Tupolev ANT-46 (DI-8)
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Tupolev|
Ordered in December 1934 as a single prototype under the designation DI-8, the ANT-46 was a two-seat fighter (Dvukhmestny istrebitel) derivative of Aleksandr Arkhangelsky's SB high-speed bomber (ANT-40). Featuring a lightened structure and powered by two 800hp Gnome-Rhone 14Krsd 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, the ANT-46 was intended to carry two 100mm Kurchevski APK-100 recoilless guns as its primary armament, these weapons being buried in the outer wings between the ailerons and the flaps, and projecting fore and aft. In addition, it was intended to mount a battery of four 7.62mm guns in the extreme nose, but these were not carried by the prototype, which featured a glazed nose generally similar to that of the SB. First flown on 9 August 1935, the ANT-46 was actually flown before the ANT-29, the factory flight test programme being completed successfully in June 1936, but state acceptance testing was not undertaken as official interest in the recoilless gun - for which the ANT-46 had been specifically developed - had terminated with the arrest, in February 1936, of Leonid Kurchevski.