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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-58) from his prison cell at the Butyrkii prison. He was ordered to make an aircraft better than the German Ju 88. The aircraft was also supposed to be the successor to the Petlyakov Pe-2. His design was approved on March 1, 1940.

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

Construction

The Tupolev Tu-2 was made of metal components.

Cockpit

The cockpit had a bullet proof windscreen.

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

Landing Gear

The landing gear retracted rearward.

Wing

The wing had low drag as it had flush riveting.

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

Tail Wheel

The Tupolev Tu-2 had a retractable tail wheel.

Tail

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

Prototype

The ANT-58 (Tu-2 prototype) first flew in October 1940 / January 29, 1941. The pilot was M. P. Vasyakin.

The Tu-2 prototype first flew on January 29, 1941.

The Tu-2S first flew on August 26, 1943.

Production

  • Total: 1,111, 2,527
    • Manufacturer: State Industries
    • Production: ? - 1948, 1942 - 1948
      • 1941 - 1945: 1,100, 1,111
      • 1945 - 1948: 1,416

Variants

  • ANT-58 / Aircraft 103: Prototype. Had Mikulin AM-37 V 12 engines (1,400 HP / 1,480 HP).
  • ANT-59: Prototype.
  • ANT-60: Prototype. Had M-82 (1,480 HP) engines.
  • ANT-60 / Aircraft 103U: Prototype that had improvements for simplifying production. Had the M-82 engines. The fuselage was made longer.
  • ANT-60 / Aircraft 103V: Prototype.
  • ANT-61 / Aircraft 103S: Pre production. Had Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engines.
  • ANT-63P: Heavily armed fighter. Flown in December 1946.
  • GAZ-67B: Carried a cross country vehicle in its bomb bay. This was to be used on special missions.
  • Tupolev Tu-1: Escort fighter. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev Tu-2:
  • Tupolev Tu-2 Paravan: Had a 20' / 6 m probe in the nose. These was to cut balloon cables.
  • Tupolev Tu-2D: Reconnaissance.
  • Tupolev Tu-2N: Fitted with a Rolls-Royce Nene 1 turbojet for trials.
  • Tupolev Tu-2R: Reconnaissance. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev Tu-2S (Seriinyi): Had broad ailerons and an augmented port fin. Could carry heavier bomb load. Offensive and defensive armament was improved. Entered service in early 1944.
  • Tupolev Tu-2Sh: Ground attack. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev Tu-2T: Torpedo bomber. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev Tu-2U: Trainer. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev Tu-10: General purpose bomber. Developed after World War II.
  • Tupolev UTB: Trainer designed by P. O. Sukhoi. Was a lighter airframe than the Tu-2. 100 delivered to Poland.

Usage

The Tu-2 was used by Bulgaria, China, Hungary, North Korea, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.

First Use

The Tu-2 reached front line units in November 1942.

Stalingrad

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

Kursk

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

Post World War II

The Tu-2 received the NATO codename of "Bat". It was used in the Korean War by the North Koreans and as late as 1961.

Specifications

  Tupolev Tu-2
Type Attack bomber, Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Shvetsov M.82
2: Shvetsov ASh-82FN piston
OR 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FNV
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,500 each, 1,850 each
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 61' 10", 61' 10.5"
18.86 m
Length 45' 3", 45' 3.5", 45' 3.75"
13.8 m
Height 13' 9", 13' 9.5", 14' 11"
4.2 m, 4.55 m
Wing area 525.3 ft2
48.8 m2
Weight  
Empty 18,254 lb
8,280 kg
Loaded 28,219 lb
12,800 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 10,825' /
3,300 m
342 mph
550 kph
Speed @ 17,720' 342 mph
Climb 2,295'/minute
700 m/minute
Service ceiling 31,170', 31,200'
9,500 m
Range 1,553 miles, 1,555 miles
2,500 km
Armament 2: 20 mm
3: MG
Wing roots 2: 20 mm ShVAK
Rear cockpit 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Ventral turret 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Dorsal turret 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Bombs 5,004 lb, 6,600 lb
2,270 kg
  Tupolev Tu-2S
Type Attack bomber, Bomber, Medium Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FN
OR 2: Shvetsov ASh-82FNV
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
HP 1,850 each
Propeller blades 3, 4
Dimensions  
Span 61' 10", 61' 10.5"
18.85 m , 18.86 m
Length 45' 3", 45' 3.5"
13.79 m, 13.8 m
Height 14' 11"
4.55 m
Wing area 525 ft2
48.77 m2
Weight  
Empty 16,443 lb, 18,200 lb
7,458 kg, 8,255 kg, 8,260 kg
Loaded 24,992 lb, 28,219 lb
11,336 kg, 12,800 kg
Performance  
Speed at 17,700' / 5,395 m 339 mph
546 kph
Speed at 17,715' / 5,400 m 340 mph
547 kph
Speed at 17,750' / 5,410 m 342 mph
550 kph
Cruising Speed 275 mph
442 kph
Climb 2,300'/minute
700 m/minute
Climb to 16,400' / 5,000 m 9.5 minutes
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 9.5 minutes
Service ceiling 31,170'
9,500 m
Range 870 miles, 870 - 1,553 miles, 1,243 miles
1,400 km, 1,400 - 2,500 km, 2,000 km
Armament  
Wing roots 2: 20 mm
2: 20 mm ShVAK
OR 2: 23 mm
Rear cockpit 1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Ventral turret 1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Dorsal turret 1: 12.7 mm MG
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Dorsal 2: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Ventral 1: 12.7 mm UBT MG
Bombs 6,614 lb, 6,800 lb
3,000 kg, 3,084 kg

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site