|Profiling The Weird and Wonderful
Aircraft of 1930s Soviet Aviation
The Stal'-6 (meaning 'steel' -6) was of highly mixed and exotic metal construction (not surprisingly, given the name). The internal structure was of chrome-molybdenum steel tube framing, whilst the main portion of the fuselage (aft) was skinned with AltMag (aluminum/magnesium) alloy sheet. The cowl was skinned variously, with very thin magnesium alloy skinning on the under surfaces, Electron alloy skinning on the uppers, and burnished steel covers for the cylinder heads. The wings and fillets were skinned in thin stainless steel sheet. The vertical stabilizer was skinned in birch ply laminate. Unusually for a Soviet aircraft, the Stal'-6 appears to have completed the majority of its testing and evaluations in an unfinished condition, with only a coat of 17A clear sealant to cover the structure.
The Stal'-6 at the NII VVS for evaluation. Note the original semi-enclosed canopy, and the glossy unpainted surfaces.
The aircraft as tested at the NII VVS. Gear is shown in the extended position.
Front view of the Stal'-6 showing the single gear and skid arrangement. Note the binocular view ports.
Stal'-6 as shown later by VB Shavrov. A hinged, fully-enclosed canopy was added, and the aircraft appears to have been painted uniformly over-all.
The lacquer shown here is AEh-9, which seems a likely choice. The landing gear is shown retracted.