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In the early 1920s, under the supervision of A.N. Tupolev, CAHI set up a department of aviation, hydroaviation and aircraft prototype engineering (AGOS). In October 1930, P.O. Sukhoi becomes head of the AGOS team, which, as the process of designing and building various aircraft went on, formed the backbone of the design team of P.O. Sukhoi.

The team's most successful product, a culmination of a number of achievements in the world aviation science and technology of that time, was probably the multi-role aircraft Ivanov (SZ, BB-1). That aircraft, in the light of governmental testing results, was recommended for production at plant No 135 in the town of Kharkov. To provide assistance to the plant in setting up production of the BB-1 bomber, the 29th July 1939 government resolution appointed P.O. Sukhoi chief designer of plant No 135 and sent him to the plant, together with a 63-strong team, which was given the status of a standalone design bureau. In 1940, the task given by the government successfully completed, the Design Bureau of P.O. Sukhoi was assigned a new production facility, plant No 289, located in the town of Kaliningrad, Moscow Region. Concurrently with providing support for full-scale production of the BB-1 aircraft (after December 1940 known as the Su-2), the Design Bureau undertook development of additional versions, delivering a single-engine single-pilot armoured attack aircraft (SSAAA) and single-seat cannon-armed fighter, the I-135.

In 1940, series production of aircraft Su-2 was set up at two more plants: No 31 in the town of Taganrog and No 207 in the town of Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region. By spring 1942, there had been produced a total of 910 Su-2 aeroplanes.

Su-2 aircraft production
Plant number Year Total
1940 1941 1942
Plant No 135 110 625 40 802
Plant No 207 3 89 - 92
Plant No 31 12 4 - 16
Total 125 745 40 910

Su-2s started to be put into service with the AFRA units in the second half of 1940. By the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, the aircraft park numbered 213 aeroplanes: Western Front 75, South-Western Front 114, 9th separate army of OMD 24. The hostilities through 1944 involved (according to a number of sources) 14 to 17 short-range bomber regiments, over 12 reconnaissance and spotter squadrons and 18 flights armed with Su-2 aeroplanes.

The aeroplanes were used for fighting by 27 Heroes of the Soviet Union, five of whom were awarded the title when flying combat missions on the Su-2.

In 1941, senior lieutenant Ye.I. Zelenko, flying a Su-2 aeroplane, performed a ramming manoeuvre to become the first and only female pilot in the world to have rammed an enemy plane.

Upon the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, along with a majority of other aircraft industry facilities, plant No 289 was evacuated from Moscow, to Molotov, now Perm, where it stayed till mid-1943.

During that period, the Design Bureau produced a SSAAA-attack-aircraft-based two-seat armoured attack aircraft, the Su-6, which in terms of certain parameters was superior to the famous flying tank, the Il-2. The Su-6 did not go into production, but in 1943 P.O. Sukhoi was awarded a Stalin Prize of the 1st Level for its development.

The year 1944 saw the maiden flight of a twin-engine two-seat armoured attack aircraft, the Su-8, which remained a one-off aeroplane.

Winner of Stalin Prize of 1st Level, P.O. Sukhoi, mid-1940s.

Winner of Stalin Prize of 1st Level, P.O. Sukhoi, mid-1940s.

P.O. Sukhoi at work, 1940s

P.O. Sukhoi at work, 1940s

Two-seat armoured attack aircraft Su-6 with M-71F engine (1943)

Two-seat armoured attack aircraft Su-6 with M-71F engine (1943)

Two-seat armoured attack aircraft Su-8 with two M-71F engines (1944)

Two-seat armoured attack aircraft Su-8 with two M-71F engines (1944)

Su-2 aeroplane being prepared for a combat mission

Su-2 aeroplane being prepared for a combat mission

Fighter I-135 (Su-1), 1941

Fighter I-135 (Su-1), 1941

Short-range bomber Su-2 with M-82 engine (1941)

Short-range bomber Su-2 with M-82 engine (1941)

Hero of the Soviet Union senior lieutenant Yekaterina Ivanovna Zelenko

Hero of the Soviet Union senior lieutenant Yekaterina Ivanovna Zelenko

Pilot Pushkin in the cockpit of Su-2 aircraft

Pilot Pushkin in the cockpit of Su-2 aircraft

Su-2 on an airstrip

Su-2 on an airstrip

Su-2

Su-2

Su-2 on skis

Su-2 on skis



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