Click to enlarge
Tupolev I-12

The experimental Tupolev ANT-23 was designed around two large-caliber recoilless guns, integrated into tandem tailbooms. The aircraft was fitted with two radial engines in a push-pull configuration, and received the official designation of I-12. Even with twin engines, the aircraft was underpowered, as the rear engine was inefficient, and the design suffered from higher-than-expected drag, due in part to the externally reinforced wings and tail. The rear-mounted propellor also presented difficulties should in-flight pilot egress be necessitated. During an inflight gun test, a round exploded in the port gun, causing damage to the tailboom on landing. An improved prototype, the ANT-23bis, with jettisonable rear propellor, was under construction when the program was cancelled.

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Tupolev I-12


Specifications I-12
Designer(s) Viktor Nikolayevich Chernyshyov
Mission Type Experimental fighter prototype
Powerplant 2 x 525 hp GR9AK (license-built Gnome-Rhône 9AK) 9 cyl. radials
Span 51 ft 5 in (15.67 m)
Length 31 ft 2.75 in (9.52 m)
Height ?
Wing area 322.93 - 355.00 sq ft (30.00 - 33.00 m2)
Empty 4,008 lb (1,818 kg)
Loaded 5,302 lb (2,405 kg)
Max ?
Max speed 186 mph @ sl (300 km/hr)
174 - 198 mph @ 16,405 ft (280 - 318 km/hr @ 5,000 m)
Cruise speed --
Time to 16,405 ft (5,000 m) 7.7 min
Service ceiling 30,580 ft (9,320 m)
Range 252 miles (405 km)
Armament 2 x 76 mm Kurchevski APK-4 recoilless guns in tailbooms
Crew One
User USSR (not operational)
Number built One ANT-23, plus one partially built ANT-23bis
Construction Numbers ?
Serial Numbers ?
Test Pilots I. F. Kozlov
Unofficial Nickname Baumanskii Komsomolyets

Click to enlarge
Tupolev I-12

Web Links


  1. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters: An illustrated encyclopedia of every fighter aircraft built and flown. Salamander Books, London, 1994.
  2. Gunston, Bill. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft: 1875-1995. Osprey, Bath, 1996. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.

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© 1997-2011, Robert Beechy
http://www.hud607.fire.prohosting.com /uncommon/aircraft/i-12/index.html
Originally posted January 2005
Modified: 02/13/2013