The DI-6 Fighter Plane,Technical Specifications (The USSR)

DI-6 Fighter Plane Technical Specifications :

The DI-6 Fighter Plane
  • Crew – 2 people
  • Engine – M-25V
  • Power – 710 hp
  • Wingspan-10.0 m
  • The wing area is 25.15 sq. m
  • Empty aircraft weight-1407 kg
  • Maximum take-off weight-1987 kg
  • Full load weight-580 kg
  • Maximum speed at altitude / near the ground – 372 / 324 km / h
  • Practical ceiling – 7700 m
  • Maximum range-550 km
  • Armament: 3×7. 62 mm SHKAS machine guns
  • The maximum bomb load is 50 kg.

The DI-6 Fighter Plane Details

In the early 1930s, aircraft manufacturers in the Soviet Union were faced with a difficult task-to create a combat-ready two-seat fighter aircraft that could compete with a single-seat machine. The two-seat open cockpit, which would accommodate the pilot and gunner, created additional aerodynamic drag, and therefore it was necessary to reduce it as much as possible. Such an attempt to create a two-seat fighter was made in the Central Design Bureau. After the division of the Central Design Bureau of TsAGI in 1932 into two independent design bureaus specializing in the creation of aircraft for various purposes: the Central Design Bureau of the V. R. Menzhinsky Aircraft Factory No. 39 for the construction of light aircraft and the design Department of TsAGI, which was engaged in the development of heavy aircraft, the department of V. P. Yatsenko, by the decision of the Head of the Central Design Bureau, S. V. Ilyushin, was merged with the OKB-1 brigade of S. A. Kocherigin. Work on the creation of the two-seat fighter TSKB-11, which Yatsenko began to study back in the TsAGI Central Design Bureau, was continued in the Design Bureau under the general direction of S. A. Kocherigin. The two-seat fighters built before in the USSR were too heavy and clumsy and were much inferior to single-seat cars.

V. P. Yatsenko, developing the future fighter, compacted its layout to such an extent that the new aircraft did not go beyond the dimensions of the I-15. Already at the end of 1934, a prototype of the two-seat fighter TSKB-11 was built. According to the scheme, it belonged to single-column one-and-a-half-wing aircraft with a landing gear that could be retracted into the center section of the lower wing and with original wheels with internal shock absorption. The aircraft was equipped with a 630 hp Wright-Cyclone F-3 engine, which was later replaced by a domestic M-25 engine. The TSKB-11 aircraft had a very peculiar scheme and was not similar to any of the polutoraplane fighters close to it. It had a truss fuselage, welded from pipes, with a light outer frame, sheathed in the rear part of the canvas. Wings-two-spar, wooden with canvas.

The aircraft was armed with two 7.62 mm SHKAS machine guns mounted in the lower wing outside the propeller disk and one SHKAS-u shooter mounted on a pivot mount for firing backwards, as well as small bombs (weighing 8-10 kg) on four beams. Soon the aircraft received a new name “two-seat fighter DI-6”. At that time, the DI-6 had a number of advanced technical solutions – the M-25 engine consisted of a well-streamlined hood of the N1; wing slits with a fuselage; a closed shooter’s cabin with a retractable machine gun,and most importantly-a retractable landing gear.

The DI-6 was the world’s first biplane with a retractable landing gear that featured an original layout. The fighter at the state tests that took place from May 27 to November 21, 1935, showed good speed data, in which it approached similar foreign aircraft. The aircraft also had good maneuverability and a stable dive. In 1936, the DI-6 was adopted by the Red Army Air Force, and in the autumn of the same year, its serial production began. Since 1937, the aircraft was equipped with a more powerful M-25V engine. Along with the main version of the DI-6 fighter, 60 aircraft were manufactured in the version of the DI-6SH attack aircraft. Four 7.62 mm PV-1 machine guns were mounted under its lower wing, and it also received an armored back and pilot’s seat cup.

The DI-6 fighter aircraft took part in the fighting near the Khalkhin Gol river in 1939, along with the new I-15 and I-153 fighters. There, the DI-6 was mainly used as an escort fighter. In one of the air battles, a group of Japanese fighters met SB bombers in the air, accompanied by DI-6 fighters. Apparently, mistaking them for I-15 fighters, the Japanese missed the Soviet planes ahead and rushed at them from behind, confident that they would not be able to turn around quickly. But unexpectedly, they met with the fire of the DI-6 shooters. After losing two planes, the Japanese abandoned the battle. Despite some success, the DI-6 pilots still found it difficult to conduct active air combat with faster Japanese and fighter aircraft. Soon the DI-6 was again able to fly out on combat missions, first during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940, and a year later it was actively used in battles during the initial period of the Great Patriotic War. The DI-6 fighter turned out to be the first successful two-seat fighter in the USSR, but it was also the last representative of this class, created in the pre-war years.

The DI-6 aircraft was mass-produced from the autumn of 1936 to 1938, inclusive, by the following aircraft factories : No. 1 named after I. V. Stalin (Moscow); No. 39 named after V. R. Menzhinsky (Moscow) and No. 81 named after Molotov (Tushino village, Moscow Region). A total of 222 DI-6 aircraft were produced (together with the training variants of the DI-6bis and DI-6UTI).

The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War exhibits a model of the DI-6SH fighter aircraft (tail number 3), which was part of the 6th Aviation Regiment of the Leningrad Front in 1941 (Mayeniemi airfield). The mock-up of the aircraft was built by Tushinsky Machine-Building Plant together with Avion LLP in 1995.

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