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High Altitude Fighter-Interceptor
I-222 (ZA) - a high-altitude fighter-interceptor with a pressurized cabin, an AM-39B engine and two TK-2B turbochargers. The aircraft was designed and built on the basis of the I-221 fighter, but had a pressurized cockpit and improved visibility to the rear hemisphere. The aircraft was presented for testing on March 15, 1944. An experimental AM-39B No.01 engine was installed on the aircraft. In addition, an air-to-air radiator was installed in the cooling system of the air entering the engine carburetor instead of the water-air radiator, which made it possible, despite the installation of a pressurized cabin, to prevent an increase in the flight weight of the aircraft. The shell of the pressurized cabin was made of AMTs aluminum alloy. During production, the mechanical sealing system of the lantern was replaced with a pneumatic one. The maximum design speed was supposed to be 689 km / h at an altitude of 12,500 m, and a practical ceiling of 13,000-14,000 m. The armament included two synchronous 20-mm SSh-20 cannons with 100 rounds of ammunition.
On April 28, 1944, the I-222 fighter was transferred to the LIS of plant No.155, and on May 7, the first flight was performed on it. The originally installed three-bladed propeller of the AV-5L series was later replaced by the four-bladed AV-9L-230. In the period from July 26 to August 9, 1944, during tests, the machine was purged in a full-scale TsAGI wind tunnel. Based on the results of the purge, the aircraft was modified: new slats and an increased VVR were installed. On September 1, I-222 performed a test flight with some improvements. During the factory flight tests, 39 flights were performed. However, the I-222 did not reach the specified height due to the drop in oil and gasoline pressure, as well as the unstable operation of the propeller group. The fighter confidently ascended only an altitude of 12000 m.The altitude limit of the AM-39B No.01 engine with two TK-2B turbochargers in the climb mode at the second speed of the PNTs was 11300 m.
On October 19, 1944, the I-222 fighter was transferred to the LII to continue testing, where the aircraft made three flights, after which on January 26, 1945, the engine was removed from it after develop a resource and sent to plant No 300. In July, after a bulkhead, the engine was installed on the plane, but a drop in oil pressure to an altitude of 6,000 m was noted, as a result of which, after five flights, the engine had to be removed again and sent to the factory, from where it never returned. In the absence of a new engine, work on the aircraft was discontinued.
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