Aviation of Word War II

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  • Polikarpovv

In 1936, the design bureau of N.N. Polikarpova began work on a multipurpose aircraft, which became the ancestor of a small family of prototypes. The first prototype, the VIT-1 air tank destroyer, was built in the summer of 1937.

VIT-1 (SVB, MPI-1) - three-seat multipurpose aircraft, air tank fighter, air combat aircraft, dive bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, multi-seat cannon fighter, short-range high-speed bomber. Engines 2M-103. All-metal aircraft, designed for 13-fold overload in case of Ak. The scheme is a low-wing aircraft with a vertical tail, gently passing into the fuselage of an oval cross-section. The cockpit and rear gunner are above the wing spars. The fuselage is semi-monocoque, its frame is formed by closed profiles and riveted frames. Wing spars are welded, truss, tubular from KhMA steel, ribs shaped from duralumin profiles and braces-pipes. The plumage is all-duralumin, rudders with aerodynamic axial compensation and trim tabs. The landing gear wheels were retracted into the engine nacelles, the tail wheel was not retracted.

The layout of the water radiators - special pull-out baskets in which they were placed, was unusual for a twin-engine aircraft. The baskets were suspended under the wing, on the outside of the engines, and were automatically controlled by a thermostat. Depending on the temperature of the engines, the radiators were extended, or almost completely retracted into the wing.

Armament - two Shpitalny cannons (37-mm) forward, in the center section near the fuselage, one ShVAK-20 cannon in the nose of the fuselage (movable + - 10° to the sides) and one ShKAS machine gun on the rear turret, 2 × 500 kg bombs on external sling and up to 600 kg in the fuselage. Seven weapon options were developed. An attempt was made here to implement the idea of ​​destroying tanks from the air with powerful cannon fire and bombs. The first flight took place in the summer of 1937. A speed of more than 450 km/h and a flight range of 1000 km were achieved. It was decided to put more powerful engines on the plane and make some changes to the design.

The performance characteristics of Polikarpov's twin-engine aircraft are given according to factory test data:

Crew 3 3 3
Wing span, m 16.5 16.5 17.0
Length, m 12.7 12.25 10.4
Wing area, m² 40.4 40.76 42.93
Engine 2×M-103 2×M-105 2×M-105
Power, hp 2×960 2×1050 2×1050
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 4013 4032 4950
Loaded weight 6453 6302 6940
Maximum speed on sea level, km/h 450 486 -
Maximum speed at altitude 4,5km, km/h 530/3km 513 510
Landing speed, km/h - - 140
Service ceiling, m 8000 8200 8500
Cannon + machine guns 37+2×ShVAK20
Internal bombs load + on external suspension, kg 600+2×500 - 800+700


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/
  • "Planes of Stalin falcons" /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • "The Soviet planes" /Alexander Yakovlev/