General Information
Type I-8 ANT-13
Function Fighter Interceptor
Year 1930
Crew 1
Type Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror
Power at 0m 600hp
Length ?m
Height ?m
Wingspan 9.03m
Wing area 20.09m2
Weights and loads
Empty 1000kg
Loaded Normal 1235kg
Loaded Maximum 1454kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 72.4
Power load (kg/hp) 2.42
at 0m 303km/h
at 3600m 313km/h 310(?)
at 5000m 303km/h
Projected 310km/h
Landing 118km/h
Turn time ?sec
Landing ?m
Takeoff ?m
Practical 545km
Flight Endurance 1.8h
Ceiling 8500...9000m
1000m 1.0min
2000m 2.0min
3000m 3.0min
4000m 4.3min
5000m 10.3min? 6.0min?
Fuel ?kg
Gun Type (Position)Ammo
2*PV-1, engine cowling ?
Salvo (kg/sec) 0.224

I-8/ANT-13 'Jockey' fighter by A.N.Tupolev, P.O.Sukhoj and V.Rodionov

20k b/w "OKB Sukhoj" p.23, courtesy of Thomas Heinz

In 1928 N.N.Polikarpov and A.N.Tupolev teams received a request for new fighter project. N.N.Polikarpov bureau was assigned the task of developing a wooden airframe structure while A.N.Tupolev was responsible for designing a fighter I-5/ANT-12 with mixed wood and metal stricture. But AGOS TsAGI had number of other projects already underway, and this fighter was not officially included into plans.

Engineer V.M.Rodionov suggested that every designer should work for 70 unpaid hours on the off-plan project. The Air Force Department readily responded and set up requirements for new fighter-interceptor. Role for new fighter - defence of strategic behind-the-lines objects. Major tactics - quick hit-and-run attacks on the penetrating bombers. These requirements were officially approved in January 1930:

Polikarpov's design retained the I-5 code, while Tupolev's was evolved into very different I-8 (ANT-13 bureau designation). Tupolev was known for his believe in new materials, and he used the opportunity to try stainless steel as an aircraft construction material. Fist time in the USSR stainless steel was used in the airframe. All structure except duralumin wing ribs was of different types of steel.

Pavel Sukhoj was given responsibility for the technical guidance of the design and construction of the fighter designated Jockey or Obschestvenny Samolet (Public Airplane for its way of financing). Preliminary design and mockup were accomplished in a short time.

50k b/w "A.N.Tupolev - man and aircraft" p.56

New single-seat biplane fighter was powered by a compact water-cooled American Curtiss Conqueror engine, rated at 600hp without a gearbox (625 to 700hp). Armament included two PV-1 machine-guns.

Construction was finished by November 1930 (end of October). On December 12, test pilot Mikhail Gromov successfully flew I-8 for the first time. During this trial, 'Jockey' became the first Soviet aircraft to exceed 300km/h barrier. Later, in January 1931 speed 303km/h was demonstrated.

Soon the aircraft was modified. Stabilizer control mechanism was installed and the oil cooler capacity was increased. It was also planned:

In August 1931 aircraft received new engine, horizontal tail and landing gear. Flight tests continued through 1932. Than traces of the I-8 disappear from the archives. Despite good performance, it never entered State Acceptance trials.

Two reasons of the I-8 cancellation appear in literature:

P.Duffy and A.Kandalov have a different story. First of all, they do not mention (so does Shavrov) P.O.Sukhoj involvement in the I-8 design at all. Instead, Vladimir Rodionov appears as an organizer of the project and construction of the airplane.

There are also some obvious errors in the I-8 chapter (p.56, aircraft data at p.208):

  • "Tupolev - the man and his aircraft" by P.Duffy and A.Kandalov p.56
  • "OKB Sukhoj - A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft" p.22
  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" Vol1 p438
  • Links
  • I-8 fighter-interceptor at Sky Corner
  • ANT-13, Tupolev
  • I-8, Tupolev

  • Created January 25, 1996
    Modified October 23, 2000
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