Technical data
Type VT-11 "Klim Voroshilov" "Present to the XVI Party Congress"
Function fighter prototype
Year 1930
Crew 1
Powerplant (1)
Type Bristol Jupiter VII Bristol Jupiter VI M-15
Takeoff Power (hp) ? 525 ?
Cruise Power (hp) 450 420 450
Size (m)
Length 6.78 6.78 6.80
Wingspan 10.2
Wing area 21.25m2
Weights (kg) and Loads
Empty Weight 919 924 948
Maximum Weight 1331 1336 1360
Wing Load (kg/m2) 62.4 62.5 63.8
Power load (kg/hp) 2.9 2.9 3.1
Speed (km/h)
at 0m 238 267 260
at 3000m 273 264 259
Landing 95
360° turn (sec) 14 16 11
Range (km)
Practical 700 650 620
Ceiling (m)
Maximum 7800 7600 8200
Climb (min)
1000m 1.4 1.4 1.5
2000m 2.8 3.1 3.3
3000m 4.8 5.1 5.6
5000m 9.2 9.6 10.0

VT-11, N.N.Polikarpov/ D.P.Grigorovich

19k b/w photo from the "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.436

Prototype of the I-5.

N.N.Polikarpov was assigned to develope the I-6 (primarily wooden) fighter (to be delivered in July/August 1930) under provisions of the Five Year Plane for experimental aircraft design (starting 1928). At the same time D.P.Grigorovich was working on his his own I-5 design, different from Polikarpov's (and Tupolev's I-5).

When the unrealistic Plane was obviously failed, N.N.Polikarpov, D.P.Grigorovich and other ~450 aircraft designers and engineers were arrested by the NKVD as "saboteurs and enemy infiltrators". Some 300 survived, and were arranged to work in the police supervised design bureaus and experimental factories.

Initially working separately, N.N.Polikarpov and D.P.Grigorovich joined their forces and the wooden mock-up was ready on 28 March 1930. The conditions of the enforced labor 'helped' designers and workers to complete the prototype within 30 days after the mock-up. It was designated VT-11, carrying letters "VT" on the rudder. Here VT stays for the "Vnutrennaja Tur'ma", "Internal Prison". Aircraft was test-flown on April 29, 1930 by test-pilot Benedict Bukholz.

One month later the second prototype "Klim Voroshilov" was completed. They had different engines (so different cowling design) and some other minor changes were introduced. Those two prototypes had individual fairings covering cylinder heads.

Third prototype ("Present to the XVI Party Congress") was powered with domestic high-altitude M-15 engine. It differed from other two by NACA cowling, covering whole engine.

All prototypes were highly praised by test-pilots for their exceptional handling characteristics. Stalin was provided with the fighter he wanted. The design team was released from prison, and soon N.N.Polikarpov was crowned as a "King of Fighters". Not all designers and engineers shared this luck, and about 150 vanished in Stalin's camps and prisons.

Seven pre-production VT-11 were built, nearly identical to the second prototype. Small headrest fairing was added, main wheel shocks were uncovered. No serious complications were revealed, and aircraft went into production as I-5;

Sources :
  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.435-438
  • 'Polikarpov Fighters in action, Part 1' by Hans-Herri Stapfer.

  • More links...
  • VT-11, Polikarpov
  • VT-12, Polikarpov
  • VT-13, Polikarpov

  • Modified May 19, 1997 Back to
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