Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Sikorsky (by popular demand)

The Ilya Muromets (Sikorsky S-22) was designed and constructed by Igor Sikorsky at the Russo-Baltic Carriage Factory (RBVZ) in Riga in 1913 [...] (It) was first conceived and built as a luxurious aircraft. For the first time in aviation history, it had an isolated passenger saloon, comfortable wicker chairs, bedroom, lounge and even a bathroom. The aircraft also had heating and electrical lighting. [...] If it had not been for World War I, the Ilya Muromets would have probably started passenger flights.

With the beginning of World War I, Sikorsky decided to change the design of the aircraft to become the world's first purpose-designed bomber. Internal racks carried up to 800 kg of bombs, and positions for up to nine machine guns were added for self-defense in various locations, including the extreme tail. The engines were protected with 5 mm-thick armor.

But of course they kept the comfortable wicker chairs.

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