Aborted Russian Jet Gu-VRD Plan


Gu-VRD: “History: Designed by M.I.Gudkov (who was one of three partners who designed the Lavochkin LaGG-3) in 1943 around the prototype Lyulka turbojet engine the RTD-1/VDR-2, the Gu-VRD was the USSR’s first real attempt at a jet powered fighter. With no influence from the West, the Gu-VRD had many interesting features such as the stepped layout with the engine placed in the bottom of the fuselage aft of the nose and below the cockpit, with the exhaust exiting under the rear of the wing root, it also had a unique intake design consisting of a tipped nose with four separate intakes to the engine. The rest of the aircraft was of a standard Russian design, based on the LaGG-3. The project documentation was submitted to the Scientific Research Institute of the Air Force (NII VVS) on 10/3/1943, on the 17/4/1943 Department Chief I.I.Safronov wrote ‘ Apparently, the aircraft would fly with the claimed speed, but the problem is that as of today there is no engine, just the name of it’s designer (Lyulka). Hence, the emphasis is to be on the engine’. By 1943 Lyulka had designed and partially tested the prototype RDT-1/VDR-2 engine, with a thrust of around 700 kg, but then work on this engine stoped to concentrate on a new engine the VDR-3/S-18 which would not be ready for another two years. In the summer of 1943 the Gudkov bureau was closed down after another of Gudkov’s prototypes the Gu-37 crashed on the 12/6/1943 killing test pilot A.I.Nikashin.With this the Gu-VDR jet fighter project came to an end, with nothing to show apart from one prototype engine.

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