists on the spot, and no one wanted to move there from the capital. As a result, to replenish the OKB staff, plant No. 1 itself sent its draftsmen to Moscow, and the work on introducing the aircraft into production was transferred from the nonexistent OKB-1 branch to the plant.

In the process of work, from the very beginning, the question arose of replacing the engine, since the domestic VK-1 with a centrifugal compressor specified in the decree had large transverse dimensions and, when installed in the fuselage of the Sabre, designed for an engine with an axial compressor, "knocked out" almost the entire stock fuel. In addition, most of the organizations that participated in the study of "Sabre" subsequently "forgot" to return the investigated samples of devices and assemblies to it, as a result of which the designers of OKB-1 were left with essentially an "empty tin can".

On May 13, 1952, in an area controlled by the North Koreans, another Sabre made an emergency landing "on its belly", knocked out by anti-aircraft artillery fire. The pilot (he was the commander of the 51st Fighter Wing of the US Air Force, one of the aces of the Second World War - Walker Makhurin) was not lucky - he was captured. And the plane (this time F-86E) was delivered to the Air Force Research Institute by July 1952. Kondratyev, who learned about this on July 7, in a letter addressed to the minister, proposes to transfer the aircraft to OKB-1 in order to use its engine, units and instruments, and also undertakes to overfulfill the previously established plan, reduce the construction period to 8 months and build four aircraft instead of three. Of these, one, as expected, for statistical tests, and the other three are flight tests: one with a J47 engine, and two others with A.I. Mikulin AM-5 with afterburner. Replacing the engines was motivated in the letter "... from the point of view of providing the aircraft with the necessary flight properties, which had not been clarified earlier, before the preliminary study of this issue ...".

The leadership of the MAP "supported" Kondratyev, reaching Bulganin with a proposal to partially change the assignment: it was proposed to build only 2 flying machines: the first with the J47 installed on it, and the second, still with the VK-1. The proposal to install the AM-5 engine on airplanes was considered inexpedient. In agreement with Bulganin, a compromise decision was made to continue work on the F-86A "with the use of the most modern components and assemblies from the F-86E aircraft on this aircraft," which Kondratyev especially insisted on. But CIAM, which initially gave some residual resource to the J47-GE-13 engine, soon refused to guarantee anything. The situation has reached an impasse.

By mid-November, a mockup of the aircraft was made and the commission appointed by the order of the minister considered it at its meeting (unlike the usual procedure, when the mock commission was the prerogative of the customer in the person of the Air Force, this aircraft was originally created for research purposes and the composition of the commission was determined by the ministry) ... Obviously, it was here that the designers' concerns about the engine were finally expressed, and soon, on November 25, the Minister's order No. 1344 was issued, which proposed to consider the possibility of installing Mikulinsky AM-5 on the aircraft, along with the original J47. Specific instructions were also given to ensure the fulfillment of the assignment to all subcontractors. At the same time, it was proposed to install the J47 engine on the aircraft being restored, and on the copied (that is, newly built) machines - the domestic AM-5 engines "with afterburning." The equipment on all aircraft was supposed to be domestic (like the MiG-15), with the exception of weapons (the American Colt Browning machine guns available in the USSR were installed).

The situation seemed to be defused. The OKB got the opportunity to calmly finalize the technical documentation, and at the plant in Kuibyshev, the manufacture of airframe parts began. But new circumstances intervened: in December 1952, by a government decree, plant No. 1 was reoriented to serial production of the Il-28 instead of the MiG-15, and its director V.Ya. Litvinov went to the management with a request to remove from the factory the assignment for the construction of the F-86A. As a result, it was decided that part of the order (production of wings, center section and empennage) would be transferred to plant number 292 in Saratov, and the plant in Kuibyshev would only have to manufacture a fuselage with a pressurized cabin and general assembly.

Be in the place of V.V. Kondratyev, a person who is more prepared for such work, and most importantly, a more acceptable person for the leadership of the MAP, perhaps the “Soviet Sabre” would have been born. But the deadlines were getting closer, and things with the construction of a "live" machine in Kuibyshev were still not very good. Under the circumstances, the chief designer needed to somehow demonstrate his activity. I saw only one path - to receive an assignment for the construction of a new aircraft. By January 1953, in the design department of the OKB, headed by E. G. Adler, a proposal was prepared to create a now fundamentally new "high-speed fighter". The aircraft was a mid-wing of a normal scheme with a delta wing and a two-fin vertical tail, placed in the form of washers on the ends of the stabilizer. Two turbojet engines designed by A.I. Mikulin had a common nasal air intake and were located vertically in the tail of the fuselage, one above the other. The design data of this aircraft were (through a fraction, the values of the quantities are given according to the TsAGI examination):

Maximum speed - 1940/1650 km / h,
Practical ceiling - 18700/18000 m,
Maximum range - 2100/1500 km

The new project did not cause much opposition, TsAGI specialist V.V. Struminsky even wrote quite a favorable review. The MAP leadership, forced to respond to this proposal, in a letter addressed to Bulganin, gave an evasive answer, the essence of which boiled down to the fact that Kondratyev was not the first to propose the creation of such a promising machine: “... the declared flight technical data of the new proposed by Comrade Kondratyev fighter is not confirmed by the calculations of TsAGI and turned out to be lower in comparison with the data of the front-line fighters proposed by the chief designers of com. Mikoyan and Yakovlev ... ", and" as for the new aircraft layout (with a delta wing), as you were informed earlier, a similar proposal to create a new delta wing aircraft was made by the chief designer t. Antonov with higher flight data ... ".

In conversations with Kondratyev himself, officials referred to the fact that for the construction of such an aircraft, a strong production base was needed, which OKB-1 did not have. According to the existing order, strong production was created only for the fulfillment of a specific government assignment. It turned out to be a vicious circle. The time bomb finally went off. It only remained to wait for the erroneous steps from the inexperienced chief designer.

The calculation turned out to be correct. Kondratyev could not sit still, and new projects were soon baked like pancakes - with a frequency of one month: on February 16, he came up with a proposal to create a "supersonic fighter aircraft with a maximum speed of 2000-2200 km / h and a flight altitude of 21 km with two new engines with a thrust of 5000 kg each design of Comrade Mikulin "(AM-11F), and on March 17 - already with a new project" high-altitude fighter-interceptor with a maximum speed of 3000-4000 km / h and a flight altitude of 30 km, using ... engine operating on a new principle ”(engine“ MD ”designed by BG Shpitalny). And if regarding the first of them, the MAP's answer was still evasive, then by the time the second was released, the political situation in the country had seriously changed. After Stalin's death, as a result of personnel changes N.A. Bulganin moved to the chair of the Minister of Defense and lost the opportunity to directly influence the course of events, the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers was taken by G.M. Malenkov, and the Ministry of Aviation Industry for some time (from April to August 1953) ceased to exist altogether, since it was merged with the Ministry of Arms into one common Ministry of Defense Industry (MOP), whose minister D.F. Ustinov (formerly the Minister of Armaments). M.V. was appointed his deputy. Khrunichev.

These events could not but affect the fate of OKB-1 and its chief designer. In April 1953, Ustinov appointed a representative commission to consider a joint proposal by chief designers Kondratyev (OKB-1) and Shpitalny (OKB-15) to create a "High-altitude fighter-interceptor with a molecular engine MD-53". The conclusions of the commission were discouraging: “The declared ... characteristics of the engine and the aircraft are technically unfounded and unrealistic. ... The proposal can only be viewed as a technical adventure, and not as a serious engineering proposal. ... The proposal ... is essentially an attempt to mislead the Government. " Now it is already difficult to say what caused the sharp tone of the conclusions. Perhaps, in the face of the changed situation, the leaders of the industry decided to get even with Kondratyev for past grievances. The case turned out to be a good one - the project of the MD-53 engine, developed by the "non-professional" Shpitalny, was utopian, which was the main focus of the experts of the commission, including A.I. Mikulin, S.K. Tumansky and A.M. Cradle. They did not make such unambiguous conclusions about the aircraft. Moreover, it was said that to work out the issues of flight at such high speeds requires extensive and deep research work, that is, it was recognized that fundamental research lags behind the demands of practical science. However, this fact did not prevent the launch of the bureaucratic machine. All that remained was to wait for the results.

By the beginning of May 1953, the question of the very existence of OKB-1 was already discussed. Now almost no one even remembered why it was once created. Career V.V. Kondratyev as chief designer ended with the release of the minister's order No. 233 dated May 14, 1953. The document literally reads the following:

“Due to the fact that the chief designer of OKB-1, t. Kondratyev, is not able to ensure the creation of new prototypes of aircraft, does not have sufficient experience in this area and, according to the conclusion of the expert commission, has taken the path of technical adventurism, I order:

1. Comrade Kondratyev shall be relieved of his duties as the chief designer of OKB-1; *
2. to appoint the chief designer of OKB-1 T. Sukhoi P.O.

Thus ended the short history of copying the Sabre fighter jet in the Soviet Union. The new chief designer P.O. Sukhoi, apparently, by agreement with the leadership of the Ministry of Aviation Industry, was no longer involved in work in this area. He began the development of fundamentally new machines, later embodied in metal under the names S-1 and T-3. The corresponding government decree, which legalized the work of OKB-1 on this topic, was issued in August 1953, and at the end of the year the design bureau finally receives its production base - a branch of OKB-155 on the territory of the former plant No. 51 in one of the corners of the Khodynskoye Pole ... Hence the new name: OKB-51. It should be noted that the initial variants of the layout of the T-1 and T-3 aircraft were largely based on the proposals developed by E.G. Adler at OKB-1 under Kondratyev, and some technological innovations from the "Sabre" are very successfully introduced into their design.

V. V. Kondratyev

The appearance of the F-86 in the USSR in the early 50s was still not in vain for Soviet aviation, it made it possible to directly get acquainted with the equipment of the opposing side. Of the direct borrowings, one can note, for example, the ASP-4N (Snow) optical sight and the SRD-3 (Grad) radio rangefinder, which are copies of the A-1C sight and the AN / APG-30 radio rangefinder installed on the Seibra. In 1953, they were tested on a specially equipped MiG-17 / SG, and later the ASP-4N was even installed on MiG-17 aircraft. In addition to studying and copying some new devices and assemblies, new technological processes were introduced into production, such as, for example, machining on special milling machines to obtain wing sheathing sheets of variable cross-sectional thickness, widespread use of roller and spot welding of steel and light alloys, more widespread use of hot-stamped and cast units, explosive rivets, ramrod sealing of triplex lanterns and the like.

Another consequence of the study of the "Sabre" was the work carried out in the USSR to create and use new grades of fuel and hydraulic fluid. So, in particular, by Government Decree No. 1691-621 of April 7, 1952, the VNIINP of the Ministry of Oil Industry began work on the creation of kerosene with an expanded fractional composition - types T-2 and T-4. In cooperation with the Ministry of Aviation Industry and the Ministry of Defense, these works continued until the end of the 50s, and the requirement for the possibility of working on these types of kerosene was a sine qua non for all newly developed types of aircraft and engines. The end result of work on hydraulic fluid was the emergence of AMG-10 - the main type of slurry in the aviation of the USSR. But that's a completely different story.

In conclusion, it only remains to note that the work on the Sabre was formally closed by Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 2460-1017 of September 19, 1953, the expenses were written off, and the backlog at the factories in Kuibyshev and Saratov was destroyed.

After May 1953, V.V. Kondratyev repeatedly tried to challenge the label of a "technical adventurer" stuck on him, appealed to the MAP, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers with requests to review their case. In September 1953, the minister changed the wording of the order on dismissal to a neutral one: "in connection with a change in the assignment." Kondratyev was offered the position of deputy chief designer at plant number 918, where he worked for several years. And here, and later - in OKB-256 / Tsybin / he repeatedly went to the Central Committee and the Council of Ministers with proposals for the creation of new promising aircraft - a strategic bomber, a supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft and similar machines, but never received support in high spheres of leadership. because in April 1958 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union received an answer to a request to the MAP about the essence of these proposals: “... he (Kondratyev - author's note), due to his knowledge, practical work experience and organizational skills, will not be able to provide leadership to any independent an experimental design bureau or a scientific subdivision because Comrade Kondratyev was completely unprepared for leading work in the field of experimental aircraft construction. .. ".
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
2,110
Reaction score
652
Over all, some fascinating information here thank you all!!

Thank goodness for access to the Soviet archives.

Ready this, it still makes me think that the United States should have pursued the NAA 'Sabre 45' - a development of the F-86 Sabre, just as the Soviet's pursued the MiG-17, itself a development of the MiG-15.

Regards
Pioneer
 

Similar threads

Top