Castle Class Corvettes by Norman Goodwin

By Norman Goodwin

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Krichevskii secured funding to build a research aircraft, called RK (Razreznoye Krylo, slotted wing) and designated BOK-2 by the construction bureau. The BOK-2 was completed in 1935 and flew successfully, but Krichevskii died shortly afterwards. Documentation on this aircraft has never been found. The BOK-2 was an extremely neat cantilever monoplane, with a single M-l 1 engine rated at 11 Ohp. it is hard to say if its excellent performance was due to its drag-polar envelope or to its perfect aerodynamic shape'.

It was repeatedly modified in order to climb higher. It was successfully put through GOSNIl-GVF State testing by P M Stefanovskii. Shavrov speaks of 'a lighter variant' achieving greater heights, but there is no evidence of a second BOK-1 having been built. The airframe was originally that of one of the military RD aircraft, but modified by GAZ No 35. The span was reduced by fitting new constant-taper outer panels, restressed for significantly reduced gross weight achieved by greatly reducing the fuel capacity.

Testing was done mainly by N P Blagin (later infamous for colliding with the monster Maksim Gorkii), and he kept modifying the elevators and ailerons until the aircraft was to his satisfaction. This larger 'parabola-wing' aircraft was again made of wood, veneer and fabric, with various metal parts including the conventional divided rubber-sprung main landing gears and tailskid. The tandem cockpits were en- closed, which in 1932 was unusual. The engine was a l00hp Bristol Lucifer, and one of the unsolvable problems was that the Lucifer was notorious for the violence of the firing strokes from its three cylinders, which in some aircraft (so far as we know, not including the BICh-7A) caused structural failure of its mountings.

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