80 years of “Tupolev” PSC Design Bureau
| A.N.Tupolev and his colleagues making statistic tests of ANT-2 a/c wing spar|
On the 22-nd of October, 2002 all native and world aviation community will celebrate glorious anniversary – 80 years of the oldest in Russia and in the world Design Bureau that was founded and headed for a long time by Andrey N. Tupolev, eminent aircraft designer of the XX-th century.
The process of formation and development of Design Bureau named after A.N.Tupolev differs from that of other native aircraft Design Bureaus. First of all Tupolev Design Bureau became fundamental continuation and realization of all advanced trends being in Russian aviation science and technology at the beginning of the XX-th century. The Design Bureau foundation was preceded by rapid growth of interest in aeronautics and aviation in Russia. Works of N. E. Zhukovskiy became a striking confirmation for it. In 1909 N.E.Zhukovskiy started giving lectures on “Aeronautics” and teaching in students’ aeronautical study group at Emperor Technical School. Among them there was a student of great inellectual capabilites and huge interest in anything new in aviation – it was A.N.Tupolev.
|One of the first airsledges produced by Tupolev Design Bureau|
Nine years later in 1919 Tupolev brilliantly defended his diploma project on “Experience of seaplane development on the basis of wind tunnel test data” having by this moment a substantial experience in aerodynamic investigations and in study of real Russian and foreign aircraft designs.
On the 1-st of December, 1918 TsAGI (Central Aerodynamic State Institute) starts its activity. N.E.Zhukovskiy was elected as a Chairman of Board in TsAGI. A.N.Tupolev headed Aviation Division including sea aviation sub-Division. A.Tupolev believed that his most important task was to design reliable aircraft for our country that would be maximally prepared for serial production. It was possible to realize this task by intensive introduction of all-metal structures into practice of native aircraft industry.
|The first Design Bureau’s light aircraft ANT-1|
In Autumn, 1922 a Committee on building metal aircraft was established at TsAGI. A.Tupolev was elected as its Chairman. Employees of TsAGI Aviation Division were included into said Committee. Thus a team was formed having completely defined goal – to create advanced aircraft for Russia. The team headed by A.Tupolev turned soon into one of the most powerful in the world Design Bureaus. After the Great Patriotic war A.Tupolev suggested that the date of 22 October, 1922 was adopted as the date of the Design Bureau foundation.
|The first native all-metal aircraft ANT-2|
Following first successful experience of use of aluminum alloy members in aersledge structure and upon building of the first light aircraft - ANT-1 (1923) the Design Bureau specialists started design and development of the first Russian all-metal aircraft ANT-2 which became exactly the original step towards summit of aviation glory.
|The first Russian all-metal serial reconnaissance aircraft ANT-3 (R-3)|
ANT-2 was followed by other new and more perfect projects. To fulfill expanded scope of works at the end of 1924 Tupolev’s Division included Development and Building Department headed by A. A. Arkhangelskiy.
|Ancestor of cantilever multi-engine monoplane arrangement used in heavy aircraft manufacturing – ANT-4 (TB-1) bomber |
During this period the Design Bureau developed and delivered to serial production two all-metal reconnaissance aircraft - R-3 (ANT-3) biplane and TB-1 (ANT-4) heavy bomber monoplane with two engines. By its layout the latter became an ancestor of all heavy combat and passenger aircraft for next 20-30 years.
|Four-engine heavy bomber ANT-6 (TB-3), the first strategic bomber in the world|
In late 20s the Design Bureau designed and in early 30s delivered to serial production TB-3 (ANT-6) heavy bomber with four engines which was the first serial aircraft for long-range strategic mission aviation, R-6 (ANT-7) reconnaissance aircraft, PS-9 (ANT-9) passenger aircraft; all of them mostly defined native aviation tendencies in early 30s of the XX-th century.
|Building Design Department of Experimental Aircraft Manufacturing wherein Tupolev Design Bureau was located at the beginning of the 30s|
In 1932 Plant of research structures was commissioned, simultaneously the Design Bureau moved to other building - to Design Department of Research Manufacturing (DDRM). By 1935 a rather efficient structure of the Design Bureau divisions was built with sharp share of labor. Different teams were headed by close Tupolev’s colleagues – V.Petlyakov, I.Pogosskiy, A.Golubkov, P.Sukhoy, A.Arkhangelskiy, V.Myasishev and others whose names went down the history of native and world aircraft manufacturing.
|High speed bomber ANT-40 (SB) which speed exceeded that of fighters in the middle of the 30s, the most mass aircraft in the world|
During this period the Design Bureau worked hard on advanced high-speed airplanes making for comparatively short period a number of machines with state-of- the - art characteristics . Among them there was a high-speed bomber SB (ANT-40) which speed data exceeded those of fighter of potential enemy. Said SB was tested in combats in Spain and China where it confirmed its high level performance. This aircraft became the most mass of all Tupolev serial aircraft. About 7 thousand of various versions of said SB a/c were serially produced by two aircraft plants. The aircraft was intensively operated in combat missions in Spain, China, in combats in Finland and during the first half of the Great Patriotic war.
|Record aircraft ANT-25 (RD); these aircraft performed several outstanding flights and established world records|
In 1933 Tupolev specialists created a unique aircraft ANT-25 (RD). Operating exactly these aircraft in 1937 V.Chkalov and M.Gromov flight crews performed their heroic flights over Northern Pole to the USA establishing straight flight World distance record .