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Soviet Union's Petlyakov Pe-2 bomber


  • Iliushin Pe-2 dive-bomber
  • Iliushin Pe-2 dive-bomber
  • Petlyakov Pe-2 bomber


Starting in 1938 Vladimir M. Petlyakov started work on the design for the Petlyakov Pe-2, that was to be a high altitude fighter but it came into service as a dive-bomber. The cabin was initially going to be pressurized for the fighter, but the specifications changed it to be a bomber.

The Pe-2 was often a test bed for new equipment such as ejection seats, rocket motors, and heavy cannons.


The Pe-2 was constructed from all metal components.

Crew Compartment

The radio operator sat back to back with the pilot. He could then crawl under the pilot seat to the bomb aimer position. The cockpit had excellent views for the crew.

Some high altitude versions had pressurized cabins.

The rear gunner used a hand held MG.


The undercarriage was wide allowing for use on rough airstrips. Although, the Pe-2 was sometimes known for heavy bouncing on landings. The undercarriage was also retractable.

In the winter skis could be used.


The tail of the Pe-2 was of metal construction with fabric covering control surfaces.


The Pe-2's engines had electrical two speed superchargers.


There were eleven fuel tanks in the wings of the Pe-2. These would feed header tanks above each of the engines. Inert exhaust gases were fed to the tanks for fire suppression.

  • Range and Bomb Load Comparison


The VI-100 prototype first flew in 1939 / May 7, 1939. The tests showed that the bomb site was inadequate at high altitudes so the design was to change it into a dive bomber instead. The turbo chargers were removed and dive brakes added.

The Pe-2 first flew in June 1940.

In the 1940 May Day fly past, the prototype Pe-2 made its first public appearance.


Was ordered into production in 1940 as a light bomber.

Production started in June 1940. It ended in 1945.

  • VI-100:
  • PB-100 (pikiruyushchii bombardirovshchik): 2
  • Petlyakov Pe-3bis: ~300
  • Total: 11,400, 11,427
    • Manufacturer: State Industries
  • Bomber Production Comparison


  • Petlyakov VI-100: Prototype. Had Hispano-Suiza copied engines.
  • Petlyakov PB-100: New designation for the VI-100.
  • Iliushin Pe-2, Petlyakov Pe-2: Dive bomber. Dive brakes were added to allow for shallow dive bombing.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2FT: Late 1942. Used Klimov M-105PF (1,260 HP) engines. Dorsal turret had a 12.7 mm UBT machine gun.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2l: Fighter bomber. Had VK-107 /VK-107A engines (1,620 HP).
  • Petlyakov Pe-2M: Fighter bomber. Two seat. Had VK-107A engines (1,620 HP).
  • Petlyakov Pe-2Sh: Ground attack with oblique firing guns.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2R: Long range reconnaissance. Had extra fuel. No bombs, and only 3 MGs.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2RD: Experimental rocket booster in tail.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2Sh: Heavy ground attack. Experimental.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2U: Training version. Had second cockpit.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2UT: Trainer. Dual controls.
  • Petlyakov Pe-2VI: High altitude fighter version.
  • Petlyakov Pe-3: Bomber intercepter. Had dive brakes. Dorsal turret.
  • Petlyakov Pe-3bis: Maneuver flaps.
  • Petlyakov Pe-21: Heavy fighter.


The Pe-2 was used by the Soviet Union and captured ones were used by Finland.

The Pe-2 entered service in August 1940 / 1941.

Vladimir M. Petlyakov

The bureau chief Vladimir M. Petlyakov died in a test flight of the Pe-2 on January 12, 1942.

Against the Germans

There were 458 Pe-2s when Germany invaded.

If enemy fighters caught up to a lightly loaded Pe-2 it could sometimes maneuver away from them because of it's nimbleness.

Against the Japanese

A few Pe-2s saw service against Japan at the end of the war.


Finland used seven Pe-2s, that were from German captured equipment, and one Pe-3bis that was captured.

After World War II

Experimental versions mounted several rocket engines and German pulse jets.

In the late 1950s NATO gave it the name "Buck."

Czechoslovakia (called B-32), Poland, and Yugoslavia were supplied with Pe-2s.


Crew 2
Engine (Type) 2: M-105R
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,100 each
Speed at 32,810' / 10,000 m 387 mph
623 kph
  Iliushin Pe-2, Petlyakov Pe-2
Type Bomber, Dive bomber, Ground attack, Heavy Fighter, Night fighter, Reconnaissance, Fighter bomber, Light Bomber, Medium Bomber
Crew 3, 3 or 4
Pilot, bombardier, gunner
Engine (Type) 2: Klimov VK-105PF
OR 2: Klimov VK-105R
Cylinders PF: V 12
R: V 12
Cooling Liquid
PF: Liquid
R: Liquid
HP PF: 1,260 each
R: 1,100 each
Propeller blades 3 , 3 blade VISh-61
Span 56', 56' 3.5", 56' 4", 58' 2"
17.11 m, 17.16 m
Length 40', 41' 6", 41' 6.5", 41' 11"
12.66 m, 12.78 m
Height 11' 3", 11' 6", 13' 1", 13' 1.5"
3.42 m, 3.5 m, 4 m
Wing area 436 sq ft
40.5 sq m
Empty 12,943 lb, 13,640 lb
5,871 kg, 5,876 kg, 6,200 kg
Loaded 16,934 lb, 18,730 lb, 18,744 lb
8,496 kg, 8,520 kg
Speed 278 mph, 300 mph
449 kph
Speed at 9,845' / 3,000 m 360 mph
580 kph
Speed at 16,000' 336 mph
Speed at 16,405' / 5,000 m 336 mph
540 kph, 541 kph
Cruising speed 266 mph
428 kph
Climb 1,410'/minute, 1,430'/minute
430 m/minute, 435 m/minute
Climb to 16,405' / 5,000 m 7 minutes
Service Ceiling 28,870', 28,900'
8,800 m
Range 721 miles, 815 miles, 932 miles
1,160 km, 1,315 km, 1,500 km
Armament 5: MG
Nose 2: 7.62 mm MG
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
2: 12.7 mm UBS
OR 2: 12.7 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
1: 12.7 mm Beresin UBT MG
Dorsal turret 1: 7.62 mm MG, 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
1: 12.7 mm UBT
OR 1: 12.7 mm MG, 12.7 mm UBT MG
Ventral 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
1: 12.7 mm UBT
OR 1: 12.7 mm MG, 12.7 mm UBT MG
Rear beam 1: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
2: 7.62 mm ShKAS MG
Bomb bay 4: 220 lb bombs
4: 100 kg bombs
Rear of engine 2: 220 lb bombs
2: 100 kg bombs
Under fuselage 4: 550 lb bombs
4: 250 kg bombs
Bombs - total 2,200 lb, 2,205 lb, 2,205 - 6,614 lb, 2,646 lb
1,000 kg, 1,000 kg - 3,000 kg, 1,200 kg
  Petlyakov Pe-3bis
Type Reconnaissance fighter
Engine (Type) 2: M-107A
HP 1,600 each
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
2: 20 mm
Under wing 132 mm rockets


  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. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site