Moskalyev SAM-7 Sigma - 🗿

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Moskalyev SAM-7 Sigma

TL;DR:
Fighter, tailless. So sigma everyone was afraid of test flying it.

Overview:
The product of Aleksandr Moskalyev, a young and ambitious aircraft designer who from his small design bureau in Voronezh designed highly experimental and unconventional aircraft. Some of his earlier designs include a delta-winged rocket plane designed to break the sound barrier, a high speed aircraft with a “gothic delta” shape, and a tiny plane with a single-wheeled undercarriage. Though his most successful aircraft was the mostly conventional SAM-5 passenger plane.

The SAM-7 was Moskalyev’s first fighter design, and like his radical designs was a tailless aircraft, done so to minimize the size of the aircraft for increased maneuverability. It was of metal construction, had a trapezoidal wing with rudders on the wingtips, and in keeping with the compactness made use of aerodynamic cooling, the radiator retracting into the fuselage after take-off. It was meant to be armed with an autocannon through the engine, and had a rear gunner. However, the Soviet Air force wasn’t particularly interested in his radical aircraft design, and as such his requested Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engine was never given, forcing him to instead take the engine and propeller of a TB-3, which he was involved in designing later versions of. The smaller M-34 engine meant the autocannon couldn’t fit, and instead 2 MGs were mounted on the engine cowling.

Construction of the prototype was completed, without state approval and funding, in 1935. Test pilots were very hesitant to fly the aircraft, and only take offs and short “hops” were done. No one was willing to push the aircraft to its projected speed of 500km/h, and only the landing speed of 138km/h was actually measured. The prototype did not have the armament fitted. Testing was halted in 1936, and Moskalyev focused on designing more unconventional aircraft, culminating in a rocket interceptor in 1944. That was judged to be unnecessary and his design bureau would be closed in 1946. No photos of the Sigma are known to survive.

Specifications:

Weight:
Empty: 940kg
Take-off: 1480kg

Dimensions:
Length: 7m
Wing Span: 9.46 or 9.6m
Wing Area: 20m²
Height: unknown

Engine:
1x Mikulin M-34 inline V-12 engine
750 hp
Liquid cooled

Performance:
Max Speed:
435 km/h at sea level (projected)
500km/h at unknown altitude (projected)
Ceiling: 9200m (projected)
Range: 800km (projected)
Rate of Climb: unknown

Crew: 2

Armament:
2x1 7.62mm ShKAS
1x2 7.62mm ShKAS in rear turret

Images:

Drawings:


The original drawing of the aircraft

Sources:
Gordon, Y. and Gunston B. (2000). Soviet X-Planes (p. 128). Midland.
Nemecek, V. (1986). The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918 (pp. 30, 412-413). Collins Willow.
Shavrov, V. B. (2002). Istoriya Konstruktsiy Samoletov v SSSR 1938-1950 gg. (pp. 104-106). Mashinostroenie.
https://www.airwar.ru/enc/xplane/sam7.html

4 Likes

+1 I thought it was just a silly paper prototype that was never seriously considered

I’m surprised it ever left the ground lom

2 Likes

plane looks dumb +1

1 Like

This is most radiculous plane I ever seen, even more than anything French created. Give me this!