Sikorsky Ilya Mouromets V

Sikorsky Ilya  Mouromets V
Sikorsky Ilya Mouromets V

Sikorsky's Ilya Mourometz was the world's first four-engine bomber. Construction started in August, 1913 and first flight was in January, 1914. The cockpit had space for several persons. Openings on both sides of the fuselage permitted mechanics to climb out on the wings to service the engines during flight. A hatch on the left side provided an exit to the front bridge. Behind the cockpit was a large passenger cabin. In the rear was a stairway to the upper bridge and a washroom. Further back was a private cabin including a berth, small table and cabinet. During World War I over 75 ILia Mourometz were deployed in a special squadron at the front for bombing and reconnaissance missions.

The Ilya Muromets (Sikorsky S-22) was designed and constructed by Igor Sikorsky at the Russo-Baltic Carriage Factory (RBVZ) in Riga in 1913. It was based on his earlier S-21 Russky Vityaz or Le Grand which had played an important role in the development of Russian aviation and the multi-engine aircraft industries of the world.

Russia had a chance to become the birthplace of the first multi-passenger and multi-engine airliner. The Ilya Muromets was first conceived and built as a luxurious aircraft. For the first time in aviation history, it had an insulated passenger saloon, comfortable wicker chairs, a bedroom, a lounge and even the first airborne toilet. The aircraft also had heating and electrical lighting.

On 10 December 1913, the Ilya Muromets was tested in the air for the first time, and on 25 February 1914, took off for its first demonstration flight with 16 passengers aboard. From 21 to 23 June (one source gives 30 June - 12 July interval), it set a world record by making a trip from St Petersburg to Kiev, a distance of some 1200 km, and back. The first leg took 14 hours and 38 minutes with one landing for fuel - at Orsha, and the return one, with a fuel stop at Novosokolniki, took even less time, some 13 hours. If it had not been for World War I, the Ilya Muromets would probably have started passenger flights that same year.
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Sikorsky Ilya Muromets Type S-23 V
  • Role: Heavy Bomber
  • Country: Russia
  • Manufacturer: Russo-Baltic Wagon Company
  • Designed by: Igor Sikorsky
  • First Flight: 1913
  • Entered Service: 1913
  • Number Built: 80+
  • Length: 57 ft 5 in (17.5 m)
  • Wingspan:
    • Top Wing: 97 ft 9 in (29.8 m)
    • Bottom Wing: 68 ft 11 in (21 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 1 in (4 m)
  • Wing Area: 1,350 ft² (125 m²)
  • Empty Weight: 6,930 lb (3,150 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 12,000lb (4,600 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Sunbeam Crusader V8 engines, 148 hp (110 kW) each
  • Fuel and Oil: 1,320 lb (600 kg)
  • Maximum Speed: 110 km/h (68 mph)
  • Wing Loading: 7.5 lb/ft² (36.8 kg/m²)
  • Power/Mass: 16.9 lb/hp (7.7 kg/hp)
  • Endurance: 5 hours with 660 lb (300 kg) of bombs & armament, 10 hours with extra fuel.
  • Crew: four to eight (up to twelve)
  • Armament:
    • Guns: Various numbers and combinations of guns at different points during the war, including 12.7 mm, 15.3 mm, 25 mm, 37 mm, and 76.2 mm guns, Maxim guns, Lewis guns, Madsen guns, Colt machine guns and Leonid Kurchevsky's experimental recoilless guns among them.
    • BombsVarious loads of 50 kg, 100 kg and 656 kg bombs or 6 x 127 mm rockets (under the wings) depending on fuel, armament and crew carried. With three crew and two defensive machine-guns, a V type Ilya Muromets could carry 1,100 lb (500 kg) of bombs.