Tupolev Tu-2

Tupolev Tu-2

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The Soviet State Industries began producing the Tupolev Tu-2 for the Red Army Air Force in 1942. This medium bomber had a maximum speed of 342 mph (550 km) and had a range of 1,243 miles (2,000 km). It was 45 ft 3 in (13.80 m) long with a wingspan of 61 ft 10 in (18.85 m). The aircraft was armed with two 20 mm cannon, three machine-guns and carried 6,614 lb (3,000 kg) of bombs. Along with the Petlyakov Pe-2 the Tupolev Tu-2 was used in large quantities during the Second World War.

The Tu-2 was developed after a requirement of the Soviet Air Force for a bomber that can be used for dive bombing, for convetional bombing, as well as for reconnaissance roles. The aircraft should be the replacement for the SB-2 from the year 1934.

The Tu-2 prototype was designed as Samolyot 103 (Aircraft-103). The first prototype ANT-58 had its first flight on 29th January 1941 and was called FB-58 or Tu-58 as well. This prototype was designed to be a conventional bomber, while the second prototype ANT-59 (also Samolyot 103U First flight: 18th May 1941) was designed as a dive bomber. The last prototype ANT-60/103W was equipped with new ASch-82 engines, because the old AM-37 engines could not be mass produced as good as the new ones.

In November 1942 the first aircraft, under the specification ANT-61/Samolyot 103S, were delivered and they were first used in combat on 14th September 1942. At the beginning of the year 1943 it was named Tupolev Tu-2. In the year 1948 production ended. All in all 2,527 aircraft were built, depending on other sources 2,550 aircraft.

Tupolev Tu-2 - History

From this came the Tu-2, a twin-engine bomber that saw wide use in World War II and, in 1943, earned Tupolev his freedom and a Stalin Prize. Near the end of the war he was given the job of copying the U.S. B-29 Superfortress, three of which had force-landed…

…new twin-engine tactical bomber, the Tu-2, which was rolled out in late 1940 and which became the standard tactical bomber in the Soviet air force in the immediate post-World War II era. In July 1941 Tupolev and a number of colleagues were released from incarceration, just in time to assist…


This was a novel concept, but theory does not always translate into a perfect reality. Loading the 88 drum magazines required tons of man power 100 man hours to be more precise.

Once it was employed, pilot and flight crew would have thousands of spent brass cases spewing everywhere there was potential for the cases to get into the plane’s engine or to create jams in the other guns. Additionally, the plane had to fly below 800 feet to be within the appropriate range to deploy the guns, but that was highly dangerous well within the range of just about every weapon the Germans had in their arsenal. That last detail was the main issue that deterred use.

The main ingredient of the Hedgehog was the Pistolet Pulemjot Schpagina model of 1941, or rather just PPSh-41. Lposka CC BY-SA 3.0


Storia, sviluppo e impiego del Tupolev TU-2 corredata da oltre 125 foto d&rsquoarchivio anche inedite e accurati profili a colori con il camouflage e i markings della seconda guerra mondiale e anche della guerra di Corea quando venne impiegato dalle forze aeree cinesi.

  • The first comprehensive reference work on the Tupolev Tu-2 written by a native English speaker
  • The Tupolev Tu-2&rsquos place in military and aviation history is explored in great detail
  • Stunningly accurate colour profiles and many previously unpublished photographs

Although one of the best medium bombers of the Second World War &ndash fast, tough and with an excellent bomb load &ndash the Tu-2 is little known in the West. Tu-2: The Forgotten Medium Bomber provides a comprehensive history of this important aeroplane, complete with its developmental history in the war and its post-war history with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries.

First produced in 1942, the Tu-2&rsquos initial production ended in the same year, then as its combat capabilities became clear, it was reinstated into production. Because of the stop in production, the Tu-2 was not used in large numbers until the last year of the war where it proved to be extremely useful. With the end of hostilities, the Tu-2 continued to be developed into additional variants, including an all-weather fighter. In addition to its service in the war, it saw action in the Korean War with the Chinese Air Force.

This essential book also features stunning colour profiles of the Tu-2 with its wartime and post-war service with the Red Air Force and other nations. Uniquely illustrated with over 125 images &ndash many previously unpublished &ndash and stunningly accurate colour profiles, this book is essential reading for Second World War historians, aviation enthusiasts and modellers alike.

Tu-2 aircraft family, A.N.Tupolev

T echnical requirements on this new generation front line bomber (so designation FB, Frontovoj Bombardirovschik) became clear in 1940:

Officially project started on March 1, 1940. Most of the design team (including also R.L.Bartini and S.P.Korolev) were imprisoned as the 'Enemies of the People', and had to work really hard to survive. Approaching war with Germany kept people stressed (despite denied officially).

Series production started in February 1942 under designation ANT-60. Shortly production was interrupted because catastrophic shortages of front line fighters. Restarted in April 1943.

Originally Tu-2 served as front line and dive bomber. But during long career it got more assignments.

Production continued until 1952 (2527 built), in Soviet service until 1955.

(84k) Tu-2S at Krakow (Poland) Museum Lotnictwai Austronautyki, Rakowice Airfield. Photo by Paul Nann

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.

Heavy armament, powerful engines and incredible construction strength allowed the crew after dropping bombs to turn around and engage. enemy fighters.

Tu-2 was a mid-wing monoplane with large bomb bay under the wing and twin tails. Production aircraft differed slightly from each other by nose section shape and size, except long-range versions (those had noticeably larger wing and tail surfaces).Standard crew included pilot (in the front cockpit), navigator (behind him), gunner and radio operator/gunner in rear cockpit behind the wing. Long-range variants sometimes had crew of five, in some missions crew was cut to 2-3.

Bomb load was 1000kg inside the fuselage and 1000kg externally. Tu-2 was frequently used in overload configuration, carrying up to 4000kg of bombs. Maximum bomb caliber - 1000kg.

Normal armament included pair of 20mm ShVAK cannons in the wing roots and 3 to 5 7.62mm ShKAS in three (navigator, gunner, operator/gunner) defensive positions. Those were replaced by heavy 12.7mm UBT machineguns. Optional RS-132 launchers could be carried under the wing ( up to 10). In later modifications (including the most built) those launchers were deleted.

Since 1946 several Tu-2 were converted for special research goals. In-flight study of rocket and jet engines was performed on specially equipped Tu-2 'Flying Lab' (Letauschaja Laboratorija).

In 1948 detailed study of de-icing devices was carried out. Rubber strips, liquid and electric heating systems were evaluated. They worked fine but were found insufficiently robust (poor rubber quality). Proper choice of propeller (3.6m diameter AV-5V-21 was finally selected) allowed to keep flying characteristic unchanged with the same engines, while weight of empty aircraft was increased.

To support paratroop operations one Tu-2 was modified to carry and deploy by parachute a GAZ-67B light truck. Vehicle was installed on special cage and half-hidden in the bomb bay. Bay doors were removed. Deployment procedure was worked out, but performance degradation (speed down to 378km/h and ceiling down to 6000m) turned to be unacceptable. Conclusion was made that special fairing is needed to use Tu-2 for this purpose. Project was abandoned, because larger transport aircraft had an obvious advantages.

During WWII blimp-supported nets were widely used as anti-bomber defence. To cut through hanging wires special 'Paravan' modification was built. It carried 6m nose cone (light aluminum monocoque), propeller protection 13.5mm wires from the cone tip to wingtips and wing-tip mounted blades. To compensate for the cone and wires weight, 150kg balance was added to the tail.

Since this special aircraft carried no bombs, performance did not suffer. 'Paravan' aircraft could accompany bomber formations. Two were built and flown in September 1944. Finally found unnecessary.


Tupolev is the leading Russian company for design, manufacture and post-sale support of missile carrier bombers and special purpose aircraft. It is the head enterprise of the strategic and long-range aviation division of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

Offices: Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Zhukovsky, St. Petersburg, Taganrog, Ryazan (under the management), Akhtubinsk

Employees: more than 12,000

Head: Vadim V. Korolev, Managing Director of Tupolev PJSC

Russia to Reconstruct WWII era Tu-2 Aircraft Lying in US Museum

Russia plans to acquire a World War II era bomber, the Tu-2, lying in a United States museum, reconstruct the aircraft and put it into active service.

"For the first time in the world, a Tu-2 bomber will be reconstructed to its operational condition on the premises of the Novosibirsk State Technical University. The reconstruction work will be carried out by Aviarestavratsiya. This work will take three years," press office of Russia’s Science and Higher Education Ministry announced on Thursday.

The Tupolev Tu-2 bomber was purchased by Wings of Victory Foundation and will be delivered to Novosibirsk State Technical University on August 21-22. The reconstruction will make the twin-engine aircraft the only operational Tu-2 bomber.

The aircraft was in service with the USSR Air Force until 1949, after which it was transferred to China. It served with the Chinese forces until the 1980s and was decommissioned. The plane was then disassembled and delivered to the War Eagles Air Museum in the US.

"This is not a plane that was shot down or was broken. We have not yet studied its series numbers and have not yet tracked its exact history. The plane will be studied and analyzed in detail. Each element will be reconstructed or restored," said Wings of Victory Foundation President Boris Osyatinsky.

IPMS/USA Reviews

History: The TU-2 Bomber

This book gives a very detailed history of three Russian designed aircraft that were used in quantity by the Polish Air Force, mostly after the end of World War II. The first aircraft, the Tupolev TU-2, was used in quantity by Poland, mainly for medium bombing, and later as a reconnaissance type, trainer, and target tug. The author goes into considerable detail giving an account of the design origins of the type and its service with the Russians before the Polish Air Force acquired them after the war. An interesting fact is that Tupolev began the design of the TU-2 before the outbreak of the war, and apparently he had run afoul of the Communist Party ideology. His design team was forced to work in a Soviet prison camp from 1939 until 1941, when they were finally rewarded for their success by early release from prison. During the war, several variants of the TU-2 were produced, and the plane served effectively during the war, with the TU-2S variant being the type that was exported to Poland after the war entering service in 1949. The TU-2S was used in several roles during its service career, by both the Polish Air Force and Navy, its career ending when they were replaced by the Soviet Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle jet bomber.

The TU-2S was a very effective aircraft in the hands of both Russians and Poles, but training crews was another matter. Towards the end of the war, Tupolov was heavily occupied developing a copy of the Boeing B-29, as several had landed in Russian territory after raids on Japan, and the Russians couldn't bring themselves to be honest and return the aircraft. Instead they kept the planes, and the crews, and had the nerve to charge the Americans for their room and board while they were held prisoner. Of course they used the B-29's to copy the airframes so they could develop a strategic bomber, since they had not developed the technology to build one on their own. The result looks almost exactly like a B-29. So when they were asked to develop a specialized trainer variant of the TU-2 they were too occupied with the B-29's, so the task was passed on to Sukhoi who developed the trainer, designated UTB-2.

The UTB-2 Trainer

The UTB-2 was basically similar to the TU-2, although it was basically simplified, with 700 hp, radial engines replacing the 1600 to 1800 hp. radials that powered the TU-2, along with two bladed props. Internal arrangements differed, the goal being to produce a plane that would be ideal for training pilots and aircrews. This was a postwar design, and the type entered service with the Soviet and Polish air forces in the late forties. The type was used for a number of years, being finally retired in 1956. Unfortunately, all of them were scrapped, and none survives today.

The SHCHE-2 Transport

One problem that the Russians had during the war was the lack of a light transport aircraft capable of carrying crews and aircraft components to frontline airfields. The Soviet-built Li-2, actually a DC-3 airliner built under license, was a little large for the role, and the Polikarpov PO-2 two seat bi-plane, of which over 30,000 were built, wasn't quite large enough to carry engines and heavy parts. Yakovlev built a small light transport during this time period, but they were occupied with fighter production, and couldn't devote the time to designing this type of aircraft. In 1941, the Shcherbakov Design Bureau began work on a light transport to fill the need of the Air Force. Originally they intended to use a pair of German 240 hp. Argus engines, but when they found that they weren't available in the numbers the Russians were interested in, the only alternative was to use the much smaller Shvetsov M-11D air-cooled radial engines used on the Polikarpov Po-2 biplane trainer. This meant that the Shche-2 would be almost dangerously underpowered, and a total of only 567 Shche-2's was built during the war, production ending in 1946. The aircraft was built of non-strategic materials, and a trainer version was also developed. Polish pilots began training in the aircraft in 1944, and the first ones reached the Polish military in 1945, just at the end of the war. The Poles used the aircraft primarily for training, but they were also used to train parachutists. After the war, training operations resulted in a high accident rate, and the last one survived until 1947. Unfortunately, none has survived.

The Book

The book presents a very detailed history of the three aircraft types, especially as they were used by the Polish Air Force. Although there are no three-view line drawings of the types, which would be useful, there are excellent black and white photos, and numerous side, top, and bottom color views of the aircraft which accompany the black and white photos. There is easily enough information presented to build models of the Tupolev bombers and trainers, and probably enough to build a scratch-built model of the Shche-2 light transport. There are several kits of the TU-2, notably one by Hobby Boss in 1/72 scale, and this could probably be used as a basis of conversion to the trainer variant, although the conversion would most likely be fairly complicated. There is not, to my knowledge, a kit produced by anyone of the Shche-2 aircraft, but after this book hits the market, I wouldn't be surprised if one suddenly appears. One can hope.


This book is rather typical of the high-quality publications that are being produced by Eastern European companies. There is a lot of information that has not been published before, and I can highly recommend this book to anyone interested in this fascinating period of aviation history. Don't miss out on this one.

Aviation of Word War II

Development of a bomber began Tu-2 at the end of 1939. This airplane, as well as Pe-2 formed in prison conditions, but it became the best Soviet bomber of WW2. In January, 1941 the prototype airplane designated "103" has issued on tests. In May of the same year tests of its improved version "103U" have begun.

On tests "103" and "103U" have shown hight flight performances. On speed on mean and high altitudes, range, bombing loading and a power of defensive arms they essentially surpassed Pe-2. In July, 1941 the solution on start "103U" in a series was accepted. However in conditions of the begun war to organize manufacture of motors of AM-37 it was not possible. Therefore designers had to rework an airplane under other motors ASh-82 of Shvetsov which have just started to be produced.

Tests of new version of the airplane named "103В", and then Tu-2 have begun in December, 1941, and in 1942 from the conveyor the first production machines have manufactured. Pilots - front-line soldiers extremely highly have estimated a new bomber. They liked its good flight performances, a capability of the sure flight on one motor, the good scheme of a defensive armament, the big bombing loading.

On the plant was manufactured already 80 aircrafts when has come the governmental solution on its replacement by fighter Yak-9.

* Forcing of the engine during 10 minutes.

** Decrease flight dimensions is caused by amplification of defensive arms.

The inaccuracy of this solution became obvious very soon, and manufacture Tu-2 have renewed a year later, after the Battle of the Kursk Bulge. By that time, the Tu-2S (standard) had been significantly improved. Its design has been simplified from a technological point of view. The aircraft became easier to operate, and also had better characteristics. The plane damaged during state tests was repaired. Its tests continued in Moscow, where the Tupolev design bureau returned (in November 1943). The next series of tests took place from March 19 to April 28, 1943.

The modified car showed the following speed growth:

At 6 km/h near the ground with normal engine operation

12 km/h in second boost gear

The speed of 545 km/h was developed in afterburner with the second turbocharging gear.

Various works to improve the Tu-2. During preparation for serial production at plant No. 7 in 1942, instead of a ShKAS machine gun, it was decided to install a 12.7-mm Berezin machine gun in the lower rear firing point. In the spring of the same year, the UB machine gun was placed at the place of the radio operator, and in the fall - the navigator. When the production of the Tu-2 was interrupted in October 1942, the plane was already carrying only large-caliber machine guns. The fixed 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns installed in the bow and firing forward were removed at the request of the military. At the beginning of 1942, the armament of the Tu-2 consisted of two ShVAK cannons installed in the center section, and three large-caliber machine guns that protected the rear hemisphere.

In May 1943, Tupolev proposed to install new M-82FNV engines (forced with direct injection) on the 103V. In July 1943, a prototype with new engines showed that the speed at the ground increased by 32 km/h, at an altitude of 1450 m - by 18 km/h and at an altitude of 5000 m - by 23 km / h. According to the results of the GKO tests, by order No. 3754 of July 17, 1943, he sent Tu-2 with M-82FNV engines into series.

In July and August 1943, the Tupolev Design Bureau modified aircraft No. 716, which became the prototype for the Tu-2S (C is the standard). The production of aircraft was established at the plant number 23, which until that time had been producing Il-4 bombers).

Airplanes of this type were applied on fronts since 1944. For the period 1942 - 1945 of all have constructed 1216 Tu - 2.

Watch the video: IL2 1946 Tupolev Tu-2S