Bor-5 was sub-orbital Space Plane that was one of the steps in developing the
Buran Space Plane. Bor-5 was used to test the aerodynamics of the Buran. It was made on a 1:8 scale to the original size
of the Buran and had an on board control systems. By testing the Bor-5, it was
then possible to determine the trajectory and other necessary parameters of the system control.
The model was launched by Kosmos (SL-8) to the altitude of 210 kilometres. It then glided to a complete landing with a speed ranging from 1,800 to 2,000 km per hour. This test proved the design of the high temperature resistant forebody for the fuselage and wings. It had to withstand a gas flow temperature up to a 16,000 K.
The flying sub-orbital model was launched from the Kapustin Yar range and landed near Balkhash lake using a parachute landing system. There were three launches done. This presentational model was the only one to pass the testing flights most successfully. Specifications needed for aerodynamic characteristics were obtained. This allowed to solve successfully the task of precise calculation for the flight trajectory and specify the effectiveness of aerodynamic control systems and clarify requirements for light drive and rocket control system. This is why, when November 15, 1989 "Buran" was launched, there was a high confidence in the successful completion of this automatically controlled flight and the landing of this model.
Actually, when "Buran" got a breaking command at 22,000 kilometres distance from the point of landing being 8,000 kilometres up in the dense atmospheric layers, it had landed just within several meters from the designated point at the Baikonur airdrome. One of the pilots who witnessed "Buran's" landing said: "It had landed so smoothly, literally rubbing a run way. We, pilots, would not of done it any better, and now we would be ashamed to do it any worth."
Speed range less then 2,000 kilometres per hour can be determined inside pipes very accurately. As for the lowering and landing conditions they were tested on the "Buran" model equipped with four turbot jet engines, which allowed this model to take off and reach a certain altitudes and then land with turned off engines using an auto pilot system. The test flights were conducted by pilots which allowed to carry out a research for the automatic landing system, algorithms and automatic control program. This completely unique presentational model "Bor-5" had successfully completed a hypersonic flight with the maximal M=20 number despite very hard outer temperature conditions and high speed pressure, which reached 15,000 km/m2. Latter parameters for contemporary fighters are significantly lower.
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Updated: Thursday 15th, August, 2013