That`s how people: the importance of a certain period of his life he is able to appreciate only at a distance, sums up what he lived. That is why even war veterans, remembering the smell of gunpowder days, have mixed feelings, which, in addition bitterness of grief, there is a place of pride, and yet something nostalgic bright, warming the soul ... So difficult and a turning point in my biography, I now I understand, was the work of a test tank.
o It has been almost 45 years since I first crossed the threshold of "base Gorelovo" -that is, of course, unofficially, according to legend, a country called landfill design bureau number 3k-3 Kirov factory, where were tested the latest military hardware.
o Needless to say, was how fine sieve of selection through which screened the candidates for admission to this is closed, do not need advertising organization! Me, a qualified person, behind which were three years of work experience in the Donbas and the same number of years of military service chief charging station regiment command post missile troops, initially took fitter electrician only 4 bits, as an engineer, I was only five years later.
o In one of the Finnish-panel houses the barracks housed the laboratory measurements, where I was and determined after a thorough three-month inspection by the competent authorities in the other -Department of test engineers in the third -the chief of the base, and is located near a small brick box for shelter storage, maintenance and repair of tank technology secret.
o In comparison with the Kirov factory shops smoggy our forest monastery, situated in the midst of silence, broken only by birdsong except the roar of engines, of course, seemed a paradise. No wonder the Nekrasov in his time has not spared in his poem "Who Lives Well in Russia?" Ancient village Gorelovo pristine beauty that could not spoil even several rows of barbed wire, belted base.
o protected territories soldiers of internal troops, and so strongly that without a special pass code number and it was almost impossible to overcome the checkpoint in any direction. And hardly anyone would venture to make it through the perimeter fence. And some protection and could not be, in fact, even communicating with each other, we have avoided, as required, and instruction, to use the word "tank", replacing it with a totally meaningless name "to 219". No wonder that, following the disguise, including aircraft and bury better safe than sorry, we conducted tests, usually at night, going to run on forest and country roads ...
o The main and essentially permanent in 1937 constructor of the Kirov factory was a real "fanatic tank" as it was called in the lobby, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Hero of Socialist Labor, Colonel General Engineering Services Joseph Yakovlevich Kotin. Passed through his hands impressive string of domestic appliances -heavy tanks KV-2, KV-16, KV-85, IP-1, IP-2, IP-4, T-10 amphibious tank PT-76 self-propelled guns SU-152, ISU-152, ISU-122, and peacefully "tuned" skidder CT-12 wheel tractor and high power "Kirovec".
o A year after I came to the laboratory, Kotin was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense Industry of the USSR, and the chief designer of the KB-3 became Nikolai Popov, whose name is linked to a whole era of the Russian engineering. Slim, tall, impulsive, he seemed to radiate a certain creative energy, infecting her present. Say, it is better to wait than to catch up. So Popov belonged to the category of impatient people belie his character, and hence the behavior of this folk idiom.
o It so happened during the test, that after the failure of nodes or devices tank immediately in full growth raised the question: Who is to blame? There were three options: either something designers have not considered, or industrials screwed, or we, meters, blundered. Tied directly to the field heated discussions, and, of course, each division of KB-3 proved his innocence. Having neither the time nor inclination to listen to these verbal battles, chief designer or sharply interrupted them, or just turn and walk away "the people" -straight to the drivers, whose company gave new impetus to his flight engineering. Often Popov, listen to their opinions, right there on the armor, made changes to the drawings. And he was right: the opinions of experienced tankers, many of whom were war veterans, really expensive cost.
Born to crawl -flies!
o Nikolai Popov, with the filing of journalists in our country and abroad, better known as the creator of the "flying tank". In 1993, at an arms fair in Abu Dhabi 45-ton T-80 tank, breaking at speed jump, flying through the air about 15 feet and landed, ran on as if no giant leap was not. American " Abrams ", tried to repeat this maneuver, after "landing" has failed. As the ancients said: What is allowed to Jupiter -the bull is not allowed ...
o A created a miracle appliances before our eyes. Moreover, we are on the skin and is not a metaphor! had a chance to experience what a "flying tank" and what overload during landing armored colossus test equipment and crew. I will not go into the technical details, I note only that the key figure in this process is not very pleasant -three: when tested at each speed from 10 to 70 km/h with readability, that is -step by step at intervals of 10 km/h tank is three times overcome one by one three three-meter springboard. It remains to add that the car contained three test and the most difficult in the final stage we had to stay in the "saddle." Even a driver at this critical moment sometimes throwing arms, clinging to a stranglehold over the seat.
o In such extreme circumstances are not always able to complete the entire day for the test cycle: not maintain equipment -parts, components, sensors or writing equipment not intended to be an overload that sometimes reached the limit values for the spine! Of course, then we, the young, were all uneasy, it`s getting late, with age, the testers felt that they left a legacy of past experiments, for which the KB-3, unlike other similar units, not calculated bonus material, and all only time off.
o Within two weeks of experiments on "219 objects" and people we all pitched betonku, but the designers on the basis of the results have significantly improved suspension tank, torsion bars and dampers to improve, equip T-80 rubberized, like caterpillars, rollers made of light alloy.
above mountains can only be tanks ...
o Often, the customer many design changes tank systems advocated the practice itself, which is quite natural. So, after the events on the island Damanskii when the driver-mechanic had pretty sweat to run in very cold diesel engines of their war machines, they decided to replace the turbine. As for helicopters which are not afraid of the cold arctic.
o But the helicopter is flying in the clear sky and dust "sees" a very short time -during takeoff and landing, and the tank was originally intended to go on the road, even in the column, where only the dust density driver often determines a safe distance from the front of going car. However, the designers of KB-3 and did not doubt that it -not a single equation, and many unknowns, so reasoned philosophically will solve the problems as they come, by trial and error.
o First prototype testing a 1,000-horsepower turbine engine we spent in the Caucasus Mountains. "Object 219" is easily overcome steep hills and climbed the 3-4-kilometer mountain tops on which diesel, as, indeed, and people "suffocating" from lack of oxygen. Strange and unusual to feel the T-80, being above the clouds. Sorry, could not make at least a couple of shots on the memory of anyone and would never dream of being photographed with a secret tank. It now it`s easy to see on the Internet -and in profile and full face, and in the context of ...
o It is appropriate to note that the test program is always in advance and carefully developed in KB. In the present necessarily representative of the customer, without the signature of which the result is simply not counted, even if he is successful three times. Here on this very program testers inspired mountaineering abilities car and ventured to deviate. In the interests of business, of course. Although contrary to the regulations.
o It turned out that it is easy climbing uphill, 45-ton whopper not so impeccably behaved on the way back she was accelerated too quickly and had to hold her, but transmission brake was not designed for prolonged inhibition and could at any moment , overheated, fail. That`s when we asked the question: what if the engine braking going down in first gear at a speed of 10-15 km/h? For good luck, we just got comfortable on the trail hill with a more or less gentle slopes devoid of vegetation.
o Of course, no one rushed off the bat at breakneck speed -pre-prepared.
o Barely a quarter of an hour, we went down to the camp. Our colleagues, wondering what happened, were not a little alarmed. But they barely had time to enjoy our safe return, as we grieved by the news of their failed experiment. And one more spoonful of tar threw a driver, saying that as a result of continuous braking during descent due to overheating of the machine Cover the transmission gearbox, and move the tank could now only in reverse. And backed away -at first base, and then on the railway platform to send the Kirov Plant.
o It is not difficult to imagine what was the reaction of the chief designer N.S.Popova when he was informed about the incident. It is possible that such idiomatic expressions in which he did not hesitate, in secret communication has never passed. And the essence of them was on the surface, he promised wiseacre, deviating from the test program, big trouble. Fortunately, to hunt vermin, domestic spies and enemies of tank it did not come ...
Fight with dust
o After successful testing, during which the tank turbocharged convincingly demonstrated and high throughput, and enviable vitality back to the problem of clearing the air sucked into the turbine. In search of the optimal solution down from the mountains in even more extreme field conditions -in the Karakum Desert. Here many millennia windy sand turned into the smallest dust that settled on the turbine blades and melts from the heat, change their configuration, reducing engine power and eventually turning it into a pile of scrap metal.
o The test site is located in an area Baharden in Turkmenistan. Iran was protecting us Kopet Dag mountain range, and to the east, north and west, where throw eyes, stretched boundless sands. By the way, the local dust we got to know more on the base, because first, figuratively speaking, not Mohammed came to the mountain, and the mountain to Mohammed: Karakum dust bags in cars drove to the Kirov Plant, where he tested the dust collectors turbine engine. And only received satisfactory results bench, relocated to the Karakum.
o Vremechko dawned hot -literally and figuratively: after all -the desert. Daily tanks went into a continuous run, often bringing the turbine blades to breakage. Work is more than enough -under the scorching sun of the day by seven pots got away, but gradually, with each improvement, trouble-free run distance increases. Along the modernized and chassis to get rid of heat shock absorbers and rubber rinks and tracks.
o The program included one more, not the most pleasant and comfortable for people to test: to determine the 40-degree heat with zadraennymi hatches as possible while staying in the crew car, located in a run. For this purpose "to 219" equipped with a remote temperature meter and gave the go-ahead to experiment.
o Almost immediately we picked up in the air giant clubs desert dust, which forced the driver to move almost blindly, but it was not so bad. The trouble came later. Before the test, the tank long enough surf the landfill with open hatches, so soon enveloped us and within a thick and dense, though Slash, blurred by the same ubiquitous dust. Breathe and already there was nothing, so still and the temperature in the car rose surprisingly quickly -50, 60, 70 degrees ...
o So obviously ill at ease head spin, The nausea. Memory helpfully fished out of their cells yachting rule -when in a confined space, so as not seasick, should look at the horizon and not on nearby objects, but as I continuously measured the sensor readings, flipping the switch, I was not up to the horizon. Looks like the rest of the crew felt no better: by the end of the second hour, they run more and more on headset connection wondered how there temperature not stabilized it? Alas, the sensor was already 80 degrees -Finnish sauna, and only. But we were not going to retreat, believing that it is better otmuchilsya once you go to a second round of tests.
o Suddenly I felt a burning smell, which quickly began to grow. "Surely we burn?" -Flashed disturbing thought. Nothing to do, had to switch off the engine. So many years have passed since that day, and I still remember how opened the hatch and jumped out of the tank in 42-degree heat and it seemed to me that I plunged into cold water. Breath, inspected the car, did not find any source of ignition, no odor source.
o However, we have to move on, according to the instructions could not: in such cases not run the engine without the manufacturer`s representative. Connection with the repair crews have a view of conspiracy, as always, was not. Typically, observers determined our location on the post over the desert dust: if he is -okay, if disappeared -there is something wrong, it`s time to go to the rescue.
o Half an hour passed, but we have not enough. Commander so expressively looked at me, I immediately guessed which one of us will have to go for help on base. This is understandable: the tank without the driver and commander -not a tank, but no engineer meter it is quite cost. Orient and walked, the burning sun, avoiding the thorns, snakes and scorpions crawling. Three hours later, when I began to feel that I am doomed to eternal wandering across the sands, reached the camp. Along the way, became convinced that he had discovered the best way to reduce weight, losing three kilograms journey.
o Repair crews fairly quickly determine the cause of the fault, which ... was not. It turned out that during the tests a driver accidentally turned on the stove heating. It turns out that we Kirovtsa-testers showed sverhvynoslivost spending two hours a tank with zadraennymi hatches in the thick of the Karakum desert and even with winter heating stove included! Needless to say that the experiment we counted ...
/ Oleg Dumpling, bratishka.ru /