THE STORM “FIATS”

THE STORM Soviet istrebitel-polutoraplan-15. In the early 30-ies of the last century in accordance with the existing at that period, the concept involving joint use maneuverable fighter biplanes and high-speed fighter-monoplanes, the Soviet Union developed several new aircraft, various aerodynamic schemes. Known aircraft designer N. Polikarpov, who achieved considerable success in the creation of a fighter-biplane (in particular, step I-5), was commissioned by the beginning of 1933 to create a fighter-biplane I-13 mixed design. However, in the process of working on this machine revealed that the traditional concept of the fighter has no prospects. Work And 13 closed, and the design team of No. 3, together with the head of it.Polikarpov connected to the development of all-metal fighter-monoplane I-14 design Sukhoi.

 
Work on And-13, however, continued. It was conducted at first in the initiative order, but N.Polikarpov soon had the idea of creating a new fighter-polyterpene, which absorbed all the best from the aircraft I-13 and I-14. The main goal of the designer was to create a machine with maximum maneuverability while maintaining speed performance. A distinctive feature of the fighter was the form of the upper wing in the form of “Seagull.”
 
The project was interested in leadership and the air force chief J. Alksnis recommended its construction under the designation I-15. During the design of the fighter was assigned the internal name TSKB-3. The construction of the aircraft was completed in the autumn of 1933. In October of this year, the test pilot V. Chkalov lifted the car up in the air. The flight went quite well, but soon the first prototype crashed when landing and on state tests were presented in the second plane.
 
A selection Committee was struck by the maneuvering characteristics of a new fighter. So, turn he performed in just eight seconds and a top speed of TSKB-3 was 350 km/h. the Plane immediately decided to adopt, despite the fact that its rate is still considered insufficient. Series production began in Moscow on two aircraft factories.
 
Development And-15 in combat units passed not too successfully. The car was strict in piloting — impact minimal margin of static stability inherent in the design to increase maneuverability. Instability was particularly evident when shooting from machine guns on Board when the recoil threw the nose part of the fighter. The reason for the instability of the aircraft, the pilots saw the upper wing of the type “the Seagull” — and this despite the fact that N. Polikarpov strongly proved the falsity of this assumption. In the end, the air force Institute ordered the designer to set on the traditional fighter wing.
 
The new aircraft with straight wings built in 1935. Tests were carried out Chkalov and Vladimir Kokkinaki. According to them, stability has increased markedly, however, at the same time somewhat deteriorated maneuverability. Mass production And-15 with a wing type Chayka stopped and in 1937 they began to build a large series I-15bis with straight wings and modified bonnet For the resumption of production of the fighter wing of the type “the Seagull” was influenced by the successful results of the application of I-15 in Spain. Just built a 674 instance of I-15 and 2408 —I-15bis.
 
One of the main disadvantages of I-15 was not enough powerful weapon — four machine guns of rifle caliber. At the same time, the main enemy I-15 in Spain, the Italian fighter FIAT CR.32 — was equipped with two heavy machine guns and, importantly, during the shooting was so stable that allowed Franco’s pilots to open fire from long range. However, this did not save their melee from the fantastically maneuverable I-15. That is why in the history of aviation best fighter-biplane 30 years is still considered our And-15.
 
In the Spanish port of Cartagena on 13 October 1936 arrived Maritime transport “Bolshevik”, which was a group of 16 Soviet fighter pilots: twelve of the 109-th Kyiv fighter squadron and four of Zhytomyr. Of the red I-109 became famous during the civil war, it carried out military tests And 15, and the P. Rychagova detachment of this squadron was entrusted with the testing of missiles RS-82. Some pilots, government awards more to Spain. In particular, the P. Rychagov was awarded the order of Lenin for the development of new technology.
 
The group was headed by Brigadier Y. Smushkevich. He became an adviser to the commander of Republican air force Hidalgo de Cisneros. Fighter aircraft was headed by P. Pumpur.
 
“Bolshevik” was taken and aircraft — twelve-15. Three days later on the Spanish transport “Love mehndi” was delivered eight more-15. Urgently they were loaded on cars and transported to the airport in Murcia. After a few days, all 24 fighters were collected. After Assembly, they were immediately flown and ferried to the airfield in Soto.
 
During one of the flights that occurred on November 3, two pilots lost orientation and landed in enemy territory. Both pilots were captured, and a brand new aircraft at the disposal of Franco. After a while the rebels began to use one of the I-15 for intelligence.
 
All 15 were divided into three squadrons. The first was commanded by P. Rychagov, second — G. Zakharov, third — K. Kovtun. All of the squadron brought in a fighter group (Grupo 26) under the command of P. Rychagova. Chief of staff of the group appointed Vladimir Sasina, which described in detail the events of those days in his memoirs.
 
According to the memoirs of V. Sasina first battle with Soviet fighters took place on 4 November 1936, when the squadron P. Rychagova flew up to protect two Republican bombers “Potez-54”, which was attacked by fourteen Not-51 and CR-32. I got into a dogfight, the bombers, meanwhile, went to the target and bombed. Squadron P. Rychagova seven minutes of fight destroyed four No-51, including the car of the commander of the rebel group. Of the four downed enemy aircraft, two — counts of P. Rychagova. In the second flight this day for ten-15 was found with six Ju-52 and several fighter cover. During the brief battle the enemy fighters fled, and one bomber was shot down.
 
Immediately after the return of the squadron P. Rychagova to take off I went to the second squadron. Its pilots drove from the city the two links “Junkers”, marching under cover of nine FIAT CR-32, knocking one CR-32. At the end of the day once again flew the first squadron. In a fierce battle was destroyed a Ju-52. The result of the first day to seven shot down by Franco’s airplanes; the Republicans were no losses.
 
5 Nov. Towards nine Ju-52 squadron flew Zakharova. Shot down one bomber. The rest turned back. At 12 o’clock, the air has gone squadron P. Rychagova. In aerial combat, the enemy lost three aircraft, but suffered its first combat losses and Republicans — killed P. Mitrofanov. In just two days of fighting three of the squadron shot down 11 enemy aircraft, losing one pilot.
 
6 November the squadron completed a total of six sorties, one of which the team completed in full. On this day, the first air combat over Madrid, which was attended by fighters And-15. During the battle the enemy lost four bombers Ju-52. The Republican air force lost one fighter who suffered major damage and were beyond repair, his pilot N.Miroshnichenko miraculously survived. During the day group P. Rychagova had won nine victories.
 
7 November 1936 to prevent the enemy bombing was used by patrolling fighters. First went to the air squadron P. Rychagova. Over Madrid Republican planes met a group of Ju-52. Noticing the I-15, they turned around and went for the front line. For the first time, Franco’s bombers, not taking the fight, left the sky of Madrid! On this day, the group Rychagova has performed about a hundred sorties.
 
No less fierce fighting took place in the skies of Madrid and in the following days. November 15 was shot down by P. Levers. Jumping with a parachute, he landed in the city centre. Only in the area of Madrid in November — December, the Republican pilots destroyed more than 60 enemy planes, most of which was contributed by the group to claim Rychagova. By the end of December, the offensive of Franco in the Spanish capital, and drowned in the intensity of the fighting has subsided, which allowed Republican command to transfer a squadron of I-15 on other sectors of the front. During the battle for Madrid, the Spaniards gave the Soviet fighters nicknamed Chato (snub-nosed). The invaluable role played by the “Chato” and in the North of Spain.
 
Another Soviet transport arrived on 1 November 1936 in the port of Bilbao. He delivered half a dozen fighters I-15 and the twelve Soviet pilots. Of them are formed squadron headed by B. Turzhansky. The appearance of this unit have had a significant impact on the situation in the air — the loss of Franco’s bombers and fighters has increased significantly, reduced the number of bomber raids of the city and troops of the Northern front.
 
Squadron B. Turzhansky made several raids on the airfield Navia, destroying 12 enemy aircraft. Once B. Turzhansky alone dealt with two Ju-52s trying to bomb Santader. Both aircraft fell, failing to throw a single bomb. Soon B. Turzhansky was injured and the plane damaged. During a forced landing the machine escapetravel and the pilot received a head injury. Found it only on the second day. The doctors did the surgery in which he lost an eye. It was believed that without eyes to fly a plane is impossible, but B. Turzhansky obtained permission to fly and subsequently became a test pilot. Among the first B. Turianska was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
 
The most successful period for the first group of Soviet pilots was the spring of 1937, when the Republican aviation played a decisive role in the defeat of the Italian expeditionary corps of General of Rooty coming to Madrid five columns from Guadalajara. Deployment and movement of troops timely detection of enemy G. Zakharov, carrying out with your wingman on a reconnaissance mission in the area. The air went all Republican planes. More than 100 vehicles of different types ranging from SB to I-16 — the waves hit the enemy. After the first attack on earth burned several cars. All anti-aircraft guns of the enemy were quickly overwhelmed and began the real slaughter. The attacks on the convoy lasted continuously for nine days. Final defeat of Italians took ground troops. The enemy lost more than 4 thousand people and all the equipment!
 
The first group of Soviet pilots stayed in Spain till the middle of may 1937. After the departure of P. Rychagova command of the group took A. Osadchiy. In the composition of the squadrons began to grow the number of pilots of the Spaniards. The main part of the second group of the Soviet pilots arrived in late may and in July 1937. The first squadron of I-15, which previously commanded P. and Levers, A. Osadchiy, headed by Eremenko, later he was replaced by A. Serov. It was planned that Serov headed the group of test pilots the air force Institute, which in addition, it included G. Bakhchivandzhi, will hold in a combat situation test of missiles RS-82. For this purpose, to be sent to Spain produced five special fighter-15, equipped launchers. However, at the last minute sending planes with jet weapons abolished. The decision was due to the fear that the secret weapon could fall into the hands of the German and Italian command. Therefore, Serov travelled to Spain with the usual fighters.
 
The major battles of 1937, which involved aviation, began operation under the Brunete and Zaragoza offensive. During Bronitskaja offensive suffered its first loss of the squadron Eremenko. A fighter wing consisting of A. Serov, S. Shalaginova, I. Karpov and M. Yakushin led the fight with 22 separate francoist fighters. Thus in an unequal battle were shot down by machine I. Karpov and S. Shelyganova. The latter was able to hold on to its territory and put a burning plane. Fighter Serov shot down two CR-32, also was damaged and had to be sent in for repair. A member of the fighting over Zaragoza, E. Stepanov remembered that the intensity of operations was very large. For three months the RAID of each pilot reached 60-85 hours per annum under normal peace-time 100-120 hours.
 
As before, in 1937, the aircraft was widely used for action against ground targets. One of the most successful was the RAID on the airfield Carpinello. The operation, code-named “knight’s Move”, was developed by the Advisor to the commander of the Republican air force E. Plugin. The RAID began early on the morning of 15 October. A direct strike on the airfield caused two squadrons of I-15 commanded by A. G. Serov and Chindosvindo. Five squadrons of I-16 blocked the airfield from the air. At extremely low altitude the aircraft reached the target in the moment when Franco was performed pre-flight preparation. At the airport were tankers and cars with ammunition. All the guns in the Republican planes were loaded with only incendiary ammo. The effect surpassed all expectations. The smoke from the fires was visible for a few tens of kilometers. Burned about 60 enemy aircraft.
 
After the RAID, Republicans overextended their lines of spare airfields in order to avoid retaliation. Subsequently captured Italian pilot said that the investigation of the incident of the defeat of the work of the Commission created by Mussolini. Was shot, the commandant of the aerodrome and all anti-aircraft calculations, as guilty for causing great losses.
 
To combat night bombers Republican command from the 14th of July 1937 was organized the night shift of fighter I-15. A group of six pilots who had extensive experience in night flying, was headed by V. Kuznetsov. The first on July 27 was shot down by a night bomber Ju-52 — he fell in 1 hour 45 minutes CET. In a night battle on July 28 was destroyed by another “Junker”. For these victories, the pilots group Castejon Carlo and Rodrigo MATEO (by these names fought Mikhail Yakushin and Serov) was awarded a gold watch and personal cars. In the USSR they have received the order of the red banner. The night of October 25 E. Stepanov managed to shoot down two bombers SM-81. With one of them for the first time in the history of aviation was shot down by a ramming attack. First I was able to torch the bomber with a machinegun, but because he continued to fly, E. Stepanov struck the left wheel of his plane on the tail plumage of bomber, and that without control, fell. When E. Stepanov brought the aircraft in horizontal flight, then found and brought down a second SM-81. That same night I. Finn knocked down another SM-81.
 
With the aim of improving the management of all aviation fighter squadron on the Aragon front brought 18 Oct 1937 in two group.
 
The first group included five squadrons of I-15. The first was commanded by E. Stepanov, the second — L. Markiles, the third — L. Duarte, fourth. and fifth komas — G. Chindosvindo.
 
1937 ended with heavy fighting under Trueim. In the beginning of the new 1938 lull, which lasted until the beginning of March. Ninth of March began the offensive of Franco on the Aragon front. Aircraft of the rebels appeared in the air in large groups of 50-70 aircraft. In some aerial combat with both parties involved up to 100 vehicles simultaneously. Against 400 francoist planes, the Republicans could oppose only 150. The situation on the Aragon front was getting worse every day. On the first day of the offensive, the enemy seized Fuendetodos and a number of other units of defense of the Republicans.
 
In the midst of the fighting, there was a change of Soviet pilots. The first squadron I-15 headed by Vladimir Bagrov. The Republican aircraft, offsetting the numerical superiority of the enemy, was compelled to act with great intensity. Fighters were made for 6-9 sorties a day. 15 April 1938, the rebels took the town of vinarós and benicarló and went out to the Mediterranean sea. Territory Republicans appeared split into two parts: the North (Catalonia) and linientreu. To save Valencia, the Republican army decided to counter the attack and on 25 July, crossed the river Ebro. In the battle of the Ebro was attended by five groups of aircraft that were included in the Eleventh squadron, commanded Isidore Himeno. Almost constantly in the air there were air battles. The largest took place on 4 August 1938, when five Republican squadrons of I-15 and I-16 were resisted by 250 enemy fighters. In heavy fighting Franco lost 12 cars.
 
In September 1938, Moscow decided to withdraw its military personnel from Spain. Last sortie of the Soviet pilots took place on 15 September. After their departure, air combat stress has not decreased. One of the last fights in the air of Catalonia took place on 6 February 1939 in the village of Villanueva. Lieutenant Jose Falco on his old I-15 shot down two of the newest German fighter Bf 109E.
 
Fighter-polutoraplan I-15 construction.N. Polikarpov
 
Fighter-polutoraplan I-15 construction.N. Polikarpov
 
Fighter-polutoraplan I-15 construction.N.Polikarpov:
 
1 — exhaust pipes; 2 — wing of ANO; 3 — ailerons; 4 — left flap of the cabin; 5 — gargrot; 6 — keel; 7 — rudder; 8 — driven skid; 9—the stabilizer struts; 10 — plain strip-lining; 11 —removable duralumin bar; 12,55 — gilsokartonnye pipe; 13 — abacteriuric; 14—wheel; 15 — operating step; 16—annular hood Townend; 17—a steel two-bladed screw; 18 —tape-brace; 19 — front wing; 20 maintenance hatch; 21 —visor of the cockpit; 22 — cabin Windows in the center of the dashboard; 23 — plate node of the hinge of the rudder; 24— tail ANO; 25 — front wheel; 26 — removable aluminum access panel to the propulsion units; 27—wheel fairing (fuselage); 28— ratchet ground run of the engine; 29— tube cooling machine gun; the 30 — end rib of the center section of the upper wing; 31 — left flap of the cabin (Spanish post-war version); 32 — the headrest of pilot seat; 33 — dural panel; 34 — lifting pipe; 35 — foot pegs; 36 — window sonietta; 37 end rib of the center section of the lower wing; 38 — clamping units of the guide rail; 39— launcher will electrogoth; 40— stabilizer rockets; 41 — missiles RS-82; 42 — shrapnel combat part of the projectile; 43 — chickenpox fuse; 44 — a guide rail; 45 — Venturi; 46 — Carter fairing with overlapping Windows of cooling; 47—the engine M-25; 48, the air intake of the crankcase; 49— a crankcase; 50 — synchronizer; 51 — the oil tank; 52 fire — rated partition; 53 — gas tank; 54 — fuel filler neck gas tank; 56 — cartridge boxes; 57 — dashboard; 58 — optical sight OP-1; 59 — machine gun PV-1; 60 — handle; 61 — right flap of the cab; the 62 — seat pilot, 63 — leather lining; 64 — profiled stringers; 65 — pull Elevator control; 66 root rib of the stabilizer; 67 — hinge of the rudder; 68 — rib of the rudder; 69 — tubular spar of the rudder; 70 rocking of the Elevator; 71 — removable foot crutch; 72 — absorber crutch; 73 — tubular farm power set of the fuselage; 74— profiled frames; 75 — rocking chair traction Elevator control; 76 — attachment of the seat of the pilot, 77 — foot controls; 78—drain the fuel from the fuel tank; 79 — control rod Aileron; 80—chic-hinge; 81 — strut; 82 — motor mount; 83 — cooling jacket of the barrel; 84— breech; 85 — return spring; 86 — handle reloading of the gun; 87—GTD; 88 — the intake of exhaust gases for preheating the carburetor; 89 — fairings of the attachment strips of the braces; 90—right-mooring earring; 91—earring bomb racks; 92 — stabilizer bombs; 93 — 32-kg bombs; 94 — trusting the left panel of the dashboard; 95 — the Central panel of the dashboard; 96— right corner panel of the dashboard; 97—the steering wheel height; 98 — pad of the hinge of the Elevator; 99 — stabilizer; 100 — flap access to the filling neck of the fuel tank; 101 — rib of the upper wing; 102 — the spars of the upper wing; 103, the inner braces of the upper wing; 104—rib Aileron; 105 — rib of the lower wing; 106 — rib stabilizer; 107 — ribs of the Elevator; 108 — rear view mirror; 109—spars of the lower wing; 110 internal brace of the lower wing; 111 drainage caps; 112— lever engine control (ORES); 113 — control arm of the carburetor; 114—control handle bonnet louvres engine; 115 —ropes to the steering wheel direction; 116— sash shutters; 117 is the left flap of the cockpit in the open position

 
All the Soviet Union delivered to Spain 153 aircraft-15(123 — in Central area and 30 in the North). Spanish plants produced about 250 fighters of this brand. After the civil war, the nationalists got more than a hundred And 15: 44 in flying condition, and 63 requiring repair. After recovery they operated until the early 50-ies in the Group 1-G-2.
 
Members fighting in Spain, by evaluating the fighter-15, noted its high maneuverability, power, vitality power plant, ease of operation. Among the flaws stood out a lack of armor protection of the pilot and instability in the shooting that led to the need to fire from small distances. And 7.62 mm machine guns did not differ on combat effectiveness.
 
The design of the aircraft
 
The fighter I-15 was a single engine single column bracing polutoraplan mixed construction with fabric covering and fixed landing gear.
 
The fuselage truss, structurally made of steel pipes. To give it a streamlined shape, to force the tubular skeleton by means of clamps is attached to a lightweight frame of aluminum profile U-shape under a linen cording. In the mounting areas of the hood were installed to support the stringers and frames from steel tubes. The covering of the forward fuselage to the cockpit — from sheets of aluminum brand D1, fastened by slotted countersunk head locks with the head of the “FAE”. The rest of the surface of the fuselage were sewn cloth. Root tilted part of the upper wing joined the fuselage.
 
In the forward fuselage on the first power of the frames is attached to a motor mount, welded from steel pipes. The frame also installed the landing gear, the frame performs the function of a fire wall. Immediately after the first frame was placed nepaterizovanny 160-litre fuel tank. Top and side of the fuselage before the cockpit were the guns PV-1.
 
The seat of the pilot in the cockpit of an open type on most planes were made of duralumin and without brongespeense. The seat had a scrape under a parachute and could be adjusted for height. Front head pilot covered from the incoming flow, transparent visor. Through the hole in the visor is mounted in front of the cab the telescopic sight. For headrest mounted fairing streamlined shape that reduces aerodynamic drag. For the convenience of the access cab its the shutters are hinged, and on the left Board there was a two step, closed spring-loaded lids. Inside the cabin were painted in grey color, dashboard in black.
 
Box wing biplane of wooden construction, had an area of 21.9 m2. The upper and lower wings are structurally identical and are made by dvuhlonzheronnoe scheme. The box-type spars. Longitudinal power set was collected on the glue truss ribs. Additional rigidity to the wing provided the internal braces. Wing profile — “Gottingen 436” with a relative thickness of 12%. To the first side rail and the toe had plywood paneling on top of which all the wing tight fitting fabric, followed by coating with dope. The fabric was sewn to the frame by double seam, which is glued on top of plain herringbone tape. Ailerons with aerodynamic compensation was located only on the upper wing. Manage hard, using rocking, attached to the ailerons. The stiffness of the single-strut biplane box is further provided with profiled belts-braces. On the lower wing in place of the strut-brace could be four bomb racks (two on each side) or six tracks (three on each wing) for missiles RS-82.
 
Empennage were of dural construction and fabric covering. The horizontal tail consisted of a stabilizer and rudder. Management latest — hard, from the control stick. The vertical tail consisted of a keel and rudder. The spars of the rudder pitch and direction — tubular type. Control of the rudder cable. For greater rigidity of the stabilizer is supported by the struts. The hinge of the rudder, and altitude were covered by spring-loaded covers.
 
THE STORM
 
The undercarriage is fixed, cantilever type stand included damping cylinder with the rod, which is welded via a node with a brake disc attached to the axle shaft. Wheels Pneumatics were hiding in dural teardrop-shaped fairings that are in combat units, as a rule, removed. Winter on the fighter mounted wooden skis with braces. Skid was made of steel pipe, it had a rubber cushioning and can rotate simultaneously with the rudder.
 
The power plant of the aircraft consisted of nine radial air-cooled engine M-22 480 HP or M-25 power 750 HP Propeller all-metal, two-blade, right hand rotation, with the ability to change the pitch on the ground. The screw diameter is 2.9 m. the Blades can be installed in one of three positions: with a step of 3.3, 3.1 or 3.4 meters. Exhaust pipes of the engine are short, curved shape with beveled ends. The cylinder head closed by an annular hood Townend width 400 mm, reduces the aerodynamic resistance of the aircraft. Behind the engine on the fire wall attached to the tank capacity 21 l crankcase front cover small front cowl fairing, protects it from excessive cooling in winter and at high altitudes. To regulate the temperature of the engine in the front bonnet has been installed blinds. Their control from the cockpit. The engine could be run from an onboard battery mounted behind the seat, or from the airfield car starter.
 
Armament consisted of four synchronised 7.62 mm machine-guns PV-1 with ammunition, 750 rounds per gun. Supply of ammunition — belt. Curb tape cartridge housed in the cartridge boxes. Top guns played for the dashboard in the cockpit and reloaded arms. The side guns are reloaded with the cable runs.
 
Four bomb racks DER-32 under the lower wing can be suspended up to 40 kg of bombs. Later the bomb load was brought up to 150 kg. From 1937-15 hung six unguided rockets RS-82, three on each lower wing. The starting device is attached in place of the bomb racks. Rockets were launched both single and salvo. The fuses of the missiles were installed on the ground on a certain range of operation.
 
Flight characteristics of fighter I-15

 
The scope of the upper wing, mm……. 9750
The scope of the lower wing, mm……… 7050
Length, mm………………………………6100
Height, mm……………………………. 3200
The area of the upper
wing m2…………………………… 15,65
The lower wing area, m2………7,9
Wing loading, kg/m2…………..58,3
Empty weight, kg…………………… 964,6
Normal
takeoff weight, kg……………. 1373,5
Maximum speed, km/h……367
Practical ceiling, m………… 9800
Flight range, km……………….600
 
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, Kharkov

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