Jets45 Histories

Bereznyak / Isaiev BI-6

The BI-6 in the wind tunnel

    Engine: 1x Dushkin-Isaev D1A-1100 Rocket Engine / 2x Merkulov DM-4 Ramjets
    Wing Span: 6.48 m
    Length: 6.40 m
    Height: 2.06 m
    Weight: Empty 790 kg / Loaded 1683 kg
    Maximum Speed: 990+ km/h
    Range: 2 minutes at full power
    Crew: 1
    Armament: 2x 20 mm cannons


In 1940 Aleksander Yakovlevich Bereznyak conceived the idea of a small target-defence interceptor powered by a Dushkin D-1A-1100 rocket engine using kerosene and nitric acid as fuel, after being told of the engine by Aleksei Isaev. The aircraft which took shape was known as the BI (standing for Bereznyak and Isaev who were responsible for the idea and design) would become the world's first rocket powered fighter, it's first flight under power being on 15/04/1942. The endurance of the BI was considered too short, so in the tradition of the Soviet aircraft industry, it was suggested that ramjets be fitted to the wing tips of the BI-6, in this case 2x Merkulov DM-4 ramjets. The aircraft was tested in a wind tunnel (TsAGI-101) in the spring of 1944 but never flew.
BI-6 before having the ramjets fitted
A Soviet cut away of BI-2 showing the rocket engine layout
All together only 8 planes were completed BI-1 to BI-8, with around 20 in an advanced stage of assembly out of an order by the VVS for 50 production aircraft by the time the BI was abandoned, after BI-6 crashed killing the pilot in 1943.
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