Aviation Historian 24
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N.Yakubovich - Shcherbakov's forgotten workhorse
Shcherbakov Shche-2 serial 03147 was the first production aircraft, and was operated as part of the People’s Commissariat of Aviation Industry at Chkalov. It passed its State trials at the V-VS Scientific Research Institute in the spring of 1944 and is seen here in a standard three-tone scheme with red stars on fuselage and fins.
As well as being extensively used by the V-VS, the Shche-2 also saw service with the Soviet-controlled Yugoslav and Polish air arms in the immediate post-war period. Bearing unit marking "3", Shche-2 serial 18947 is seen here in the colours it wore while operating with the Polish Air Force’s 13th Transport Regiment in 1947.
Shcherbakov Shche-2 registration CCCP-X867 belonged to the People’s Commissariat of the Fishing Industry and is seen here in the colours it wore while operating with the Northern Directorate of the Civil Air Fleet in support of hunting and fishing expeditions from Ruchyi Air Base in the Archangelsk region, circa 1948.
A rare photograph of a production Shche-2 (with M-11D engines and fixed-pitch two-bladed wooden propellers) at the V-VS Scientific Research Institute airfield, with a group of pilots and engineers. Second from right is test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union Pyotr Belyasnik.
Shcherbakov Shche-2 “White 2” has its engines run up in preparation for a training sortie while serving with the Polish Air Force’s Military Pilots’ School at Dublin in eastern Poland circa 1946. Reportedly, while in V-VS service, one Shche-2 was fitted with General Motors diesel engines from an American armoured vehicle and flown.
Опытный самолет ТС-1 на испытаниях, 1942 г.
Многоцелевой Ще-2 использовался в качестве легкой транспортной, учебной и связной машины. Благодаря наличию большого двухстворчатого люка под левой частью крыла облегчалась загрузка крупногабаритных грузов.
The prototype TS-1 in its original configuration with undercarriage fairings. These were later removed for operational use at semi-prepared airstrips and fields. Shcherbakov received funding in September 1942 and reportedly completed the design within six weeks. Construction of the prototype had begun by the end of the year.
Front-line transport ancient and modern - a Red Army soldier poses with his bicycle beside Shche-2 serial 131947, fitted with Shvetsov M-11D engines and fixed-pitch two-bladed wooden propellers. Ukrainian-born Shcherbakov was initially a specialist in high-altitide aircraft and pressure-cabin technology.
A pair of Shche-2s await their next sortie while operating on fishing expeditions from bases in the Archangelsk region after the war. The type was neither fast nor luxurious, but proved to be dependable and capable in such demanding conditions.
In 1945 the basic Shche-2 design was modified with uprated engines and various other refinements to become the Shche-2TM, the ultimate version of which was defined in serial 422047, as seen here. Note the reduced fin area, shortened wing struts and revised undercarriage with shorter legs.
A contemporary Soviet document comparing the dimensions of the Shche-2 (shaded) and the Yak-8, a slightly larger development of the Yak-6, which was the main rival to Shcherbakov’s original TS-1 design (TS for Transportnyi Samolyet - Transport Aircraft). Some 1,000 Yak-6s were built but only one Yak-8 prototype.
After the war the Shche-2 was deployed in a number of roles in civilian service, including being fitted with skis and used in support of winter fishing expeditions in the Archangelsk region of northern Russia, as depicted in this three-view. The view below shows the wing and tailplane aerofoil sections
The ply-skinned fuselage was of streamlined oval section with built-up frames. Even the stringers were built-up: they were light 10mm x 30mm box sections comprising 4mm x 8mm timber booms connected by 1mm ply webs
The production Shche-2’s steel-tube-strut-braced shoulder-set monoplane wing was of R-II profile and made up of a single box-spar with built-up truss ribs with glued and pinned joints
A contemporary Soviet document comparing the dimensions of the Shche-2 (shaded) and the Yak-8, a slightly larger development of the Yak-6, which was the main rival to Shcherbakov’s original TS-1 design (TS for Transportnyi Samolyet - Transport Aircraft). Some 1,000 Yak-6s were built but only one Yak-8 prototype.