ANT-58 / Tu-2
The ANT-58 / Tu-2 was a twin-engine monoplane with a smooth working skin, with tail fins with separated two washer-shaped keels and a retractable landing gear, designation FB, Frontovoj Bombardirovschik. The Tu-2 was the USSR's third (historically) important twin-engined bomber (after the Il-4 and Pe-2), and brought A.N.Tupolev back into favor after a period of detention. Many experts not without reason call the Tu-2 the best medium bomber of the Second World War. They began to be built at the end of 1941, but initially they were produced in small batches. In the early years of the war, the Tupolevs were mainly used for long-range reconnaissance. The situation changed only by the summer of 1944, when the aircraft became more technologically advanced and received more advanced and powerful engines. Their number was constantly increasing, it became possible to test the effectiveness of the machines for their intended purpose in operations on the Karelian Isthmus, where the enemy created nodes of solid long-term defense.
The creation of this aircraft took place in somewhat unusual conditions. By the mid-1930s, Tupolev was, without exaggeration, the most prominent figure in the domestic aircraft industry. The planes created under his leadership - the TB-3 heavy bomber, the SB high-speed bomber, the record ANT-25 aircraft - were known throughout the aviation world. But the wave of repressions did not escape him, like many of his subordinates and colleagues.
On 21 October 1937, A.N. Tupolev was arrested by the NKVD, followed by many of the leading specialists of the OKB, among whom were V.M. Petlyakov, V.M.Myasischev, B.M.Kondorsky, N.S.Nekrasov, M.N.Petrov, E.I.Pogossky, T.P.Saprykin, B.A.Saukke, N.A.Sokolov, A.E. Sterlin, E.K.Sttoman were repressed.
In 1938, on the eve of the Second World War, the government decided to form special forces from the prisoners under the auspices of the NKVD, in order to create in the shortest possible time modern equipment for re-equipment of the Red Army, including aviation. Nikolai Yezhov was replaced by Lavrenty Beria in the leadership of the internal affairs bodies. In January 1939, he wrote to Stalin that “the use of imprisoned specialists for the design of weapons facilities for the army and navy had not been brought up to the required level,” and proposed the creation of a Special Technical Department of the NKVD, providing him with personnel of appropriate qualifications and other necessary conditions for the successful implementation of this work. After that, the arrested began to be taken to a specialized prison in the Moscow region of Bolshev, and then they began to be distributed among different prison research institutes and design bureaus, and tankers, shipbuilders, artillerymen, technologists were here at different times.
The department "100" was headed by V. M. Petlyakov, who was assigned to design the high-altitude fighter VI ("100"), the prototype of the Pe-2 mass front-line diving bomber; the department "102" was headed by V.M. Myasishchev, with a mission for a long-range high-altitude bomber DVB ("102"); Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev headed the department "103", with the assignment to the long-range dive-bomber PB ("57"). In the course of the development of the PB project and in connection with the new reality that emerged in the world after the start of the Second World War, the task was changed and the Tupolev team began to create the front-line PB dive bomber ("103", "58").
In the course of work on the project "103", the same team of like-minded colleagues, former employees of its OKB, TsAGI, VIAM, institutes of the Red Army, serial factories that came to Tupolev through prisons and camps to create the backbone from which the full-blooded and capable Tupolev team, which our country owes to post-war successes in creating modern heavy combat and passenger aircraft, soon revived. These are primarily S.M.Eger, A.M.Cheremukhin, G.A.Ozerov, A.I. Putilov, A.V. Nadashkevich, K.V. Minkner, L.L.Kerber, B.M.Kondorsky , D.S. Markov, N.I.Bazenkov and many other participants in the creation of the Tu-2.
Arrested under article 58, Tupolev was sitting in the 58th cell and was working on a new aircraft, the ANT-58. The Tupolev brigade prepared a draft design in February 1940, it received the approval of the Air Force leadership, who recommended "to speed up work on the topic in every possible way." During the spring, many issues of the future aircraft were agreed, however, under the impression of testing aircraft purchased in Germany, the requirements for a number of projects, including the "103", changed. In particular, the military demanded from Tupolev to "teach" the vehicle to hit targets from a dive and to rearrange the cockpit, and to introduce a fourth person into the crew. The pilot and navigator were to be placed together in the front cockpit, and two gunners were located in the rear cockpit. So there was "103U" ("product 59"), which in July began to build in parallel with "103".
On 29 January 1941, the prototype "103" ("58") made the first flight, it was followed by the second experimental machine "103U" ("59"), the planes are successfully factory tested, showing excellent flight tactical data. It soon became clear: the machine with machine-gun and cannon armament turned out to be modern, promising, high-speed (at an altitude of 8000 m it reached a speed of 635 km / h, which most experimental fighters could not boast of, and serial I-16s accelerated to 462 km / h). A decision was made about series production. After the outbreak of the war, most of the imprisoned specialists are released and evacuated to Omsk, where, simultaneously with the creation of a serial factory for the production of a Tupolev bomber, the projects “103” and “103U” are being finalized in accordance with the needs of wartime. The machine adapts to the new power plant with air-cooled engines M-82 (aircraft "103V", "60"). In the fall of 1941, A.A. Arkhangelsk with a part of his bureau. In December 1941, the experimental aircraft "103V" flew.
The crash "103U", which occurred on July 6, 1941 due to the spinning of the engine propeller (two people were killed - the navigator and the engineer), oddly enough, did not affect either the fate of the machine (it was decided to launch it into series), or the fate of the chief designer - On July 21, Tupolev was released.
Initially, they decided to build a new bomber in Voronezh, at plant number 18. It was an old enterprise, provided with qualified personnel, but it had already received the task, along with the DB-3 (Il-4), to introduce into the series a long-range Er-2 bomber and an Il-2 attack aircraft ... Then the plan was revised to a more realistic one and the construction of "103" was transferred to the Omsk plant. And already in August, several echelons of TsKB-29 headed here in heating units; civilians and recently released with their families traveled separately, prisoners under guard went separately. On the platforms, factory equipment and experimental aircraft were also exported from Moscow.
A serious problem was that the plant No. 166 as such did not yet exist. It was only created on the basis of the evacuated factories No. 81 and 156, as well as the urgently attached Omsk aircraft repair shops. Polar pilot Anatoly Lyapidevsky was appointed director of the enterprise, who after rescuing the Chelyuskinites was awarded the "Golden Star" No. 1 (however, in September he was replaced by another manager). On October 7, 1941, Tupolev was appointed chief designer of the plant and the newly created OKB-166.
The winter of 1941-1942 in Western Siberia was cold, snowy and hungry. In conditions of a shortage of workers, electricity, machine tools, equipment, food in Omsk, production and auxiliary workshops were erected, up to 60 residential barracks, an airfield was built and at the same time work was carried out on serial machines. Already in February 1942, the first serial bomber came out of the workshop of plant No. 166.
At the same time serial production was launched at the plant, the aircraft was designated Tu-2. The first production vehicle leaves the assembly shop in February 1942, until the end of the year 80 TU-2s are manufactured, then the series stops and the plant was transferred to the production of AS Yakovlev fighters. In 1943, after the Battle of Kursk, a government decision was made to restore the Tu-2 series, but already in Moscow. In the same year, the Tupolev Design Bureau returned to Moscow to its old place and was working hard to improve the Tu-2. By the time of the re-deployment of the series at the end of 1943, the Tu-2C aircraft, significantly improved in many ways, appeared in the big series since 1944, and after the end of the war continues to be mass-produced for almost seven years.
The year 1943 was a turning point in the war - the Red Army won the initiative in heavy battles, the Nazis began to retreat. It became clear, in particular from the results of military tests on the Kalinin Front, that the Tu-2 would be irreplaceable to support the upcoming large-scale operations. Compared with the most massive Pe-2 of a similar scheme, it had a speed advantage of about 30-40 km / h, had better aerobatic qualities, allowed flight on one engine if the second failed, had more powerful defensive weapons, almost twice the range flight and three times exceeded in maximum bomb load (3000 kg versus 1000 kg), and bombs of the FAB-1000 type could be loaded into bomb bays, which the Pe-2 did not allow. During the war years from 1942 to the end of 1945, 1,216 aircraft were produced. In addition to the variants of the frontal bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, which went into the troops, the Design Bureau prepared several experimental and low-volume modifications, including high-speed and long-range bombers, fighter-interceptors and torpedo bombers. With the ASh-82FN engines, the Tu-2 aircraft built serially in 1944-1945 had a maximum speed at an altitude of 5400 m 547 km / h, a practical ceiling of 9500 m, a maximum range of 2100-2200 km, a normal take-off weight of 10.36 tons, a maximum - 11.36 tons, the normal bomb load of 1000 kg, the maximum - 3000 kg, defensive armament - three UBT machine guns of 12.7 mm caliber and two ShVAK cannons of 20 mm caliber.
According to various estimates, between 700 and 800 Tu-2 aircraft took part in the hostilities on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, including hostilities against Japan. The first vehicles hit the Kalininsky front in September 1942, where the vehicles actually passed flight-combat tests. The front-line pilots spoke about the new car with delight, comparing it with the SB and Pe-2, not in favor of the latter. Large bomb load, powerful defensive armament, reliable body armor of the crew, ease of piloting, the overall reliability of the design, this was an incomplete list of what distinguished this car in the eyes of combat crews.
Flight data and defensive armament were so good for that period that at first, the Tu-2 could fly on combat missions in a group and alone without fighter cover. Soon, the Germans began targeting their best asss with new cars, and these freedoms ended, however, in this case, the Tu-2 for the Messers and Fokkers remained heavy and dangerous prey. At first, the few Tu-2s released were taken care of as the "pupil of the eye" and were mainly used as aerial reconnaissance aircraft, which the Tu-2 did very well. In 1943, 18 Tu-2 of 285 BAA took part in the Battle of Kursk.
In 1944, with the start of full-scale production of the aircraft, these aircraft began rearming large aircraft units. Airplanes received 334 BAA, which took part in the Vyborg operation, bombing Finnish fortifications, railway junctions, bridges, headquarters, and attacking enemy reserves with ton bombs. During the fighting, participating in three massive bombardments in daytime conditions, 334 BAA did not lose a single Tu-2. Then there was the participation of the Tu-2 in the Belarusian offensive operations, battles in the Baltic States.
On April 7, 1945, the Tu-2 units, together with the Pe-2, bombed the fortress city of Königsberg for two hours, after which the raid of 516 bombers of the 18th Air Army (ADD) began. For four days, 4440 tons of bombs of various calibers fell on the city. April 10, Koenigsberg fell. During the fighting for Berlin 6 BAK on the Tu-2 effectively supported the ground forces. On the very first day of the battles for the capital of the Reich, 54 Tu-2s dropped 97 tons of bombs on the enemy, and in the following days, the intensity of the Tu-2 strikes in Berlin increased and so on until its fall.
After the end of the war in Europe, part of 6 BAK on the Tu-2 took part in hostilities against Japan. After the end of the war, the Tu-2 had long been in service with the air forces of the USSR and the countries of people's democracy. It had to take part in the Korean War, the war in which took part piston aircraft created during the Second World War and the first generation of jets.
For the creation of the Tu-2, many workers of the Tupolev design bureau and serial factories in 1944 received high government awards.
AN Tupolev during the war and the work on the Tu-2 received in 1943 the Stalin Prize, in 1944 the Order of the Patriotic War and the Order of Suvorov, he was awarded the rank of Major General of the Aviation Engineering Service and in 1945 the title Hero of Socialist Labor.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|