Polikarpov R-1/R-2
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Polikarpov R-1/R-2

Soviet-built analog of the DH-4/ DH-9 biplane bomber.

The DH-4 was fast, versatile and well-armed. DH-4 production in Russia on Dux factory was about to start in October 1917. Manufacturing was frozen due to absence of the engines, but preparations did not stop. N.N.Polikarpov was steadily working on blueprints for assembly lines. During the Civil War some latest DH-9 and DH-9A were captured, and modifications were included into the project.

When Bolshevik government decided to gain airpower, one of the simplest solutions was to restart old projects. Intermediate DH-4, DH-9/R-1, DH-9/R-2 were built in 1921-1923, using parts imported from the Great Britain. Gained experience and started production of the M-5/Liberty engine allowed to create first Soviet mass production aircraft. First combat ready R-1 were built on the GAZ-1 factory under the supervision of N.N.Polikarpov in 1923. They were named "Imeni Izvestij VTsIK" and "Moskowskij Bolshevik". Mass production started same year at GAZ-10 (Taganrog).

First squad of 19 aircraft was designated 'Lenin' and presented to XIII Congress of the RKP(b) on May 23-31 1924. One of the Congress resolutions called to The Party and Workers organizations to intensify mass propaganda of gaining air fleet power as a necessary reaction of growth of military and civil aviation in capitalist countries.

It is not correct to call the R-1 a copy of DH-4/9. It was build from all domestic materials, whole construction was revised to utilize technologies available in war burnt Russia. It was heavier, carried more payload and had substantially strengthened construction.

Group of R-1s performed flight Moscow-Peking-Tokyo (M.M.Gromov as a leader), proving high quality and reliability of the first Soviet series aircraft.

The R-1 became the first Russian aircraft to be exported - Afghanistan(!!!) purchased some 20 in 1923-1924; During 1924-1931 ~2800 were produced.

Polikarpov R-1/R-2

 ENGINE1 x M-5, 295kW
    Take-off weight2200 kg4850 lb
    Empty weight1450 kg3197 lb
    Wingspan14.0 m46 ft 11 in
    Length9.2 m30 ft 2 in
    Height3.3 m11 ft 10 in
    Max. speed200 km/h124 mph
    Cruise speed185 km/h115 mph
    Ceiling5000 m16400 ft
    Range w/max.fuel700 km435 miles
 ARMAMENT2 machine-guns, 200kg of bombs

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