Heavy armored ground attack monoplane aircraft, built following the
TTKh of the VVS command. Monoplane
scheme was chosen by S.A.Kocherigin (head of attack aircraft brigade at the
TsKB) after TSH-1 and
TSH-2 failed satisfy the requirements and biplane solutions became obviously obsolete.
Airforce requirements included speed of 250km/h and ceiling 4000m. Aircraft had to carry strong armament in
TSh-3 was built of metal and fabric. Front fuselage was a steel armour box
held together by duralumin profiles frame. Front armour plate was 8mm thick. Side, bottom and back plates: 6mm,
top plate: 5mm. Engine was not protected from the top. Retractable underfuselage radiator was protected by 6mm
armour too. In the retracted ('attack') position cooling air was sucked in through the armored 'scoop' intake under the propeller,
fraction of the heat also was absorbed by 106kg of water in the cooling system. Specially for this purpose radiator
was made with oversize.
Tail section (behind the gunner's turret) was simple steel tube frame covered with fabric. It provided less than 10% of the
airframe weight (55kg). Wing had duralumin frame and fabric cover. Each wing carried five
ShKAS machineguns and three cartridges for six small shrapnel bombs each. Hardpoints
were integrated into wing structure and could carry heavy bombs and Special Aircraft Mounted Devices (stays for chemical agent
dispensers). Ailerons served also as a flaps.
TSh-3 was flown in 1932 by
V.K.Kokkinaki. Performance was well above requirements of 1932. But...
Trials and refinements continued until Spring 1934. Fast progress of aircraft
designs made speed 250km/h already insufficient. Angular shape of the armour shell was the major obstacle.
The main purpose of the armored attacker was not well defined yet, and TSh-3 did
not enter series production.
It took almost 8 years before Ilyushin's Il-2
emerged as an fully operational heavy armored aircraft with exceptional performance.