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Soviet Union's Sukhoi Su-2 close support; BB-1 (Blizhny Bombardirovshick, short ranged bomber)

Photos

  • Sukhoi Su-2 fighter bomber
  • Sukhoi Su-2 fighter bomber

Design

Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi designed the Su-2 in 1936.

The production version was initially known as the BB-1, but in 1941 it was changed to the Su-2.

A photo turret could be installed on the starboard side.

Cockpit

The cockpit had a raised sliding canopy for the pilot. Heat was fed through the pilot's seat via a pipeline that ran along the starboard side.

The navigator / gunner was protected by 0.5" / 9 mm of armor.

Wings

The wings were all metal. To reduce drag the outer sections of the wings of the Su-2 were flush riveted.

Under the wings there could be 550 lb / 250 kg of bombs mounted.

Bomb bay

The bomb bay could carry up to 882 lb / 600 kg of bombs.

Fuselage

The Su-2's fuselage was constructed of wood with a load bearing skin.

At the rear of the fuselage there was a Duralumin constructed escape hatch. Sometimes a MG would be fitted to provide additional protection from the rear.

Propeller

The propeller was a variable pitch VlSh-23.

Engine

Initially the Su-2 had a M.88 radial engine (950 HP). After the first 100 aircraft were constructed a M.82 (1,400 HP) was installed.

Prototype

The ANT-51 first flew in August 1937. Tests were unsatisfactory but Sukhoi was authorized to continue to modify the aircraft. To test different engine configurations, three more prototypes were constructed.

The Su-2 first flew in April 1940.

Production

By September 1941 the Su-2s were being produced at the rate of 5 a day.

  • Sukhoi Su-2 (BB-1): 500
    • Manufacturer: At Kharkov, Tananrog, and Aircraft Factory No. 207 near Moscow.
    • Production: 1940 - ?
  • Sukhoi Su-2W/M-82 or Sukhoi Su-4:
    • Manufacturer: Produced at Molotov.
  • Total:
    • Manufacturer: State Industries
    • Production: 1940 - Mid 1942

Variants

  • Sukhoi ANT-51: Prototype. Had Shvetsov M-62 radial engine (copy of Wright Cyclone).
  • Sukhoi BB-1: Original production model. With a bomb load it flew 230 mph / 370 kph.
  • Sukhoi Su-2: Had Shvetsov M-88B radial engine (1,000 HP).
  • Sukhoi Su-2w/M-82: Fitted with non-retractable skis.
  • Sukhoi Su-6: Had M-82 radial (1,520 / 2,100 HP) engine. Il-2's appearance halted development.

Usage

There were fifteen air regiments that were supplied with the Su-2.

After heavy loses the Su-2 was put into second-line units in 1942. The Su-2s were found to not be maneuverable and defensive armament was inadequate.

German Invasion

At the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, there were about 100 Su-2s available.

Used as a Fighter

During the early months of the Great Patriotic War, Su-2s were sometimes put into use as fighters.

Ramming

The only ramming attack by a female pilot was done in September 1941 by Yekaterina Zelenko.

Specifications

  Sukhoi Su-2, BB-1
Type Attack bomber, Bomber, Close support, Fighter bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) M-88
Shvetsov M.82
Shvetsov M-88B piston
Tumanskii M-88B piston
Cylinders Radial, Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,000, 1,100, 1,400, 1,520
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 46' 11"
14.3 m
Length 33' 7", 33' 7.5", 34' 3.75"
10.25 m, 10.46 m
Height 12' 3", 12' 6"
3.8 m
Wing area 312.1 sq ft
29 sq m
Weight  
Empty 6,325 lb, 6,614 lb, 7,216 lb
2,875 kg, 3,000 kg, 3,273 kg
Loaded 8,965 lb, 9,130 lb, 9,645 lb, 10,362 lb
4,150 kg, 4,375 kg, 4,700 kg
Performance  
Speed 282 mph
455 kph
Speed at 5,000' / 1,525 m 302 mph
486 kph
Speed at 8,200' / 2,500 m 283 mph
455 kph
Speed at 19,190' 302 mph
Climb to 13,120' / 4,000 m 8 minutes
Service Ceiling 28,870', 28,900', 29,200'
8,800 m, 8,900 m
Range 525 miles, 739 miles, 746 miles
850 km, 1,190 km
Range With Bombs 683 miles
1,100 km
Armament  
Wings 2: MG
4: 0.3" / 7.62 mm MG
4: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Turret - Cockpit Rear 1: MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
1 or 2: 0.3" / 7.62 mm MG
1 or 2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Bombs - Internal 882 lb
400 kg
Bombs - External 1,102 lb, 1,323 lb
500 kg, 600 kg
OR Rockets
Bombs 1,320 lb
600 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  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, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
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