Stal-6, EI by R.L.Bartini


E
xperimental fighter, far ahead of its time. Leaving alone its steel (so Stal) construction, following features are to be mentioned:
  • Extremely clean shapes - pilot's cockpit was flush with top of the fuselage!
  • Material chosen to provide minimal possible weight: chromium-molibdenium steel tube frame, aluminum/magnesium alloys (AltMag, Electron) used for front section skin (integrating oil tanks), thin steel tube bundles as a wing structure with thin stainless steel skin, plywood skin on the tail.
  • Single-wheel landing gear with tail skid and small stabilizing skis on the wing tips. ALL landing gear elements are completely retractable. At the time world new only semi-retractable gear with wheels going backwards and half-hide in the wing.
  • Water evaporative cooling system inside the wing surface, like in some racer aircraft.
  • Elevator controls had adjustable reduction number, allowing pilot to adjust force on the control stick depending on the aircraft speed and flight conditions. This system was 'invented' again in 1944 by TsAGI and LII...
    Stal-6 successfully passed all tests during Fall 1933. Pilots A.B.Yumashev and P.M.Stefanovskij proved that 'one-wheel' landing gear is as good as conventional on takeoff, landing and taxi. Speed on ground level was 420km/h, 150km/h faster than typical speed of contemporary fighters.
    Interestingly, that VVS leadership already pushed aircraft builders to increase speed of their aircraft, but faced 'organised resistance'. Manufacturers did not believe that substantial speed increase is possible in short time. They interpreted rumors about Stal-6 as a 'duck'.
    68k drawing Stal-6/8 from 'Krylia Rodiny' magazine, courtesy of Sergey Andreev
    On official meeting with K.E.Voroshilov and G.K.Ordzhonikidze representative of the GUAP tried to prove that fighter with speed 400-450km/h is impossible. He was corrected that such aircraft (Stal-6) already exists and its designer (R.L.Bartini) is present on the meeting.
    GVF received an order to build fighter based on Stal-6 design. Project was designated Stal-8...
    References:
  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.471-472;
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  • Stal-6, Bartini
  • Technical data
    Type Stal-6, EI
    Function Fighter Prototype
    Year 1933
    Crew 1
    Engines 1*660hp Curtiss V-1750 Conqueror
    Wing Span 9.0m
    Wing Area 14.3 0m2
    Length 6.88m
    Height 2.23m
    Empty Weight 850kg
    Maximum Weight 1080kg
    Wing load 77kg/m2
    Power load 1.6kg/hp
    Speed at 0m 420km/h
    Landing Speed 110km/h
    Landing Roll 10sec
    150m
    Takeoff Roll 20sec
    280m
    Ceiling 8000m
    Climb
    1000m 0.8min
    2000m 2.0min
    3000m 3.0min
    Flight endurance 1.5 hour
    Modified February 10, 1998
    by Alexandre Savine
    and Sergey Andreev;
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