Bisnovat SK-2 (Skorostnoye Krylo)
Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Prototype
The Bisnovat SK-2 was seemingly too advanced for its own good and, despite promising performance gains, was not adopted for serial production during World War 2.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Like other powers of the late-Interwar period (that is, the period between the two World Wars), the Soviets were hard at work on development of all-new monoplane wing planforms to improve their lot of frontline machine gun-armed fighters. The Central Dynamics and Hydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI), under the direction of Matus Bisnovat, had conducted research in the field involving the SK/SK-1 ("Skorostnoye Krylo") high-speed monoplane-winged speedster of 1939-1940 and this work was used to progress a combat-level fighting monoplane bearing his name - the Bisnovat "SK-2". Bisnovat had already accrued the needed knowledge while working as an aeronautics engineer at OKO in Kiev, Ukraine, and was eventually allowed to establish his own design bureau ("OKB") for extending the project.
Like the original SK, the SK-2 sought to accomplish complete refinement in design, not only utilizing an all-new, small-area wing planform but also securing the smallest, most efficient airframe to viably accommodate an inline piston engine of the day. The aircraft featured the Klimov M-105 (VK-105) 12-cylinder inline piston engine of 1,050 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller at the nose - the engine housed in a compact, low-profile space to maintain the aircraft's streamlined efficiency. The pilot's position was held low against the fuselage and positioned well-aft in the design, the dorsal spine meeting the base of the single rudder tail fin. The "tail-dragger" undercarriage was hydraulically controlled and wholly-retractable. The mainplanes, with their rounded tips, straight leading edges, and tapering trailing edges, were fitted low and ahead of midships creating a balanced flying platform. All-metal construction, including light alloy skinning, was used throughout the makeup of the aircraft though fabric covered the tail's control surfaces.
In its potential combat form, it was proposed that the aircraft would carry an armament array of at least 2 x 12.7mm BS Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in the engine cowling and possibly 1 x 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG) to improve firepower in meeting the threats of the day.
As finalized, the SK-2 was first-flown during October 1940 (this as World War 2 raged on) and gave itself a good showing. However, the gains found through this advanced design were not enough to supplant the current mold of fighter design in the Soviet aircraft stable. As such, the Sk-2 project was abandoned as the war continued.
Captured performance specs for the SK-2 fighter design included a top speed of 413 miles-per-hour and a rate-of-climb of 3,785 feet-per-minute - excellent qualities for a fighter of the early-war period.