Tupolev ANT-3 / R-3
|RECONNAISSANCE||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Tupolev|
The prototype flew for the first time in August 1925. An unequal-span biplane, intended for reconnaissance duties, it was of all-metal construction with corrugated sheet covering. The original 298kW Liberty engine was replaced by a 336kW Napier Lion, the aircraft then being redesignated R-3NL The first 12 series aircraft had Liberty engines but the next 18 had the Soviet development of this powerplant, which was designated M-5. The final 79 aircraft with the 336kW Lorraine Dietrich engine were designated R-3LD, and one ANT-3 was tested with a 507kW BMW VI. Most R-3s saw military service, but a few retaining the ANT-3 designation were flown as mailplanes or used for liaison and for propaganda flights. The R-3LD version had a maximum speed of 205km/h, was armed with three 7.7mm machine-guns and could carry 10 10kg bombs on external racks. Plans for a Shturmovik version with 400kg of armour protection came to nothing.