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Tupolev ANT-3 / R-3


The first production aircraft designed and built by Tupolev at TsAGI was the ANT-3 two-seat biplane, which made propaganda flights abroad in 1926 and 1927 and was used by the air force for reconnaissance until about 1932.

The prototype flew for the first time in August 1925. An unequal-span biplane, intended for reconnaissance duties, it was of all-metal construction with corrugated sheet covering.


The original 298kW Liberty engine was replaced by a 336kW Napier Lion, the aircraft then being redesignated R-3NL The first 12 series aircraft had Liberty engines but the next 18 had the Soviet development of this powerplant, which was designated M-5. The final 79 aircraft with the 336kW Lorraine Dietrich engine were designated R-3LD, and one ANT-3 was tested with a 507kW BMW VI. Most R-3s saw military service, but a few retaining the ANT-3 designation were flown as mailplanes or used for liaison and for propaganda flights. The R-3LD version had a maximum speed of 205km/h, was armed with three 7.7mm machine-guns and could carry 10 10kg bombs on external racks. Plans for a Shturmovik version with 400kg of armour protection came to nothing.

Engine: 1 x M-5
Max take-off weight: 2103 kg / 4636 lb
Empty weight: 1351 kg / 2978 lb
Wingspan: 13.0 m / 43 ft 8 in
Length: 9.9 m / 33 ft 6 in
Height: 3.9 m / 13 ft 10 in
Wing area: 36.0 sq.m / 387.50 sq ft
Max. speed: 204 km/h / 127 mph
Ceiling: 4600 m / 15100 ft
Range: 750 km / 466 miles
Armament: 3 x 7.62mm machine-guns
Crew: 2

Tupolev ANT-3 / R-3



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