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Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber

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Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber:
Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber:
Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber:
Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber

Design

The design team headed by Vladimir Petlyakov at the Tupolev design bureau developed the Petlyakov Pe-8.1,2 It originally was designated the ANT-42.1 Design work started in 1934.2 The specifications given the design team was for a long range bomber that could fly at top speed at 26,000'.2 This was difficult as there were no engines at the time to provide sufficient power.2

After Petlyakov's death in 1942, I. F. Nyezval took over the work on the Pe-8.2

Construction

The Pe-8 was made from all metal components.2

Engines

The engines were to be four engines mounted in the wings that were boosted by a supercharger engine that was mounted in the fuselage.1,2 These were only in the prototypes as the production aircraft had just the four wing mounted engines.1

The AM-35 engine that was initially used in the production aircraft was found to be disappointing.1 The M-30B was a diesel engine that resulted in longer range.1,2 The ASh-82 engine came next as the M-30B was a failure.1 Around 48 of the Pe-8s were fitted with the ASh-82 after production ended in October 1941.1

In the end, the Pe-8 always had engine difficulties and was never extensively deployed on missions.2

Prototype

The TB-7 prototype had an engine in the fuselage that powered superchargers that were fed to the engines.2 The performance was good and at 26,000' it was faster than Messerschmitt Bf.109 and Heinkel He.112.2 However, in the production version only four engines were installed.2

The Pe-8 prototype first flew on December 27, 1936.1,2 The second prototype flew in July 1938.1

Production

The Pe-8 was initially designated the TB-7 and was ordered into production in 1939.1,3 Production ended in October 1941.1

  • Prototypes: 21
  • Petlyakov Pe-8: 791
    • Deliveries began in May 1940.1
  • Total: 811
    • Manufacturer: State Industries2
    • Production: 1939 - 19442

Variants

  • Petlyakov TB-7 / Petlyakov ANT-42: Prototype.2 Had Mikulin M-105 engines (1,100 HP).1,2
  • Petlyakov Pe-8: Named changed from TB-7 in 1940.1

Usage

In conjunction with the Ilyushin Il-4, the Pe-8 was used for close support bombing.1

The Pe-8 became operational in 1940.2

Big Bombs

Starting in 1943 the Pe-8 was equipped with a 11,023 lb / 5,000 kg bomb for special, short ranged, missions.1

Berlin

The Pe-8 bombed Berlin in August 1941.1,2

Special Assignment

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov used a Pe-8 to fly him to Britain and the United States in 1942.1,3 The trip was around 11,000 miles as it went to Scotland, Iceland, Canada, and then the United States.2

Specifications

  Petlyakov Pe-8
Type Bomber2,3, Heavy bomber1
Crew 9 - 111, 112
Engine (Type) 4: Mikulin AM.35A2
4: Mikulin AM-35A1
4: Charomski M-30B diesel1 4: Shvetsov Ash-82FN1
Cylinders V 121,2 V 121 Radial 141
Cooling Liquid2    
HP 1,350 each1,2 1,475 each1 1,700 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1 3 each1 3 each1
Fuel capacity      
Dimensions  
Span 131'2, 131' 0.5"1
39.94 m1
Length 73' 8"2, 73' 8.75"1
22.47 m1
Height 20'1,2
6.09 m1
Wing area      
Weight  
Empty 40,609 lb1
18,420 kg1
Loaded 63,052 - 79,366 lb1, 73,469 lb2
28,600 - 36,000 kg1
Performance  
Speed 276 mph1, 280 mph3
444 kph1
272 mph1
438 kph1
280 mph1
450 kph1
Speed @ 24,930' 272 mph2    
Cruising speed      
Climb      
Service ceiling 22,965'1, 31,990'2
7,000 m1
  29,035'1
8,850 m1
Range 2,500 miles3, 3,383 miles2    
Range with maximum bomb load 2,320 miles1
3,735 km1
3,000 miles1
4,828 km1
2,920 miles1
4,700 km1
Armament 4: MG2
2: 20 mm2
Nose turret 2: 7.62 mm MG1
Dorsal turret 1: 20 mm1
Tail turret 1: 20 mm1
Inner rear nacelle 2: 12.7 mm MG1
Bombs 8,000 lb3, 8,818 lb1,2
4,000 kg1

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
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