Early warning aircraft provide air force commanders with a constant overview of the air situation, far beyond the radar horizon. They are one of the key elements for winning information superiority on the battlefield and enable the effective deployment of their own forces. Their construction has undergone a long development and today they are an indispensable part of the modern air force. The number of air forces that operate early warning aircraft is constantly growing.
During the First World War, new fields appeared in the war machine. They were war gases, automatic weapons, tanks, but above all aircraft. Pre-war experimental machines, flying mostly just a few meters above the ground at near-fall speeds, became dangerous and efficient machines during the four years of the war, flying twice as fast as their predecessors.
In connection with the unsuccessful Spanish experience with the combat use of reconnaissance aircraft and fighters for direct air support of troops in conditions of strong enemy air defence, on 16 December 1937 the chief of armament and material - technical supply of the VVS KA in the creation of a plan of experimental aircraft design for 1938 and experts - military engineer 1. P.A. Losyukov and P.V. Rudintsev, a military engineer of the 2nd degree, raised with all their sharpness the question of the immediate inclusion in the plan of the construction of a special attack aircraft, "... operating at low altitude and possessing powerful offensive and defensive weapons and with an engine that develops maximum power near the ground ..."
Flying has always been a man's dream. It's hard to worry today, when this dream first appeared. Already in an ancient legend, it is told about Icarus and his father, who escaped from captivity with the help of wings from bird feathers glued together with wax. Leonardo da Vinci, a Renaissance artist, inventor and omniscient, also dealt with flying. Of course, birds and their years became the inspiration for people. The first enthusiasts therefore made bird-like wings and fastened them on their hands. They then jumped from taller buildings, flapping their wings, trying to make a flight. However, they only achieved a fall, which usually ended in tragedy.
In general, tethered balloons were best suited for military purposes. It was a balloon attached to a rope to a winch placed on the ground, and thus remained at a certain height above the ground in one place. They were used exclusively for reconnaissance tasks, or. to control artillery fire. The problem with all tethered balloons was the weather conditions, as their use was limited to no wind or wind with a maximum speed of 7 m / s. As the wind speed rose above this limit, staying in the balloon basket became impossible for constant fluctuations, and the crew rose more often from the bottom of the basket than observed the enemy and his movement.
Balloons were not only used in the form of military equipment, but were also widely used in civilian life.
Transport airships before World War I.
Parseval and Gross-Basenach