Pe-8/TB-7, V.M.Petlyakov


(b/w 65k) from TOTAVIA collection, managed by Adrian Cybriwsky;

T
he only four-engined bomber the USSR used during WWII.
The TB-7 was developed from the ANT-42 prototypes, flown in 1936-1937. Radically differed from prototypes by new powerplants (allowing to eliminate odd fifth engine, driving centralized supercharger in the fuselage).
Production started in 1939 and lasted until October 1940, 79 aircraft came out of assembly line. In service since May 1940, and remained there for almost all the War period. Apart of numerous raids deep into Germany held territory (particularly Berlin), TB-7 got his fame for remarkably long flights. Those included Molotov (then Soviet Foreign minister) flight to Washington from Moscow (17,700km) with landings in Scotland, Iceland and Canada in May-June 1942.
With Pe-8 designation assigned in 1941, aircraft carried 4 tons of bombload and sufficient defence armament. Two gunners had quite unusual positioning - in rear part of the inboard engine nacells.
Some with M-30B/ACh-30B diesel engines. This solution proved itself unreliable. After production of the AM-35A engine was ceased, Shvetsov M-82 and M-82FN radials were fitted to approximately 50 production series aircraft.
Despite series of aerodynamic improvements, aircraft never achieved an optimum configuration due to a lack of interest on the part of military authorities. Approximately 30 aircraft survived the war and remained in service until the late 1950s.
References
  • Military Parade magazine, article in November/December issue;
  • Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi "Combat Aircraft Of World War II" Vol. IV, 1940-1941, ISBN 0-517-56843-8;
    More Links...
  • Pe-8 (TB-7) HEAVY LONG-RANGE BOMBER article;
  • Pe-8 at Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • Pe-8, Petlyakov
  • TB-7, Petlyakov
  • Technical data
    Type Pe-8/TB-7
    Function strategic bomber
    Year 1939
    Crew 11
    Engines 4*1350hp Mikulin AM-35A
    Wingspan 39.1m
    Length 23.6m
    Height 6.2m
    Takeoff Weight 31,420kg
    Speed 438km/h
    Ceiling 8400m
    Range 4700km
    Armament
    Guns 2*g20mm
    2*mg7.62mm
    2*mg12.7mm
    Bombs 4000kg
    Modified December 29, 1996
    by Alexandre Savine;
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