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Tupolev ANT-23 / I-12


Of unconventional design in employing a tandem fore-and-aft engine arrangement and twin tailbooms embodying recoilless gun tubes as integral, but non-load-carrying, structural components, the ANT-23 single-seat fighter was conceived at the AGOS TsAGI by Viktor N Chernyshov, one of Tupolev's brigade leaders. Of all-metal construction with smooth stressed skinning for the fuselage and wing - the latter and the tail surfaces being strengthened by externally-attached inverted "U" strips - and tail covering, the fighter was powered by two 525hp Gnome-Rhone 9AK nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines.


Armament consisted of two 76mm Kurchevski APK-4 recoilless weapons which were embodied in the tailbooms, the gun gases being discharged from their tails. Known unofficially as the Baumanskii Komsomolyets - in memory of the pre-revolutionary Communist after whom the district in which the TsAGI was situated was named - and officially as the I-12, the ANT-23 was first flown in late December 1931. Flight testing continued through early 1932, but, on 19 May, the port gun exploded, the tail-boom collapsing on touchdown. The aircraft was overweight and suffered substantially higher drag than had been calculated. Chernyshov and his team were developing a means of jettisoning the aft propeller to afford safe escape for the pilot in an emergency, but, at the beginning of 1933, the ANT-23 was abandoned.

Engines: two 525hp Gnome-Rhone 9AK nine-cylinder air-cooled radial.
Max take-off weight: 2400 kg / 5291 lb
Wingspan: 15.60 m / 51 ft 2 in
Length: 9.50 m / 31 ft 2 in
Wing area: 30.00 sq.m / 322.92 sq ft
Max. speed: 300 km/h / 186 mph
Armament: two 76mm Kurchevski APK-4 recoilless

Tupolev ANT-23 (I-12)




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