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Beriev Be-6 Madge

In the prewar period the Beriev Design Bureau, in accordance with the requirements of the Navy, developed aircraft based on ships. The aircraft Be-2, and then Be-4 were put in series production and were used for intelligence collection. These were the all-metal flight vehicles with the folding wings, which took off from the ship catapults. Under the management G.M.Beriev were developed designs for well-made collapsible seaplane scout aircraft, intended for the arrangement in the small section hangars of submarines. However, these apparatuses were not further developed.

In 1937, the company «Consolidated» was awarded a license contract for the manufacture of flying boats PBY -1, for a long exploration on the high seas. Nevertheless, the customer - Maritime Navy (with the 1938 Air Force Navy) - did not show a great deal of interest in the aircraft, named GST. The task of manning gidrosamoletov include: carrying out exploration at sea and in the air, escorting convoys transport, protection from attack submarines, torpedo boats and aircraft, mine supply in the areas of navigation opponent. They proved indispensable in the search and rescue crews of downed aircraft and ships sunk.

On the basis of the experience of World War II, and also actions of aviation on the sea water areas and taking into account the development of contemporary aviation technology, the design bureau of G.M.Beriev, on the base previously released seaplanes, developed the design of the Be-6 flying boat. Design work on a large flying boat was launched Beriev Design Bureau in 1945. The aircraft was equipped with powerful piston air-cooled engines and with sufficiently complex equipment, necessary for the bearing of patrol service and conducting of combat operations in the open sea. It was assumed that Be-6 would have a large duration of flight and a range up to 5000 km.

In 1946 by order NKAP on the territory of aviation number 86 in Taganrog was founded Pilot maritime aircraft under director and chief designer GM Beriev). Decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR from 21 June 1946 town factory converted into a federal state pilot plant maritime aircraft (# 49). At the end of June 1947 began test flying boat Be-6.

The experimental scout bomber Beriev aircraft LL-143 was an all-metal, high-wing monoplane, which had two Shvetsova ASH-72 radial engines with an output of 1492 kW (2000 hp). The armament consisted of a tail-mounted remotely controlled turret with 23-mm cannons, and a nose turret with 23 mm cannon. First flight from water was made 14 November 1947. After modifying the design, the aircraft was manufactured in series as the Beriev Be-6. The serial plane was different from the experiemental design with improved equipment, including a modified bow of the fuselage without a gun weapons.

The Be-6 was a long-range marine recognisance hydroplane. A twin-engined patrol flying boat, its configuration resembles that of the U.S. PBM Mariner. It is a gull-winged aircraft with twin, oval tailfins on top of a deep fuselage. First flight occurred in 1949. Upon completion of the test was finally adopted the view that the Be-6 should be used primarily for long-range maritime reconnaissance, search and destroy submarines surfaced. In addition, the aircraft can be used as search and rescue, as well as to raise mine and fence the bombing on poorly protected marine and coastal targets.

Overall, the combat effectiveness of Be-6 significantly exceeded outdated Catalina, which still remained the main Marine intelligence aircraft in the Soviet Union. However, as the military tests in the daily operation of Be-6 was much more difficult to American amphibians, which led to the need to revise the state aviation and aviation-technical individual battalions, as well as rules on kits of parts and tools. In subsequent series of aircraft tail turret gun was replaced equipment MAD (magnetic anomaly detection). The aircraft Be-6 was in the NATO code name "Madge". The payload of mines, depth bombs, torpedoes was suspended on pylons between the engine and ends the wing.

Soviet military specialists considered that there is a sharp need for contemporary domestic seaplanes, which it was intended to use for solving a number of the problems which did not require high flight velocities. The need for such machines they based even and by the weak development of the network of naval airfields. It is not possible to exclude the subjective reasons: the majority of officers of the highest leadership of aviation Navy had completed schools on flying boats. Failure to produce the seaplanes would doom this direction of aircraft construction to the complete loss of scientific and production base. Therefore the command of naval aviation supported OKB Beriev in the development of the new flying boat.

On 31 March 1949 a deed of transfer was signed placing it into serial production. On August 22, 1951 the long-range marine intelligence aircraft Be-6 was accepted by the order of Naval minister for armament. In the 1951-1956 period up to 1957 Taganrog built 19 variants of the Be-6, a total of 123 copies. Throughout the production efforts were aimed at improving the quality of manufactured aircraft. It stayed in service until the late 1960s.



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