|Power at 0m||2*115hp|
|Weights and loads|
|Cabin size LxWxH||?m3|
The She-2 (Ùå-2) story began in 1942 at small aircraft repair factory. In addition to the repair jobs, this factory was producing floats for U-2 trainer and underwing containers, allowing to use U-2 and R-5 biplanes as a light transports, capable to deliver small cargo to the front line units without special airfields.
Those improvised "transports" could not satisfy all needs of the front line repair shops. R-5 could carry spare fighter wings under its own wings (quite a risky business), but engines and anti-tank cannons required larger carrier. A.Ya.Scherbakov, as a director and chief designer of the factory (and head of NKAP Main Management of the Aircraft repairs) obtained approval for special transport aircraft TS-1. Originally ordered by Navy Aviation, TS-1 was designed and assembled during 1942. It differed from series aircraft by propeller spinners and cowled engines (found unnecessary due to TS-1 low cruising speed).
In 1943 unexpected support of new light transport came from A.S.Yakovlev. Respected expert in the light aviation and fighters, Yakovlev at the time experienced serious problems with his Yak-6 and had all reasons to distance himself from this class of aircraft.
Flight trials (Summer 1943) were successful, and under designation Sche-2 was approved for mass production. Assembly (at the Scherbakov OKB) started on October 3, and in Summer 1944 first series aircraft rolled out. Production continued until early 1946.
First series aircraft performed no less than 20 flights on route Chkalov - Kujbyshev (Samara) - Moscow, accumulating near 1000 flight hours.
Sche-2 was a high-wing strut-braced monoplane with fixed undercarriage. Large (1.43x1.64m) port side freight door provided easy access to the spacious cargo cabin. Wooden airframe had fabric cover on the wing and the tail. The deep oval-section fuselage was covered with . To make aircraft structure as light as possible, numerous fuselage stringers were made as miniature (30x10mm with 4x8mm shelves) closed profiles made of 1mm plywood. Despite high labour-consumption, this construction was accepted as very light, strong and reliable.
Series Sche-2 could be used (after in-field conversion) in any of following roles:
In addition to the 1942 prototype and series cargo-ambulance type (1944), one aircraft in 1945 was converted for agricultural works. It had 0.45m taller landing gear struts and 800x260mm wheels. It was not accepted for its poor maneuverability at low altitude, long takeoff run and slow climb. Some sources mention that the primary goal of Sche-2 was supply of partisans behind enemy lines, but it seems doubtful due to long takeoff run. Version with 145hp M-11E engines, circular windows and dihedral tailplane is mentioned.
Also in the 1945 one aircraft was fitted with GMC diesels from American tank. Some aircraft had reduced wing area (55m2) with same takeoff weight but without overload option. Twin-hulled Sche-2 with three M-11D engines was proposed by M.V.Lyapin (deputy of Scherbakov), but this variant was never built.
Easy to fly and suitable to beginner pilots,
the Sche-2 needed more powerful engines than M-11D. But
initially suggested 300hp MG-31 were dropped out of production
at the war outbreak. As a result, flight with single engine running was possible only near the
ground with total weight 3000kg. There even was a joke about this aircraft:
- "Íîñ Ëè-2, õâîñò Ïå-2, ìîòîðû Ó-2, ëåòèò åäâà..."
- "Nose from Li-2, tail from Pe-2, engines from U-2, barely flies...", with Russian word for "barely" making a rhythm with Russian "2".
550 were built, served later as passenger and cargo planes on the commuter routes until 1946.
|Modified July 24, 2001||Back to|