AUTO

Point start: can a jet fighter take off from a place

In the Soviet era, caravans were surprised by the unexpected improvement of the killed roads and an increase in their width. Such luxurious roads suddenly appeared, for example, in a deserted steppe and just as mysteriously disappeared after a few kilometers.

The service in aviation answered this riddle: the sections of highways created by military technologies served as spare roads for a future war, in which few doubted. It was clear to everyone that the main goal of the first strike would be airfields. And how to take off and land without them? The reinforced roads were one of the answers to this question. With each air division there were special engineering and aerodrome mobile services ready to deploy mobile aerodromes in the most unexpected places in the shortest possible time. There were also more fantastic solutions, for example high-speed reactive trolleys. They were going to use one of the most daring domestic aircraft designers – Vladimir Myasishchev – to launch their giant supersonic jet bombers.

Difficult take-off

In the early 1950s Myasishchev Design Bureau began designing a unique strategic supersonic bomber M-50. The designers had to solve a lot of tasks that had not been met before in the aircraft industry before the Tu-144 or Tu-160 was still very far. About any of them you can write an entire article, but we will focus only on the problem of take-off. The fact is that a large distance at supersonic speeds for a bomber weighing 265 tons in those days was achieved by increasing the take-off run. And even with the establishment of a take-off distance of 3 km for the M-50, it was planned to use missile boosters. Calculations showed that to take off without accelerators with a full bomb load, a strategic bomber required a runway of 6 km! For comparison: the runway for the space “Burana” on Baikonur is 3.5 km long. But there were almost no three kilometer concrete runways in the USSR. Therefore, in Myasishchev Design Bureau, simultaneously with the design of the aircraft, they began to develop exotic starting devices: a starting trolley with tire wheels, trolleys on a rail track, a hydraulic truck, a “flying chassis” and a point start system.

Pros: the possibility of operation with a lightweight runway (thickness of plates about 20 cm), the possibility of maneuvering with the product up to the places of dispersal. Disadvantages: limitation of applicability on speeds (up to 450 km / h), difficulty in fixing the direction of take-off, difficulty in stopping and organizing the movement of the trolley after detachment of the aircraft, large total run length of the trolley.

The unresolved problem of the take-off of such a machine was undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Dummy Commission of 1955 wrapped up the draft with the formulation: “The length of the take-off of an aircraft of 3000 m without the use of starting accelerators is not used for the length of the takeoff of the USSR Council of Ministers. … To operate the aircraft from existing airfields, the take-off run with starting accelerators is not more than 2500 m. Other methods of aircraft takeoff offered by the OKB-23 MAP are point start, takeoff from the hydraulic truck – are of interest to the Air Force as more economic nye and provide better dispersion of combat aircraft of strategic aviation. These new take-off methods require detailed design and testing by flight tests. ” But, given the special importance of creating a supersonic strategic bomber,

On the cart

The greatest interest of the Air Force was caused by the launch system from the hydraulic truck – a giant 160-ton separable float gliding system with its own overclocking engines, successful model tests of which were carried out at TsAGI. No theoretical problems with the creation of a full-size sample were found, and, in addition, the military was attracted by the opportunity to expand the areas of deployment of supersonic strategic aviation. The big plus of water basing was that it gave an opportunity to deliver fuel and ammunition by means of the fleet, and only kerosene for one aircraft needed hundreds of tons. However, Myasishchev did not have specialists with experience in designing gliding chassis (unlike, for example, the Tupolev Design Bureau, which developed and produced gliding torpedo boats during the war).

Advantages: the waterway’s immutability, the possibility of extensive maneuvering and relocation of the trolley with the product, the possibility of material support (fuel, ammunition) by the fleet. Cons: lack of experience in designing, building and operating start-up devices of this type, the need for a complex of experimental studies.

The second idea was based on the creation of a 35-ton trolley equipped with engines with accelerators. There were only two advantages to this scheme: the possibility of take-off from lightened runways with a plate thickness of up to 20 cm and the possibility of maneuvering with an established aircraft up to the places of dispersal. The disadvantages were much greater. For example, the M-50 pullback speed should be about 450 km / h. Compare with the maximum speed of F1 cars – 372.6 km / h. It is difficult to imagine a 35-ton truck with an installed 265-ton aircraft, overclocked to such speeds. No less problem was the further stop of the overclocked superheavy tractor: the braking distance significantly increased the length of the runway instead of its reduction. In addition, there were concerns about the ability of the pilot of a prime mover to keep a direct course at such speeds and even with such cargo from above.

Some solution to these problems was represented by the third option – a 25-ton railcar on the rail track. Firstly, the problem of exchange rate stability during take-off was resolved by itself. Secondly, in theory, the construction of several kilometers of railways should have been much cheaper than a full runway. The difficulty was that not only in the USSR, but also in the world there were no technologies for building such a high-speed railway with such precision of laying the canvas and with such high specific pressure on the ground. The last option was the so-called point start.

Pros: ease of piloting on take-off due to the direction of take-off, reliable stop of the trolley after separation of the aircraft (clamping brakes), relative cheapness of construction of the path and less vulnerability from the air. Cons: the difficulty of creating a reinforced rail track with improved piling accuracy, limited service areas.

Start. And point

The idea of ​​starting from the place almost as many years as the aircraft – the first prototypes of non-flying aircraft at the end of the XIX century started with the help of catapults. Already in 1916, 30-meter catapults for seaplanes were installed on three American cruisers. The second life in the idea of ​​a non-aerodrome launch was inspired by cruise missiles, or, as they were called in the 1950s, projectiles. Actually, the first cruise missiles were airplanes and were only unmanned. And initially they were launched not from vertical containers, as now, but from flat guides. The success of the launches of the first cruise missiles and prompted the aircraft designers to launch similarly jet-interceptors. In the USSR, such a system was developed by the Mikoyan Design Bureau on the basis of the enhanced interceptor MiG-19C with a solid-propellant rocket accelerator.

Pros: The mobility of the transfer trolley to serve different aerodromes. Cons: expensive construction with an unclear takeoff process, the need for concrete coatings, the difficulty of ensuring a safe cleavage, limiting applicability to speeds (up to 450 km / h).

But it’s one thing to launch an 8-ton MiG-19C into the air, another is a 200-ton bomber. Therefore, another scheme of point start was chosen – without a rail guide. In fact, the plane was launched into the air like a rocket, on liquid rocket engines. The starting position consisted of a pendulum structure that removed the aircraft from the ground at the very beginning of the movement, lifts for mounting the M-50 to a pendulum, pits and reflector devices for torch rocket engines. The two main supports of the pendulum perceived 98% of the load, the rest was on the tail support. Similarly, rocket boosters were installed: two main ones under the wings and one in the tail part of the fuselage. Two underwing wagons with eight nozzles with a pull of 136 tons each, placed at an angle of 55 degrees, created a vertical force exceeding the takeoff weight of the aircraft, and the horizontal component of the thrust helped turbojet engines to disperse the aircraft. The tail accelerator removed the vertical yaw, and the transverse was regulated by gas ailerons installed in the jets of the main engines. The take-off should have been carried out as follows. The first launched the main turbojet engines, and the aircraft stabilized by an autopilot. The take-off acceleration was so great that the entire take-off process was fully automated, the pilot in a state close to a faint could hardly help. After that, the tail rocket engine and the main under-wing missile accelerators were launched, the stoppers were removed and the aircraft rose on a pendulum to a height of 20 m, where the disconnection took place. After reaching the estimated speed of 450 km / h the plane moved to the normal take-off mode,

Verification work

We did not succeed in seeing these unique systems in operation. After successful launches of the royal ballistic missile R-7 with a flight range of 12,000 km, which was also invulnerable to air defense systems of that era, all work on supersonic strategic bombers turned off. But the technical feasibility of such a project can not be doubted. In 1980, the idea was tested in practice by Americans.

Point start Pros: take off from the parking lot, any dispersal of the launch sites, the possibility of good camouflage, a small amount of construction work with a small consumption of concrete, the possibility of simultaneous departure of a large number of aircraft, reducing the weight of take-off and landing devices. Cons: the need for gas controls and stabilization.

For the release of the hostages in the seized US embassy in Tehran was invented a fantastic plan with a landing on a football field in the center of the city of a 70-ton transport plane C-130. The field, I must say, was also fenced with a 9-meter concrete wall. So to sit down and take off the C-130 should be almost vertical. For this purpose, the transport aircraft, which received the designation YMC-130H, was literally stuffed with powerful rocket engines: eight engines from the RUR-5 ASROS anti-submarine rockets in the bow for braking, eight from AGM-45 Shrike anti-radar missiles at the bottom for lifting, eight in the tail parts from RIM-66 standard MR sea-launched missiles to accelerate take-off, two more from ASROS to prevent the tail from hitting the ground with a sudden take-off and four more of the same engine on the wing pylons to eliminate lateral yaw! Test flights were conducted, which strongly resembled the Chinese fireworks festival, but the plane took off and landed almost from the spot. True, in the last test flight there was a mismatch in the inclusion of nasal brake and vertical lifting engines, the aircraft stopped too high above the strip, lost stability and collapsed. However, several takeoffs and landings were successful. However, in the future, work on the YMC-130H, as well as on the point-taking off of the M-50, were canceled. Nevertheless, they remain a magnificent monument to the audacious, almost crazy ideas of aircraft designers of the 20th century. which strongly resembled the Chinese fireworks festival, but the plane took off and sat down almost from the spot. True, in the last test flight there was a mismatch in the inclusion of nasal brake and vertical lifting engines, the aircraft stopped too high above the strip, lost stability and collapsed. However, several takeoffs and landings were successful. However, in the future, work on the YMC-130H, as well as on the point-taking off of the M-50, were canceled. Nevertheless, they remain a magnificent monument to the audacious, almost crazy ideas of aircraft designers of the 20th century. which strongly resembled the Chinese fireworks festival, but the plane took off and sat down almost from the spot. True, in the last test flight there was a mismatch in the inclusion of nasal brake and vertical lifting engines, the aircraft stopped too high above the strip, lost stability and collapsed. However, several takeoffs and landings were successful. However, in the future, work on the YMC-130H, as well as on the point-taking off of the M-50, were canceled. Nevertheless, they remain a magnificent monument to the audacious, almost crazy ideas of aircraft designers of the 20th century. lost stability and collapsed. However, several takeoffs and landings were successful. However, in the future, work on the YMC-130H, as well as on the point-taking off of the M-50, were canceled. Nevertheless, they remain a magnificent monument to the audacious, almost crazy ideas of aircraft designers of the 20th century. lost stability and collapsed. However, several takeoffs and landings were successful. However, in the future, work on the YMC-130H, as well as on the point-taking off of the M-50, were canceled. Nevertheless, they remain a magnificent monument to the audacious, almost crazy ideas of aircraft designers of the 20th century.

The article “Point Start” was published in the magazine “Popular Mechanics” ( No. 6, June 2018 ).

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