The first flight of the LL-143.
After running on the water on September 6, 1945, the LL-143 performed the first flight with the crew as part of the pilot N. Kotyakov and the flight engineer D. Ya. Chernetsky. The next eight flights were devoted to fine-tuning the AB-9F-17R propellers.
But on November 17, after the completion of the tenth flight, the LL-143 could not be pulled ashore, as the strong wind drove the water from the hydraulic release. The car stayed afloat, and a frost hit at night. It took five days to wait for the rise of water, daily chipping ice around the plane, and then punching the canal to pull the LL-143 onto the land.
All winter, the car did not fly, and again rose to the sky only on May 27, 1946. This time a series of 19 flights was carried out (flight time - 19 hours and 39 minutes), six of them for finishing the oil system and new propellers of variable pitch AV-9M- 91.
Once experienced car almost lost. In preparation for the flight to test rifle installations, the master gunsmith decided to test the limiters of the on-board machine gun and inadvertently fired a queue with armor-piercing and incendiary bullets along the wing, directly through the fuel tanks.The fire immediately began, but the flight engineer D.Ya. Chernetsky and the military technician N. A. Ponomarev, who were nearby, seized the fire extinguishers and managed to quickly bring the flame down. The consequences of the incident immediately eliminated.
The next day, Rather demanded to analyze the nature of the damage and draw the appropriate conclusions to improve the combat survivability of the aircraft. The tests were continued by the same pilots, and on July 22 they ended with a flight of the plane by the chairman of the State Commission.
In the State and Plant Test Act, dated August 7, 1946, the pilots noted:“The LL-143 aircraft for piloting techniques is simple and quite accessible to a pilot of average qualification. Compared with the Catalina seaplane, the LL-143 aircraft has better maneuverability and seaworthiness, easier takeoff and landing, and also better maintains the specified flight mode, relieving the pilots from exhausting movements of the rudders in a long flight. ”.
By that time, by the order of I.V. Stalin of February 9, 1946 and the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of June 21, 1946. No. 1289-527 with the Beriev Design Bureau was transformed into the State All-Union Experimental Plant No. 49 of naval aircraft manufacturing, remaining the only design team in the country to create hydroplanes.
And a little later by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of 06.06.47.For No. 1922, LL-143 was awarded the Stalin Prize of II degree for the chief designer for the creation in a short time.