Su-2 / BB-1, P.O.Sukhoj

Replica(?), at Victory Park (43k) by Paul Nann; (b/w 64k) from Ever Changing Page of Roy Cochrun. Photo by Bob Pickett (?).

L
ight monoplane bomber. It was developed through series of prototypes from the ANT-51 when P.O.Sukhoj became a head of independent team. Design and trials were carried out under heavy secrecy restrictions. Designed as a first strike aircraft, Su-2 was unknown not only to Luftwaffe, but also to Red Army pilots. Moreover, it carried no stars on upper wing surfaces. Not a wonder, that sometimes it was hunted by both German and Soviet fighter. First aircraft scored by famous ace A.Pokryshkin was Su-2 piloted by young pilot I.Pstygo.
Obviously a transitional aircraft, it saw intense combat in the Great Patriotic War until front line attack regiments were re-equipped with superior Il-2.
Despite performance was very good (for single-engine bomber), Su-2 suffered heavy losses - mostly because was forced to operate without escort fighters during messy 1941. Indeed, there were only two Soviet bombers (attackers) capable to survive under those conditions - fast agile Pe-2 and well armored Il-2. And of course it shared common limitations of this type of aircraft built by other nations as a lack of maneuverability, weak defense and disappointing overall performance.
Aircraft was built in several defence weapon arrangements:
  • One or twin machine gun(s) in conventional turret (see photos);
  • Retractable turret, otherwise flash with fuselage (early models);
  • Retractable housing in the belly;
    Engine power was increased radically, but it penalized overall flying performance (except of course the speed). Final production aircraft carried only 2 machine guns in wings (instead of four original) and only 400kg of a bombload...
    Over 2,000 Su-2 built, retired in 1942.
  • Technical data
    Type Su-2
    BB-1
    Function bomber
    Year 1940
    Crew 2
    Engine 950hp Shvetsov M-88
    1100hp Shvetsov M-88B
    1400hp Shvetsov M-82
    Wingspan 14.3m
    Length 10.46m
    Height 3.75m
    Weight Normal Takeoff 5310kg (4700kg???)
    Speed 468km/h at 4700m
    485km/h at 5850m
    375km/h at 0m
    Ceiling 8800-9000m
    Range 1100-1200km
    Armament
    Guns 3-5*mg7.62mm
    Bombs 400kg (600kg)
    Rockets 10xRS-82
    Modifications :
  • Su-4 - with new 2100hp M-90(?) engine;
  • ShB - Experimental armored version, M-90 engine;
    References
  • Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi "Combat Aircraft Of World War II" Vol. IV, 1940-1941, ISBN 0-517-56843-8;
    More Links...
  • Su-2 at Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • BB-1, Sukhoi
  • Su-2, Sukhoi
  • Modified January 3, 1997
    by Alexandre Savine;
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