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Tupolev I-4 (ANT-5)

Biplane Fighter Aircraft

Tupolev I-4 (ANT-5)

Biplane Fighter Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Total production of the Soviet inter-war Tupolev I-4 biplane fighter was 369 units.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1928
MANUFACTURER(S): Tupolev OKB - Soviet Union
PRODUCTION: 369
OPERATORS: Soviet Union
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Tupolev I-4 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 23.79 feet (7.25 meters)
WIDTH: 37.47 feet (11.42 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.25 feet (2.82 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,161 pounds (980 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 3,153 pounds (1,430 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Mikulin M-22 (Bristol Jupiter) air-cooled radial piston engine developing 460 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
SPEED (MAX): 160 miles-per-hour (257 kilometers-per-hour; 139 knots)
RANGE: 522 miles (840 kilometers; 454 nautical miles)
CEILING: 25,115 feet (7,655 meters; 4.76 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,820 feet-per-minute (555 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
2 x 7.62mm machine guns fitted over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

OPTIONAL:
Rockets fitted on rails at the upper wing assembly.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• I-4 - Base Series Designation; initial production model.
• ANT 5 - Developmental designation.
• I-4Z - Reduced span lower wing element.
• I-4bis - Monoplane-winged form (sans lower wing span).
• I-4P - Floatplane/seaplane derivative.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Tupolev I-4 (ANT-5) Biplane Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/1/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Long before the Russian concern of Tupolev OKB was developing famous Soviet Cold War bombers, it tried its hand at fighter design in the I-4 (ANT-5) biplane fighter of 1928. The type became the first Soviet all-metal fighter and was produced in the hundreds during the inter-war period. A handful of variants greeted the service career of this oft-forgotten warplane. Design of the fighter is attributed to Pavel Sukhoi.

Apart from its all-metal design, the I-4 exhibited traditional physical qualities consistent with the inter-period. The single pilot sat in an open-air cockpit behind the upper wing assembly. The upper and lower components were joined to one another by V-type struts. The lower assembly was also shorter in span making the biplane wing arrangement "sesquiplane". The undercarriage, wheeled at the two main legs under center mass, with a skid added under the tail for ground running. The tail unit was conventional with a single fin and low-set horizontal planes.

Engineers elected for the French Gnome-Rhone "Jupiter" 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 420 horsepower and this was installed in the nose section. The engine drove a two-bladed propeller which held a large-diameter spinner at its center for aerodynamic efficiency.




Proposed armament had become 2 x 7.62mm machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. Provision was added later during testing for rockets to be carried along the upper wing - increasing the fighter's attack value.

A first-flight (in prototype form as the "ANT-5") was recorded during August of 1927. This led to some revisions in the design including a new cowling and reworked tail unit. The ANT-5 then entered service as the "I-4".

Performance-wise, the I-4 netted a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour, a range out to 525 miles and a service ceiling up to 25,100 feet. Rate-of-climb was 1,820 feet-per-minute. Empty weight was 2,155lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 3,155lb.

A revised first-series model appeared with the Mikulin M-22 engine (a license-built copy of the Gnome-Rhone "Jupiter" 9ASB) of 460-480 horsepower. The "I-4Z" then followed and this version introduced smaller lower wings. Having the lower wings completely removed - therefore becoming a true monoplane - the aircraft was revised in the "I-4bis" developmental form. The "I-4P" became a converted floatplane derivative.

A total of 369 I-4 fighters were completed into 1934 and the last of the lot was retired from frontline commitments back in 1933 - though the I-4 went on to serve for a time longer as an instructional vehicle. The I-4 series was also briefly trialed as a "parasite fighter" in experiments of the 1930s (that also included the firing of the 76mm Kurchevski recoilless gun from the aircraft), coupled to the new Tupolev TB-1/TB-3 bomber series mothership (detailed elsewhere on this site).




MEDIA









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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (160mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
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  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Tupolev I-4'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
369
369

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
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