|Trainer, Record setting
|Wing Load (kg/m2)
|Power load (kg/hp)
Two seat low-wing monoplane built for record speed. Both cockpits covered by long and low transparent canopy. Engine covered by Townend ring. Aircraft had mixed design: steel tubes and fabric for fuselage, mostly wood and fabric in thin (8%) wing, duralumin and fabric for ailerons and tail surfaces. Fixed landing gear was enclosed into 'pants' fairings.
Despite speed was a primary goal, wing was supported by struts and anti-lift steel tapes. Design started in February 1932, assembly - in April same year.
Flights continued until November 11 1934, when aileron broke off in flight due to flatter (then almost unknown and not understood). During this flight rear cockpit was by Osoaviakhim chairman deputy L.P.Malinovskij. Test-pilot Yu.I.Piontkovskij managed to land on unprepared terrain (tiny strip of land in the freight yard clattered with firewood and all sort of rubbish), where aircraft was arrested by traffic police.
Aircraft was disassembled and returned to the plant, where detailed study was performed. Mistake was revealed in calculations of plane's design. Investigating commission worked without contact with designer, and its conclusion was "...to forbid Yakovlev to carry on with his designing work and notify the Government that Yakovlev is unworthy of an award" (he just was put forward for decoration).
Shortly after Yakovlev's group was told to clear out of the main factory building and move into a wooden shed. Just they started to work at new place, all passes were taken from Yakovlev and he was barred from factory. Repression was just behind the door. Only interference of good-wishers on level of The Central Control Commission of the Communist Party saved designer's career and may be life.
Good for A.S.Yakovlev, he had something to demonstrate to high ranked Party member Yan Ernestovich Rudzutak, but it is a separate story.
Since AIR-7 fulfilled its goal (to demonstrate high speed), it was not restored.
|Created March 19, 1998