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Alekseyev I-212

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Alekseyev I-212
Role Jet Interceptor Fighter
National origin USSR
Manufacturer Alekseyev
Designer Semyon Mikhailovich Alekseyev
Developed from Alekseyev I-21

The Alekseyev I-212 was a twin-engined, jet fighter designed in the USSR in 1947 at OKB-21 (OKB - experimental design bureau). It was a two-seat variant of the I-21 (Istrebitel' - Fighter) designed in response to a requirement for a very long-range fighter issued by the Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS), (Soviet Air Forces), in 1946. Intended as an escort fighter, it was also designed for use as a night fighter and reconnaissance aircraft. Sources are unclear whether a prototype was built, but it is known that the aircraft never flew.


After working as Lavochkin's right-hand man during World War II, Semyon Alekseyev was appointed as Chief Designer of OKB-21 at Gor'kiy in 1946. The Council of the People's Commissars directed Alekseyev, among others, to develop jet fighters using more powerful engines than the captured German examples and Soviet-built copies. The OKB was tasked to design a single-seat jet fighter that could meet the very demanding specification of a maximum speed of 980 km/h (610 mph) and a range of 3,000 km (1,900 mi) with drop tanks. The OKB responded with the I-21, which was planned to be built in several variants.[1]

Development of the I-212, one such variant, began in 1947 as a twin-engined, all-metal, two-seat jet fighter. The round, streamlined fuselage was optimized to reduce drag and house the considerable amount of equipment and fuel required by the VVS. It had mid-mounted straight laminar flow wings and the engine nacelles were mounted in the middle of the wing, with the wing spars continued by banjo rings around the engines. The cruciform tail unit was swept at 45°. To save weight, the main load-bearing structures of the airframe were constructed from V-95 aluminum alloy and high-strength steel. Elektron (a magnesium alloy) was used for many components and castings. The aircraft used a tricycle undercarriage with the main wheels retracting into the fuselage. Hydraulically actuated air brakes were fitted either side of the rear fuselage.[2][3]

The pilot and gunner/radio operator sat in tandem, back to back in a single pressurized cockpit, protected by armour plates to their front and rear, as well as by a bulletproof windscreen, seated on ejection seats. The aircraft was intended to use Klimov VK-1 engines, a derivative of the Rolls-Royce Nene, but the Klimov engine was still under development, so Kuznetsov RD-45s were substituted instead. The aircraft carried a Toryii-1 radar for use by the gunner/radio operator.[2][3]

Armament was to have been mounted in the nose and a remote controlled tail barbette, with variations of 20 mm (0.787 in) Berezin B-20 cannon, or 23 mm (0.906 in) Nudel'man Suranov NS-23 cannon in a remote-controlled barbette and 23 mm (0.906 in) Nudel'man Suranov NS-23 cannon, 37 mm (1.457 in) Nudel'man Suranov NS-37 cannon and 45 mm (1.772 in) Nudel'man Suranov NS-45 in the nose of the aircraft.[3] A single hardpoint under each wing could carry a single 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb or a drop tank carrying 550 kg (1,210 lb) of fuel.[3]

A prototype reportedly began taxiing tests on 30 June 1948, but there is no evidence that it flew at any time, however, it is also unclear if a prototype was actually built.[3] A training version designated UTI-212 was planned if the aircraft had gone into production. The I-217 variant, in two versions with forward-swept and sweptback wings, did not proceed beyond the drawing board.[2][3]


Initial version, never built.[4]
Proposed version with the tail barbette replaced with a rearwards-facing radar and heavier forward-facing armament.[2]
Project with forward-swept and sweptback wings.[4]
Proposed training variant of the I-212.[4]

Specifications (I-212 RD-45 engines)[edit]

Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875-1995,[2] Early Soviet Jet Fighters[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 13.08 m (42 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.2 m (53 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 33 m2 (360 sq ft)
  • Gross weight: 9,250 kg (20,393 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,500 kg (23,149 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Kuznetsov RD-45 centrifugal compressor turbojet, 22 kN (5,000 lbf) thrust each


  • Maximum speed: 1,000 km/h (621 mph; 540 kn)
  • Range: 2,300 km (1,429 mi; 1,242 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 3,100 km (1,926 mi; 1,674 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 14,800 m (48,556 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 30 m/s (5,900 ft/min)





    • Other: 2x 550 kg (1,210 lb) capacity drop tanks.

Toryii-1 radar, Navigation aids and radios.

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists



  1. ^ Gordon, pp. 121, 123
  2. ^ a b c d e Gunston, p. 17
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Gordon, pp. 131–32
  4. ^ a b c Gordon, p. 132