WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types

flag Grigorovitch Planes

From design bureau to manufacturer

Dimitri Pavlovitch Grigorovitch Born in 1883 Dimitri Pavlovitch Grigorovitch was one of the most prominent and prestigious aeronautical engineer in pre-revolutionary Russia. He studied in the reputed Kiev polytechnic institute, became engineer in 1910, and became a journalist specialized in aeroplanes, then organised the installation of Chtcherbakov and Chtchtetinine at Petrograd in 1913, the first two production complexes dedicated to aircrafts in Russia. He started creating his first seaplane in 1913 and designed several models right before the war, showcased to the Imperial Army. He would built his first official order flying boat in 1916, a fighter seaplane for the Navy...

The manufacturer was Shchetinin (Щетинин) or Pervoye Rossiyskoye Tovarishchestvo Vozdukhoplavaniya S. S. Shchetinin i Kowas no less than the first Russian aviation company founded in St. Petersburg in 1910 by the famous pilot S.S. Shchetinin and lead designer Dmitry Pavlovich Grigorovich. It focused on flying boats initially were modeled after the American aircraft Curtiss Model K. All models comprised the prefix "M" for "Marine". production models were the M-5, M-9, M-11/M-12, M-15, M-16 and M-24/M-24bis which were so prolific they served through the Russian civil war and the 1920s, with the new Soviet Air Force and Navy as well as the Finnish air force.


  • Grigorovitch M1
  • Grigorovitch M2
  • Grigorovitch M3
  • Grigorovitch M4
  • Grigorovitch M5 (1915) 100+ built
  • Grigorovitch M6
  • Grigorovitch M7
  • Grigorovitch M8
  • Grigorovitch M9 (1916) 500+ built
  • Grigorovitch M20 10? built

Early prototypes: Grigorovitch M1-M4 (1913-1914)

A single-engine flying boat essentially similar to the French Donnet-Lévêcque (1912), a two-seater side by side of mixed construction, powered by a Gnome engine. Floats were fitted at the end of the lower wing and there were attachment points for a towing dolly to pull it out of the water when needed. The nose was shortened by about one meter, the Farman type wing profile altered, and the hull step reduced from 200mm to 80mm. fter it first flew in the autumn of 1913 and passed some tests, it was not retained for production, but future derivatives will. 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in) x 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in) (wingspan), empty weight 420 kg (926 lb). M2, M3 and M4 were variants of this first model.

Grigorovitch M5 (1915)

Grigorovitch M5

Also called Shchetinin M-5 since it was built in the very complex Grigorovitch helped to create, this design which first flew in the spring of 1915 was the first successful two-bay unequal-span biplane flying boat using the single step hull of Grigorovich and also first mass production flying boat in Russia. It came from gradually improved prototypes from the M-1 to M-4 the design, at least 100 were produced to replace foreign imported aircraft like Curtiss Model K/FBA series. Of wooden construction, the hull was covered in plywood, the wings and tail covered in fabric. The stepped the hull tapered into little a boom supporting a single fin and rudder tail unit braced by means of struts and wires. It was propelled by a single pusher mid-wing 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape engine. Later production models will use the 110 hp Le Rhône and 130 hp Clerget engines and the pilot and observer were seated side-by-side. The observer manned a single 7.62 mm Vickers machine gun on a pivot mount for defence.

In operation, the Grigorovitch M5 served with the Navy in the Black Sea or Baltic due to weather conditions, and were integrated into the brand new Imperial Russian naval air arm. Surviving lanes would make they way into the civil war flown by both camps, "Reds" and "Whites" some retained as trainer well into the late 1920s, also being still used for reconnaissance. One served with the Finns, captured at Kuokkala in 1918 and it flew until 1919. The Istanbul Aviation Museum now houses the only survivor, shown with Turkish Ottoman Air Force markings.
Post stamp of a Grigorovitch M5
Post stamp of a Grigorovitch M5 In addition to the M-6, an unsuccessful prototype variant fitted with 150 hp Sunbeam engine, the M-7 was tested with a rounded hull and larger keel but was dropped because of poor take off characteristics. The M-8 had an even further rounded hull but was even worse for take-off and never produced. The M-10 was another prototype, a smaller version powered by a Gnome Monosoupape engine in 1916. The M-20 finally was two-seat reconnaissance version powered by a Le Rhone 89 kW (120 hp) engine, which saw a small production in 1916. The Grigorovitch M5 also served with the postwar Soviet SFSR or red Army and Soviet Naval Aviation.


Dimensions: 8.6 x 13.62m (28 ft 3 in x 44 ft 8 in), wing area 37.9 m2 (408 sq ft)
Weight: 660 kg (1,455 lb) empty, 960 kg (2,116 lb) loaded at take-off
Engine: Gnome Monosoupape 9 Type B-2 9-cylinders, air-cooled rotary pistons, 75 kW (101 hp)
Performances: 105 km/h (65 mph; 57 kn), 4 hours endurance, 3,300 m (10,800 ft) ceiling, climb rate 1.85 m/s (364 ft/min)

Grigorovitch M9 (1916)

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 111 kW (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 defense and flew actively until 1922 with the Finnish Air Force.


9.00 x 16.00 m (29 ft 6 in x 52 ft 6 in), wing area: 54.8 m² (589.6 ft²)
Weight: 1060kg (lb) empty, 1540kg (lb) loaded up to 1,610 kg (3,542 lb)
Engine: Salmson 9 pusher radial engine, 111 kW (150 hp)
Performances: 110 km/h (59 knots, 68 mph) top speed, 3,000 m (9,840 ft) ceiling, 3.5 hours endurance
Armament: See notes. MG, Darts or bombs.


Herbert Leonard Russian and Soviet fighters 1915-1950
Grigorovich M-5 Grigorovich design bureau The Osprey Encyclopedia Of Russian Aircraft 1875-1995