Tupolev ANT-63P (Tu-1)
|NIGHT FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Tupolev|
An attempt to produce a radar-equipped three-seat long-range night and all-weather fighter also suited for the escort mission, the ANT-63P, alias Tu-1, was one of a number of progressive developments of the ANT-61 (Tu-2S) bomber. Initially powered by two 1,900hp Mikulin AM-39F 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines, the ANT-63P (the suffix letter indicating Perekhvatchik, or "Interceptor") carried a fixed forward-firing armament of four 23mm cannon, two in the wing roots and two in the lower forward fuselage. The nose was intended to accommodate a PNB-1 Gneiss-1 airborne intercept radar based on the German FuG 220. First flown on 30 December 1946, the ANT-63P attained 680km/h and demonstrated a range of 2500km. Official interest in piston-engined fighters was waning by this time, and although the ANT-63P was re-engined with 1,950hp Mikulin AM-43V engines driving four-bladed propellers, being tested in this form in December 1947, no production was undertaken.