|Function||high speed dive bomber|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)||160|
|Power load (kg/hp)||3.3|
|Guns||1*mg12.7mm UB (turret)
2*mg7.62mm ShKAS (nose and ventral)
After 1936- 1939 flight tests of VIT-1 and VIT-2 multi-purpose aircraft, N.N.Polikarpov bureau came up with high speed dive bomber SPB. Despite similar in appearance to its predecessors, this aircraft had all new design with old-fashion wielded tube frames (etc.) were replaced by more recent technologies. The maiden flight (B.N.Kudrin) took place on February 18, 1940. Except two experimental aircraft, small series of three SPB were harried into production before tests were finished (Factory 22).
Tests were not easy. Numerous modifications were introduced to fix shortcomings in stability, engine cooling system and frame strength. On April 27, 1940 s econd production aircraft fell into flat spin and crashed, killing test pilot N.P.Golovin and two crewmembers. On July 20 another (first one) production aircraft crashed, killing crew lead by test pilot M.A.Lipkin.
Despite hard working task force failed to reveal cause of the last crash flight tests were suspended. According to  Vol.2 p.23 it was flatter (pilot pushed aircraft to higher dive speeds too fast, plus the weight compensation of ailerons was not installed). On third aircraft one of tail fins was broken, but B.N.Kudrin managed to land it safely. He refused to continue the tests...
The PB-100 (future Pe-2) was ready for production, and the story of SPB was over.
Floatplane version (expected speed 435km/h) with reversible propellers was also cancelled.
|16k picture from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.2 p.22, used as a background;|
|Modified April 10, 1997||Back to|