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Chetverikov ARK-3

Chyetverikov ARK-3

In 1933 Igor Vyacheslavovich Chyetverikov had the design for a compact twin engined flying-boat ready for further development, which he proposed to the Glavsyevmorput (Glavsyevmorput – chief administration of northern sea routes) as a multi-role Arctic aircraft, and an order for a prototype was made, setting up Chyetverikov in his own OKB (design bureau).
The Chyetverikov ARK-3 (ARKtichyeskii - arctic) was a multi-role flying boat designed for Arctic operations. It featured a conventional flying boat hull, with high cantilever wings equipped with floats at mid-span. The two piston engines were mounted in tractor-pusher fashion on a pylon above the fuselage.
The ARK-3 was of mixed construction, with a 14-metre (45.9 ft) long Duralumin stressed skin fuselage; wooden wings of MOS-27 aerofoil section; duralumin tubing tail surfaces; and ailerons with fabric covering. The dual control enclosed cockpit housed two pilots sided by side with two gunners/observers in bow and dorsal positions. Strut-supported wooden floats, at approximately half-span; and a pylon-supported engine nacelle housing tandem radial engines with Townend ring cowlings; completed the structural elements, built with a safety factor of 5.5.
Flight- and sea trials in 1936 revealed weaknesses in the bows, floats and engine nacelle pylon, which were all strengthened. Performance was deemed to be good, prompting an order for a second prototype with the fuselage lengthened by 60 centimetres (24 in) to 14.6 metres (47.9 ft) and a slightly enlarged wing chord; this was designated ARK-3-2 and the first prototype was re-designated ARK-3-1. The second prototype ARK-3 featured more powerful engines, longer hull, and manual guns fitted in a manual gun turret in the bows and a dorsal sliding hatch. A production order for five aircraft was placed, with production commencing immediately.
Russian pilot A.V. Erchov reached a height of 9160 meters with a payload of 1000 kg in the Crimea with a Chetnerikov A.R.K. 3 twin-engine flying boat, so he surpassed the existing world record, which was still held by the Frenchman Bourdin, who took off in 1933 with a load of 1000 kg 8864 m high.
On 14 July 1937 the ARK-3-1 was destroyed following a structural failure; the ARK-3-2 was destroyed exactly one year later and the programme was cancelled.
The first prototype ARK-3 renamed after the second prototype was ordered
The second prototype ARK-3.
Engine: 2 × Shvetsov M-25A, 544.36 kW (730 hp) each
Wingspan: 20 m (65 ft 7-1/4 in)
Wing area: 59.5 m2 (640 ft2)
Length: 14.6 m (47 ft 11 in)
Empty weight: 3,642 kg (8,029 lb)
Gross weight: 5,600 kg (12,346 lb)
Maximum speed: 320 km/h (199 mph)
Range: 1,500 km (932 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,500 m (27,890 ft)
Rate of climb: 4.76 m/s (937.4 ft/min)
Crew: 4
Capacity: 10 pax
Armament: 2 x machine gun
Designation of the five production aircraft and the initial designation of the first prototype.

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