The I-17 was a sleek fighter with a water-cooled engine, built for comparison with the stubby radial-engined I-16.
Few built, some used in combat in 1941.
There was a widely used argument against evaporative cooling systems - vulnerability. But... this is a common feature of water-cooled engines (except special cases with armor-shielded cooler like Il-2). Large area of cooling surface is not a weakness - higher probability of combat damage is compensated by relatively lower impact of a hole on the system.
During trials of Stal-6 A.B.Yumashev performed few flights with imitation of a cooler combat damage. Each flight lasted more than 30min! Taking into account that flight endurance of (most) Soviet WW-II single-engine fighters was close to 1hour, damaged fighter could not only return home safely, but do it after the fight is over.
There also was a room for improvement - Stal-6 had single-unit cooler, while segmented system could be even less sensitive to damage.
TsKB-15 - the first prototype;
TsKB-33 used evaporative cooling. Cancelled;
|Modified January 25, 1996||Back to|