Sh-5, FS-1, FS-2 by V.B.Shavrov and K.A.Vigand,
24k b/w Sh-5 with underfuselage float installed,
"History of aircraft construction in the USSR"
, Vol.1 p.475
In 1928 wide program of the USSR territory
mapping started. Aviation supposed to play large role in this program, providing aerial photography and support of ground
groups. No special aircraft for aerial photography existed, variety of available platforms were not well suited for the goal.
Camera view was often restricted by cockpit location, obscured by wing struts, wires or landing gear. Conditions for camera
operator in tight cockpits of military (or converted) planes like R-5 were far
from appropriate for mapping photography.
In early 1929 special task force was established. It accepted
of an amphibian cartography, because the wast areas of the USSR had no suitable airfields except rivers and lakes.
In Spring 1930 requirements to the cartography aircraft were formulated.
In June projects for amphibian and similar land based aircraft were ready (design by
V.B.Shavrov, calculations by K.A.Vigand)1. Aircraft were designated
FS-1 and FS-2.
Originally FS project was assigned to Richard's
KB, in March 1931 - transferred to
TsKB back under V.B.Shavrov's supervision. At
that time FS-1 and FS-2 project were
joined into single Sh-5 design. It was an amphibian with detachable floats.
Assembly was performed at ZOK NII
GVF, plant with very limited capacities.
Sh-5 was of mixed design. Fuselage had steel frame with fabric skin. Floats -
wooden, covered with fabric with sealant. Wing and tailfin - duralumin with fabric. Landing gear and floats struts - steel
tubes with duralumin fairings.
During construction aircraft was made multi-functional. 12 removable passenger seats were installed.
Sh-5 could be converted into ambulance with 8 stretchers and medical personal.
Large door and roof hatch allowed to use it as a cargo transport when seats/stretchers are removed. Enclosed pilot's cabin
was located in the nose, providing adequate view for aerial cartography.
Trials started on March 19, 1934 on skis, interrupted at the end of year
when landing gear was broken (manufacturing defect
blamed). Despite overall performance was in compliance with requirements, aircraft was abandoned. 5-years old design and layout
became more and more obsolete, with little upgrade opportunities.
Aerial cartography niche was occupied at the time by sturdy reliable R-6.
Aircraft was unique in its concept and had no successors.