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ANT-44 (MTB-2) Sea heavy bomber

In the second half of the 1930s, modern high-speed ground-based bombers began to enter into service with the USSR Navy’s aircraft. However, sea-based aircraft, in particular heavy flying scout-class and bomber-class submarines, which were used by the fleet, were obsolete and, for the most part, of foreign origin. The need for modern flying boats was so acute that even the option of ordering an aircraft abroad was considered.

In the autumn of 1934, taking into account the need of Soviet aviation in modern seaplanes, the British firm Short proposed to design and build for the USSR a four-engined boat plane close to its S.23 - with a maximum flight speed of 300-320 km / h and a range with normal flight weighing 1200-1300 km.

At the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), this option was considered unacceptable, therefore the appeal to the Red Army's Air Force Directorate1 immediately followed, stating that such an aircraft could be built here as well. This happened a few months after the crash of the ANT-27 (MDR-4) flying boat, so you should appreciate the courage and perseverance of the design team, headed by A.N. Tupolev. Such confident behavior in defending one’s own interests was also appreciated by the aviation industry management.

On the basis of the preliminary calculations and assessments carried out by the brigade of A.P. Golubkov, A.N. Tupolev and the head of TsAGI, N.M. project. In December 1927, the design bureau received an order for a new flying boat. TTT claims from the DFID were received in March 1935. The new four-engine seaplane was to be built as a naval heavy bomber capable of striking enemy bases and ships, as an open-air reconnaissance aircraft and as a transport plane, to transport 35-40 people and cargo. LTH asked the following: maximum speed at an altitude of 1000 m - 300 km / h, practical ceiling - 7000-7500 m.

Sea heavy bomber experiencedAccording to the design bureau, the aircraft received the designation ANT-44, the official one - MTB-2. In the design bureau, A. Golubkov was responsible for the work, except for his team, other design bureaus participated in the design. In December 1935, a draft design was developed. According to him, the aircraft was a four-engine all-metal boat high-wing aircraft with a type of "seagull" with winged floats. Engines Gnome-Ron "Mistral Major" 14 Krsd (M-85). The boat is dvuhredannoy, average deadrise, the second redan went to the wedge. The boat was divided into 7 compartments, providing unsinkable. The contours of the boat and its bearing underwing floats were selected on the basis of studies of models in the hydro-channel of TsAGI. Bomb weapons provided internal and external bomb suspension.

The manufacture of the experienced ANT-44 began in September 1935. During the construction of the machine, numerous changes were repeatedly made to its design, both at the request of the Air Force and at the initiative of the Design Bureau. On March 29, 1936, a mockup was inspected, after which additional comments were made on the ANT-44 under construction.

All comments and improvements on the experience of construction and testing of the first car, it was decided to take into account in the manufacture of "understudy", and finish the first car with a minimum of changes.

At the end of March 1937, ANT-44 with domestic M-85 engines of 810 hp. was ready. On April 19, 1937, the crew of test-pilot TV Ryabenko first lifted the car into the air. In the land version, the car flew until October 2, 1937, then, until November 1, there were flights from the Khimki reservoir. In the test flights of the ANT-44, MM Gromov and AB Yumashev participated, whose overall assessment was positive. State tests of the ANT-44 were conducted from November 1937. In December, the car was installed on the installation of M-87 engines (950 hp). In July 1938, the tests were continued. Evaluation of the aircraft by the military was also positive. According to the test results, it was recognized that MTB-2 provides for the fulfillment of the tasks of a heavy sea bomber for the years 1939-1941 (with a bomb load of 2000 kg and a radius of 1500 km), the speed and the ceiling satisfy the TTT and are not inferior to those of similar foreign cars, the location of the firing points was found to be satisfactory.

The aircraft was recommended for adoption by the fleet aviation. After the completion of the first stage of the state tests, the ANT-44 was converted into an amphibious aircraft with folding landing gear, the M-87 engines were replaced with the M-87A. At the end of September, the reworked car arrived at the second stage of state tests, which showed that the installation of the chassis had little effect on the LTH.

It was not possible to bring the tests to a conclusion. In February 1939, the experimental MTB-2 4M-87A continued testing - night flights were conducted under the control of the pilot Shevnin. When making a night landing in the Sevastopol Bay, the plane hit the water hard, received damage to the hull of the boat and sank. The crew managed to escape. It was later decided that the repair of the first prototype was not practical and its history ended.

After the completion of the first stage of the state tests, the ANT-44 was converted into an amphibious aircraft with folding landing gear, the M-87 engines were replaced with the M-87A. At the end of September, the reworked car arrived at the second stage of state tests, which showed that the installation of the chassis had little effect on the LTH.

Sea heavy bomber experiencedThe “doubler” ANT-44 (ANT-44bis) was completed in June 1939. Unlike the first car, the wing area and its design were increased, the stabilizer design was changed and its area was increased, changes were made to the power plant and control systems, and the armament was strengthened. On June 7, the "understudy" was taken to the airfield, and on June 26, test pilot M.Yu. Alekseev lifted him into the air. Factory testing continued until January 14 from both land and sea aerodromes. On March 27, the "understudy" was handed over to the customer to conduct state tests, which from April 1 to May 16, 1939, were conducted by the crew led by test pilot I. M. Sukhomlin. The tests of the "double" basically confirmed the positive assessment of the first car, and the aircraft was recommended for mass production.

The serial production of MTB-2 was supposed to be transferred to plant number 30, where the AP Golubkov brigade was transferred specifically for this purpose. By May 1939, the revised drawings for the series had been prepared. Some changes in the airframe design, M-88 engines (1100 hp), etc. were to be carried out on the production car. With the new, more powerful LTH engines of the MTB-2 series, they should have improved. The maximum speed increased to 400 km / h, the range from 2,000 kg of bombs to 2,800 km, without bombs to 4,200 km. Tests of M-88 in relation to MTB-2 were supposed to be held on the "doubler". Since May 1939, Plant No. 30 began preparations for the series, but in January 1940, by decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, all work on the series and on the experimental machine was stopped. The fleet began to receive in large quantities land DB-3M, and then DB-3F (IL-4).

In addition to the military versions of the ANT-44 in the years 1935-1936, a passenger version of the aircraft was designed in the design bureau, designed to carry 12-15 people at a distance of 1000-2000 km.

Sea heavy bomber experiencedWith the cessation of work on the ANT-44, its history has not ended. Back in 1936, the design bureau raised the question of using a machine for breaking international records for seaplanes. In 1938, M.Yu. Alekseev dealt with this issue. On June 17-19, 1940, the crew of I.M. Sukhomlin on ANT-44bis set several world records for flight altitude with cargo: with a load of 1000 kg, the plane climbed to an altitude of 7134 m, since 2000 kg - 6284 m, from 5000 kg - 5219 m, without cargo - 7595 m. From September 28 to October 7, speed records were set when flying with a cargo of 1000 kg along a 1000 km long route - 277.46 km / h and with cargo 2000 kg - 24169 km / h.

By the beginning of World War II, the ANT-44bis, together with the crew of I. M. Sukhomlin, was part of the Black Sea Fleet aviation. From the very first days of the war, the plane made bombing raids on Ploiesti, Bucharest, and also struck the advancing enemy formations, carried out transport operations in the interests of the fleet and army. In the second half of 1942, after a year of combat operation, the plane crashed in Gelendzhik Bay.

Basic data ANT-44bis 4M-87A
aircraft length 21.94 m;
wing span 36.45 m;
aircraft height 7.88 m;
wing area 146.7 square meters;
normal take-off weight 19000 kg;
bomb load 2000 kg;
maximum speed at an altitude of 4000 m 351 km / h;
practical ceiling 7100 m;
range from 2000 kg of bombs 2500 km;
machine gun armament 2 x ShKAS
cannon armament 2 x ShVAK;
crew 6-7 people

ANT-44 ANT-44 ANT-44


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Page last modified: 20-10-2018 18:43:54 ZULU