|Orthographically projected diagram of the Tsybin RSR|
|First flight||7 April 1959|
Development and design
In 1954, the design bureau headed by Pavel Tsybin started development of a ramjet powered supersonic strategic bomber, the RS. This design proved impracticable, and a smaller derivative, the 2RS was proposed, which would achieve intercontinental range by being air launched from a modified Tupolev Tu-95 bomber.
This too was unsuccessful, with the aircraft unable to return to base if used on an intercontinental mission, while being incapable of carrying a thermonuclear bomb. The design was therefore revised again to a reconnaissance aircraft capable of operating from conventional runways, the RSR. As ramjets could not be used for take-off, they were replaced by turbofans.
The RSR was primarily of aluminium construction, with a long circular section fuselage, which housed a pressurized cabin for the pilot together with cameras and fuel, with thin, low aspect ratio trapezoidal wings. The engines, two Soloviev D-21 turbofans, were mounted at the tips of the wings. The aircraft had a bicycle undercarriage, with outriggers under the engine nacelles. It was planned to cruise at greater than Mach 2 at a height of 20,000 m (65,600 ft) giving a range of 3,760 km (2,340 mi).
A simplified, full sized aerodynamic prototype for the novel layout, the NM-1 was built in 1957. Intended for low-speed handling tests, the NM-1 had a steel-tube fuselage with duraluminium and plywood skinning. This aircraft, powered by two Mikulin AM-5 turbojets first flew on 7 April 1959. Based on the results of these trials, the RSR was redesigned (as the R-020) to make it more manoeuvrable at high altitude (it was proposed to carry out barrel rolls to avoid Surface-to-air missiles). More conventional Tumansky R-11 turbojets (the engine used in the MiG-21) replaced the unavailable Soloviev turbofans. Five R-020 airframes were virtually complete, only awaiting engines by April 1961, with another 10 planned when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev cancelled the program.
Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875 - 1995 
- Crew: One
- Length: 26.57 m (87 ft 3¼ in)
- Wingspan: 10.48 m (34 ft 4⅝ in)
- Height: ()
- Wing area: 64 m²  (689 ft²)
- Empty weight: 6,355 kg (14,010 lb)
- Loaded weight: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Mikulin AM-5 turbojet, 49kN (4,410 lbf)2,000 kgf each
- Maximum speed: 500 km/h (324 knots, 373 mph)
- Service ceiling: 4,000 m  (13,000 ft)
- Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Butowski, Piotr. "Steps Towards 'Blackjack': Soviet supersonic intercontinental bombers before the Tu-144". Air Enthusiast. No. 73, January - February 1998. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. Page 36-49. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Gunston, Bill. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875 - 1995. London: Osprey, 1995. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
- "Plane Facts:Soviet strategic reconnaissance". Air International, February 1977, Vol 12 No 2. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. p. 98.