Free eBooks by Yefim Gordon

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This interesting survey looks at Russian military aviation in the post-Soviet era. While difficulties with funding means that the large new aircraft programs of the Cold War era are likely to remain things of the past, military aviation in Russia is not standing still. Upgrades to existing programs and reorganization of current resources are two of the ways in which combat capability is being not just maintained but enhanced. This... more...
A familiar sight both in military and worldwide commercial use, the Ilyushin IL-76 was the Soviet's answer to the Lockheed Starlifter. Compiled by noted Russian aviation writers and historians from a wealth of first-hand Russian sources, this book is a comprehensive history of each variant and its service. Extensive tables detail each aircraft built with complete notes on every operator-both civil and military-and their fleets. For... more...
Developed as a high-capacity long-range airliner for use on Aeroflot's busiest routes, the Ilyushin IL-18 four-turboprop airliner first flew on July 4th, 1957. Despite some initial difficulties, this Soviet equivalent of the Lockheed Electra eventually proved to be extremely successful, offering high comfort and good operating economics, for its day. The IL-18 was supplied to many 'friendly nations' in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the... more...
Mikoyan built his first aircraft in 1936. The company has since gone on to produce some of the most fearsome high-performance military aircraft of the post-World War II period, such as the MiG-15, MiG-21 and MiG 29. This book describes all these aircraft and more, in detail.
'Spy in the Sky’ matters have long been a source of interest and fascination for aircraft enthusiasts, historians and modelers and none more so than the elusive and secretive Soviet types of the Cold War era. Yefim Gordon presents us here with a range of such types, presenting a collection of photographs, profiles and line drawings together with supplementary text detailing the history of each craft, encompassing the various developmental... more...
The Tupolev Tu-104 Camel was a twin-engined, medium-range, turbojet-powered airliner. Following the British-built Comet and Canadian Avro Jetliner, the Tu-104 became the world s third jet airliner to take to the skies when it made its maiden flight in June 1956. Produced by the Tupolev design bureau, the Tu-104 was a civilian version of their jet bomber, the Tu-16 Badger . The first aircraft could carry 50 passengers, but subsequent variants saw this... more...
In the early/mid-1950s, a new military doctrine evolved in the Soviet Union requiring increased troop mobility. In response, plans were made for modernizing and expanding the Soviet Air Force's military airlift arm to meet the demands of contemporary warfare. The design bureau led by Oleg K. Antonov took on the task, developing first the twin-engined An-8 in 1955 and then the four-turboprop An-12 - the Soviet counterpart to the Lockheed C-130... more...
In the early 1950s a need arose in the Soviet Union for a heavy transport and assault helicopter capable of airlifting cargo weighing up to 6 tons (13,230 lbs) - primarily artillery systems. The chief Soviet "helicopter maker" - OKB-329 headed by Mikhail L. Mil - took on this important task. The prototype of the V-6 (eventually redesignated Mi-6), which first flew in June 1957, was a much larger machine. For the first time not only in... more...
In the nervous 1950s, the Soviet Union faced the task of defending its borders against intrusions by Western spyplanes and deterring an attack by Western bomber armadas. The mission was to intercept incoming adversaries at long range, which required plenty of engine power, ample fuel and heavy armament. Several Soviet design bureaus took on this priority task. The first heavy interceptor from the Mikoyan stable was the swept-wing I-3 of... more...
The Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger was the Soviet Navy's first and only VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) multi-role combat aircraft. Outwardly similar in design to the British-built Harrier, the first prototype of the aircraft was completed on April 14, 1970, and it made its maiden flight January 15, 1971. Before production ceased, 231 aircraft were built, including 38 two-seat trainers. The aircraft suffered from severe payload restrictions, particularly... more...
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