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Polikarpov TIS

Soviet Union (1944)
Picture of Polikarpov TIS Heavy Escort Fighter Prototype

The Polikarpov TIS Heavy Escort Fighter was ended with the death of company founder Nikolai Polikarpov in July of 1944.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Polikarpov TIS Heavy Escort Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 4/6/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Polikarpov name is long-remembered for the stout, open-air cockpit fighters serving the Soviet Union and others from the 1930s and into the 1940s. Beyond these well-known and recognizable entries, the company managed a slew of other offerings that began with the I-1 monoplane of 1923 (detailed elsewhere on this site). In the fall of 1938, with World War 2 looming on the horizon, Soviet authorities fleshed out a new requirement for a "heavy escort fighter" requiring a crew of two, exceptional armament and strong performance figures. Polikarpov OKB responded with a rare twin-engine offering by the company - the Polikarpov "TIS" ("Tyazhely Istrebitel Soprovozhdeniya").

Engineers elected for a modern monoplane wing configuration with all-metal construction and power served through 2 x Mikulin AM-37 series engines of 1,400 horsepower each. The crew of two would be seated inline, back-to-back and the cockpit held forward of midships. Each wing held an engine nacelle and each engine drove three-bladed propellers mounted on large spinners. The tail section was of a split-rudder configuration and the undercarriage of the "tail-dragger" arrangement. For the armament requirement, 2 x 20mm cannons were coupled with 4 x 7.62mm machine guns (the former mounted at the wing roots with the latter fitted to the nose section). The rear of the aircraft would be defensed by a dorsally-mounted, trainable 7.62mm machine gun and a ventrally-mounted, trainable 7.62mm machine gun. The latter two guns would be managed by the second crewmember to protect the aircraft's vital "six" from intercepting enemy aircraft.

"Samolet A" was used to designate the first prototype completed by Polikarpov. A first flight was held in September of 1941 but the German invasion of the Soviet Union (through "Operation Barbarossa" begun in June of 1941) pushed most of the existing Soviet war-making industry eastwards. This meant that the Polikarpov program was itself delayed as facilities were reestablished at Novosibirsk. By the time the move had been completed, it was June 1944 and a second prototype - "Samolet MA" - was finally flown. Mikulin AM-38 engines of 1,665 horsepower were installed in this aircraft in lieu of the expected AM-39 engines (1,700 horsepower) as they were not made available.

The revised prototype also included an all-new armament fit to better fulfill the revised Soviet fighting doctrine which was now based on years combating the Axis powers. The 2 x 20mm cannons were given up in favor of 2 x 37mm autocannons and the 4 x 7.62mm machine guns were supplanted by 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns. This provided the aircraft with a much more fearsome forward "punch" be it in attacking German fighters/bombers or strafing columns and enemy positions.

Salomet MA began its flight testing into July 1944 but the death of its founder, Nikolai Polikarpov, from stomach cancer ended development as his company was absorbed into Lavochkin OKB. By this time aircraft like the competing Ilyushin IL-2 were more than holding their own as a heavy fighters and ground attack platforms and there proved little need to fund and further the still-in-development Polikarpov TIS initiative. Thus ended its flying days and only two prototypes were completed.

Any available statistics for the Polikarpov TIS Heavy Escort Fighter Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (345mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Polikarpov TIS (Samolet A Prototype)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1944
Type: Heavy Escort Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Polikarpov OKB - Soviet Union
Production: 2
Global Operators:
Soviet Union (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Polikarpov TIS (Samolet A Prototype) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
38.39 ft


Meters
11.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
50.85 ft


Meters
15.5 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.27 ft


Meters
4.35 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
12,787 lb


Kilograms
5,800 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
17,284 lb


Kilograms
7,840 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Mikulin AM-37 V12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 1,400 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propellers.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
345 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
555 kph


Knots
300 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,069 mi


Kilometers
1,720 km


Nautical Miles
929 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
33,629 ft


Meters
10,250 m


Miles
6.37 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,250 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
686 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

ORIGINAL:
2 x 20mm ShVAK cannons in wing roots
4 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in nose
1 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine gun in rear-facing dorsal position.
1 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine gun in rear-facing ventral position.

REVISED:
2 x 37mm cannons
2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns
Variants: Series Model Variants
• TIS - Base Series Designation
• Samolet A - First prototype fitting Mikulin Am-37 engines of 1,400 horsepower; armament of 2 x 20mm cannons with 4 x 7.62mm machine guns; 2 x 7.62mm machine guns on trainable mountings for local defense.
• Samolet MA - Second prototype fitting Mikulin AM-38 engines of 1,665 horsepower; revised armament of 2 x 37mm cannons with 2 x 12.7mm HMG.