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Orthographically projected diagram of the Tsybin RSR
Role Reconnaissance Aircraft
Manufacturer Tsybin
Designer P.V.Tsybin
Status Prototype/Project
Primary user USSR

The Tsybin RSR (Reactivnyi Strategicheskii Razvedchik) was a Soviet design for an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft.

Development and design[]

In 1954, the design bureau headed by Pavel Tsybin started development of a ramjet powered strategic supersonic bomber, the RS. This design proved impracticable, and a smaller derivative, the 2RS was proposed, which would achieve intercontinental range by being air launched from a modified Tupolev Tu-95 bomber.[1] This too was unsuccessful, with the aircraft unable to return to base if used on an intercontinental mission,[1] while being incapable of carrying a thermonuclear bomb.[2] The design was therefore revised again to a reconnaissance aircraft capable of operating from conventional runways, the RSR. As ramjets could not be used for take-off, they were replaced by turbofans.[1] The RSR was primarily of aluminium construction, with a long circular section fuselage, which housed a pressure cabin for the pilot together with cameras and fuel, with thin, low aspect ratio trapezoidal wings. The engines, two Soloviev D-21 turbofans, were mounted at the tips of the wings. The aircraft had a bicycle undercarriage, with outriggers under the engine nacelles. It was planned to cruise at greater than Mach 2 at a height of 20,000 m (65,600 ft) giving a range of 3,760 km (2,340 mi).[3]

A simplified, full sized aerodynamic prototype for the novel layout, the NM-1 was built in 1957. Intended for low-speed handling tests, the NM-1 had a steel-tube fuselage with duralumin and plywood skinning.[4] This aircraft, powered by two Mikulin AM-5 turbojets first flew on 7 April 1959.[3] Based on the results of these trials, the RSR was redesigned (as the R-020) to make it more manoeuvrable at high altitude (it was proposed to carry out barrel rolls to avoid Surface-to-air missiles, reaching a maximum altitude of 42,000 m (138,000 ft) during the manoeuvre).[5] More conventional Tumansky R-11 turbojets (the engine used in the MiG-21) replaced the unavailable Soloviev turbofans. Five R-020 airframes were virtually complete, only awaiting engines by April 1961, with another 10 planned when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev cancelled the program.

Specifications (NM-1)[]

Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875 - 1995 [6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 26.57 m (87 ft 3¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 10.48 m (34 ft 4⅝ in)
  • Height: ()
  • Wing area: 64 m² [7] (689 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,355 kg (14,010 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 9,000 kg (19,800 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Mikulin AM-5 turbojet, 49kN (4,410 lbf)2,000 kgf each


  • Maximum speed: 500 km/h (324 knots, 373 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m [7] (13,000 ft)
  • Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)

See also[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Butowski 1998. p.39-40
  2. Gunston 1995, p.376
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gunston 1995, p.377
  4. Air International February 1977, p. 98.
  5. Tsybin R-020 Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  6. Gunston 1995, p.378
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tsybin Retrieved 28 February 2008.


  • Butowski, Piotr. "Steps Towards 'Blackjack': Soviet supersonic intercontinental bombers before the Tu-144". Air Enthusiast. No. 73, January - February 1998. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. Page 36-49. ISSN 0143 5430.
  • Gunston, Bill. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft 1875 - 1995. London: Osprey, 1995. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
  • "Plane Facts:Soviet strategic reconnaissance". Air International, February 1977, Vol 12 No 2. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. p. 98.

External links[]

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