General Information
Type N°7211
Function Fighter Prototype
Year 1937
Crew 1
Type 1*M-85
Power 800hp
Length 6.35m
Wingspan 7.0m
Wing area 18.0m2
Weights and loads
Empty weight 1400kg
Loaded weight 1745kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 97
Power load (kg/hp) 2.1
Speed at 0m 365km/h
Speed at 4000m 416km/h
Landing Speed 110km/h
Takeoff Roll 175m
Turn time 14.5sec
Practical 700km
Flight Endurance 2h
Maximum 13000m
5000m 4.6min
Guns 4*7.62mm ShKAS
(not installed)

N° 7211 by A.A.Borovkov and I.F.Florov

41k b/w "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.2 p.64

The Fighter N°7211 was proposed by two young engineers I.F.Florov and A.A.Borovkov. The VVS head Ya.I.Alksnis expressed his support and personally accepted the mockup of 7211. After brief conversation with GUAP leadership designers received production base, finished the project and in May 1937 the 7211 rolled out.

The 7211 was a fixed-gear biplane of original construction. First, it was very small (wing area only 18m2!) Cockpit was moved almost to the tailfin root, but pilot's sight was surprisingly good. Upper wing was installed on four short struts with tension steel tapes. No other struts or wires were installed between the wings, providing very clean design.

This was allowed by novelties in the wing design. The wing (and tailplane) had a smooth aluminum skin with one-two layers of 1mm corrugated aluminum under it. Such a construction allowed to use wing skin as a constructive element, allowing to minimize weight of spars and ribs. Wing turned to be very light - just a 12.23kg/m2.

Forward section of the fuselage had steel tube frame covered with duralumin skin. Tail section - wooden monocoque similar to the I-16.

Landing gear used same design as I-15, with airdynamic fairings. The three-blade propeller was driven by M-85 engine in NACA cowling. Pilot's seat was not armored. 7211 had provision for four ShKAS machineguns with 2200 rounds of ammunition (not installed on the prototype).

First flight took place on May 23, 1937. Factory pilot L.M.Maksimov performed 21 flights. Once the 7211 was flown by P.M.Stefanovsky. Factory trials passed without problems. Maneuverability of the 7211 was intermediate between the I-16 monoplane and I-15 biplane, but climb and ceiling were superior to both.

State trials started on June 21, 1937. The very first flight ended with a crash. Pilot E.Yu.Preman circled the field once (as demanded) and touched down - but changed his mind and pushed for another circle. On the very edge of the airfield engine died out... low altitude left no room for return or safe landing.

Nonetheless, in May 1938 designers were invited for meeting with Aviation Industry leadership, and in Fall 1938 they were assigned to bring the '7211' to production state. Following aircraft were designated I-207 (product '7').

product '7'

products '8','9'

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.2 p.63-65;
  • ...

  • Created November 24, 1998 Back to
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