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Internal Combustion Engines

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Internal Combustion Engines for the Soviet Aviation

Period 1929-34 for the Soviet aviation industry was characterized by noticeable quantitative changes, in some places turning into qualitative successes, active development and introduction into production of full-fledged combat aircraft, primarily fighters. Moreover, the latter were built mainly with air-cooled radial engines. The main reason for this one-sidedness is a certain cyclicality in the improvement of any technology - in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the greatest successes were observed in the development of radial engines. In addition, the "stars" had less weight in relation to the developed power, did not have capricious cooling systems, and were easier to maintain in winter.

Since 1926, Polikarpov tried to obtain such engines for his promising designs, but the circumstances were not in his favor at first. The first to be purchased in France "Gnome-Rhone" with a capacity of 480 liters. from. (first - 420) A.N. Tupolev, who installed it on the I-4 (ANT-5), retained the right to focus on this type of engine for several years. Polikarpov in his works (I-3, I-7, DI-2) - had to be content with a licensed BMW-VI, which was considered oversized and heavy for installation on fighters.

Later, Polikarpov also seeks the opportunity to install radial engines on his cars. Under the Gnome-Ron "Jupiter", the I-5 fighter (the first with this designation) was designed in 1927, in 1929-30. an experienced I-5 is under construction. With the appearance in the USSR of American 600hp Wright "Cyclone" radial motors. Polikarpov's I-15 and I-16 are equipped with these engines and very successfully fit into the requirements and wishes of the Air Force. A little later, the I-14 P.O. were adapted to the "Cyclones". Sukhoi and IP-1 D.P. Grigorovich, who are also not indifferent to customers.

It seemed that against the background of these convincing achievements, the acquisition of another license for a foreign liquid-cooled engine by the designers would not be noticed. We are talking about the "Hispano-Suiza" 12Ybrs engine purchased in France in 1934 with a maximum power of 850 hp. from. However, it was Polikarpov, who was constantly dealing with the problem of creating a modern fighter, who first drew attention to this acquisition. It turns out that even creating in 1926-27. biplane I-3, he became interested in the light and small "Hispano" of the new series 12, considering it the most suitable for installation on fighter aircraft. For a number of reasons, it was not possible to acquire the "12" at that moment. In 1930, the French aircraft designer Paul Richard, who worked in the Soviet Union under a contract, could not get this engine. Only three years later, the representatives of the USSR and France came to a mutual agreement and the Soviet side acquired a license to build the Hispano Suiza HS 12Ybrs.

In a nutshell, the history of Hispano Suiza and its products is as follows. Founded in 1904, the company began building engines in 1915. Developing a type of liquid-cooled V-type inline motor, the company achieved significant success by the end of the 1st World War. The best fighters of the Entente of that time - the French "Recessions" and the British SE.5a were equipped with "Ispano" and its licensed copies with a capacity of 140-220 hp. from. In 1922-23. engines "Hispano Suiza" types 8Aa and 8Fd under the designation M-4 (200 hp) and M-6 (300 hp) were copied in the USSR and were built in series for a number of years. Since the mid-1920s, 12-cylinder "Hispano" series 12 appeared in France, which, after going through a number of modifications with an increase in power from 400 to 700 hp. from. by 1934 they were a completely modern, mastered and reliable power plant.

In the Soviet Union, the production of the licensed "Hispano" under the designation M-100 was mastered in 1935 at the engine plant No. 26 in Rybinsk. The first M-100, developing a capacity of 750 liters. from. built in May 1935, and by the end of the year managed to pass 100 copies. Beginning in 1936, the production of the M-100 steadily increased, they were installed mainly on SB bombers. Experienced fighters developed during this period used, as a rule, French-made HS 12Ybrs and HS 12Ycrs (cannon) pieces.

Despite the undertaken in the 1930s. measures to establish the production of domestic aircraft engines, the Soviet industry did not manage to abandon the production of Western samples. In particular, in 1932 it was decided to launch the M-25 engine, which was a licensed version of the American Wright Cyclone, into series at the plant No. 19 recently built in Molotov (Perm). The motor has become the most reliable and highly durable in the Red Army Air Force. The design bureau A.D. Shvetsov, who was entrusted with the creation of modifications of the M-25. The resulting M-62 and M-63 have actually exhausted the possibilities of developing a 9-cylinder single-row "star". Then, by connecting two cylinder blocks from the M-63 with a new gearbox and a two-speed driven centrifugal supercharger (CSP), we got the M-71. A more compact and better suited for fighters M-81 was also created, which had not 18, but 14 cylinders from the M-62/63.

At the same time, the KB-19 group led by I.P. Evich was able to "squeeze" the dimensions and weight of the engine without losing power: the working stroke of the piston was reduced from 174.5 to 155 mm, while maintaining the cylinder diameter. With a 2-speed monitoring station, the altitude increased to 6000 m. The M-82 engine obtained in this way in 1940 passed State tests, but suddenly a decision was made to release the AM-35A engine for the new MiG-1 fighter in Perm. Shvetsov's motors were defended by the secretary of the Molotov regional committee, Gusarov, he was not afraid to write a letter to the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, proving the promise of the M-82, using both party authority and the experience of an aviation engineer. By the end of May 1940, Shvetsov finalized the M-82 and presented it for repeated State tests. On May 22, they were successfully completed, and the decision to transfer plant No. 19 to AM-35A was canceled. But in the meantime, the NKAP circular came out, which did not recommend installing the M-82 on new aircraft, and aircraft designers were still more interested in the light and compact M-105 and M-88 or especially powerful high-altitude M-120, M-71, M-81, M -90 ...

The first among the creators of fighters to use the M-82 N.N. Polikarpov, who at the beginning of 1940 decided to install it on the I-185. But the plane was ready for factory tests only in August. By that time, a short-range bomber BB-1 (Su-2) had been flying with the M-82 for a month.

However, "Ivanov" did not live up to the expectations of the leader, and the unclaimed engine was successfully used on the LaGG-5 ...

By order of the NKAP No. 391ss of May 20, 1942, the decision to transfer plant No. 21 to the production of Yak-7 was canceled, and LaGG-5 M-82 was officially launched into series in addition to the LaGG-3 program. At the same time, the I-185 was once again "buried" - on July 23, in a letter to Stalin, Shakhurin reported that, having a LaGG-5, he considered it inexpedient to produce a Polikarpov fighter not only with an M-82 engine, but also with an M-71 engine.