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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 01 Feb 2006 02:47

I'll accept that answer, although mine, from this site http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contribut ... /2014L.jpg , was advertised as an MB 174. Externally, the different models don't look much different from each other.

Over to the man from Central Europe. :)

Michael

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 01 Feb 2006 10:57

Thanks, Michael!
Yes, MB.174 reconnaissance/attack plane differ from light bomber MB.175 with only modified centre wing and enlarged bomb bay. It is very hard to understand such differences from the photo.

Here is my complex question: 1) name this very strange craft; 2) name its nickname; 3) name its designer.

One hint - that was a serial vessel!

Image
Last edited by BIGpanzer on 14 Mar 2006 19:31, edited 2 times in total.

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 02 Feb 2006 00:59

No ideas?
This is not a very easy question, but several photos of that craft is possible to find in Internet. Also it is always mentioned in good military reference books.

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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 03 Feb 2006 12:44

Hi BIG (are you notorious?)

You say this was a "serial vessel". I'm not sure what you mean there. Do you mean it was in "production"? :?

I am still looking.

regards
A :)

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 03 Feb 2006 12:57

This vessel was produced in a very small amount (including modifications) and officially was used by navy :)

Best regards, BP

Bill Murray
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Post by Bill Murray » 07 Feb 2006 14:49

Hallo BP:

I think you have a stumper here. Never seen anything like it and google did not help.
Would I be correct in saying it is Russian???
Bill

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 07 Feb 2006 17:19

Hello, Bill!
Google will help immediately if you know the name of the vessel :) Indeed, this is the Soviet craft (there was the inscription "USSR" on board on Russian, but I removed it with the help of Photoshop to make the question a little bit more hard :D). But such info could be a great help for the correct answer :)

Regards, BP

Bill Murray
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Post by Bill Murray » 08 Feb 2006 00:18

BP:

You truly test us.

I have been on Google for an hour tonight. Soviet ships/boats, Russian ships/boats, Russian experimental naval vessels/boats. And, on and on and on.

I think you owe us another hint/tip. If not the thread stops here as it seems not anyone can figure out your photo.
Bill

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Feb 2006 09:09

Sorry, Bill, for the relatively hard question :) But this craft had a really very interesting construction, I also found the first info about it quite recently (near one year ago). Well, a very big hint - that was a torpedo boat, different modifications were built in 1-3 copies each in 1935-1940, it was used by Soviet Baltic Navy. The next hint could be only the name of the vessel :lol:

Regards, BP

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 08 Feb 2006 21:26

BIGpanzer wrote:Here is my complex question: 1) name this very strange craft; 2) name its nickname; 3) name its designer.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........
As I don't read russian, this is "a bit" difficult...but I'll try:

1) Torpedo boat Л-5 ?
2) ИСПЫТАТЕЛЬ "КРОКОДИЛОВ" ?
3) В. И. Левков ???
http://www.warships.ru/TEXT/Boats_Cross_Ocean/7.html

Regards, Juha

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 08 Feb 2006 23:53

Great! You are completely right, Juha!

The name of this torpedo boat is L-5 (Levkov-5). Soviet professor V.I.Levkov developed the first serial naval air-cushion vessels in the world in 1935-1940 (they were built by Moscow aircraft plant No. 84 and No. 445). These strange vessels were called "Crocodiles" by sailors.

Short history of Levkov's air-cushion torpedo boats just for information.

The first model L-1 with wooden catamaran hull appeared in autumn 1935 (1.83 t; 15.55x4.02x3.49 m; 3x100 hp aircraft ngines M-11; crew 2 men). Two engines were placed horizontally (for air-cushion support), the third engine was placed behind the cabin on the special tripod. L-1 was controlled by aerodynamic and water rudders. L-1 could hover at a height of 15 cm above the surface and easily overcame meadows and bogs during lake trials in autumn 1935. Maximal speed was 59.4 knots (110 km/h). After trials the third engine was removed as it decreased the stability of the vessel.

L-5 was larger craft but of similar design. The catamaran hull of L-5 was made from duralumin. Weight - 8.6 t; dimensions - 24x5.35x2.75 m; 2x890 hp aircraft engines (in front + behind) M-25 with 3.5 m propellers for air-cushion support; crew - 3 men + several marines in the cabin; armament - turret with 2x12.7mm MG DShK and 2x457mm torpedos (or 8 depth charges). L-5 had all navigation equipment and radiostation.
L-5 was tested in 1937-1938 in the Gulf of Finland and could overcome storms of force 5 which is very good even for modern hoverships. The speed of L-5 was incredible - 72.8 knots (135 km/h). Also L-5 could easily overcome ice water, bogs, sandy beaches and port bars.
Since October 1939 L-5 was officially used by Soviet Baltic Sea Navy as torpedo boat. In 1940 the third engine was added to increase speed and carrying capacity, so L-5 was renamed as L-5T. Also three improved L-5t were built in 1940 for Baltic Sea Navy (14.76 t; 28.6x5.35x2.9 m; 3x1000 hp M-62 engines; 70 knots; crew 3 men; 2x457mm torpedos + 2x7.62mm MGs). Interesting, that I found some specifications of L-5 in the library, using German naval guide "Waffentechnischen Nachrichten aus fremden Marinen" (1943), so Germans knew about those boats very good.
The photo I've posted I found exactly here: http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/mtb/pic/l5.jpg

L-9 was a smaller than L-5 patrol/anti-submarine/landing boat with wooden hull. Three were built in 1939 (2.38 t; 15.32x3.68x2.86 m; 2x140 hp engines M-11; 40 knots; crew 3 men; armament - 1x12.7mm MG DShK + 5 small depth charges). All L-9s were used by the same division of torpedo boats, where L-5 served (Koporie naval base). In 1940 the third engine was added to increase speed and carrying capacity, so all three L-9 were renamed as L-9T. They were used by Baltic Sea Navy since 1941 as TKL-20-22 training and messenger boats.

L-11 was built in 1940 (2.7 t; wooden hull 19.6x3.68x2.88 m; 3 x 110 hp engines M-11; 45 knots; crew 3 men) - also successfully tested in the Gulf of Finland.

Despite the absolutely forward-looking design and excellent specifications, Levkov's torpedo boats had some disadvantages - the main was complicated control, especially during stormy or windy weather. At full speed a huge amount of splash formed which decreased visibility from the cabin. Also aircraft engines quite often overheated because of horizontally location.

All Levkov's boats were preserved at Litke naval base in Kronshtadt after the beginning of German-Soviet war in 1941. After the war all of them were scrapped in 1947 as "obsolete" boats despite the fact that nobody in the world had such boats and famous British serial hoverships by Christopher Cockerell appeared only in the beginning of 1960s! Professor Levkov was forgotten.

Using Google I found also some info here: http://www.hot.ee/skycat/vene_holjukid.html

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 09 Feb 2006 00:50

Very interesting vehicle. I wonder why I haven't come across it before. Early- and mid-century Soviet science and engineering continue to amaze me. In many ways, it was a backwards country, yet very advanced experimental work was done there, often ahead of the West.

Michael

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BIGpanzer
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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Feb 2006 19:53

Yes, Soviets developed quite interesting constructions during the interwar period. May be in some degree the same as Germans developed during WWII. That is why I am interested at the moment in Soviet experimental and rear technique as there is much less info about it in comparison with German WWII experimental technique (which I like very much also). So I am trying to post here some photos and specifications, as well as the description of advantages and disadvantages of different technique for your pleasure (and for my also :) )

Best regards, BP

Juha, please, your turn! :wink:

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 09 Feb 2006 21:52

Thanks Bp,

A very interesting and almost too challenging question.
I happened to got it correct by using russian language ( Idon't speak, but I've learned few useful words ) at the google search.
The use of Торпедные катера = (motor)torpedo boat as search words guided me eventually here: http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/SmallMenu.htm and there I found this: http://sovnavy-ww2.by.ru/mtb/typ_l5.htm#l5
After that the most difficult thing was to decipher the name of the designer.

New question, name this:

Regards, Juha
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Post by BIGpanzer » 09 Feb 2006 23:33

Thanks for the very interesting photo, Juha!
I've never see this before and I can only assume that this is the Soviet anti-aircraft radar station RUS-1, based on GAZ-AA truck chassis. In 1941 USSR had 44 RUS-1 radars (mostly for the AA defence of Moscow) - such stations had the distance of detection up to 95 km and altitude of detection up to 7.5 km; accuracy of distance determination - 2-3 km.

But this is only my supposition as I never saw the photos of RUS-1.
Note: AFAIK "RUS" means not Russian but Radar Ustanovka = Radar Set

My algorithm - truck on the photo looks like Soviet GAZ-AA and I know that workshops, AA guns, MGs, searchlights, sound detectors and radar stations were mounted on GAZ-AA trucks. As I have the photos of all such vehicles except radar stations I can assume that here it is :wink:

Regards, BP

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