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combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become a "flying fortress"

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

Really, IPG-42, aka TB-7, aka Pe-8, the most powerful of the Red Army Air Force bomber, as it was in terms of comparison with peers? And whether it is possible it was to compare?

But to compare, you must first do not really go through the history of aircraft. The story began about the middle of the 30s of the last century, when the head (important) and commanders, and designers formed the face of heavy bomber aircraft of the future war.

In general, the success achieved three countries: USA, Great Britain and the USSR. In the US, this has resulted in the creation of the B-17 "Flying Fortress", the British appeared "Halifax", in us - TB-7.

Then came the continuation, With regards to the Americans and British. Unfortunately, our TB-7 / Pe-8 was released a series of modest, that about any comparison with the British and the Americans even start it is not necessary. 97 aircraft, including two prototypes, - this is very little. 12 731 "Flying Fortress" - is, do you know, quantity. 1 to 131.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

Nevertheless, ANT-42 was, TB-7 turned, and later renamed the Pe-8. This is our story, by the way, and often, which can and should be proud of.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

What is the essence? The bottom line is, that the country, which from the beginning of its existence could only build simple aircraft with imported engines, suddenly swung to such a thing, as the construction of a heavy bomber.

Yes, some conditions and developments there by Sikorsky and Lebedev, perhaps, remained, but it's true ... "Ilya Muromets" and "Svyatogor" remained in the unimaginably distant past, in the Russian Empire, and a way of creating a new country aircraft started by other people in other circumstances.

The only thing, What unites the Russian Empire - the lack of aircraft engines. This problem has ceased to be so until the end of the Great Patriotic War.

Wipe in these conditions, "strategy" of the time ... It was pretty risky. Especially that before, as a general, work began on a prototype of the ANT-42, our heavy bombers looked like ... like TB-1 and TB-3.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» TB-1

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» TB-3

If you look at these planes, putting them next to the TB-7, no progress ..., progressische there. This uniquely planes of different generations. There could well be next and RD, aka ANT-25, from which, after successful flights in America Chkalov and Gromov's crews also wanted to do a long-range bomber. But it did not happen, so that our TB-7 - the only such of its kind.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

Naturally, TB-7 was needed yesterday, because the work was done as always, in stroke rate, under otcheskoe urging the BBC leadership. Even went to 1937 year test, and the generals of the Air Force required to produce five cars 1 May 1938 of the year. As usual, to "the anniversary of ..."

Thank God, Did not work out. And working with a bunch of dodelok and improvements were completed only in 1939 year.

Releasing TB-7 was planned at the Kazan factory №124. It was natural, as the plant was under the patronage of the Tupolev and was equipped with the latest technology. American. A large number of machinery and equipment has been purchased in the United States according to the choice of the Tupolev during his visit.

There were also problems. The main problem I would call not a lack of machinery and equipment, this was the order, currency it did not spare. The main problem was the shortage of personnel. Can, of course, put the blame on repression, but, in my opinion, cleaning of the late 20's - early 30-ies claimed many specialists to nowhere.

the, that Tupolev, Petlyakov and other developed aircraft, it is really half the battle. The plane had to build, and for such a machine it was not easy.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

shining example: TB-7 was, as is known, four-engine plane. But there was a fifth engine, which drives the centrifugal compressor 2-ACN, all supplied with air 4 motor at high altitude. It was a real highlight of the aircraft, ACN-2 allows the aircraft to climb to such a height, where he was not afraid of flak at all. And the fighters of the time to climb to a height 10 000 meters was not an easy task.

When it started to assemble the first aircraft series, suddenly became, ACN-2 that there is no one to build. The result was a rather strange situation: People's Commissariat of the aviation industry is simply not appointed manufacturer for ACN-2. As a result, at the facilities of CIAM (Central Institute of Aviation Motors named Baranova) Was built 6 copies ACN-2, after which the Institute categorically refused to continue to build a supercharger.

And the absence of a supercharger transformed the TB-7 high-rise monster in a rather mediocre bomber with a practical ceiling to standard 7-8 thousand meters. That is a very mediocre performance.

Meanwhile, the high altitude and high speed flight at that altitude and were "chips" TB-7, which was built by the use of aircraft.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

On top, this is a classic of the genre, We started having problems with the supply from engine plant №24 main engines AM 34FRN.

In the second half 1939 the year began as expected personnel leapfrog, due to various reasons. but the fact, the directors at the plant №124 changed systematically and regularly, So, in the range from 1936 by 1941 The General was 4 (four).

How in these conditions, the plant was able to do to release the first two cars - well, it was usual for the time of labor feat. They were fully loaded machine, with ACN-2. There were machine-sets for two more aircraft, and then ... And then it was not even engines AM 34FRN.

The most interesting, that TB-7 were eager to get into the Air Force. Wherein the amounts in decent, at 1940 the Air Force wanted 250 aircraft. The plant is called the real figure of 150, under certain reservations "if" regards engines and ACN.

But the Air Force wanted to adopt the TB-7, quite impossible to say, that the bomber "hammered", everything that happens, rather, from lack of professionalism in the planning Commissariat. Require could be anything, but if the plane did not have motors and blower - even figure, named director Joseph Nezval plant 150 aircraft, turned out to be too optimistic ....

the, what happened, today called the word "Fail". At the beginning 1940 the situation was just breath-taking: for two years, the plant has produced №124 6 (SIX!!!) machines and as many more are in various stages of assembly. unpowered, because the engines ... Well you get the idea.

And of the six produced aircraft, two were not with AM 34FRN pair + ACN-2, and AM-35 engines, that is something, as stated above.

To tell, that all of suit - no. BBC insistently demanded aircraft, Plant demanded motors, history preserved letter, who wrote the test pilots and Markov Stefanovsky to Voroshilov in December 1939 of the year.

Result ... The result was more than strange. At the beginning 1940 NCAP year from the plant №124 received instructions to disassemble the entire equipment for the manufacture of airframe, including the lifting assembly stocks. It's like a final point.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

Furthermore, to somehow upload standing around a huge plant, NCAP provides an indication of the start of construction of the SS-84, Soviet version of "Douglas" DC-3. One side, experience come in handy when copying the Tu-4, which B-29, on the other - a heavy bomber was not.

However, letters and calls have done their job, and it somehow came to Stalin himself.

And so it began ...

strangely, but shootings and landings for some reason was not. To the great chagrin of a certain caste writing.

Guilty appointed Mikhail Kaganovich, head NCAP, elder brother of Lazar Kaganovich. spring 1940 year to the post of People's Commissar of Aviation Industry appoint Alexei Shakhurin, and Kaganovich sent to atone for the sins of the post of director of the plant №124 ...!

Not only that, Kaganovich was charged to bring back TB-7 assembly, so also shall consider the possibility of TB-7 release with other types of engines, time was not AM 34FRN, particularly with aviation diesel M-30.

Engine M-30 was in class at the time the largest aircraft in the world diesel. At the beginning 1940 , the M-30 passed the state tests and was put in a small series of the plant №82, but soon due to some problems with the series was filmed.

However, after the change of leadership of NCAP his works were resumed under the leadership of Deputy People's Commissar of Alexander Yakovlev, and again began production under the new designation M-40.

However, the operation of the M-40 just on the TB-7 shows, that at high altitudes (over 5 000 m) when insufficiently accurate manual adjustment of the quality of the fuel mixture M-40 sometimes glohli. A re-start diesel engine in flight the crew was not always possible. So in spite of the unequivocal achievements, aviation diesel engines in the global aircraft not widely used. Except the Soviet Union did not.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» Pe-8 with aviation diesel M-30

Today there is much talk about the reasons for, which was so. Yes, not we had the technology and production standards at the highest level, because with the implementation of the idea of ​​using a diesel engine in aircraft past goodbye.

Kaganovich in the role of director of the plant began to produce the AM-35 engines instead of AM 34FRN and simultaneously work on the subject of the installation of diesel M-30 and M-40.

Test the TB-7 with engines M-40 has invited George Baydukova. This only emphasizes the, as the Air Force was interested in the TB-7.

State tests in full all the problems of the new engines have not revealed, at least, Baydukova in the reports is not reflected. During the military operation was a lot of unpleasant surprises, but I am far from thinking, Georgy Filippovich Bajdukov something hidden. Not that he was flying bird.

maybe, first diesels M-40 were collected as, not kosyachit, but later it was no longer very. Fact, that "diesel" TB-7 planes at least in theory, and meet the requirements of the Resolution by KO 25. 05. 1940 city, in practice the required finishing all-rotor aircraft.

While it is possible, Kaganovich and that led them to plant a hurry to give the Soviet Air Force nice plane. On War then we spoke at all levels, and certainly someone who, and brother of Lazar Kaganovich was also aware.

But there is one unpleasant moment. Yes, Practice beautiful reports exist already in all its glory and its harmfulness. Testing and debugging especially aircraft engines M-40 and M-40F delayed. Plant №124, in principle, was not to blame, the question was nedovedennosti to mind themselves motors, but the plant's management was aware of the fact, that M-40 is not perfect. However, all 1941 year plant continued to collect the "diesel" TB-7 and transfer them to the BBC.

When it's time to fight, here and found out a lot of sad moments.

As a result, Mikhail Kaganovich was shot in his office 1 July 1941 of the year. Without waiting, while the party and the people will be asked for explicit flaws it as Commissar and Director.

In VVS were available TB-7 with diesel M-30 and M-40 and the conventional motors 34FRN AM and AM-35 with ACN-2. They all went to the 14 th TBAP ended 18th AD.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

22 June 1941 the year the war began. At the beginning of the heavy bomber crews have completed the training and were ready to start performance of combat training plans.

At the airport in Borispol, which in the early days of the war was subjected to raids by German aircraft, two cars were destroyed and several were injured. balances 14 TBAP were transferred to Kazan, where the formation of the new regiment on airplanes TB-7.

29 June 1941 , the formation of the long-range aviation division as a part of 412 TBAP TB-7 and 420 TBAP Air-2.

For doukomplektatsyy 412 TBAP his commander, Colonel Lebedev, I tossed all over Ukraine, collecting aircraft. In Poltava found 8 machines, yet 6 We gathered at the airfield near Kiev and Kharkov. Generally, it could be worse with the organization and the chaos of the first few months of the war. Besides, Lebedev took the aircraft from the Air Force Institute LII, several cars were in Kazan at the assembly stage.

Generally, the regiment was equipped with a very mixed bunch. But the composition was selected from among polar aviation pilots and the civilian fleet, with huge bloom in difficult conditions.

Soon changed regiments numbering. Polk TB-7 became 432 APDD.

By early August, have been completed and training of crews hauling aircraft, and, properly, TB-7 began combat work. The first target was a combat, Unfortunately, Berlin. The first raid on Berlin took place 10 August 1941 and ended in complete failure.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

Of 10 had gone to Berlin machines (7 - TB-7 and 3 Things 2) reached the target and bombed only six. In Pushkin returned only two cars. 6 Aircraft made forced landing due to engine failure or the M-40 from damage flak. One was shot down by his fighter, the fate of one of the aircraft is not known so far.

After this departure Division Commander Hero of the Soviet Union Mikhail Vodopianov was dismissed division commander, and his place was appointed Colonel Golovanov. After the dismissal of the brigade commander Vodopianov continued to serve a simple commander of the crew of TB-7.

Remaining in line TB-7 after a while brought in 746 ARTICLE. After Tallinn losses and bases on the islands of the Baltic Sea, raids on Berlin stopped. ADD aircraft continued to fly combat missions on the distal and proximal goals. And as we approach the enemy to Moscow and Leningrad heavy bombers were taken to the airport of the city of Kovrov Vladimir region from which the TB-7 flew combat missions in the autumn-winter 1941-1942 years.

An interesting nuance: diesels are more on the TB-7 is not installed, for obvious reasons, but the aircraft with the M-40 is still operated. But to write off the M-40 or a change in the AM-35 no hurry, because "Diesel" aircraft had greater range, than the "petrol", and reserved the right to work in a highly remote targets.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

In addition to work on the distant targets, TB-7 struck at targets in German-occupied Soviet territory. The tactic was a: raids were made by single crew, using TB-7 high-rise characteristics. It allows to select the target at high altitude unnoticed and cause hefty blows on targets.

TB-7 could take up 30 FAB-100, i.e, as 5 Pe-2 bomber. The only question was exactly.

Flights are mostly done at night, but at the critical moments, such as, autumn offensive on Moscow, TB-7 went into combat missions for tactical purposes and in the daytime. Of course, two TB-7, led Vodopyanov, striking out on mechanized units of the Wehrmacht did not go to any comparison with 1047 British and American bombers over Cologne or 1520 over Hamburg.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» Group Pe-8 in flight

In February 1942 year in a plane crash killed in. M. Petlyakov. After his death, the government decides to assign to the new system of notation TB-7 designation Pe-8.

Combat work compounds ranged compounds bomber, including the crews of TB-7, during the autumn-winter 1941-1942 s demonstrated efficiency and (important) the need for long-range aircraft.

5 Martha 1942 by the decision of the GKO, it was decided to create a separate kind of troops - AFLRO (ADD). Henceforth, the compound isolated from the distant bomber of Air Force and directly submitted to General Headquarters.

In spring 1942 of the year, at the time of formation of ADD, Pe-8 role in this new kind of troops was extremely hardly noticeable. All that were in service at the time of Pe-8 were reduced in the 746 th BAP as part of the 45th Air Division ADD. The regiment had 11 Pe-8, of which all were serviceable 8 units.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

But even with so many pilots Pe-8 tried to make a contribution to the victory.

It is worth noting the creation specifically for the Pe-8, the largest at the time of the Soviet bomb FAB-5000.

FAB-5000 Vesi 5080 kg, I had a diameter 1000 mm and a length, corresponding to the length bombootseka Pe-8. By breaking a bomb on the ground formed crater 18-24 m and depth 6-9 m. Large railway bridge could be destroyed by a bomb, even if a bomb exploded in 10-15 m away.

Prior to that, the largest bomb, which raises the Pe-8, was a bomb FAB-2000.

Along its length in the bomb bay Pe-8 was placed, but her meter diameter led to, that it is much favored fuselage and not allowed to close completely bomb bay leaf.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

by the way, across 15 years is a division under the leadership of Tupolev and. F. Nezval, "Zapihnuvshee" FAB-5000 Pe-8, receive job placement thermonuclear bomb «202» power 100 megaton bomb bay in the Tu-95.

29 April 1943 year from the Pe-8 was dropped bombs FAB-5000 Kenigsberg. Further, it was a successful bombing at a concentration of German troops in the area of ​​Mogilev, 4 June, 5000 by means of FAB-plowed railroad tracks near Eagle, complicating the transfer of German troops in the Kursk Bulge area.

by the way, not after the FAB-5000 drop in Helsinki 1944 the Finns are seriously thinking about, that they can expect next?

Total until the spring 1944 until the German troops had been dropped 13 FAB-5000.

Worth noting and peace missions Pe-8, the benefits of which were not less than, than from combat, and can, even greater.

It Pe-8 carried in England, crews of ferry pilots, which was distilled planes in the USSR. And drove successfully.

We wrote already about a crazy flight, when the plane Pe-8 in May 1942 , Molotov flew to the US.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» Pe-8 in the UK

commander of the ship was Pusep, former copilot Vodopiyanov, copilot - Butts, navigator - Romanov, Engineer - Zolotarev. The plane went through the front line over occupied Europe and sat on one of the airports in the North of Scotland. Scotland Pe-8 flew to Reykjavik in Iceland, then, passing Newfoundland, I headed for Washington where landed safely.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress» Pe-8 at the airport in US

Molotov flew back the same route. Spetspereleta for the success of both the pilot and navigator were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and the rest of the crew were awarded military orders.

This flight strongly raised the spirit of that Tupolev, The plant №124. It was really a convincing demonstration of the possibilities as the Pe-8, and new engines AM-35A.

1944 year was the last year of combat use of the Pe-8.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

The main reason was not even obsolescence of machinery and equipment physical fatigue. The Red Army approached the borders of the Third Reich, naturally, ADD relocated behind the advancing troops, Consequently, aircraft could continue to penetrate the German space to bomb.

But then the pilot would have had to deal with the powerful German air defense, equipped with radar on the ground and night fighters with radar. Plus anti-aircraft batteries to fire on the same radar.

Given the negligible quantity remaining in the line Pe-8, Command concluded, that with such experience pilots need to keep, and tasks, who decided crews Pe-8, it is able to perform ordinary pilots bomber regiments, flying day. Day of superiority in the sky was over Soviet aircraft.

Military career Pe-8 ended in 1946 year, soon their regiments began to replace the Tu-4. A large part of Pe-8 and disposed deducted.

After the war, surviving several machines used in the polar aviation and as a flying laboratory for developing new engines and advanced aircraft and missile systems.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

The characteristics of Pe-8:

Wingspan, m: 39,10
Length, m: 23,59
Height, m: 6,20
wing area, m2: 188,68

Weight, kg
- empty aircraft: 19 986
- normal take-off: 27 000
- maximum take-off: 35 000

Engine: 4 h AM-35A h 1350 HP.

full speed, kmh
- the land: 347
- on high: 443

practical range, km: 3600
Skoropodъemnost, m / min: 352
Service ceiling, m: 9 300
Crew, people: 11

- two 20-mm cannon ShVAK,
- two 12.7-mm machine gun UBT,
- two 7.62-mm machine gun ShKAS,
- bomb load: fine 2000 kg, maximum - 4000 kg bombs.

Whether it is necessary to compare the Pe-8 with imported counterparts? we compare. At the appropriate time in the series, «Weapon WWII». Of course, as I already said, the construction of such an aircraft would now be equated to the nuclear-powered cruiser or aircraft carrier.

the, that we were able to develop, in no way lagging behind the Americans and British a plane, already a feat in itself. the, that these aircraft passed through the war, says, that feat was not in vain.

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

combat aircraft: Pe-8, do not become «flying fortress»

the, that we were not able to build thousands of Pe-8, the British and the Americans ... Well, Unlike them, we had to build it. We needed tanks, gun, trucks, fighters, rifles and machine guns.

Of course, to build a bunch of heavy bombers, It is thousands of miles from the front line, not so difficult. And we will build, that I am sure.

Yes, immediately after the war who gets adopted Tu-4 is nothing but, as a B-29, which is simply copied. But then something went and still go only our achievements. So that, starting with the "Ilya Muromets", by Pe-8 and to the Tu-160 is quite a normal development of long-range aircraft.

/Roman Skomorokhov,

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