Free eBooks by Yefim Gordon

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As World War II drew to a close, the Soviet government was well aware that today's allies would soon be tomorrow's adversaries. This meant new bombers had to be developed for dealing strikes at the potential adversaries' military and political centers. Having gained access to German jet aircraft technology and the men behind it in 1945, the Soviet Union put them to good use when developing its own jet bombers. The first jet bomber to fly in the USSR... 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...
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...
While Soviet combat aircraft have received extensive coverage, the many UAVs developed in the Soviet Union and, more recently, Russia remain unsung. Nevertheless, this is a subject deserving attention. The first Soviet UAV to find large-scale use was the La-17 developed by the Lavochkin OKB, a fighter maker of World War II fame; it came in both target drone and reconnaissance versions. The Tupolev OKB, best known for its heavy bombers... more...
This volume deals with the entire family of Yakovlev piston-engined fighters from the simple but rugged Yak-1 through the Yak-7, conceived as a trainer but eventually developed into a fighter, and the prolific and versatile Yak-9, to the most capable of the line, the Yak-3 with which even the aces of the Luftwaffe were reluctant to tangle. In comparison with other contemporary aircraft such as the sophisticated all-metal Mustangs with... more...
From the late 1940s onwards, the Lavochkin bureau was at the forefront of the Soviet supersonic jet fighter program, and this book covers them all in thorough detail. The first of Lavochkin's jet fighters was the La-15. This was a fantail, single-seat swept-wing jet interceptor fighter, which was a less successful contemporary of the MiG-15, despite being more technically advanced. It was a development of the La-172, and was initially known as the... more...
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