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346 Rocketplane
346 Rocketplane -

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Class: Manned. Type: Rocketplane. Nation: USSR. Agency: VVS. Manufacturer: OKB-2.

OKB-2 was formed 22 October 1946 in Podberzye for development and exploitation of German rocketplane technology. Soviet director was A Ya Berznyak, and chief designer was German engineer Hans Roessing. OKB-2 was tasked with continued development and flight of the German supersonic DFS 8-346 rocket reconnaissance aircraft. The 346 featured a 45 degree swept wing, a prone pilot looking through a plexiglass nose, and a dual-thrust Walter HWK 109-509C engine. Maximum speed was to be Mach 2 after a two minute rocket burn. Wind tunnel tests began at TsAGI in March 1947. Four 346 aircraft were built. As with the American XS-1, they were launched from captured B-29 or Tu-4 bombers. German pilot Wolfgang Ziese conducted all of the initial flight tests. Following initial glider flights (346P, 346-1) in 1948, the first powered flight of the 346-2 came on 30 September 1949. The flight was successful but Ziese was injured after the landing skid collapsed after a fast landing. Following repairs, 346-2 flights continued in October 1950 with Russian pilot P I Kasmin at the controls. Ziese resumed flight with the final version, the 346-3, on 15 August 1951. This flew again on 2 September but the aircraft went out of control on 14 September and Ziese bailed out of the aircraft. The destruction of this rocketplane resulted in further tests being abandoned. All German engineers were repatriated to East Germany and OKB-2 dissolved by the end of 1953.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 1. Total Length: 13.4 m. Total Mass: 5,230 kg. Total Propellants: 1,900 kg.


346 Chronology


22 October 1946 OKB-2 formed for exploitation of German rocketplane technology.

Soviet director was A Ya Berznyak, and chief designer was German engineer Hans Roessing. OKB-2 was tasked with continued development and flight of the German supersonic DFS 8-346 rocket reconnaissance aircraft.


30 September 1949 First powered flight of the 346-2 rocketplane.

As with the American XS-1, the rocketplane was launched from a captured B-29 bomber. German pilot Wolfgang Ziese conducted all of the initial flight tests. Initial glider flights with the 346P, 346-1 aircraft were flown in 1948. The first powered flight was successful but Ziese was injured after the landing skid collapsed after a fast landing.


01 October 1950 Second powered flight of the 346-2 rocketplane.

346-2 flights continued in October 1950 with Russian pilot P I Kasmin at the controls.


15 August 1951 First flight of the 346-3 rocketplane.

Ziese resumed flight with the final version of the 346, the 346-3.


02 September 1951 Second flight of the 346-3 rocketplane.

Ziese was at the controls again.


14 September 1951 Final flight of the 346-3 rocketplane.

The aircraft went out of control and Ziese bailed out of the aircraft. The destruction of this rocketplane resulted in further tests being abandoned.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .