The design team headed by Vladimir Petlyakov at the Tupolev design bureau developed the Petlyakov Pe-8. It originally was designated the ANT-42. Design work started in 1934. The specifications given the design team was for a long range bomber that could fly at top speed at 26,000'. This was difficult as there were no engines at the time to provide sufficient power.
After Petlyakov's death in 1942, I. F. Nyezval took over the work on the Pe-8.
The Pe-8 was made from all metal components.
The engines were to be four engines mounted in the wings that were boosted by a supercharger engine that was mounted in the fuselage. These were only in the prototypes as the production aircraft had just the four wing mounted engines.
The AM-35 engine that was initially used in the production aircraft was found to be disappointing. The M-30B was a diesel engine that resulted in longer range. The ASh-82 engine came next as the M-30B was a failure. Around 48 of the Pe-8s were fitted with the ASh-82 after production ended in October 1941.
In the end, the Pe-8 always had engine difficulties and was never extensively deployed on missions.