First Flight Monument of the Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1

1942 May 15 – First powered flight of BI-1 rocketplane. – Crew: Bakhchivangi.
First glide flight was on 10 September 1941, but the factory had to be evacuated to Sverdlovsk. Accidents in ground runs of the rocket engine further delayed the first powered flight. First flight performance was: First flight BI-1. Maximum Speed – 400 kph. Maximum Altitude – 840 m. Flight Time – 189 sec.

The Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 was the first high speed rocket plane developed by the Soviet Union. Drawings were completed by spring 1941 but Stalin did not give the go-ahead for production until July 9, 1941. Round-the-clock shifts produced the first aircraft in 35 days. First flight was on 10 September, but the factory had to be evacuated to Sverdlovsk. The first powered flight, following accidents in ground runs of the rocket engine, came on May 15, 1942. Problems with corrosion by the acid fuels slowed testing. On flight 7 the aircraft experienced the previously unencountered tendency of an aircraft to pitch down in high-speed flight, and the rocketplane crashed into the ground, killing the pilot. Plans for a 50 aircraft production batch were abandoned, and rocketplane testing in the USSR only resumed with the testing of German designs after the war.


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