Table of contents:
- Who was the author of the unusual project "invisible plane"
- How the effect of the complete disappearance of the plane in the air was created
- Why "stealth planes" were not used during the Second World War
- How radio invisibility studies were carried out in the USSR after the Second World War and was there "Stealth" in the Soviet state
Video: Why the Soviet "stealth aircraft", which appeared in 1936, were not used during the Great Patriotic War
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
With the development of aviation, due to the constant military-political tension between the major world powers, the idea arose to develop an "invisible" aircraft. He would allow him to have an advantage in the sky and in the event of a local conflict, without revealing himself, he could easily hit ground and air targets. The pioneer in this area was the Soviet Union, which in 1936 created an experimental aircraft capable of "dissolving" in the sky.
Who was the author of the unusual project "invisible plane"
Unlike the military novelties of our time, which immediately receive a high-security stamp, in the USSR at the end of the 30s, such information was not hidden. So, in 1936, after the successful testing of one aviation invention, a detailed article about this appeared in the Inventor and Rationalizer magazine. The correspondent of the publication I. Vishnyakov witnessed the flight of the extraordinary plane, who described the details of the event.
According to him, the new monoplane a little resembled the U-2 multipurpose biplane, created in 1927 by aircraft designer Nikolai Polikarpov. The Invisible Man, having rolled out of a special hangar, easily lifted off the ground and soared into the air. She was followed by two I-16 fighters, which were supposed to accompany the flight in order to enable passengers to record the historical moment on camera.
In the first moments, nothing really happened - the monoplane hovered in the sky and was perfectly visible both from the ground and from the air. But at a certain second, the plane, releasing a gas jet, gradually disappeared from the visibility zone: only the characteristic noise of the engines gave the observers the location of the "invisible" in the air. In order not to accidentally knock the vehicle out of sight, the fighters accompanying it were ordered to return to the airfield; a little later, an amazing plane landed there.
The developers of this fantastic project were Sergey Kozlov, a professor at the Academy. NOT. Zhukovsky, and Robert Bartini, an Italian engineer who left fascist Italy for the Soviet Union, where he became famous as an aircraft designer. The threat of another war hung over the world and the arms race in European countries was in full swing: the release of an "invisible" aircraft in such conditions would undoubtedly make the Soviet Union the real master of the sky.
How the effect of the complete disappearance of the plane in the air was created
There were no miracles in the technology of visual disappearance of the monoplane: for "invisibility" a special material was applied to the surface of the body - light-resistant plasticized cellulose acetate called rhodoid. It was with the help of this plexiglass that the optical effect of disappearance was obtained, which was enhanced by the gas of a blue hue.
To spray it at the right time, it was necessary to develop an additional device - Bartini successfully coped with this, translating the idea into real equipment for the aircraft.
Why "stealth planes" were not used during the Second World War
It seemed that after a trial test, it was possible to celebrate the well-deserved success and establish mass production of a new invention. However, this did not happen. And here's why: during the experimental flight, it turned out that the car becomes invisible only to people - for the enemy's radars, there are no changes in the visibility of the aircraft.
This fact made it meaningless to continue developing in this direction, and the outbreak of the war forced to first postpone the idea, and then forget about it for a long time.
How radio invisibility studies were carried out in the USSR after the Second World War and was there "Stealth" in the Soviet state
The topic of the stealth aircraft in the Soviet Union did not return until the 70s, when intelligence about American developments appeared. Not wanting to lag behind a potential enemy, the USSR began their own research in the field of radio invisibility. However, in the United States, stealth technology began to be dealt with back in the 50s and 20 years later, after several unsuccessful attempts, the Americans managed to achieve noticeable success.
For this reason, it was difficult for the Soviet Union to catch up in a short time. For example, the M-17 Stratosphere, an “inconspicuous scout” created in the 1980s, almost immediately lost its relevance for military use. Subsequently, this high-altitude jet subsonic aircraft began to be used for scientific purposes, having installed equipment for studying the state of the atmosphere instead of an aiming station and a cannon installation.
The second attempt to create "invisible" was the modernization of the M-17: the designers changed the shape of the model and equipped it with a radar. The result was negative - the new M-17RP project also did not have the required level of stealth. As a result, it was renamed M-63 and began to be used for high-altitude reconnaissance, postponing for a while the idea of "stealth".
In 1987, in order to detect American silos with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the M-67 reconnaissance aircraft was created in the Union. In the event of an emerging conflict, he was tasked with being at the borders of America and supplementing the satellite network with its optical systems. So that the plane would not be noticed and shot down, they expected to protect it - to make it invisible to the enemy's technical means. However, the collapse of the USSR prevented the development of the project, and the matter did not progress beyond the initial studies.
In addition to stealth scouts, the Soviet Union was also engaged in the construction of more serious aircraft. For example, the project of the Su-24BM bomber, which began to be developed at the Sukhoi design bureau in the 70s. The basis of the new aircraft was the Su-24: the model was increased in size, equipped with more powerful engines, stuffed with electronics and modern weapons.
As a result of the modernization, the T-60 supersonic medium-range bomber appeared, which had the ability to become invisible on radars. In the early 90s, the project was closed, but the secrecy label was not removed, which is why the exact technical characteristics of the aircraft are still known only to a limited circle of people.
Perhaps there are other interesting "stealth" developments created in the USSR. And maybe they will someday be declassified in order to surprise the country with fantastic opportunities, as well as non-implemented designs of new aircraft.
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