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Grigorovitch M9

Also called ShCh M-9 or Shchetinin M-9 this Russian ww1 biplane flying boat was a development of the M-5, ready in the fall of 1915, which first flew on January 9, 1916 at Baku. By September 17, 1916, Jan Nagórski, test pilot, became the first to make a loop with a flying boat, worldwide. A good indicator of its agility and handling characteristics.

The Grigorovitch M9 became the best-seller of the company, being produced by the hundreds (an estimated 500+) by Shchetinin up to the civil war.

This was reliable, sturdy aircraft, a two-seater 9.00 m (29 ft 6 in) long with a wingspan of 16.00 m (52 ft 6 in) and wing area of 54.8 m² (589.6 ft²). Its empty weight was 1060kg, 1540kg fully loaded, with a tested 1,610 kg (3,542 lb) maximal takeoff weight.

It was propelled by a French Salmson 9 engine in pusher configuration, the engine rated at 150 hp. Its top speed was 110 km/h (59 knots, 68 mph), with an operational ceiling of 3,000 m (9,840 ft) and a 3.5 hours flight endurance. So this was a bit lower than the previous M5, but it was compensated by a better armament, with comprised alternatively a 7.7 mm MG in the nose, or a 7.5 mm MG, a 20 mm cannon or even a 37 mm cannon, in addition to bombs (100 kgs+ or steel darts). This made it one of the most powerfully armed floatplane in service for this size.

The M9 produced served with the Navy until the fall of the regime, and fought actively on both sides due to their availability with the Reds and Whites alike, and Soviet forces after the war. Many distinguished themselves in the air defence of Baku, dropping 6,000 kg of bombs and 160 kg of steel darts or “arrows”, but also carried out photo reconnaissance missions, artillery spotting and interception of enemy planes. Some also participated in sea shelve studies spotting new oil fields near Baku. Nine M-9s were captured by Finland (one evaluated and lost), eight more were sent at Åland and Turku for local defence and flew actively until 1922 with the Finnish Air Force.

Grigorovitch M9
Introduced: 1916
Built: 500+
Length: 9.00 m
Wingspan: 16.00 m
Engine: Salmson 9 pusher radial engine, 150 hp
Performances: 110 km/h

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