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Soviet Union's Tupolev SB-2, ANT-40 bomber

Photos

  • Toupolev SB-3 bomber
  • Toupolev SB-3 bomber
  • Toupolev SB-RK dive bomber
  • Toupolev SB-RK dive bomber
  • Toupolev SB-2 bomber

Design

Andrei Tupolev / A. N. Tupolev / Andrei N. Tuplev was the designer of the Tupolev SB-2 bomber (skorostnoi bombardirovshcik).

The specifications for the design called for a fast bomber that could perform at least 50% better than other bombers.

Construction

The skin of the SB-2 was of a stressed skin, all-metal construction.

Prototype

The ANT-40 prototype flew on April 25, 1934 / October 7, 1934 / October 1934 for the first time. The second prototype first flew on December 30, 1934. The second and third prototypes flew in October 1934.

The first prototype used two M.25 engines (copies of American Wright Cyclone). The second prototype had two M.100s (license built Hispano-Suiza).

The first SB-2bis flew in October 1936.

Production

Deliveries of the SB-2 began in early 1936.

Production continued until 1942. Production of the SB-2bis went until late 1940.

  • ANT-40 prototype: 2
  • Soviet Total: 6,500, 6,656, 6,600, 6,967
    • Manufacturer: State Industries
    • Production: ? - 1941
  • Czechoslovakia Total B 71: 111
    • Produced by Avia-Kasuta

Variants

  • Tupolev ANT-40: Prototype. Had Wright Cyclone engines.
  • Prototype #2 and #3: Had Hispano-Suiza 12Y V 12 engines.
  • Tupolev SB-2: Had two VK-100 (copy of Hispano-Suiza 12Y) inline engines (750 HP).
  • Tupolev SB-2bis: Had two M-100A engines (1,100 HP). Engine nacelles were redesigned. Additional fuel was carried.
  • Tupolev PS-40: Civilian transport.
  • Tupolev PS-41: Civilian transport.
  • Tupolev SB-3: Crew trainer. Medium bomber.
  • Tupolev ANT-41: Dive bomber.
  • Tupolev SB-RK, Arkhangelskii Ar-2: Dive bomber. Had two M-105R supercharged engines.
  • Tupolev ANT-46: Cannon fighter.
  • Tupolev B 71: Czechoslovakian built.

Usage

The SB-2 was used by Bulgaria, China (~200), Czechoslovakia (53), Finland, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Spain (~200 / 210).

The SB-2 entered service in early 1936 / February 1936. The SB-2bis entered service in 1939.

From 1944-1945 the SB-2s were used as night fighters.

Payload to Height Record

In 1937 the SB-2 set a payload to height record of 2,205 lb / 1,000 kg to 40,177' / 12,246 m.

Spanish Civil War

The SB-2s were successful in the Spanish Civil War as they could typically out fly the Nationalist fighters. The Republican forces nicknamed them "Katyusha."

Chinese Air Force

The Chinese used SB-2s against the Japanese during 1938 - 1939. Most were lost during the second Sino-Japanese conflict.

Winter War Against Finland

From 1939-1940 SB-2s were used against Finland during the Winter War. The harsh weather conditions caused many breakdowns of the liquid cooled engeines.

Great Patriotic War

By the time Germany invaded in June 1941 the SB-2 was obsolete but it was still used as a night bomber.

Secondary Role

Starting in 1943 most were used as trainers or target tugs.

Specifications

  ANT-40
Engines 2: M-100 (Hispano-Suiza 12Ybr)
HP 830 each
Propeller Blades 2 fixed pitch
Performance  
Speed 202 mph
325 kph
  Tupolev SB-2
Type Bomber, Medium bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: M-100
2: M-100A
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 750 each, 830 each
Propeller Blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 66' 8", 66' 8.5"
20.33 m
Length 40' 3", 40' 3.25"
12.27 m
Height 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 559.2 sq ft
51.95 sq m
Weight  
Loaded 12,636 lb, 12,637 lb
5,732 kg
Performance  
Speed at 13,120' 263 mph
Speed at 13,125' / 4,000 m 255 mph
410 kph
Service ceiling 27,885', 31,200'
8,500 m
Range 745 miles, 746 miles
1,200 km
Armament 4: MG
Nose 2: 7.62 mm MG
Turret - Dorsal 1: 7.62 mm MG
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Turret - Nose 2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Ventral position 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Bombs 1,320 lb, 1,323 lb, 2,205 lb
600 kg, 1,000 kg
  Tupolev SB-2bis
Type Light bomber, Medium bomber
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: M-100A
2: M-103
Cylinders Inline, V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 960 each, 1,100 each
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 blade VISh-22
Dimensions  
Span 66' 8.5"
20.33 m
Length 40' 3.25"
12.27 m
Height 10' 8"
3.25 m
Wing area 559.2 ft2
51.95 m2
Weight  
Empty 8,818 lb, 10,511 lb
4,000 kg, 4,768 kg
Loaded 17,196 lb, 17,372 lb
7,800 kg, 7,880 kg
Performance  
Speed 280 mph
450 kph
Speed @ 14,765' /
4,500 m
280 mph
450 kph
Climb 1,310'/minute
400 m/minute
Service ceiling 25,590', 34,120'
7,800 m, 10,400 m
Range 752 miles
1,210 km
Range with bomb load 745 miles
1,200 km
Maximum range 1,429 miles
2,300 km
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.62 mm MG
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Dorsal turret 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Ventral position 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Bombs 1,323 lb
6: 222 lb
600 kg
6: 100 kg
  Toupolev SB-3, Tupolev SB-3
Type Medium bomber, Trainer
Engine (Type) 2: M-100
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,100 each
Dimensions  
Span 70' 6"
Length 40'
Performance  
Speed 280 mph
  Toupolev SB-RK
Type Dive bomber
Engine (Type) 2: M-100
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,100 each
Dimensions  
Span 70' 6"
Length 40'

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site