PRODUCTION OK BISON AIRCRAFT AT MOSCOW/FILI AIRFRAME PLANT NO.N THE USSR
CJA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM MSEAS SANITIZED
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports
Tbe purpose of this project Is to estimate the production_pf BIsoq oircruft at Moscow/Fill Airframe Plant Ho.n Iheecondary purpoee Is to summariie and analyze-the background material which contributed to tbe estimate of production.
The cellmate of production of tbe Bison hao been based
* and on observation of Airframe Plant iw. 'a . stimate of the future capability of Airframe riant Ho.o produce Bison aircraft has been determined from the size of the plant, particularly the size of the final assembly hangar.
This project will be reviewed and reissued periodically tonew Intelligence information as available.
I. History and Development
II. Production Sit*
It!. Delivery and Ramp Operations
IV. Indications of Product loo
v. Estimates of Production
A. Total .
it. Average Monthly Rates
3. 7 to ?fl7 -
Figure 1. USSH: Initial Observation of Slaon
Aircraft at the Flight Test
Figure 2. USSR: layout of Moscow/Fill Airframe
Plant No. 2j
Figure J. USSR: Vertical Photograph orPlant Ho. 23
Fiffinv 6. USSR: Ratlmited Monthly andof Hison Aircraft from Moscow/Fill Airframe Plant Ho. 2J, Decemberhrough7 . . .
USSR: ProductlOD of Bison AircraftAirframe Plant Ho.Through
Figure 0. USSR: Activity of Bison Aircraft nt MoRcov/PUi Airframe Plantanuary, February, and March. . ,
Figure 9. USSR: Activity of Bison AircraftAirframe I'lont Ho.May, and5
SSR; Activity of Bison Aircraft nt Moscow/Fill Airframe Plantuly, Aueust, and September . .
SSR: Activity of Bison Airciafi. at Moscow/Flli Airframe Plant No. 2j, October, November, ami
lU. USSR: Activity of Bison Aircraft at Moscow/Flli Airframe Plantuly, August, and
USSR: Activity of Blaon Aircraft at Moscow/Flli Airframe Plantctober, November, andb
USSR: Activity of Blaon Aircraft at Hoscow/FUi Airframe Plantanuary, February, and7
USSR: Activity of Bison AircraftAirframe Plant Ho.May, and7
Figure lC. USSR: Activity of Bison Aircraft ot Moscow/Flli Airframe Plant
Relationship Between Kan-Hoursof Airframe weight forUnit of Production andweight
Relationship Between Total Covered
Floor Area and Direct Covered.
Relationship Between SquareDirect Worker on theand Airframe Weight
Optimum Crew Loading Tor Final
nioux-ilur; of jii^gh aiik:kaft at hosoqw/pn.t. airframe plant ho.h the ussr"
isonrototypes; and been produced at Airframe Plant Ho.y
. haveotalbservations of
Airframe Plant Ho.rom5 through Analy-
of these observations
Airframe Plant No.roduced about throe Bison aircraft per month during tbe firot half
The cumulative production of Bison aircraft at Airframe Plant Ho.suly lQyf wasirplanes.h Bison Isto have been shop completed
I. History and Development. a- History.
The Soviet Bison aircraft Initially was observed at the Flight
Test Institute (Letno-lspytatel'nyy InstitutU) of the Ministry
* The estimates and conclusions contained In this project represent the best Judgment of 0rr ns
of the Aviation Industry (Mlnlsterstvo Avlatsioonoy ProrayshlennostlMAP) at Ra&enekoye on At that time the aircraft appeared to betage of assembly, and the single long-distance Photograph which was available failed to reveal the type of wing or powcrplanto. (See Figureingle Bison aircraft was next observed in rehearsal for the Kay Day Air Show* and wasagain during the show "* this aircraft Is believed to have been the Bison aircraft observed3 and to have been the first of three prototypes.
The several changes in the configuration of the Soviet Bison aircraft observed since the first uightlngison In flightUearch for more satisfactory flight characteristics.
The majornow be completed, as no configuration
changes have been observed since
Major modifications of the Bison affecting flighthave included enlargement of the wing flaps, addition of wing fences, shortening of the forward fuselage, and elimination of horizontal tall dihedral. Change0 in the aircraft relative to its alssloo requirements include Incorporationulge In the bomb bay doors (probably toefuelingose boom for aerial refueling, elongation or the nose for new radar gear, and movement of toe bombardier-navigator stationlazed blister on the belly of the aircraft under the cockpit. Minor changes have Included the removal or the bulge under the tail turret and the elongationound blister on the right side of the fuselage.
All of the above changes were evident by5 except for the elimination of horizontal lull dihedral, the new long nose, and the new bombardier-navigator stotlou. These changes were noted for the first time In Although all of these changesan unsatisfactory initial deolgn, the numbers and types of modifications arc not particularly unusual in the course of develop-' meat of an aircraft as complex as the Bison.
II- Produetloo Site
The production site of the Bison aircraft was unknownison was seen taking off from Moscow/Fili Airframe Plant No,ingle Bison was observed on the ground or in takeoff from Airframe Plant No-n five separate occasions during February, March, and
Airframe Plant Ho.ad considerable experience lo production of bombers during World Warand for several years thereafter. Some time after World War II the plantevelopmental role and is believed to have been engaged In bomber development until it started producing the Bison.
The covered floorspace of Airframe Plant No.s estimated to haveillion square feet (sq ft) at the end of World War II. 3/ Reports of noteworthy new construction were received- This construction was incorporated in three large buildings in the western end of the plant site. The new construction isto have been completed bynd the total plant riooropace is now estimated toillion sq ft.
The final assembly of the Bison aircraftuilding wit! headroom of not less than h', feet (ft) and structural columnst uport. Airframe Plant No.uilding (Building No.rhatays, each of whicht wide andft. long. The headroom Ist. This building, '
is knowu to house the finaj
usscmoiy or toe tu=on.
Ill - Delivery and Ramp Operations.
A. Method of Delivery
A Bison aircraft wAS observed taking off from Moscow/FUt Airframe Plant No.n three scccasions during February,
Airframe riant No.rodured theand II-'. lightWorld War II. Production of theight bomber beganend of the war, andindicates some
production of the Tu-'i medium* Following p. U.
March, and Because the single runway at Airframe Plant Ho.st long (seend Bison aircrafta longer runway,unway of this length, the Bison can carry only alight load on takeoff and cannot land safely. Bison aircraft hove to be flown elsewhere, probably to Ramenskoye, for flight testing These aircraft arc believed to take offinimum of rampwith only sufficient fuel to get to Rumenskoye.
Ho evidence of production at Airframe Plant Ho.asfrom May through August Onison was observed in transitarge moving downstream on the Moscow River. This sighting indicated that Bison aircraft were being moved from Airframe Plant No.o the LII at Reaenskoye, located aboutiles southeast of Airframe Plant River transport is an unueual and inefficient means of moving Bison aircraft to another location Tor completion of final assembly and testing. The reason for the declGion to use river transport probablyeluctance to risk so expensive an aircraft as the Bison In takeoffs from the short airfield at Airframe Plantspecially In warm weather when larger ground rolls are required for takeoff.
Two other Bison aircraft were seen being transported byduring NovemberDecember, however,
two Bison aircraft are believed to have been flown from Airframe Plant Inison fuselage was sightedruckogies aboutt apart In tandem) on Sadovaya Street Just north of Kurskiy Station. This truck was followed by two trucks with low-boy trallcro carrying probable Bison wingsrobable ltlCon tall section.
Inison aircraft was again observed taking off from Airframe Plantioce February, all Bison uLrcraft are believed to have been flown from the plant.
B. Ramp Operations.
Before the Bison aircraft con be flown from Moscow/FlliPlant Ho.fter coming out of final assembly, certainhave to be performed on the Onlynumber of flight operations required in the preparation offor the earliest possible sale flight after plantbelieved to be performed at Airframe Plant Afterplant, the aircraft Is flown to Ramenskoye, where the final inspections, and functional cheeks prerequisite todelivery of the aircraft to the customer are carried out.
The navigational equipment on the Bison would not have to be operational for the Short flight froa Airframe Plant No.o Ramen-akoye, but the communications system would have to be operational. unctional testing of the electrical circuits and components jjf the communications system probably would be made outside the plant because the test requires freedom from the interference of buildings.
In addition to the check of the communicationsl*-hour check on fuel leaks, engine runups, checks on the control system and on Instruments, safety Inspection, and prefllght testing probably are carried on outside the plant buildings. Any defects found during these tests must be corrected before the Bison is flown to Rumenskoye.
* indicates that between6 and ?fl7ircraft spent an average of at least id calendar days on the ramp at Airframe Plant No.efore being flown to RamonSkoyc.
Discussions with US aircraft manufacturers indicate that the absolutely minimum timeison would spend on the ramp before takeofforking days. In order to achieve this absolutelytime, the aircraft would have to be free of any serious defects. US aircraft manufacturers believeealistic ramp time would beorking days."
indications ot production.
Before the rehearsals for6 Hay Day Air
tit only mojcotioii vi tsccorwas the number of aircraft observed In single flights '
jflibiuo oumner or uisonreran aso ajh an be established, however, because on thatison were seenngle fly-by.
The Aviation Day Air Shouison
aircraft, the largest number observedingle flightarger numbers of Bison aircraft were seen, however, in the rehearsala for6 May Day Air Show. Twenty-two Bison aircraft, the largest number ever observedingle fly-by, wore seen onnd Since then, no more thanison aircraft have been ohscrvedingle fly-by. Ten Bison aircraft were observed on six separate occasions during rehearsals foray Day Air Show.
addition to air shows,
served Moscow/Kill Airl ported*
Observing Bisoc aircraft
rame Plantf the plant during
in rehearsals for tbe frequently have ob-
On the basis of these obsorvn-
can lie made for the riumocr of Uison aircraft produced and the datesthesfi aircraft were delivered from Airframe Plant ho. The estimated departure dates of the Bison fromNo.plotted in Figure
u.ovi.ng p. d.
USSR: ESTIMATED MONTHLY AND CUMULATLVE DEPARTURES OF BISON AIRCRAFT FROM MOSCOW/FILI AIRFRAME PLANT NO.5 Through7
C. Ily Hontli fromj-
A reliable estimate of production of Bison aircraft bybp made Cor the period6 through Theof production of Bison aircraft by month5 isbecausereported onlybservations of
MoScow/Fili Airframe Plant No. The estimatedof Bison aircraft by month is given in Tableor the period from5 through
The estimate of the production of Bison aircraft by month5 was based on the cumulative number of aircraft produced by the end5 and on the number of Bison aircraft seen during rehearsals for5ny Air Show. Twenty-three Bisonwere, estimated to have been produced by the endKlcven Bison aircraft are known to have been produced by Furthermore,ison aircraft
i were seen in the practice fly-bys for thetoy Air Show. Hence at leastison probably were1 The assumption was maderashi i 'ii- il
in order to show as many heavy bomber aircraft as possible in5 Hayhow. The third prototype waft not complete! until
E'roduction of Bison Aircraft by Month at Moscow/Fill Airframe Plant Ko.n the7
a. Including the three prototypes
The u'^tli bison tuuiu nave ueun compLuw in early July instead of in lato June.
Production of Bison Aircraft by. Month at Moscow/Fill Airframe Plant Bo.n tbe USSR7 (Continued)
No Serlcc-prodiicod aircraft
I). I'ccJ: Monthly_ Rote .
The production schedulend plotted in Figureon be used to determine the learning curven winch the plant Is operating and to determine the number of final, assembly positions. Tiic learning curve and the number of final assembly positions, in turn, can be used to determine the peak monthlyrate thai, can be achieved at Moscow/Fili Airframe Plant21-
The final assembly area is tbe one controlling factor in the developmentchedule for production of aircraft because uhe area in which space-restricted joining operations are accomplished. Tliis type of operation limits the number of personnel thai can bo utilized at any particular time. The number of personnel, in turn, controls the flow time for these critical operations and therefore determines the number of units that can be processed throughiven length of time. The available final assembly posiiion:.
and the crew loading renaln relatively constant throughout the life of the program. Flow tine and man-hours, however, reduce progressively as the number of units processed increases. The same number of people arc. able to produce more and more airplanes with the same expenditure of man-hours per month. The experience of the US aircraft industry indicates that the learning curve In applicable for the final assembly area.
pereenl learning curve* will meet the production schedule of Tableromh toeries-producedon the assumption that the plant ishifts and that each shift worksour days andour day per week. Afinal assembly operationrew loadingen per position would autisfy the above schedulehift operutlon.
If Airframe Plant No.ere workinghift perinal assembly positions would be required to support the above schedule. The fabrication and subassembly operations, however, would be required tohlfts tohift final assembly operation. The average crew loading ofen required tohlfl operation isercent higher than the optimum crew loading used on the2 program. The scheduling of final assemblyhift operation with the rest of the planthift operationottleneck and Leads to major problems of coordination. To produce the Bl wn sircraTt at the lowest costmaller density of workers, with Lest) duplication of final assembly tools and fixtures, and with easier coordination, the USSR would have produced the above quantities of Airplaneshift final assembly operation
With l> final usr>emtily polltlOAS, the pcuk monthly rate ofat Airframe Plant No.ould be aircraft per month based onhour shifts per week and an Oj-pcrtent learning curve. On the basisinal assembly positionsshifts per week, the peak monthly rate of production would beaircraft per month, but the plant would have toercent of Its effort Available Information, however, suggests Lhut airframe pjonts in the USSR subcontract onlyimited decree, Therefore, the peak
The average learning curve of Lin- US aircr-iTt industry forof bombers isercent. P.bove.
ACTIVITY OF BISON AIRCRAFT
AT MOSCOW/FIU AIRFRAME PLANT NO. 23
JANUARY. FEBRUARY, AND5
ACTIVITY OF BISON AIRCRAFT
AT MOSCOW/FILI AIRFRAME PLANT NO 23
APRIl. MAY. AND5
ACTIVITY OF BISON AIRCRAFT
AT MOSCOW/FILI AIRFRAME PLANT NO. 23
JULY, AUGUST, AND5
ACTIVITY OF BISON AIRCRAFT at moscow/fili airframe plant no. 23
october, november, and5
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