Korolyov RP-318

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The Korolyov RP-318 or RP318-1 was Russia's first rocket-powered aircraft, built in 1936.

Built in 1936 by Sergei Korolev as an adaptation of his SK-9 glider, it was originally to have been used to flight test an early rocket engine designed by Glushko. When both Korolev and Glushko were arrested and sent to the Gulag in 1938, development of the RP-318 was continued by others, culminating in the first powered flight on Feb. 28, 1940. Test pilot V. P. Fedorov was towed to 2,600 m and cast off at 80 km/h before firing the rocket engine and accelerating the aircraft to 140 km/h and an altitude of 2,900 m. In all, the RP-318 flew nine times before World War II ended development.


Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 7.44 m (24 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 17.0 m (55 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 22.0 m2 (237 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 570 kg (1,257 lb)
  • Gross weight: 700 kg (1,543 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × RDA-1 rocket, 0.98 kN (220 lbf) thrust 100 kgf


  • Maximum speed: 140 km/h (87 mph; 76 kn)


  1. ^ Gunston 1995, p. 159