Rafaelyants Turbolyot

Fact for 13/6/2021



During the late 1950s and through the 1960s
both France and Britain gained a lot of experience in V/STOL-type aeroplanes. They also gathered some very early experience using
test-rig airframes fitted with engines whose thrust was directed downwards to allow the machine to hover above the ground, but which were never intended to fly any distance. The British built the Rolls-Royce Thrust
Measuring Rig or 'Flying Bedstead'. which flew in mid-1953, while the French built two test machines. There was the EWR Sud hover
rig fitted with three Rods-Royce RB.108 lift jets and then in 1957 came the Snecma ATAR- and then in 1957 came the Snecma ATAR- Volant which served as a testbed for the Coleoptere research machine
Aram NazarovIch Rafaelyants was the chief engineer of the Civil Air Fleet (GVF) repair and modification shops at Bykovo and after 1945 was dealing constantly with jet-powered projects and their testing. It was the 'Flying Bedstead' that inspired him to pro-duce an equivalent called the Turbolyot, which had a 63.7kN (14,330 lb) Lyull'ka AL-9G engine mounted vertically in the middle of a frame built of steel tubing. The 'intake' was on the top and fixed to one side of the engine was an enclosed cab for the pilot. There were four main structural girders, each having its own landing leg plus a pipe running along the top with upward- and downward-pointing 'puffer' nozzles on the end. A bleed system from the engine fed each pipe and the nozzles were used to stabilise the aircraft via a modulating system operated on the control column.
Like the initial leas of many VTOL type research aircraft worldwide. the Turbolyot's first 'flight' trials were made tethered to the ground, or in this case a gantry. Those initial tests were made in early 1957 and by October of that year progress was such that the Turbolyot could be demonstrated publicly in free flight. The Turbolyot was actually a civilian research machine but the data acquired proved very useful for the Yak-36 military pro-ject described shortly. Today the Turbolyot still survives In the Monino Museum.

source - Soviet Secret projects fighters since 1945 by Tony Buttler and Yefim Gordon