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Sukhoi T-3 / Fishpod A


Unofficially dubbed Balalaika thanks to its resemblance in shape to the sound box of that musical instrument, the T-3 initiated the series of missile-armed single-seat tailed-delta interceptor fighters developed by Pavel Sukhoi's OKB. Evolved in parallel with the S-1 "frontal" fighter and first flown on 26 May 1956 by Vladimir Makhalin, the T-3 possessed 57 degrees of wing leading-edge sweepback, was intended to be armed with two K-8 or K-9 missiles and was to have had an Almaz (Diamond) search-and-track radar. The elements of the Almaz were to have been housed within a broad elliptical radome above, and a circular housing on, the intake splitter plate. Powered initially by an unaugmented Lyulka AL-7 turbojet - which was to give place to an AL-7F rated at 6500kg boosted to 9060kg with afterburning - the T-3 was demonstrated over Tushino on 24 June 1956.

NATO code name 'Fishpod-A'.

TsAGI wind tunnel testing of the efficiency of air intake/radar housing combinations being inconclusive, two further prototypes, the PT-7 and PT-8, were completed with different arrangements. The former, flown in September 1956, retained the chin intake position and superimposed elliptical radome, but with a variable-angle lower wedge to produce a two-dimensional intake. The PT-8, which joined the test programme two months later, featured a lengthened - by approximately 1.25m - nose with circular air intake and conical translating centrebody. The T-3 and its PT variations provided the basis for the further T-4 series from which the first production Sukhoi tailed-delta fighters were to be derived.

Engine: AL-7F
Wingspan: 8.43 m / 28 ft 8 in
Length: 16.75 m / 55 ft 11 in
Wing area: 24.20 sq.m / 260.49 sq ft
Max. speed: 2100 km/h / 1305 mph
Ceiling: 18000 m / 59050 ft
Range: 1840 km / 1143 miles

Sukhoi T-3



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