Aviation of World War II

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Training Aircraft


UT-1 takeoff

State tests were completed on September 29, 1936 with the conclusion "recognized as suitable for training in the fighter units of the Air Force." Among the then flying to the research institute on the Yakovlevsky plane there are many famous names - Preman, Kalilets, Rasstrigin, Suprun, Filin, Rakhov, Kravchenko, Stefanovsky, Nyukhtikov, Dolgov. The aircraft was accepted for supply to the Air Force under the designation UT-1 (training - the first).

By January 1, 1937, it was ordered to hand over the first series of UT-1. The development of production was entrusted to the Leningrad plant No. 47. In those days, there was no clear standardization of design and technological documentation, so it took a lot of time to adapt it to the standards adopted at the plant. In fact, all the drawings had to be done again.

But the very first, small series was built at Pilot Plant No. 115, which was part of the Yakovlev Design Bureau. The first machines were ready before the new year. On May 6, 1937, during a public demonstration of new sports aircraft at the Central Airfield (prominent party and government officials were present: M.M. Kaganovich, A.V. Kosarev, I.S. Unshlikht and R.P. Eideman), first aerobatics UT-1 was demonstrated by Piontkovsky and Stefanovsky, and then a group of three Osoaviakhim aircraft performed. The machines of V. Dymov, I. Malakhov and N. Fedoseev were painted blue, red and orange. The performance looked very impressive.

The plane turned out to be very small, compact and elegant mixed design. The layout of the machine largely repeated Yakovlev's earlier projects. Outwardly, the aircraft strongly resembled a reduced version of the two-seat training AIR-10 (UT-2), but in design it was quite different from the latter. The basis of the fuselage was a welded truss of steel pipes, reinforced with wire braces. A light wooden frame was put on it. The one-piece wing was all-wood. The plumage and ailerons had a duralumin power set. All aircraft upholstery is linen.

The pilot was located in an open cockpit behind a small windshield. A fairing began behind the pilot's head, going all the way to the keel. The unpretentious and reliable star-shaped M-11 engine (100 hp) was only front-mounted, and a narrow Townend ring stood on top of the heads protruding into the cylinder stream.

The aircraft was technologically very simple and the production of a prototype did not take much time. At the end of 1935, he had already made his first flight. Like all Yakovlev novelties, Yu.I. flew around the car. Piontkovsky. AIR-14 had a "signature" color - the whole plane was red, and on the rudder - red and white horizontal stripes.

UT-1 was inexpensive - it cost only 35 thousand rubles, half the price of a fighter. But an even cheaper version was created and flew, in which instead of the M-11 aircraft engine there was a GAZ-AVIA engine - a forced and slightly lightweight engine from the GAZ M-1 passenger machines, which was very common in those days (colloquially, “emki”). Initially, such an “engine” developed only 40 hp. The power was increased to 85 hp, but this was still not enough for the “aero club fighter”. Flight data has dropped significantly. Serially such automobile-aircraft hybrids were not built.

With the outbreak of World War II, the equipment of Osoaviakhim and the Civil Air Fleet merged into the Air Force. Osoaviakhim handed over to the military all UT-1 and UT-2, as well as most of the U-2. For example, one R-5, three UT-1 and two UT-2 were accepted from the Metrostroy flying club. All these aircraft entered various flight schools.

And what happened to the UT-1, which were in the front-line fighter regiments? There was no time to use them for their intended purpose. "Ducklings" were driven like communications aircraft. There were cases when they tried to conduct close reconnaissance. For example, in August 1941, in August 1941, in the 88th IAP, pilot V. Demenok made several sorties near Kanev to detect approaching enemy columns. But a relatively slow-moving aircraft, devoid of weapons and armor protection, could be used in this way only from an acute shortage of real military equipment that arose due to the huge losses of the first weeks of the war.

Quite numerous attempts to turn the UT-1 into a light attack aircraft are explained by the same situation. The literature mentions the alteration of the machine by the armament master A.I. Volkov, who installed two ShKAS machine guns under the wing, near the landing gear. The machine guns were powered by belt, from cartridge boxes for 200 rounds each. Engineer K.A. Moskatov was not satisfied with only machine guns and added RS-82 rockets to the ShKAS. In the Crimea, at the Saki airfield, in the fall of 1941, at least one aircraft was equipped with two BK heavy machine guns. At the same time, they took the entire underwing mounts of the "five-point" MiG-3, in which one machine gun was in the normal position, and the second was inverted. Also, the fire control system was "borrowed" from the MiG-3.

But there was also a "serial" armed version of the UT-1b (b - "combat". - Approx.ed.).

In the rear, the cheap and simple UT-1 was often used for all sorts of experiments. So, in TsAGI in 1942, a wing with a new laminar profile was made for him. The aircraft was tested in December 1942. In the same place, in TsAGI, UT-1 was made a flying stand for testing automatic flaps. He was tested at the LII NKAP in 1944.

A significant number of conventional training UT-1 in schools and flight schools survived until the end of the war. The ease of repair and maintenance made these machines very "tenacious". In the first post-war years, some of them returned to the flying clubs and served for the training of sports pilots. The instructors, former fighter pilots, enjoyed piloting this nimble and maneuverable aircraft. Before the advent of special acrobatic machines created in the design bureau of A.S. Yakovlev, in our aviation there was no aircraft equal to it in terms of aerobatic qualities.


  • UT-1(AIR-14) - initial modification.
  • AIR-15 (UT-15) - racing aircraft with FG Glass profile wing (momentless). It was tested at the beginning of 1938 and transferred to TsAGI for further research
  • AIR-18 - serial UT-1, but with a Renault "Bengali" 4 engine with 140 hp. With. and with a closed cabin. He flew in general, as a serial UT-1. One copy of it was installed on a float chassis. Not serially built.
  • Ya-21 (UT-21, AIR-21, aircraft No. 21) - the same AIR-18, but with a Renault "Bengali" 6 (MV-6) engine of 220 hp. With. The speed exceeded 300 km / h. The plane was especially difficult to pilot. It was tested in early 1938, redesigned in 1939 under the designation No. 25, but the work was not completed due to the transition of the Design Bureau to combat aircraft.
UT-1 Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 7.30
Wing area, m² 9.58
Length, m 5.75
Height, m 2,34
1 × PE air-cooled M-11, hp 1 × 100
Masses and loads, kg:
Empty plane 442
Loaded weight 611
Maximum speed, km/h 241
Cruise speed, km/h 212
Service range, km 670
Service ceiling 5,000
Photo Description
Схема УТ-1

Drawing UT-1

AE - aviatsionnaya eskadrilʹya - Aviation Squadron

GIAP - Gvardeyskiy istrebitelʹnyy aviapolk - Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment

IAD - Istrebitelʹnaya aviatsionnaya diviziya - Fighter Aviation Division

ANO - Aeronavigatsionnyy ogni - Aeronautical lights

NURS - Neupravlyayemyye reaktivnyye snaryady - Unguided Rockets

RO-82 - Reaktivnoye orudiye - Jet Gun

RS-82 - Reaktivnyy snaryad - Missile

LII VVS - Letno Issledovatelʹskiy Institut Voyenno Vozdushnykh Sil - Flight Research Institute of the Air Force

TsAGI - Tsentralʹnyy aerogidrodinamicheskiy institut - Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute

VMAU - Voyenno Morskoye Aviatsionnoye Uchilishche - Naval Aviation School

SAM - Statsionarnyye aviamasterskiye - Stationary aircraft workshops


Light Attack Aircraft


There was another modification of the UT-1, which was produced in a series of 32 vehicles, had its own name (U-1b), was in service with two air regiments and took an active part in the hostilities in the spring and autumn of 1942. The first mention of this machine is found in the memoirs of K. D. Denisov - at that time the commander of the 3rd aviation squadron (as) of the 8th air force of the Black Sea Fleet. According to his testimony. On November 10, 1941, a meeting of commanders of units and units of the Sevastopol Aviation Group was held. During the discussion, the commander of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, Major General of Aviation N. A. Ostryakov, instructed to equip each UT-1 with two beams for launching RS-82 rockets and a ShKAS machine gun (and all U-2s with devices for transporting and dropping small fragmentation bombs) . He also predetermined the night nature of the actions of these aircraft. This decision was not taken by chance. On November 1, 1941 (the beginning of the defense of Sevastopol), there were only 93 serviceable aircraft in the naval aviation group, a third of which were I-5 fighters and MBR-2 and KOR-1 seaplanes. Acquainted with the results of the meeting. The head of the Air Force of the Navy ordered all work on the armament of the UT-1 to be carried out at the Stalin Naval Aviation School (VMAU) (later the Yeisk VVAUL). The Central Naval Archive preserved a record of the personal order of the Chief of the Air Force of the Navy to his assistant, Major General of Aviation A. V. Tsyrulev, dated December 18, 1941: - Andreev (Major General of Aviation A. Kh. named after Stalin, - ed.), it was ordered to transfer the composition of the 95th air force of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet to Borskoye (in the 2nd reserve air force of the Air Force of the Navy, - ed. note). Upon arrival, these pilots will need to be carefully examined. I do not agree with Andreev that they are no good (pilots used to fly only on the U-2, - Approx. Aut.). Is it possible to train them to fly the UT-1 and create a UT-1 regiment, if this machine can be made into an attack aircraft (machine gun and some bombs). We need to start studying this issue. I instructed Andreev to do this. Ask him what he did."

The UT-1 armament project (as well as the U-2 and I-16) was developed by the head of the design bureau of the stationary aircraft workshops (SAM) of the VMAU named after Stalin, a military technician of the first rank N. A. Rozhnev and a design engineer of the same workshops a military technician of the second rank G. O. Kryachenko under the guidance of a senior engineer of the SAM military technician of the first rank N. F. Romanenko. In December 1941, the necessary calculations were made, in January the working drawings were made and the equipment of the aircraft began. In early February 1942, the first four U-1b were transferred to the 23rd AP. The flight of these machines was somewhat delayed due to bad weather, and the first of them took off only on February 11, 1942.

The armament of the U-1b consisted of two ShKASs, mounted on a special truss in the interspar space between ribs No. 4 and No. 5. To mount the truss and cartridge boxes (420 rounds per barrel), the wing skin was opened, and upon completion of work, it was restored . In the lower part of the farm, the front and rear stops RO-82 were attached. To protect the plane from the PC gas jet, the space behind the rear spar between ribs No. 4 and No. 5 was sheathed with duralumin from below. Instead of a standard control knob, a handle ("steering wheel") with triggers for machine guns and PCs was mounted. The reloading of machine guns was carried out manually from the handles in the cockpit by means of a system of blocks and cables. The KP-5 sight was installed on the right parallel to the axis of the aircraft between cylinders No. 1 and No. 5 of the engine. Machine guns were fired in a converging fan at a distance of 200 meters. The planes were camouflaged with black spots on the main background. According to veterans of the regiment, the side number was applied with white paint.

In the air, the modified UT-1 was tested by the senior inspector-pilot of the VMAU, Captain S. M. Shevchenko. After a report to the Naval Air Force Directorate on the test results, Moscow received an order to install four RO-82s on the aircraft, which was done. Additional RO-82s were attached to special shoes worn on the wing spars between ribs No. 5 and No. 6. For firing single RS-82s, in pairs and in one gulp, three switches were installed on the dashboard, which needed to be set in a certain combination. To reduce the effort, the reloading handles of machine guns were replaced with levers. In order to perform formation flights at night with the air navigation lights turned off, overhead lights were added on the plane. In order to maintain alignment within acceptable limits, the battery was cut into two parts and fixed in special sockets on the motor mount.

In order to give the final "go-ahead" for the operation of the U-1b in the units of the Navy Air Force, in March 1942, the Flight Test Institute (LII) of the Navy Air Force developed a program of verification tests and at the end of the same month in the city of Mozdok (at the base of the VMAU) was sent an armament engineer of the LII of the Air Force of the Navy, a junior engineer of the third rank V. F. Kazmin. Having studied the materials of the U-1b tests already carried out by the VMAU, Kazmin concluded that they were not completed in full. Of the six flights, only half took place after the installation of additional RO-82s, and flights with full PC ammunition did not take place at all. The planes did not fly at a distance even at night, the flights were carried out only on a ski chassis, the alignment of the machine was determined analytically, without weighing. During the control inspection of already armed vehicles, the inspector discovered shortcomings in the installation of electrical wiring to the RS-82, which could lead to their spontaneous start on the ground. Despite the ardent desire of the leadership of the VMAU named after Stalin considered the tests carried out sufficient (in order to send the 23rd ap to the front as soon as possible), the LII VVS of the Navy insisted on additional checks.

In April 1942, Captain S. M. Shevchenko on U-1b No. 47025 made four more flights under the test program. As a result of armament, the balance of the UT-1 approached the extreme rear for this type of aircraft, in connection with which a clause was included in the test report on admission to flights on the U-1b only with excellent piloting technique. To a certain extent, the adoption of such a decision was influenced by an accident that occurred during night flights on March 14, 1942. Ml. Lt. A. A. Lukanin, when correcting an error in the calculation for a pull-up landing, mixed up (in an unlit cockpit it was not difficult) the sectors of the gas and the high-altitude corrector of the motor. Therefore, there was not an increase, but a decrease in turnover. The pilot took this as an engine failure and turned off the ignition, exacerbating the error. The plane, without changing the angle of descent, hit the ground 100 meters before the beam of the landing searchlight.

UT-1B Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 7.30
Wing area, m² 9.58
Length, m 5.78
Height, m 2.34
1 × PE air-cooled M-11G, hp 1 × 115
Masses and loads, kg:
Empty plane 480
Loaded weight 759
Maximum speed, km/h 190
Cruising speed, km/h 162
Service range, km 520
Service ceiling 4600
Two 7.62 mm machine guns and 2-4 NURS
Photo Description

Drawing UT-1B with RS-82

Combat Use

The 23rd AP was formed in the VMAU named after Salin from November 29, 1941, as part of three squadrons of U-2b (in total, according to the schemes developed at the VMAU, they armed 134 U-2, UT-1 and I-16, which were fully equipped with the formed separate 23rd, 46th and 11-up). The U-1b squadron began to form on the 23rd April on February 2, 1942 on the basis of the order of the Chief of the Navy Air Force No. 352 dated January 20, 1942 to replace the departed U-2 squadron. Senior Lieutenant V. A. Goryachev was appointed commander of the unit. Command positions up to the flight commander, inclusive, in the 2nd ae of the 23rd ap were occupied by officers, and sergeants, graduates of the school, were appointed to the positions of pilots. The flight and technical staff took an active part in the distillation of the UT-1 from combat regiments to the workshops of the VMAU and the re-equipment of aircraft. By April 15, 1942, the regiment was fully equipped, trained and ready for combat. They were only waiting for permission to use the U-1b. After additional tests, they did not yet have time to prepare a report from the LII of the Air Force of the Navy (it was printed only on April 29), from April 27, by order of the head of the VMAU named after Salin (No. 0050 of 04/26/1942), the 23rd AP began to relocate to the Sevastopol sector of the front.

The flight was not without incident. Due to interruptions in the operation of the motor, Sergeant A. T. Verenikin lagged behind. Having flown to the Belorechenskaya airfield, the 23rd AP became part of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force. In the same place, instead of Art. l-ta Goryachev, who took the post of deputy commander of the regiment, was appointed commander of the 2nd aviation art. Lieutenant N. S. Tolstikov. On May 4, 1942, as part of the 9 U-1b squadron, it flew to the Vityazsvskaya airfield, and on May 7, near Sevastopol, to the Yukharnaya Balka airfield, where the 23rd air regiment became part of the 3rd special air group, formed by order of the Navy Naval Forces No. 00153 dated May 9, 1942. While landing at this airfield, Jr. crashed his car. Lt. P. I. Korolev; it was included in the reports of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet as lost in air battles in the Sevastopol region.

The construction work launched at the Yukharnaya Balka airfield (unthinkable by wartime standards), after which shelters for personnel, aircraft, fuel and ammunition appeared on it, delayed the start of combat work on the 23rd Ap. The U-1b squadron delivered its first blow to the enemy only on May 23. Senior lieutenants N. S. Tolstikov and A. F. Borisov (deputy air commander). sergeants B.V. Konov and E.A. Burdy-gn completed 8 sorties overnight. The targets were attacked by single planes with an interval of 10-15 minutes. From a gentle dive from a height of 700-600 m, they launched the RS-82 and then fired from machine guns from a height of 300 m. Performing five to seven sorties a night, U-1b "hung" over enemy trenches, looked out for bunkers and batteries, stormed echelons. To force the enemy to open his air defense, an I-5 from the 11th IAP was sent forward. German anti-aircraft gunners reacted to the noise of the engine. Then came the turn of the U-2b, which crept up inaudibly, bombing the positions of the air defense batteries, and the U-1b, which "extinguished" the searchlights. The 2nd Air Force suffered its first losses on 27 May. During the assault on the railway station Dzhankoy, A.F. Borisov and A.L. Podtyagin were shot down. On June 10, the pilots of the 23rd AP successfully attacked an ammunition echelon at Alma station. N. S. Tolstikov and P. S. Shalkarin distinguished themselves. By July 1 (beginning of the evacuation from Sevastopol), the 23rd AP on the U-1b carried out 778 sorties. Sergeants B.V. Kokov (45) and P.S. Shapkarin (43) have the largest number of them. In addition to the pilots listed above, flights on the U-1b were carried out by the regiment commander, Mr. M. I. Akhapkin. his deputy st. l-t V. A. Goryachev and s-t B. T. Akulov. In the memoirs of V. M. Minakov, it is mentioned that Sergeant V. M. Klyukov (at that time a pilot of the 3rd air squadron of the 8th ap) flew on the U-1b in Sevastopol for an attack. Documentary evidence of this has not been found. Being "horseless", as they said then, he may have performed several flights as part of the 23rd Ap. Sergeants - graduates of the college - were eager to fight the enemy, using every opportunity. And on their account more sorties than pilot-officers. The fact cited by Minakov is noteworthy in that, according to Klyukov, during one of the attacks he had to "demonstrate all the art of aerobatics" in order to escape from the spotlights. He safely returned to the airfield, and after landing, about a hundred holes were counted in the plane.

On June 30, 1942, the 23rd Air Force Commander of the Black Sea Fleet received an order from the remaining U-2b and U-1b to form a squadron, which was supposed to continue combat work, and the freed pilots and the regiment headquarters to leave for the "mainland". On the night of July 1, the headquarters of the 23rd AP and the flight crew arrived in Krasnodar. There, the pilots were assigned to the regiments of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, and the headquarters of the regiment departed for the city of Saransk for reorganization. In Sevastopol, among others, the commander of the regiment Akhapkin, sergeants Burdygin and Shapkarin, who flew until the last hours of the defense of Sevastopol, remained on three serviceable U-1b. When only one of these aircraft remained in service, Shapkarin tried to overtake this aircraft to the Caucasus, taking the squadron adjutant A.T. Grivtsov on board. To do this, the pilot cut a hole in the aircraft fairing for an impromptu cabin. In the historical journal of the 23rd April, compiled after the war, it is written that the engine of this aircraft, which had exhausted its resource three times, failed over the sea ... Now it is difficult to determine the true causes of the disaster. Perhaps it was due to the excessively rear centering of the car. None of the flight and technical staff that remained in Sevastopol returned. Defective aircraft due to the impossibility of evacuation were destroyed.

If the use of the U-1b in the 23rd air force regiment of the Black Sea Fleet has not yet been mentioned in the press, then fragmentary information about the 46th air force regiment of the Black Sea Fleet (informally, these regiments were called assault regiments) periodically appeared on the pages of books and magazines. This air regiment began to form in the VMAU named after Salin in Mozdok on May 10, 1942 in two squadrons (20 aircraft). Initially, only three days were allocated for this. Given the bad weather for the flight to Yeysk and delays in the arrival of materiel from the VMAU workshops, the final formation date was postponed to May 21. The command of the regiment and squadrons was appointed from pilot-officers retrained at the VMAU for new equipment who graduated from the Naval Academy. Voroshilov in 1941-1942, and school instructors. These are: regiment commander Mr. M. P. Mikhailov, deputy regiment commander Mr. Stepanov, squadron commanders Mr. A. I. Kalichev and F. N. Makarov, their deputies art. Lieutenant F. E. Shekhovtsev and Dr. G. V. Pavlov, unit commanders Art. L-you P. A. Evdokimov and Yu. D. Nikolsky, L-t N. I. Maslov, ml. Lt. A. V. Makarov. The pilots were appointed from among the cadets - graduates of the school. Moreover, their last examination flights were taken during the formation of the regiment. These are: sergeants A. S. Fokin, A. S. Reuka, V. V. Prozor, V. I. Satsuk, A. S. Katkov, V. A. Solyanik, I. G. Sokolov - in the first squadron. And in the second - sergeants A. P. Smirnykh, I. S. Tutov, R. S. Azarpov, D. A. Yudin, V. I. Shcherbachenko, A. M. Kosorotov and V. M. Kulikov. The material part - 21 U-1b, transferred to the regiment from the workshops of the school, were armed with two ShKASs and four RS-82s (subsequently, due to the small supply of PCs, the technical staff of the regiment altered the extreme beams for the suspension of two AO-10 bombs). The quality of aircraft preparation and their acceptance into units was determined by the short time frame for formation. Therefore, it was not possible to eliminate delays on machine guns caused by the primitive installation of weapons, and it was not possible to shoot the RO-82. On May 21, the entire composition of the 46th AP flew to the airfields of Semenovka and Kukharevka, not far from the city of Yeisk, and became part of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet. Training in aerobatic flights and combat use continued at the Yeisk airfields until June 25. The U-1b piloting technique, as noted in the test report, proved to be difficult. The mistake made by the pilot could lead to a tragic outcome. So, on May 25, 1942, in a daytime training flight during the rebuilding of a pair (above water at an altitude of 200 meters), the wingman - st. l-t Maslov - increased the roll more than necessary, there was a drop in speed, and the car fell into a tailspin. The plane fell into the water, crashed and sank, the pilot died. And on June 12, due to the late start of the withdrawal from a dive during night shooting, the wheels hit the ground and the U-1b of the Kulikov station collapsed, which was injured at the same time. On May 31, by order of the commander of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet (No. 0068), the 46th ap entered the non-standard aviation group with subordination to the commander of the Azov military flotilla.

Having completed the preparation, the 46th ap, consisting of 18 U-1b, flew to the Anapskoye airfield. During the flight, due to the failure of the materiel, Sergeant Yudin made an emergency landing in the floodplain, the plane sank. Combat work began on July 16, but the very first sortie was overshadowed by a flight accident. Due to engine failure on takeoff, Sgt. The pilot was injured. This accident was not reflected in the regimental documents. Apparently, the command of the regiment tried to hide this unpleasant fact. Only a month later, the plane was included in the list of losses, as shot down by anti-aircraft artillery. During the first week of work, the regiment completed 36 sorties to destroy enemy manpower in settlements east of the Kerch Peninsula: Ossovina, Boxes, Yurakov Kut, Adzhimushkay, Teleirovo, Mayak, Zhukovka, Opasnaya. The primitiveness of the navigation equipment made it possible to perform night flights only with visual orientation. Determining their location made it much more difficult for the troops to comply with the blackout rules. On July 17, the squadron commissar art. Lieutenant P. A. Evdokimov did not find an airfield when returning from a mission and made an emergency landing in the Sukko Mountains south of the city of Anapa. The U-1b did not have a landing light, so it was almost impossible to land safely on a site that was not illuminated by a searchlight or headlights of a car. The plane crashed. In the same week, the regiment suffered its first losses: on July 19, Art. l-t Shekhovtsev and s-t Reuka.

On August 10, the 46th AP consisting of 15 aircraft (one U-1b was transferred from the 7th AP on the orders of the commander of the naval aviation group of the Novorossiysk Defensive Region (MAG NOR), Major General Aviation P.P. Kvade) was relocated to Gaiduk airfield. From July 23 to August 22 (another form of reporting is by months of the war, leading from June 22, 1941 and being an echo of pre-war sentiments about an imminent victory in the war), the 46th AP flew 260 sorties, of which 187 at night. 876 attacks were made on troops and equipment on the Kerch Peninsula, Rostov and Krasnodar directions, on watercraft and port facilities in Mariupol, on the airfields of Bagerovo, Kerch, Vesely, on railway echelons on the Kerch Peninsula. Night patrols of the Kerch Gulf were carried out with the task of suppressing coastal batteries. Having a weak armament of the aircraft and not having any way to record the results of their work, the pilots of the regiment often heard statements like: “Again, did you wake up one Fritz with the whole regiment?” Therefore, let the reader not be surprised by such a detailed enumeration of the directions of blows. One way or another, but the U-1b played a very important role in one of the dramatic episodes of the battle for the Caucasus.

By August 22, 1942, the operational situation was not in favor of the Soviet troops. The enemy broke through the passes near the Tonnelnaya railway station. In addition to the tank column advancing along the railway, another group of tanks turned from Tonnelnaya into a gorge that could lead the enemy to the coast (halfway between Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik) to the rear of our defending troops. The grouping of troops defending Novorossiysk was threatened with a deep encirclement, and there were no units in reserve capable of quickly advancing to a new direction. To coordinate the actions of the fleet aviation, Lieutenant-General S.F. Zhavoronkov, Chief of the Navy Air Force, arrived at the Gaiduk airfield. Here is how S. V. Tsukasov describes this night, at that time he was an armament mechanic of the 46th ap:

"After getting acquainted with the situation, the commander ordered our regiment to block, clog this gorge from the air: continuously, plane after plane, fire at the PC at its narrowest point, where the rocks squeeze the passage - it was just behind "our" mountain (at airfield Gaiduk - Note aut.). This night accelerated the combat airfield "cycle" many times, such a maximum pace of work has never been. in a circle and methodically, as if on a training ground, they attacked the gorge. The time count was literally seconds. Returning, the pilots did not get out of the cockpits: we immediately installed new "eres", replenished the ammunition of machine guns, poured gasoline through the flight - and again took off, to where the monotonously measured echo of explosions came from.

In dry operational reports it was noted that on the night of August 22-23, 1942, MAG NOR directed all its efforts to strike at the village of Neberdzhaevskaya. Seven MBR-2 and twelve U-1b at night, I-15bis at dawn and Il-2 in the afternoon of August 23 performed 70 sorties in this area, of which 44 were on account of the 46th ap. Moreover, all U-1b flights were made before midnight (by this time, enemy tanks, moving along the railway, came close to the Gaiduk airfield and the regiment had to be evacuated). Having dealt the last blow to the enemy, the planes flew to Gelendzhik, from where the 46th AP continued to carry out combat work. During the tense battles for Novorossiysk

On October 1, 1942, by order of the commander of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, the management of the 46th ap and the 1st aero departed to Saransk for reorganization. In Gelendzhik, the 2nd Air Force remained as a separate squadron, consisting of nine U-1b, equipped with the best flight and technical staff. Mr. Makarov was appointed commander (then - senior l-t Nikolsky), military commissar - art. political instructor Krivitsky. Operationally, the 2nd air force of the 46th ap came under the command of the commander of the 62nd IAP of the Air Force of the Black Sea Fleet, whose command was stationed at the Gelendzhik airfield. During the month, from September 23 to October 22, this squadron, in cooperation with the MBR-2, carried out 330 sorties at night. As the aviation units were replenished with new equipment, the importance of the combat work of the U-1b gradually decreased. By the end of October, only four pilots remained in the squadron. These are foremen I. S. Tutov, V. I. Shcherbachenko, D. A. Yudin and senior sergeant V. V. Prozor. Nevertheless, from October 22 to December 22, they carried out 192 sorties (out of 256 sorties of attack aircraft of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force) with strikes on the front line of the enemy’s defense in the area of ​​​​the settlements of Mefodievsky and Adamovich Balka. Yesterday's cadets at the appointed time flew up to the place marked with bonfires, flashed their lower ANOs and attacked targets illuminated by infantrymen with a searchlight or rocket.

The largest number of sorties on the U-1b on 11/30/1942 was with Kalichev (70), sergeants Shcherbachenko, Tutov (69 each) and Prozor (66).

According to V. V. Prozor, at the end of December 1942, the remaining seven U-1b units were assigned to fighter aviation regiments. The aforementioned pilots transferred four of them to the Babusheri airfield (near the city of Sukhumi) and handed over there to the communications link of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force. All these machines were disarmed at different times (in parts or during the next repair) and were used for their intended purpose in the 3rd, 25th, 62nd IAP, 6th and 11th GIAP, 82nd Air Force and control link of the 4th IAD.

Summing up the combat work of the U-1b aircraft, it should be noted that the price that had to be paid for arming machines of this type was a high percentage of non-combat losses of aircraft in relation to their total number (about 50% both in the 23rd and and in the 46th regiments, see tables 1 and 2). With the exception of rare cases when attacks on the enemy were carried out in cooperation with MBR-2s equipped with aerial cameras, it is not possible to determine the damage inflicted on German troops by U-1b aircraft. At night, as they say, all cats are gray. Even monetary rewards were paid to pilots for the number of accident-free sorties day and night. Nevertheless, the work of the U-1b can be compared with the work of a sniper firing a shot "on the light of a match." Moving almost silently over enemy territory, these light aircraft struck at illuminated searchlights, at battery positions and machine-gun nests marked by flashes of fire, at vehicles moving in the headlights, etc. Despite the low damage inflicted on the enemy, U- 1b played a big role in the moral) suppression of his forces. Throughout the night, the German troops had to use their air defense system, carefully observe the rules of blackout, which exhausted him by morning. In addition, in the places of work where the "ducklings" worked, the number of serviceable searchlights sharply decreased and the enemy was forced to replenish their number, perhaps by removing them from other sectors of the front.

Despite the complicated piloting technique, the excellent performance characteristics built into this machine by the designer stood out even brighter when it was used as a light night attack aircraft. U-1b did not require special machines for maintenance. The small dimensions of the aircraft simplified and accelerated camouflage. The reliable motor and advanced systems worked flawlessly in mountainous terrain and over the sea, allowing up to five repeated sorties during the night. High maneuverability made it possible to quickly escape from the beams of searchlights during combat in the zone of anti-aircraft fire.


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