General Information
Type SK-9
Role Experimental
Year 1935
Crew 2
Size (m)
Length 7.88
Height 2.64
Wingspan 17.0
Wing area 22m2
Weights (kg) and loads
Empty 350
Loaded 505
Wing Load (kg/m2) 23
Speed (km/h)
Takeoff 71...76
Tugging 130...140
Gliding (min) 85
Gliding (normal) 100
Gliding (max) 200
Landing 70
Descent (m/sec)
Minimal 0.94
Normal 1.4

SK-9 experimental glider by S.P.Korolev

SK-9 from Flying wings, rocket planes and exotic aircraft

The SK-9 was designed by S.P.Korolev in 1934 - 1935 and was built at the Moscow Glider Factory on Fall 1935.

Glider was built as a two-seater and had an unusual for sailplanes airframe: SK-9 had very high wing load and was capable to withstand loads up to 7g. Peculiarity of the SK-9 was rooted in very unusual role of the glider. It was designed with sole purpose: to be converted into a ROCKETOPLANE - aircraft propelled by a rocket engine.

Chosen parameters were based on earlier experiments with BICh-11 glider, which was never flown with rocket engine just because light wooden airframe "expired" prior to arrival of the powerplant. There where also serious doubts that conventional gliders are strong enough for rocket-powered flight.

SK-9 was an all-wooden aircraft. Box-type spars, ribs and 1mm plywood skin formed rigid box with strong resistance against bending and twisting. Fuselage of the oval crossection had 1mm to 1.5mm external skin and internal 1mm plywood skin for extra rigidity. Wing carried 2-section slotted ailerons covered with fabric.

Landing gear included a ski and fixed tailskid. The wooden ski was covered with steel and linked to the fuselage by set of rubber rings protected with fabric cover.

Pilot's and passenger cockpits - of the open type. Pilot is protected by small plastic windshield. Rear cockpit had a removable set of controls.

During Fall 1935 SK-9 passed factory trials at Tushino airfield, performing number of flights both tugged by the airplane and in free flight.

It was flown (tugged by R-5) from Moscow to Koktebel for participation in the XIth All-Union Glider Convention. During overflight and at the Convention SK-9 proved its high performance and good handling at speeds up to 180km/h even in "rough air" conditions. During flight from Moscow to Koktebel and back SK-9 was piloted by glider-pilot Romanov and S.P.Korolev himself (he was a licensed pilot too).

SK-9 fuselage and leading edges of the wing were painted bright-red. Wing, tailplane, rudder and nose section of the fuselage - ivory. Landing ski - black.

Predecessors Modifications
  • -318-1,
  • Links
  • Roots of Russian cosmonautics

  • Created June 2, 2002 Back to
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