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Soviet Union's Tupolev Tu-2 bomber

Photos

  • Tupolev Tu-2 bomber
  • Tupolev Tu-2 bomber
    American and Soviet crews posing after a shuttle bombing mission on August 7, 1944.
    ©IWM FRE-550.

Design

Andrei N. Tupolev designed the Tupolev Tu-2 (originally designated the ANT-583) from his prison cell at the Butyrkii prison.1 He was ordered to make an aircraft better than the German Ju 88.1,5 The aircraft was also supposed to be the successor to the Petlyakov Pe-2.3 His design was approved on March 1, 1940.1

Eventually Tupolev was released from prison and awarded the Stalin prize.1

Construction

The Tupolev Tu-2 was made of metal components.4

Cockpit

The cockpit had a bullet proof windscreen.1

There was a radio mast mounted to the left side.1 The wires went from the mast to the port tail fin and down the left side of the nose.1

Landing Gear

The landing gear retracted rearward.1

Wing

The wing had low drag as it had flush riveting.1

The tips of the Tu-2's wing were removable.1

Tail Wheel

The Tupolev Tu-2 had a retractable tail wheel.1

Tail

The Tu-2s tail was fabric covered.1 It had an eight degree dihedral.1

Prototype

The ANT-58 (Tu-2 prototype) first flew in October 1940 / January 29, 19415.2 The pilot was M. P. Vasyakin.5

The Tu-2 prototype first flew on January 29, 1941.1,3

The Tu-2S first flew on August 26, 1943.5

Production

  • Total: 1,1115, 2,5271,2
    • Manufacturer: State Industries4
    • Production: ? - 19481,2, 1942 - 19484
      • 1941 - 1945: 1,1002,3, 1,1111
      • 1945 - 1948: 1,4161

Variants

  • ANT-58 / Aircraft 103: Prototype.2,5 Had Mikulin AM-37 V 12 engines (1,400 HP / 1,480 HP5).3
  • ANT-59: Prototype.5
  • ANT-60: Prototype.5 Had M-82 (1,480 HP) engines.5
  • ANT-60 / Aircraft 103U: Prototype that had improvements for simplifying production.2 Had the M-82 engines.3 The fuselage was made longer.3
  • ANT-60 / Aircraft 103V: Prototype.3
  • ANT-61 / Aircraft 103S: Pre production.3 Had Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engines.3
  • ANT-63P: Heavily armed fighter.1 Flown in December 1946.1
  • GAZ-67B: Carried a cross country vehicle in its bomb bay.1 This was to be used on special missions.1
  • Tupolev Tu-1: Escort fighter.3 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev Tu-2:
  • Tupolev Tu-2 Paravan: Had a 20' / 6 m probe in the nose.1 These was to cut balloon cables.1
  • Tupolev Tu-2D: Reconnaissance.5
  • Tupolev Tu-2N: Fitted with a Rolls-Royce Nene 1 turbojet for trials.1
  • Tupolev Tu-2R: Reconnaissance.3,5 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev Tu-2S (Seriinyi): Had broad ailerons and an augmented port fin.2 Could carry heavier bomb load.3 Offensive and defensive armament was improved.3 Entered service in early 1944.3
  • Tupolev Tu-2Sh: Ground attack.3 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev Tu-2T: Torpedo bomber.3 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev Tu-2U: Trainer.3 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev Tu-10: General purpose bomber.3 Developed after World War II.3
  • Tupolev UTB: Trainer designed by P. O. Sukhoi.1 Was a lighter airframe than the Tu-2.1 100 delivered to Poland.1

Usage

The Tu-2 was used by Bulgaria1, China1,4, Hungary1, North Korea1,3, Poland1,4, Romania1, and the Soviet Union1,3,4.

First Use

The Tu-2 reached front line units in November 1942.1,2,3

Stalingrad

The Tu-2 first appeared in large numbers during the battles at Stalingrad.2

Kursk

A 23 mm cannon was installed to deal with light armored German vehicles but it couldn't penetrate the heavier tanks.2

Post World War II

The Tu-2 received the NATO codename of "Bat".3 It was used in the Korean War by the North Koreans and as late as 1961.3

Specifications

  Tupolev Tu-2
Type Attack bomber2,3, Bomber4
Crew 42,3,4
Engine (Type) 2: Shvetsov M.824
2: Shvetsov ASh-82FN piston2,3
OR 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FNV3
Cylinders Radial2, Radial 143,4
Cooling Air4
HP 1,500 each2, 1,850 each3,4
Propeller blades 32,3
Dimensions  
Span 61' 10"4, 61' 10.5"2,3
18.86 m2,3
Length 45' 3"4, 45' 3.5"3, 45' 3.75"2
13.8 m2,3
Height 13' 9"4, 13' 9.5"2, 14' 11"3
4.2 m2, 4.55 m3
Wing area 525.3 ft2 2
48.8 m2 2
Weight  
Empty 18,254 lb2
8,280 kg2
Loaded 28,219 lb2,4
12,800 kg2
Performance  
Speed @ 10,825' /
3,300 m
342 mph2
550 kph2
Speed @ 17,720' 342 mph4
Climb 2,295'/minute2
700 m/minute2
Service ceiling 31,170'2, 31,200'4
9,500 m2
Range 1,553 miles2, 1,555 miles4
2,500 km2
Armament 2: 20 mm4
3: MG4
Wing roots 2: 20 mm ShVAK2
Rear cockpit 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG2
Ventral turret 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG2
Dorsal turret 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG2
Bombs 5,004 lb2, 6,600 lb4
2,270 kg2
  Tupolev Tu-2S
Type Attack bomber3, Bomber1, Medium Bomber5
Crew 43,5
Engine (Type) 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FN1,3,5
OR 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FNV3
Cylinders Radial5, Radial 141,3
HP 1,850 each1,3,5
Propeller blades 33, 41
Dimensions  
Span 61' 10"1, 61' 10.5"3
18.85 m1 , 18.86 m3
Length 45' 3"1, 45' 3.5"3
13.79 m1, 13.8 m3
Height 14' 11"1,3
4.55 m1,3
Wing area 525 ft2 1
48.77 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 16,443 lb1, 18,200 lb3,5
7,458 kg1, 8,255 kg3, 8,260 kg5
Loaded 24,992 lb1, 28,219 lb3,5
11,336 kg1, 12,800 kg3,5
Performance  
Speed at 17,700' / 5,395 m 339 mph1
546 kph1
Speed at 17,715' / 5,400 m 340 mph5
547 kph5
Speed at 17,750' / 5,410 m 342 mph3
550 kph3
Cruising Speed 275 mph5
442 kph5
Climb 2,300'/minute3
700 m/minute3
Climb to 16,400' / 5,000 m 9.5 minutes1
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 9.5 minutes3,5
Service ceiling 31,170'1,3,5
9,500 m1,3,5
Range 870 miles1, 870 - 1,553 miles3, 1,243 miles5
1,400 km1, 1,400 - 2,500 km3, 2,000 km5
Armament  
Wing roots 2: 20 mm3
2: 20 mm ShVAK1,5
OR 2: 23 mm3
Rear cockpit 1: 12.7 mm MG3
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG1
Ventral turret 1: 12.7 mm MG3
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG1
Dorsal turret 1: 12.7 mm MG3
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG1
Dorsal 2: 12.7 mm UBT MG5
Ventral 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG5
Bombs 6,614 lb2,3,5, 6,800 lb1
3,000 kg2,3,5, 3,084 kg1

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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