|Engines||2*100hp Argus||4*100hp Argus
in 2 tandems
along the wing
|Take off run||650m||400m||350m|
Huge wooden biplane. The 'Russkij Vitjaz' (The Russian Knight) was the world first four-engine aircraft. First flown 26 May 1913, it was a strong answer to fanatic supporters of 'light-only' aviation. Aircraft was re-designed few times during 1913. The most critical changes included move from 2 to 4 engines and later positioning of engines along the wing instead traditional tandem scheme. Increase of engine-induced drag was overpowered by increase of propeller efficiency.
Some foreign papers called reports about Grand "the Petersburg Duck", but giant plane was flying during the summer 1913 without a single broke. Plane proved to be flyable with any two of four engines shot down, demonstrating strong reliability of the multi-engine scheme.
Emperor Nicholas personally inspected the Grand, and gave Igor I.Sikorsky a timepiece.
Major shortcoming of the Grand was its inability to attain high altitude. The end of the aircraft in September 1913, I guess, is a unique one. Indeed, was any other aircraft in the world hit by engine broke loose from a passing airplane? At the time I.I.Sikorsky was already working on the next generation heavy aircraft "Ilya Mourometz", and it was decided not to restore the Grand.
|Modified August 14, 1997||Back to|