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Kalinin K-7


Heavy Bomber / Passenger Airliner Prototype


Soviet Union | 1933



"The sole-built Kalinin K-7 was cancelled in 1935, having completed some seven test flights during its short-lived career."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/28/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Konstantin Kalinin (1889-1938) had forged his history in aviation as a Red Army pilot during the Russian Civil War (1918-1920). After the war, and having joined the Communist Party (1912-1991), he established a design bureau to continue his affair. Design work resulted in several aircraft of the post-war period, all bearing his name, and this stable included the Kalinin "K-4" and "K-5". The K-5 proved of particular note for it became the most-produced Soviet airliner during its time with some 260 built from 1929 onwards. From this work came about one of the most grand of the Kalinin designs in the mammoth "K-7" - intended for the military bomber role and as a passenger airliner. However, the design only ever remained as an experimental prototype and its future was put very much in doubt after Kalinin himself was executed during Stalin's senior level purges predating World War 2 (1939-1945).

The K-7 was a giant creation, even by modern standards, measuring a length of 91 feet, 10 inches with a wingspan of 173 feet, 11 inches and a height beyond 40 feet. When empty, the airframe weighed at 54,000lbs and this ballooned to 84,000lbs when loaded. Such a beast required no fewer than six engines and a seventh was later added (in a "pusher" configuration aft of the fuselage) when the aircraft required it. The engine types were Mikulin AM-34F 12-cylinder piston engine types, each outputting at 750 horsepower and driving two-bladed propellers. The arrangement allowed for a maximum speed of 140 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 13,125 feet.

Structurally, the aircraft was given a large-area, wide-spanning wing assembly which was noticeably rounded at the wingtips. The cockpit and main crew area were contained in a centralized nacelle which utilized heavy framing for good viewing. Three engine nacelles were buried at the wing leading edges, three installations to either side of the flight deck. Twin booms made up the aft-portion of the fuselage to which these were connected by a large horizontal plane mounted under and between two vertical stabilizers. The undercarriage was fixed within large fairings held under the forward section of the booms, under the wings, and these showcased huge landing wheels. A network of struts connected the gear equipment and fairings to the aircraft structure proper. The framework of the K-7 was completed as welded steel for the required tolerances. A standard operating crew became eleven personnel and the passenger version was slated to carry some 120 passengers in addition to cargo. The military version was envisioned with gun stations at the nose, ahead of each landing gear fairing and at positions midway along the tail booms. Armament was to include both machine guns and autocannons as well as an drop ordnance capacity of over 20,000lbs.

Construction of the K-7 began during 1931 at Kharkov (Ukraine) with a first flight recorded on August 11th, 1933. Two additional prototypes were contracted for. The K-7 would complete just over a handful of test flights during her short tenure aloft before suffering damage during a test in November of 1933. With advancing technologies to be found throughout the period (the K-7 certainly looked the part of obsolete design) and political conflicts within the Communist Party, the K-7 project was formally cancelled in 1935.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kalinin K-7 Heavy Bomber / Passenger Airliner Prototype.
7 x Mikulin AM-34F V-12 piston engines developing 750 horsepower each.
Propulsion
140 mph
225 kph | 121 kts
Max Speed
13,123 ft
4,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Kalinin K-7 Heavy Bomber / Passenger Airliner Prototype.
11
(MANNED)
Crew
91.9 ft
28.00 m
O/A Length
173.9 ft
(53.00 m)
O/A Width
41.0 ft
(12.50 m)
O/A Height
53,793 lb
(24,400 kg)
Empty Weight
83,776 lb
(38,000 kg)
MTOW
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kalinin K-7 family line.
K-7 Base Series Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kalinin K-7. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Kalinin - Soviet Union
National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (140mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
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WWII
ColdWar
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Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Kalinin K-7
Image courtesy of the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
COMMERCIAL AVIATION
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Kalinin K-7 Heavy Bomber / Passenger Airliner Prototype appears in the following collections:
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