Tandem MAI

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VTOL | Rank 5 USSR
Yak-38 Pack
Tandem MAI
General characteristics
2 peopleCrew
3.20 tTake-off weight
1.16 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
8000 mCeiling
Tumansky M-87Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
650 km/hStructural
310 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gunWeapon 1
2400 roundsAmmunition
1800 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
7.62 mm ShKAS machine gunTurret
700 roundsAmmunition
1800 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
2 x 50 kg FAB-50sv (forged) bombSetup 1
2 x 100 kg FAB-100sv (forged) bombSetup 2
Sl icon.png1600/2900/580Repair
1400 Sl icon.pngCrew training
9000 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
106 × 2 Talisman.png % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
110 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png80 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png20 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png


GarageImage Tandem MAI.jpg

The Tandem MAI is a Rank I gift Russian attacker with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/RB/SB). This aircraft was introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm" during the 2018 World War Two Chronicles.

General info

Flight Performance

Tandem MAI is a attacker role aircraft at 2.0. It is a tricky plane to learn at first, it got a speed to match most enemy fighters that it will face at the 1.0-3.0 battle rating range, but the maneuverability of the aircraft makes it not a great dog-fighter. It can make small short turn to the side a few degrees but after a while it will have lost a lot of its speed, become heavy and turning will be a slightly harder task to do which ruins its decent maneuverability fast. The climbing of the Tandem MAI it is not the greatest but since it is given an attacker spawn so much climbing is not needed to be done for it. It can dive excellent and get out of the dives easily.

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,250 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
468 453 8000 23.2 24.3 8.0 8.0 500
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,250 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
510 488 8000 20.8 22.0 13.9 10.6 500


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
650 310  ??? ~?? ~?
Optimal velocities
< ??? < ??? < ??? > ???
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
 ?,??? m  ??? hp  ?,??? hp

Survivability and armour

Tandem MAI got a 8.5 mm steel plate on the backrest for the pilot and not anywhere else on the aircraft. This exposes the engine to be pron to get shot out by enemy fire from the ground and air. It also leaves a lot of the internal structure exposed to damage but even with lacking armour plates and general armour the Tandem MAI can take a heavy beating and still be fine to fly around with. One draw back with the Tandem's armour and survivability is the gunner is exposed to enemy fire from any angle. The gunner cupola and the area of plane where the gunner is placed not having any sort of protection makes the gunner survivability low.


Offensive armament

Main article: ShKAS (7.62 mm)

Tandem MAI is carrying four 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns comparable to the I-16 and the I-153 in terms of firepower. The ShKAS high rate of fire and there being four of them will make quick work of any enemy planes it will face.

The Tandem MAI offensive armament gets to pick from 4 belts of choosing: Default, Universal, Tracers and Stealth belt, all which performs effective against enemy aircraft.

Recommended use is Tracer or Universal belt for higher chance of setting the enemies on fire which is specially effective against bomber targets.

Stealth Belt is also a great recommendation a well planned surprise attack will tear the enemy plane into shreds which will also take those who are not paying attention to surroundings by surprise.

Suspended armament

{{main|FAB-50 (50 kg)|FAB-100 (100 kg)

The Tandem MAI can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 2 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (100 kg total)
  • 2 x 100 kg FAB-100 bombs (200 kg total)

Defensive armament

Main article: ShKAS (7.62 mm)

Defensive armament on the Tandem MAI is a single ShKAS (7.62 mm) gun that is in a cupola on the furthest back on the plane with a exposed gunner which makes it important to have a relative good gunner crew for it with preferably high vitality, fire accuracy and fire precision. The ShKAS defensive turret get three sets of belt to pick from Default, Armored Targets and Universal belt. It is recommended to use the Universal belt to easily down enemy planes.

Usage in battles

Tandem MAI is an excellent intercepter aircraft with an air spawn it can intercept most enemy fighters before they achieve the altitude to be out of its reach. Four 7.62mm ShKAS to overpower the enemy slower rate of fire machine guns with its own high rate of fire makes it an excellent head on vehicle but comes with the high risk of getting its engine get shot out or damaged that will force you to return for a repair.

Missing an enemy and let it come from behind would worry any fighter/attacker/bomber mostly those with small arc of the defensive guns or no guns at all. But not for the ShKAS on the Tandem MAI. It can attack enemies from most angles except where the twin stabilizers are and directly below. But it got a great arc of fire to ward of any possible attack from the rear.

Ground attacking is not out of the picture for it but with a low capacity of bombs and small bombs makes it not the most efficient attacker role but it can be done and will need to be able to land the bombs as close as possible to the targets. If not it got four excellent ShKAS to take out light targets for example Howitzers, AAA guns, Armored Cars and Trucks.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not controllable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator
II Compressor Airframe
III Wings Repair Engine
IV Engine Injection Cover

Pros and cons


  • Good manoeuvrability and decent speed over 250km/h
  • Has a tail gunner to ward off enemy aircraft
  • 4 x ShKAS machine guns can shred enemy aircraft of similar rank


  • The twin vertical stabilizers are two blind spots in rear gunner's field of fire
  • Bleeds decent amount of speed trying to maneuver


The Tandem MAI, also known as the MAI Sh-Tandem of Sh-MAI, was an experimental ground attack aircraft designed during the late-1930s by Pyotr Dmitrievich Grushin (1906-1993) at the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI). An alternative way of thinking in the development of the Schturmovik or ground attack/light bomber plane, the Tandem MAI featured an unusual front- and back-wing configuration, with the stabilisors being nearly as large as the wings themselves, and providing 45% of the lift. This had the advantage of creating an aircraft with a center of gravity which was further aft than with conventional aircraft, allowing ordonnance to be installed in the main fuselage. The aircraft unusually also had elevons: both the front- and rear wing were equipped with combined aileron/elevators.

Due to the unusual placement of the vertical stabilisers in a crucifix configuration on the horizontal stabilisers, this left the rear fuselage free for the installation of a turret. This in turn gave the added benefit of a single gunner being capable of defending a very wide area around the aircraft's rear gunner, rather than the conventional design of a single rear gunner whose field of fire was partly blocked by the aircraft's fuselage.

Three prototypes of the Tandem MAI were built between 1937 and 1939, with the aircraft being flight-tested by Pyotr Mikhailovich Stefanovsky (1903-1976). It built from a conventional, light wooden monocoque frame with plywood/bakelite covering: this allowed for a quick construction, with the first prototype being built by an 18-man team in just 45 days. The aircraft was supposed to be powered by the 1,100 hp Tumansky M-88 air-cooled radial engine, but due to its unavailability the prototypes were powered by the 950 hp Tumansky M-87A.

The first prototype was built as a single-seat unarmed concept tester, which showed the viability of the design. This prototype passed its preliminary flight tests by January 8th 1939. Subsequently the aircraft was developped into its definitive two-seater form, with a cockpit which was set slightly more rearwards, and the tail gun turret installed. This second prototype was finished by late summer of 1939, with state tests held in September and October of 1939. The state tests concluded on October 10th, after 51 flights had been made. The results were disappointing: it was noted that the changed configuration over the single-seater greatly impacted on the type's performance. The aircraft had longitudinal stability issues and poor rudder response; it had poor take-off performance; the cockpit was found to be cramped; and the tail turret design imposed a severe speed penalty on the design. The test report suggested changing the tail turret to a tapered conical design. Most seriously, the front wing and landing gear were found to be insufficiently strong.

A third prototype was built with a number of improvements, such as a different installation of a structurally strengthened front wing to improve take-off performance. However, by this time interest in the Tandem MAI had waned, especially given its armament of four fixed and one trainable ShKAS machine guns and 200 kg of ordonnance was seen as insufficient for future attack aircraft. Accordingly, all further development of the MAI Tandem was halted.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

USSR attackers
Su  BB-1 · Su-2 MV-5 · Su-2 TSS-1 · Su-2 (M-82) · Su-6 · Su-6 (AM-42) · Su-6 (M-71F)
IL-2  IL-2 (1941) · IL-2 (1942) · IL-2M (1943) · IL-2M type 3 · IL-2M "Avenger" · IL-2-37 · IL-2 M-82
IL-10  IL-10 · IL-10 (1946)
Yak  Yak-2 KABB
  Tandem MAI