OKB's first all-metal aircraft
. It had a two-passenger capacity.
saw the practicality of metal used in aircraft. Light metal alloys were more durable than wood and held up better in the severe Russian winters. Because of this, a special commission, founded on 21 October 1922
, was established at TsAGI
, and after Tupolev died, bore his name. It was headed by him, and the first assignment was to establish facilities to produce aircraft. A factory was already selected in Kolchuginsk, located in the Vladimir region, approximately 75 miles from Moscow. There, a high-grade alloy was made, which was named Kolchugaluminum. The first ingots of the new alloy were produced in September 1922. For this reason, a commission was established with an order to start working on all-metal aircraft, and to figure out ways to test the metals' strengths. Tupolev created a design bureau inside TsAGI. It had fifteen engineers, technicians, and draftsmen, and the first components made were used to train craftsmen in the new materials.
The creation of duraluminum was regarded by Tupolev as the Soviet Unions's aviation industry's birth. Along with the problem of building crafts skills were the problems of the need for acquiring the skills to make alloy products. This gave Tupolev, TsAGI, and the factory in Kolchuginsk a fair share of work. There was a need to find the answers to all of these problems. Fortunately for them, they finally developed methods for developing alloys. Their techniques were different from the leader in that industry Junkers, but were just as or even more effective. Tupolev now had the confidence to build an all-metal aircraft. He eventually was known for making huge headway without taking large risks, so he treaded with great caution while working on this new adventure to make the aircraft. He made a few trials on his with the new materials on aerosleighs, boats, and gliders before he was satisfied that is was safe to move forward.
Construction and Development
The ANT-2's construction was done by TsAGI's AGOS division on floors one and three on 16 Radio Street. When finished, it was a monoplane with a triangular cross-section, which proved useful because of the increased strength and rigidity, which reduced the need for fuselage struts to keep the same shape, and added the aerodynamic benefit of avoiding vortex drag under the aft fuselage. The fuselage was divided into three sections: the first gave easy access to the engine for inspection, the second was an enclosed area for the two passengers, who faced each other- with an entrance through a door on the side of the fuselage, and the third, left vacant, was the tail elements. The passenger area was behind and below the cockpit, where the pilot was in an open canopy.
Completion of the first aircraft was in May 1924, with two sacks filled with sand to represent the passengers' weight. The first flight was on the 26th, conducted by Nikolai Petrov. The ANT-2's handling qualities were good, particularly with the enlarged tail.
Duffy, Paul and Andrei Kankdalov. (1996) Tupolev The Man and His aircraft. Warrendale, PA: Society of Automotive Engineers.