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Tupolev ANT-5 / I-4 / Zveno-1


Designed by Pavel O Sukhoi when a brigade leader of Andrei N Tupolev's AGOS (Aviatsiya, Gidroaviatsiya i Opytnoye Stroityelstvo - Aviation, Hydro-aviation and Experimental Construction) collective within the TsAGI (Tsentralnyi Aero-gidrodinamicheskii Institut Central Aero and Hydro-dynamic Institute), the ANT-5 was the first Soviet all-metal fighter. A single-seat sesquiplane powered by a nine-cylinder Gnome-Rhone Jupiter radial of 420hp, the first prototype performed factory testing between 10 August and 25 September 1927. A second prototype, or dubler, with a 480hp Gnome-Rhone Jupiter 9ASB, was flown in July 1928, and underwent state testing between 1 December 1928 and 4 April 1929, series production of the type having meanwhile been initiated as the I-4. The first series I-4 underwent state testing between 15 October and 26 November 1929, subsequent aircraft having the 480hp M-22 engine, a licence-built version of the G-R Jupiter 9ASB, and an armament of twin 7.62mm guns. Second series aircraft had the 4.00sq.m lower wing removed, controllable slats occupying 44.5% of the remaining wing's leading edge, and a Townend ring-type engine cowling incorporating cylinder helmets. Designated I-4bis in this form, the prototype was tested by the NIl VVS, the Air Force's Scientific Research Institute, between 11 and 23 September 1931. No further development of the I-4bis was undertaken.

Three I-4s were fitted with very much smaller lower wings for aerial launch and retrieval trials from 31 December 1931 by Vladimir S Vakhmistrov utilising a TB-1 bomber as an Aviamatka, or "mother aircraft". Devised by V S Vakh-mistrov to extend the radius of action of fighter aircraft, two I-4 (ANT-5) single-seat fighters were to be carried into action on the wings of a TB-1 mother-plane. The Zveno-1, as it was known, was successfully tested.

In December 1931, one I-4 was tested with a 76mm Kurchevski recoilless cannon mounted beneath each upper wing half. A total of 369 I-4s was built to January 1934, these equipping 18 eskadrii at their service peak; the type remaining in first-line service through 1933 and for tuitional tasks until 1937.

Max take-off weight: 1430 kg / 3153 lb
Empty weight: 978 kg / 2156 lb
Wingspan: 11.40 m / 37 ft 5 in
Length: 7.28 m / 24 ft 11 in
Wing area: 23.80 sq.m / 256.18 sq ft
Max. speed: 231 km/h / 144 mph
Ceiling: 7500 m / 24600 ft
Range: 840 km / 522 miles

Tupolev ANT-5 / I-4



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