Myasishchev Molot - Service
The bombers of the experimental series were followed by other machines. Several parallel planes were built, but often the M-4 with the later rooms overlook the flight test station before the preceding few. The first machines were very raw, long delayed by the factory for LIS improvements that led to the disruption of production plans, and the Government is constantly required to build momentum issue. Stalking customer hurried to the transfer of M-4 in the army. Great labor built 32 production aircraft, three of them died barely born and buried their crews. One crash occurred during the distillation to combat units due to the storm hit. Other - during acceptance testing because of a fire resulting from the destruction of loosening the fuel with which to fight for reduction of weight lifted "extra" attachment points.
The third disaster occurred as the aircraft factory at flight crew (commander - Ilya Pronin, copilot - Valentin Kokkinaki, the younger brother of famous test pilots). Plane took off from the band almost immediately after the load mechanism "vzdyblivaniya." Ship continued intensively nose up, then lurched and fell on the wing. The tragedy occurred in front M.L.Gallaya who described her reasons in a letter to aircraft and aviation history researcher Yu.A.Gugle. "When disaster struck Pronin-Kokkinaki, I confess, took the wrong position: suspected that" ate "the boost control. Believe in stalling nature of the phenomenon could not at first, because on the M-4 was made at that time about 200 flights, of which nearly 100 Opadchim and dozens of me, and never seen anything like it. But it turned out that we were all flying somewhere on 1-2 ¦ * pick from! And it was enough to slightly more than you need , takeoff ... elevator deflection up or random gust of wind or other characteristics of a little "vzdyblivaniya" chassis that was an accident."
In the same letter Lazarevic Mark wrote: "Some time later, also picked up on takeoff Opadchego. But the old horse will not spoil the furrow! Fedor grabbed phenomenon instantly and parried it is not primarily the aileron and elevator energetic impact. Machine, not having gone further 5 - 7 m above the ground, passes on the nose, knocked on the front bogie B/7/7 and left safely in the air."
As it turned out, the reason lay in the pickup aerodynamic features of the M-4: there was a range of angles of attack, in which an increase in the angle of the lift did not grow, but the time appeared to pitch. Continue to exclude such elevator deflection angles restricted more than doubled, while on board the cabin caused grading at which control the position of commander of the wheel. Developed new techniques takeoff. Now the crew commander expected deflection angle RVs, knowing the weight of the machine, alignment, wind, barometric pressure, air temperature, and had strictly withstand the desired mode.
The machine was considered a strict piloting challenge, especially during takeoff and landing. Pilots had to get used to the fact that the plane comes off the strip "automatically" only by operation of the mechanism "vzdyblivaniya" and should only pedals keep the car on the line, and if necessary to fend off the roll. Many guided by their subjective feelings, trying to "help" the plane and took the wheel itself, which, as we recall, was unsafe. Pronin conducted after the disaster-management system Kokkinaki refinement gave a positive effect, and, reportedly, after only one accident occurred due to stall on takeoff (in 1971, the plane crashed when piloted by Bondarenko, who took off with flaps installed an unacceptable position, which caused the pickup and dumping).
However, the problem of small stocks on angle of attack will not go away, which greatly complicated landing. Pilot should strictly maintain the landing angle, because while a decrease by a few degrees the great ship "came" on the front foot and started to "bounce", and as a slight increase could lead to a stall and picked up the aircraft wing. Problems adding imperfect spring loading mechanism of the first cars due to the efforts at the helm of which were very large, and the pilots during maneuvers had to do hard labor.
There have been cases of folding chassis or non-issuance. One of them came with a crew Yu.P.Zasedateleva during a night landing at the airfield Semipalatinsk. After unsuccessful attempts to release emergency rack and "squeeze" their overloaded with land received an order to leave the machine. But the commander decided to land the plane on the fuselage on the unlit spare dirt runway. That he succeeded brilliantly. The expensive plane was repaired and returned to service. In the same Semipalatinsk suffered because folding rear landing gear is another M-4. It also restored by replacing the entire tail section. Car photographed, progress reports sent to Moscow, but did not dare to operate the ship and written off over time.
An unexpected problem arose in the winter. Scraping the snow off the full swing huge wing onto concrete taxiing and parking proved to be practically impossible. Therefore, when the plane started to haul tail forward, wheels underwing supports fall into drifts that lead to failure of the nodes mounting racks, which were not designed for such loads.
The first M-4 aircraft began to be mastered in 1954 by pilots of the 1096th Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Tbap) of the 201st Heavy Bomber Air Division (Tbad) deployed in Engels. They started flying at the LII aerodrome, and only in February 1955 did the first M-4 land in Engels. Then the pilots of the 40th Tbap and the 79th Tbap, the 73rd Tbad in the Far Eastern Ukraine began to master these machines.
The tactics of using M2 strategic jet bombers included flying along the route with a regiment or squadron system at an altitude of about 8-11 km. Aircraft should, in close interaction with each other, repel the attacks of enemy fighters. In the USSR, it was believed that the cannon weapons system would effectively deal with interceptor aircraft armed with large-caliber 12.7 mm machine guns and NAR with a launch range of up to a thousand meters. The route to the targets had to be laid bypassing the air defense airfields. Immediately above the targets, the system was dissolved and each “strategist” went to attack his ground object. The return of the planes to the bases took the shortest path, since it was believed that after using nuclear weapons the air defense system would be disrupted, which would allow the planes to bypass dangerous areas for them with minimal losses.
At the same time, taking off from Engels, the first Soviet jet strategic bombers could reach targets only in the center and in the north of Canada. In order to strike at the “stronghold of imperialism”, it was necessary to modernize the airfields, which were located close to the borders of the country, primarily Šiauliai (in the Baltic states) and Ukrainka (the Far East). It was from these airfields that combat sorties were to be carried out in the event of a major war with the United States. The main objectives of the Soviet bombers were to become large industrial and military installations. So, dozens of US strategic aviation bases were located near the border with Canada: Lorin (Maine), Griffis (New York), Grand Forks (North Dakota), Fairchild (Washington) and others. Here were the most important industrial facilities - engineering,
If the target of the bombing was outside the radius of the aircraft (and there were a lot of such “interesting” objects for attack), the option of actions was seriously considered, in which the jet bomber did not return to the USSR, but was withdrawn to the specified region of the ocean, where the crew who left the plane had to wait on an inflatable boat for the approach of Soviet submarines. It was believed that even one atomic bomb dropped on enemy territory would justify such an “expense” method of using existing strategic bombers.
In the first three years of operation of the new strategic bomber in the 201st TBAD in Engels, a large number of accidents and at least six accidents involving a new aircraft occurred. It all ended with the fact that in the unit there was a real “female riot”, when the pilots' wives gathered on the airfield, disrupting the flight. In fairness, we can say that the process of mastering and operating other machines began hard, for example, only from 1954 to 1958 in the Soviet Union at least 25 Tu-16 bombers died in catastrophes. At the same time, in the future this aircraft will become a standard of reliability, and its deeply modernized version of the Xian H-6 still makes flights and is, in fact, the only "strategic" bomber of the PRC.
In 1958, the drill operation of the entire fleet of 2M aircraft was discontinued for more than a year due to the high accident rate of the machine and a large number of failures. At this time, the crews of the bombers flew on the Tu-16 or were seconded to other units, many underwent internships at Aeroflot. During the forced downtime, 2M bombers changed their profession, turning into tanker aircraft, and a significant set of improvements was also made, including the landing gear and aircraft control system. In total, more than two dozen vehicles remained in service, of which two squadrons of tanker aircraft were formed, which were directly subordinate to the command of the 201st TBAD.
Despite the high accident rate and shortcomings, the Soviet strategic missile bomber 2M aka M-4 was the first such machine. The experience of operating these aircraft in the 201st heavy bomber aviation division specially created for their development on September 4, 1954 did not pass without a trace. It did not become useless for designers who, on the basis of real experience in operating the machine, created the following modification of the strategist - the famous Myasischevsky 3M, which remained in service until 1994, as did its predecessor, ending up serving as a refueling aircraft.