Tu-85 ('85/1','85/2','851','852') by A.N.Tupolev (NATO "Barge")

caled-up Tu-80 with intercontinental range. It had to be powered by ASh-2 - the most powerful piston engines built in the USSR. This engine was not ready in time, and the backup VD-4K was installed. Aircraft was ready in 1950, and took off for the maiden flight on January 9, 1951 (crew commander A.D.Perelet). Trials program took a long time to fulfill, but no serious complications were encountered.
Most troubling system was new panoramic radar station 'Rubidij-M' (sub-variant 'Rubidij-M-85'). But during trials it was brought almost to perfection and under designation 'Rubidij-MM' served with number of aircraft (Tu-16, Tu-95, Tu-104, Tu-114, M-4).
To provide required range, Tu-85 had a new high aspect ratio (11.4) wing. Thick wing skin (10mm in the roots) allowed to save much weight on wing structure. Wing was much lighter than on Tu-4 and Tu-80. Fuselage, tailplane, avionics, defence vere similar to those of the predecessors. Aircraft had electric de-icing system installed on wing and tail leading edges, engine cowling and cockpits glazing. Propeller blades had liquid de-icing system.
Tu-85/1 (first prototype) could accommodate bombs up to 9000kg each (high explosive FAB-9000). For special long range missions crew could be increased to 16. During trials aircraft radio-electronic equipment was gradually upgraded to accommodate the most recent system. 59 flights were performed (142h16min in the air).
The second aircraft was ready in Summer 1951, and flown on June 1951 with M.P.Marunov on controls. This aircraft accommodate several innovations:
  • fuel system was revised, decreasing gravity center 'migrations';
  • all glazing was replaced by twin glass;
  • tail gunner cabin got better glazing and provision for aiming radar 'Argon' (never fitted due to delays);
  • additional bays added (for light bombs);
  • wing structure was strengthened;
  • flaps and engine nacells were redesigned;
  • automatic liquid cooling system added to operate in parallel with manual backup;
  • fuel capacity increased to 69000l;
  • liquid oxygen tanks were installed;
  • electric system was improved - new generators, regulators, extra accumulator battery;
  • guns aiming computers (PBV-23) updated by more recent system (PBV-48M), extra ammo added;
  • torpedo and naval mine capability added;
  • It was also decided to reduce bombload to 12000kg, because two 6000kg nuclear bombs were far more 'effective' than conventional 9000kg FAB-9000.
    '85/2' systems turned to be much more reliable than those of '85/1'. It fulfilled test program in 25 flights (55h14min in the air). On July 8, 1951 Tu-85 participated in Tushino parade, escorted by MiG-15s. Would-be 'Flagman' of Soviet airforce was piloted by A.D.Perelet, the chief commander of the Moscow Military District aviation V.J.Stalin (son of J.Stalin) was aboard.
    Tu-85 performance was very good for 1949-1951, and production started (?). But at the time new jet engines entered the arena, and speed of 660km/h became insufficient for bombers. Straight wing had to give way to swept one.
    Tu-85 became an ultimate development of straight-wing heavy bomber with piston engines. Both built aircraft were used as a test until 1958, when airframe and engine resources were exhausted.
    32k 3-drawing from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.2 p.374

    Tu-80 '85'-TVD
    '85' tanker

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by V.B.Shavrov, Vol.2 p.372-374;
  • Russian Power - Tu-85 Barge
  • Tu-85, Tupolev 'Barge'
  • Tupolev aircraft
  • Tupolev aircraft at WWW.AVIATION.RU
  • Technical data
    Type Tu-85
    Function Strategic intercontinental bomber
    Year 1951
    Crew 11-12
    Engines 4*3800/4300hp Dobrynin VD-4K
    Length 39.91m
    Height 10.58m
    Wingspan 56.0m
    Wing area 273.9m2
    Empty weight 54711kg
    Loaded weight (normal) 76000kg
    Loaded weight (maximum) 107000kg
    Wing load 278 to 391kg/m2
    Power load 4.4 to 6.22kg/hp
    Speed at 0m 459km/h
    Speed at 10000m 638km/h
    Landing Speed 185km/h
    Landing Roll 1500 (500?)m
    Takeoff Roll 1640 (810?)m
    Range (max load) 8850km
    Range (5000kg bombs) 12000km
    Ceiling 11700m
    1000m min
    Fuel+Oil up to 48600kg
    Guns 10*23mm NR-23 4500rounds
    Bombs (normal> 5000kg
    Bombs (overload> 20000kg
    Created January 25, 1996
    Modified March 9, 1999
    by Alexandre Savine;
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