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 Gribovski G-9
In the fall of 1931 Gribovski began towing experiments with the G-2bis glider, using as a tug a U-1 school biplane (a copy of the Avro 504K built in the USSR).
The experience gained during these flights allowed Gribovski to develop glider versions conceived from the outset to be aero-towed. Up to this time in the USSR the gliders only took off from heights with the help of some elastic tensioners that, when released, generated the necessary force to launch the glider.
The Gribovski G-9 (Russian: Грибовский Г-9) was designed as a single-seater glider with a braced high wing, specially prepared for aero-tow.
The wing, with a double spar, featured removable rectangular consoles in the central section and elliptical ends. This plane was braced by means of a pair of uprights located on each side and fixed to the fuselage structure in the lower section of the gunwales. The entire front of the wing was covered with 1mm plywood sheets, up to the position of the second spar. The rest of the wing and ailerons were covered with fabric. The wing design used the TsAGI R-II profile proposed by PP Krasilschikov.
The tail unit had planes braced also by simple uprights and located directly at the bottom of the empennage. The leading edge of the empennage and horizontal planes also featured plywood overlay. The rudders were covered with fabric.
The fuselage had a semi-monocoque structure with 12 frames and plywood covering between 1.5 and 2 mm thick. At its bottom was a ski-shaped landing gear with air suspension using a bicycle inner tube.
The pilot was located in an open cockpit located in front of the wing leading edge.
Built by Gribovski in 1932, the first of these gliders appeared in the winter of 1931 – 1932.
In parallel with the construction of the G-9 Gribovski began the organization of a long-range towed flight on this glider. To develop this flight Gribovski invited the experienced glider pilot VA Stepanchonok. The flight was planned for the Moscow - Koktebel route in order to arrive in time to participate in the VIII National Sailing Competitions.
On the 29 of September of 1932 the G-9 flown by VA Stepanchonok, towed by a Polikarpov U-2 piloted by Gribovski, it took-off from Tushino airfield for the flight. The arrival in Koktebel was on October 6 at 6:00 p.m. The selected route covered: Moscow - Ryazan - Tambov - Zadonsk - Voronezh - Evdókovo - Kantemirovka - Lugansk - Yeisk - Chernoerkovski - Kerch - Koktebel, covering a total distance of 1700 km in 19 hours of flight. This long-range flight demonstrated the potential of using towed gliders to transport cargo and people.
Gribovski and Stepanchonok
During the competitions in Koktebel the flight tests were carried out with excellent results. On September 5, during competitions in Koktebel, Stepanchonok set a new record for high school aerobatics flights. During 2 hours and 6 minutes, the G-9 would execute 115 loops, 13 spin turns and inverted flight for 1 minute and 8 seconds.
The first prototype G-9 would be destroyed in an accident the 31 of October of 1932, when piloted by the collaborator of the TsAGI LV Kozlov, collided with another competitor, the SH-3. As a result, it lost part of the wing and ended up hitting the side of a rise backwards. The pilot died instantly. The plane, with its bow destroyed, slid down about 10 meters, losing its wings.
Despite the unfortunate accident, for which only the pilot was blamed, the G-9 had shown its excellent flying qualities. In the No.1 of the Magazine “Samoliot” of 1933 it was written:
“The G-9 built by Gribovski is an excellent glider. The large reserve of structural strength, necessary for drag and flight figures, did not greatly increase its weight or limit its flight capabilities. Its excellent stability and ease of handling make it an excellent flight planner. "
The excellent results obtained in the competition played an important role in the fate of the glider, which was built in series at the OSOVIAJIM Glider Factory until 1939, being considered one of the main Soviet gliders for trailing and flight training.
There are documented data on production in the Glider Factory until 1937 with the following distribution: 1933: 4, 1934: 43, 1935: 75, 1936: 110, 1937: 50. In total, 282 copies were built in these years. Production data for 1938 are not known.
In 1936 the Gribovski G-9 glider began to be built in Turkey, where Soviet specialists helped to develop sport gliding.
By the end of the Great Patriotic War the VVS had understood the importance of massive air landings using gliders. At that time it was necessary to have a robust and simple apparatus to train pilots of heavy landing gliders. At this point the G-9 was again remembered. On the basis of the few existing examples, the plans were reconstructed, from which a small series of gliders was built.
The Gribovski G-9 established several records were and it was used in the development of a series of experiments.
In 1933 the pilot Yudin made a towed flight of 3550 km. The pilot SN Anojin (later a test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union), together with the pilot Gavrish, carried out inverted towing maneuvers on the G-9.
In 1934 Simonov set a world record for flight duration, covering 35 hours and 11 minutes of continuous flight.
Continuing the school figure execution records, the 200 figures executed by VA Stepanchonok would soon be surpassed by the results achieved by VG Borodin. Later Simonov would set another record by running acrobatic figures on the G-9 glider for 5 continuous hours, including 300 loops and 10 reversals.
The 5 of May of 1935 in Samara catching a G-9 was carried out by a Polikarpov U-2 flying at a speed of 120 km / h. The glider this time was piloted by Yudin and the tug plane by Borovkov. Later in Túshino, experiments were carried out to capture the glider in flight, being carried out by the pilots Vasyani and Boordin.
In 1938, a glider train made up of nine G-9 gliders towed from a Túpolev TB-1 bomber was presented during the air festival over Túshino A year later this story would repeat itself, but in this case with nine gliders.
Nine G-9 gliders are towed in flight over the Central Aeroclub by a TB-1 bomber.
In order to test the possibility of using gliders as an escape pod from stratostats in emergencies, a Gribovski G-9 was specially modified. The first test of this type was developed in 1936, when the glider, piloted Borodin, rose to the height of 2500 meters.
A second test took place on July 4, 1938, when the pilot V. Ílchenko was towed by the "CCCP VP-61" stratostat up to a height of 5100 meters and released, making a successful landing.
In 1936 the pilot PM Stefanovski reached the record height of 10360 meters in the G-9, towed by a Polikarpov I-15. A year later Flerov would surpass this mark when reaching 12,105 meters. On this flight the G-9 was towed by a Polikarpov RZ to a height of 8500 meters and then the glider ascended another 3605 meters while being towed. This was done with the help of a special tow cable designed by A. Ya. Scherbakov. At the time of takeoff, the glider was dragged by a normal 100-meter cable. Once a certain height was reached, when the wind turbulence disappeared, the new 0.2 mm steel cable was unwound, allowing the glider to increase the distance from the tugboat by 7000 meters.
Wingspan: 12.10 m
Wing area: 13.00 m²
Length: 5.77 m
Height: 1.45 m
Empty weight: 152 kg
Maximum takeoff weight: 230 kg
Wing loading: 17.7 kg / m²
Glide ratio: 17.50
Accommodation: 1
Stabilizers surface: 2.1 m²
Elevator area: 0.84 m²
Spoiler area: 1.72 m²

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