Very successful flying boat, similar to the M-5.
The first M-9 was ready in December 1915, flight tests carried out in Baku until
It was reliable, was operational on waves 0.5m high, had above average handling. M-9 could be craned front the
water to the ship. On September 17, 1916 pilot Ya.I.Nagurskij performed
Nesterov Loop on the M-9, so it became The world first hydroplane to do it. Two loops were performed with a passenger.
Among useful capabilities was landing on snow without special skis.
Unfortunately, full potential of M-9 was not used. Despite prototype had egg-shaped engine fairing. But on series
M-9 it was deleted and never reappeared. Aircraft lacked rear protection, despite its load capacitance and layout
allowed to add read gunner's cockpit without radical changes. Numerous requests of pilots and military officials to
do so. Several attempts of pilots to install reward-firing machinegun under the wing had doubtful effect, and in
1917 aviators refused to fly without escort. M-9 started to operate
protected by land-based 'Neuport-17' or 'Neuport-21'.
Armament included movable 'Vickers' machinegun in front cockpit. Sometimes 'Gotchkis' or 'Aerlikon' cannons were
used. Some were equipped with radio.
During Civil War M-9 was used in cooperation with river combat ships and above the seas. One of biggest combats M-9
participated was the "air defence of Baku" (July-August 1918), when Red Army
M-9 and M-5 carried out photoreconnaissance, artillery spotting, air combat and
bomb raids, dropping 6000kg bombs and 160kg arrows.
M-9 was used for the fist experiments on sea shelve study. New oil fields were found near Baku.
About 500 built, some did not enter service due to 'disturbances' in 1917.
"History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by
V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.242;