Soviet Propeller V/STOL Concepts of the 20th Century 2007-01-3860
Since the advent of the helicopter, aviation designers have struggled to develop a practical vertical lift propulsion concept that could combine the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of the helicopter with the high-speed forward flight capability of a fixed-wing aircraft. During the 1970s, the Soviet Union developed an operational vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) fighter/attack aircraft - the Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger; this and the British/American Harrier were the only operational V/STOL aircraft during the 20th Century. The USSR was also responsible for a plethora of other fixed-wing VSTOL aircraft designs, including numerous designs using lift fans and propeller-driven powered lift concepts. These vertical lift propulsion concepts are catalogued here, each with advantages and disadvantages. Details on the propulsion concepts, development efforts, and lessons learned are included, to the best extent that available information allows. This paper is the thirteenth in a series compiling V/STOL aircraft projects of the Twentieth Century from around the world.