Heavy Cannon Fighter
In November 1940 N.N. Polikarpov took the initiative to create single-engine heavy cannon fighters, at the end of 1940 Polikarpov sent a draft design to the Air Force Research Institute. Essentially, Polikarpov was the first to propose a new class of aircraft: single-engine fighter bombers and air tank destroyers. According to the declared flight and tactical data, the ITP, even with the M-105P engine, had higher flight and tactical characteristics than the A.S. cannon fighter. Yakovleva Yak-3 M-105PF2 (1945).
The two-spar wing of the ITP was trapezoidal with elliptical tips and detachable consoles. Duralumin sheathing, blind riveting. The wing had powerful Shrenk-type landing flaps and automatic slats.
In May 1941, the construction of the first copy of the ITP (M-1) began, which was completed in October.
The aircraft's armament included one B.G. Shpitalny Sh-37 caliber 37 mm with a stock of 50 shells with belt feed, which is a development of the ShFK-37 cannon and two synchronous ShVAK cannons of 20 mm caliber with a total stock of 280 shells. The suspension of eight RS-82 rockets was provided under the wing. Instead of the RS-82, bombs with a total mass of 200 kg could be suspended.
The tests of the fighter took place already in evacuation, where on February 23, 1942, test pilot A.N. Nikashin lifted the car into the air for the first time. However, due to numerous engine defects, it was still not possible to complete the tests in Siberia. The latter continued already in Moscow, when at the end of 1942 a new M-107PA engine was installed on the plane, and the 37-mm motor-gun was replaced by a 20-mm one with 200 rounds of ammunition.
Naturally, after these alterations, the ITP could no longer be fully considered as an anti-tank aircraft, although in the fight against light tanks it could be more effective than the IL-2, since there were three ShVAK guns and, in addition, their more compact placement ensured a higher firing accuracy, and the ability to dive at angles of 50-60 ° expanded the zones available for destruction of tanks.
In addition, the aircraft would have had better maneuverability, since the empty weight of the aircraft decreased from 2778 to 2588 kg, and the take-off weight from 3570 to 3366 kg.