Military Review

Be-10: the world's first serial jet seaplane

Due to the mass of problems, the first domestic jet seaplane R-1 did not go into series, and the only machine built was broken in the mid-fifties. However, problems with the first draft of a jet-powered flying boat could not be a good reason to stop all work in this direction. Naval command fleet demanded to develop a new seaplane for marine aviation. So began история Be-10 project, during which some success was achieved. In particular, the new aircraft, in contrast to its predecessor, still reached mass production and operation in the military.

At the beginning of autumn 1953, when the military refused to further support the P-1 project, the commander of the Navy’s aviation, E.N. Transfiguration took the initiative to develop a new seaplane. The proposal was supported by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy N.G. Kuznetsov. The result was the Council of Ministers Decree No. 2622-1105ss, issued on October 8 of the year 1953. In accordance with this document, Taganrog OKB-49, headed by G.M. Beriev, was to develop a new jet seaplane called the Be-10. This machine was intended to conduct reconnaissance in the interests of the Navy, attack enemy coastal objects and ships with the help of bombs and torpedoes, the installation of naval mines, etc.

The first jet seaplane developed by OKB-49 did not fully meet the requirements of the customer, which was one of the main reasons for the termination of work on it. Despite this, the requirements for the Be-10 were significantly higher than those for the P-1. The maximum speed was set at the level of 950-1000 km / h, the flight range was at least 3000 km, the practical ceiling was at least 12-14 km. It was required to take off and land with winds up to 20 m / s and waves up to 1,5 m. The first prototype of the flying boat Be-10 was to be tested in November 1955. Later it was planned to build a second prototype, capable of taking off both from the water and from land aerodromes.

The new project Be-10, which received the designation "M" in OKB-49, was of great importance for developers. After the failure of the P-1 project, it was imperative that a new seaplane be developed and brought to mass production. In case of a repeated failure, the corresponding conclusions could follow, up to the dissolution of the design bureau. Therefore, employees of OKB-49 began to use all the existing experience and actively involve related research organizations.

The first jet seaplane P-1 had big problems with the design of the fuselage-boat and its behavior during the takeoff run. Fortunately, the correction of the identified deficiencies was associated with conducting a mass of studies, which to some extent facilitated the process of creating a new aircraft. However, in the development of the case had to spend a lot of research and testing. Initially, several variants of the hull design were proposed, which were tested in the hydro-channel of TsAGI. Then new models were made for testing at the mouth of the Don River. The large model, which was towed by a torpedo boat, was also checked there. Due to such lengthy and complex work, it was possible to work out the main features of the fuselage-boat and provide acceptable characteristics.

Already at the stage of preliminary works some problems connected with aerodynamics and layout appeared. Thus, the calculations showed that the rejection of the external armament suspension will increase the maximum flight speed by about 100 km / h. In addition, the internal placement weapons allowed to protect it from various adverse factors. However, the creation of such a cargo compartment proved to be an extremely difficult task. The required load could be placed only inside the fuselage-boat. As a result, it was necessary to develop a large hermetic hatch, closing the cargo compartment and withstanding the loads during run-up and run. Such units were developed for the first time in world practice.

Enough problems with the overall appearance of the car. According to calculations, it was supposed to have three times the take-off weight compared to the previous P-1. More weight, more powerful engines, internal cargo compartment and other original proposals accordingly affected the complexity of the project. The situation was complicated by the fact that the number of OKB-49 personnel left much to be desired. To facilitate the development of G.M. Beriev organized a special group at a brigade of general types headed by A.G. Bogatyrev. This group brought together 20 specialists from all departments of the design bureau. Due to the complexity and secrecy of the work, the group was placed in a separate room, which was one of the reasons for the specific attitude of colleagues. There was a widespread opinion among the bureau employees that the new group was in fact not engaged in anything, and its members "got to the resort." As a result, the group came up with the name-nickname "Sochi-Matsesta."

However, the staff included in the special group did not rest, but were engaged in extremely important matters. In a relatively short time, they formed the main features of the appearance of the promising Be-10 seaplane, which later formed the basis of the project. Already by mid-May, an outline design was prepared for 1954, and in early June, the construction of the layout of the new aircraft was completed. By this time a glider was built for static tests. In addition, at the beginning of the summer of 54, the construction of the first prototype, which was intended for flight tests, was launched. Plant # XXUMX (Taganrog) was involved in the construction of airplanes and gliders for testing. At this enterprise, the flying boats Be-86 were already built, therefore, OKB-6 and the plant had experience of fruitful cooperation. Nevertheless, the plant was already loaded with orders, which is why the construction of the experienced Be-49 proceeded at an insufficiently high rate.

Be-10: the world's first serial jet seaplane
Project Be-10H

Project Be-10 with engines AL-7PB

Rocket K-12, designed for armament of the Be-10H seaplane

Schemes Be-10

Serial Be-10 before finalizing the air intakes

Despite the problems, the first prototype of the Be-10 seaplane was completed in October 1955. Now it is possible to start testing new cars in the terms established by Sovmin. However, aircraft manufacturers faced serious climatic problems. Traditionally, the testing area of ​​the OKB-49 aircraft was the water area of ​​the Taganrog Bay. However, in late November or early December, the bay was covered with ice, due to which it was necessary to stop the tests until March-April. For example, when testing the P-1, we had to take two winter breaks. At the end of the forties, a search began for a new place to conduct tests without any interruptions. In 1949 year gm Beriev found a convenient bay in the region of Gelendzhik, where a military unit had previously been located, from which some infrastructure remained, including a hydro-release for airplanes. It took several years to negotiate, which is why the new test base began work only in 1955 year. In mid-November, the Be-10 aircraft, partially disassembled, was loaded into a special dock and delivered to Gelendzhik. December 20 began the first factory tests.

The Be-10 was an all-metal flying boat with a high-swept wing. It should be noted that some features characteristic of later OKB-49 seaplanes are guessed in the guise of this car, although there are some differences related to the accumulation of experience in creating and operating such equipment.

The seaplane had a fuselage-boat length 31,45 m. The lower part of the fuselage was made on the basis of 77 frames connected by stringers and skin. Internal fuselage volumes were divided by bulkheads with hermetic doors into nine compartments. The aircraft was buoyant if the two compartments were damaged and filled with water. The fore and aft compartments were designed to accommodate the crew and were sealed. General ideas implemented in the design of the cockpit of the aircraft Be-10, were borrowed from the flying boat P-1. Thus, the pilot and navigator were located in two bow cabs and had to fall into place through the hatch in the left side. For the emergency escape of the aircraft using ejection seats, the navigator's top hatch and the pilot's flashlight were used. The gunner-radio operator was located in the tail cabin and had his own side door. Bailout arrow was made through the hatch in the bottom.

Inside the fuselage, behind the redan, there was a cargo compartment for carrying a combat load. For loading bombs or mines it was proposed to use the hatch in the upper deck (in the center section) of the aircraft. To relieve the load, a sealed double hatch in the bottom was used. In addition, in the bottom of the boat there were three hatches for cameras used in reconnaissance.

Be-10 with extended air inlets in Gelendzhik Bay

Tests of fire-fighting equipment of the power unit Be-10

Be-10 became the first Soviet seaplane with swept wings. This flying boat received a cantilever wing with a span of 28,6 and an area of ​​130 square meters. m and sweep 35 °. The wing was made according to the “gull” scheme with a small transverse V of the center section and a negative V console. The power set of the wing - two-spar caisson type. Two aerodynamic ridges were provided on the upper surface of each console. On the ends were mounted streamlined floats. The wing mechanization consisted of retractable single-slit flaps and ailerons.

The aircraft also had swept tail with a stabilizer mounted on the keel. The leading edge of the keel was swept by 35 °, the stabilizer was 40 °. The plumage was carried out according to the two-spar scheme with a working skin.

The control system of the aircraft was built on the basis of rigid wiring. There were no boosters, but spring servo compensators and trimmers were used to reduce the load on the controls. All steering wheels supplied with electric trimmer. In the case of the elevator trimmer, the electrical system was duplicated by cables. Under the bottom there was a steering wheel for driving when driving on water, connected to the steering wheel wiring on the keel.

Under the center section of the aircraft, on the sides of the fuselage, there were two engine nacelles. The air intakes of the engines were placed in front of the front edge of the wing, and the exhaust pipes were installed with the collapse outward, in order to avoid damage to the tail of the aircraft by the gases of the engines. To protect against water sprays on the nacelle had a set of special plates. On the gondola hulls there were flaps that opened access to the units and served as a platform for the technical staff when servicing the aircraft on the water.

The Be-10 aircraft was completed with two AM-7 turbojet engines in 7350 kg. The engines were completed with turbo starters. The fuel system included 16 unprotected soft wing tanks. As the production of fuel tanks filled with neutral gas. The engine compressors were equipped with an air conditioning system for the crew cabin air conditioning.

Being a seaplane, the Be-10 could independently carry out a number of operations peculiar to ships. For this, it was equipped with bottom and two floating anchors, anchor winch, cat, pumps, etc. In addition, there was a rescue inflatable boat on board. Thus, the crew could put their seaplane on the anchorage, make minor repairs and perform other operations.

In the forward part of the fuselage, a place was provided for the installation of two automatic guns НС-23 of caliber 23 mm. Two more of these guns were placed on the aft installation, controlled by the gunner-radio operator. The aft turret was controlled by the PKS-53 sighting station and the Argon radar sight.

The normal aircraft payload was 1500 kg. In an overload, he could take on board up to 3300 kg of bombs, torpedoes or mines. The Be-10 could transport and use up to 20 aerial bombs of 100 caliber, up to two BRAB-1500 bombs, two or three PAT-52 torpedoes or the same number of AMD-2M mines, or up to four PMI-500M mines. For aiming during bombing in the navigator's cabin there was an OPB-11С sight. Loading the payload was to be made through the top (on the water) or the bottom (on the ground) hatch.

To search for surface targets, the aircraft was carrying the Kurs-M radar. In addition, it was equipped with the ARK-5 radio compass, radio altimeters, radio stations, the silicon-2 identification equipment, as well as other flight and navigation systems. At the bottom of the boat there was an installation for mounting various types of aerial cameras. Before shooting, a small hatch was opened in the bottom, and the installation with a camera was translated into a vertical position.

The new seaplane turned out much larger and heavier than its predecessor. Its normal take-off weight reached 45 T, the maximum - 48,5 T. The mass of the empty aircraft - 27,64 T. The volume of the tanks allowed to carry up to 18,75 T of kerosene and oil. According to calculations, the cruising speed of the Be-10 seaplane was equal to 800 km / h, the maximum (at the height of 5000 m) was to reach 910 km / h. Practical ceiling - 12 km. The maximum range of the flight was to reach 3150 km, the practical one was slightly less than 2900 km.

The basic version of the flying boat was proposed to be equipped with removable wheeled carts designed for launching and departing land. One pair of removable wheels mounted under the center section, the second - in the tail of the fuselage.

Factory tests launched 20 December 1955 of the year. Already when the engines were first turned on, the first design problems were identified. Because of the jet streams of the engines, the tail part of the machine began to vibrate, which caused some cracks in several parts and some nuts to unscrew. It was necessary to modify the design of the engine nacelle, increasing the angle of the collapse of the engine, as well as to strengthen some of the elements of the rear fuselage.

The flights of the new aircraft began on 20 June 1956 of the year. For the first time Be-10 took to the air under the control of test pilot V.V. Kuryachy. The 20-minute flight went well, but on landing the plane began to sail and lost the lower hatch of the gunner-radio operator. Starting from the second flight, GI became the test crew commander. Buryanov, who held this position until the end of factory testing. Until mid-December 1958, the experienced Be-10 performed 76 flights with a total duration of more than 83 hours.

20 July 1959 of the year, two Be-10 seaplanes immediately took to the state tests: the experienced and the first serial number 8600101. The prototype was used to determine flight and seaworthy characteristics, and with the help of serial weapons and various on-board equipment were tested. In just a few months, two planes in total flew almost 230 hours.

Exhausting device of the nasal cannon of the Be-10 seaplane

On the tests of the power plant Be-10

According to the results of state tests, the Be-10 seaplane was recommended for use in naval aviation. However, it was noted that the aircraft did not fully meet the requirements of the customer. For example, the maximum speed was at 40 km / h below the lower limit set by the terms of reference, the practical range did not reach the required almost 100 km, and the practical ceiling was less than the required one at 1,5-2 km. The main reason for this was considered to be insufficient performance characteristics of the AL-7 serial engines, which were lower than those stated. In addition, the reason for claims was the overhaul life of engines in just 40 hours.

During the tests, several problems were identified related to the design of the aircraft air intakes. Their design did not protect the engines from water, and when firing cannons there was a high risk of surge. An experiment showed that 10 liters of water trapped in the air intake was enough to stop the engine. To correct this deficiency, the elongated air channels of the engines were installed on the prototype seaplane. A new check has demonstrated the validity of this idea. According to the results of such tests, the serial aircraft No. 8600302 received air ducts, extended by 2 m with air intakes raised by 350 mm.

From the end of December 1959 to the end of April 1960, tests of the aircraft thus modified were conducted. The elongated air intake effectively protected the engine from water, allowing it to take off and land when the wind speeds up to 16 m / s and swells to a height of 0,8 m. In addition, the surge has ceased when firing from the nose guns on any flight modes. However, such improvements have reduced the maximum flight speed, ceiling and range. The loss of characteristics was so great that it was decided not to equip production aircraft with long air channels. We decided to do only a set of shields, catching spray.

Tests of the Be-10 aircraft continued until the early sixties, but the decision to start mass production was made back in the 1957 year. Before 1961, the 27 production machines of the new model were built in Taganrog. It is noteworthy that the volume of production is constantly changing. So, the peak of construction fell on 1959 the year when 12 new machines were handed over to the customer. All seaplanes of this type were sent to the 977-th separate naval deep-range reconnaissance naval aviation regiment, which in the 1961 year was renamed the 318-th separate naval anti-submarine aviation regiment.

Based on the Be-10 planned to create several special modifications. It is known about the development of a set of equipment that made it possible to make an ordinary training seaplane with additional controls in the navigator's cabin. Several such kits were made, but there is no information about their use. In 1961, the serial aircraft No. 0600505 lost aft artillery mount, instead of which the fairing was mounted. Several flights took place in August and September, during which crews set 12 world records, including speeds for seaplanes (912 km / h) and heights with 15-ton loads (11997 m).

One of the serial seaplanes after the cancellation participated in a curious experiment. He was put on a barrel in the Gelendzhik Bay and left for some time. Such a long experiment allowed us to study the effect of sea water on the metal structures of flying boats.

Since the spring of 1958, the OKB-49 specialists have been working on the project of the Be-10H rocket-carrying aircraft. By the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 564-275 of 26 in May, the project of the anti-ship missile K-12 was transferred to the design bureau of GM. Beriev. Using this product, it was decided to make an anti-ship complex K-12B. The base for it was to be a modified Be-10 seaplane. The Be-10H project proposed to replace the nose of the aircraft with a compartment with the necessary equipment, as well as to abandon the upper and lower hatches of the cargo compartment. Under the wing of a seaplane had to carry one or two anti-ship missiles.

After all the improvements, the take-off weight of the missile carrier was to reach 48,5 t. At the same time, the maximum speed was reduced to 875 km / h, and the combat radius (with one rocket without refueling) was equal to 1250 km. When refueling from a submarine in the open sea, the aircraft could perform combat missions at distances up to 2060 km from the base. The K-12 missile was supposed to fly to a range of up to 110 km and deliver a nuclear charge or high-explosive fragmentation warhead with an 216 kg of explosive to the target.

10 June 1959, the draft version of the K-12B and Be-10Н projects was approved by the aviation industry authorities. The development of the project continued, however, it was stopped in the summer of 1960. The proposed bomber plane had several serious problems that prevented its use in a real war. Firstly, it was an easy target for enemy fighters, and secondly, it needed refueling from submarines. During refueling, a seaplane and an emerging submarine risked being discovered and destroyed. In addition, refueling was possible only with weak excitement, which also hampered the combat work. The result of discussions of this problem was the resolution of the Council of Ministers of 12 in August 1960, which stopped all work on the Be-10Н aircraft and the K-12 rocket.

In 1961, the first demonstration of a new general seaplane took place. Four cars took part in celebrations dedicated to the Day of the Navy, and flew over Leningrad. Several Be-10 also participated in the Tushino air parade.

For several years, the Be-10 was the only jet plane in the navy of the Soviet Union. Despite this, the fleet command soon became disillusioned with him. The aircraft had insufficient engine power, its design was susceptible to corrosion, and seaworthy characteristics seriously affected the flexibility of use. Therefore, from 1964, the naval aviation command has proposed to discontinue the operation of the existing Be-10. Over time, naval aviation actually abandoned this technology, and the planes were idle on the coast. Only in 1968, the commander-in-chief of the Navy S.G. Gorshkov endorsed the proposal of the aviation command.

All built aircraft Be-10 were written off and disposed of. According to some information, two cars were stored for some time at the Taganrog plant No. XXUMX, one of them was planned to be made a monument. However, these plans were not implemented, and both gliders went for recycling. To date, not a single Be-86 seaplane has been preserved.

Despite not too long operation, which was not accompanied by special successes, the Be-10 seaplane occupies an important place in the history of Soviet / Russian and world aviation. He became the first serial flying boat with turbojet engines. In addition, this aircraft set 12 world records, some of which were held for quite a long time. It is very disappointing that the unique and most interesting from a technical and historical point of view, the aircraft remained only in photographs and drawings.

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  1. miv110
    miv110 23 March 2015 06: 56
    It's a shame all the same that many interesting designs after their implementation in metal remain subsequently only in photographs and drawings. The fruits of the labor of thousands of people dissolve in time. Whatever museum could be organized.
    1. Gamdlislyam
      Gamdlislyam 23 March 2015 11: 04
      Dear colleague Vadim, one of the reasons why this aircraft had an extremely short life (and safety) is the use of the new high-strength Al-8 alloy in power elements. Its properties have not yet been fully studied. After a series of disasters and accidents, during the investigation, many cracks in the power elements were discovered. Because of this, the aircraft simply began to collapse. Disposal of aircraft occurred precisely because of the physical condition of these machines.
      There was another reason why these planes left the military service. Khrushchev N.S. negative attitude towards aviation. In 1961, the naval torpedo aircraft of the Navy were eliminated. (There were objective reasons. In connection with the development of an air defense system, the chances of hitting a ship with a torpedo or a freely falling bomb were negligible, and this aircraft was not adapted for arming with missile weapons.)
      The 977th regiment, armed with the Be-10, became known as the 318th separate naval anti-submarine aviation regiment. But, for this purpose, the aircraft was little adapted.
      By the way, this car was never taken into the market.
    2. Civil
      Civil 23 March 2015 20: 07
      Well, the relevance of long-range seaplanes to help submarines has not been removed ... emergency crew assistance will always be needed
  2. qwert
    qwert 23 March 2015 07: 25
    The photo could be picked up and more qualitatively. And how from one magazine.
  3. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 23 March 2015 09: 16
    The first departure of the experimental jet flying boat Be-10 (aka M-10) took place on 30.06.1956/1961/7. The crew piloted the boat, consisting of: commander - military test pilot V.V. Kuryachiy, navigator Fadeev V.S. and flight attendant Galyatkin G.V. For the first time, these aircraft were demonstrated in public at an air parade in Tushino in 10. In the same year, on August 910, the flying boat M-15, piloted by the naval pilot Andrievsky N.I., developed a maximum horizontal speed of 25 km / h on a straight section of 3-10 km (a crew of three people). On September 4 of the same year, 1000 world speed records were set on the M-890 when flying in a circle of 5 km - 9 km / h with a payload of 10 tons in different flight modes. The honored test pilot of the USSR G.I. Buryanov, with him a crew of two people. Over the next 8 days, the same crew set another 15 world records on the M-000 boat: including reaching a height of 14 m without a load, reaching heights of 000 m with a load of 5 tons, 12 m with a load of 500 tons, and 10 m with a load of 12 tons.
    And here is a photo of the Be-10:
  4. Kornilovets
    Kornilovets 23 March 2015 10: 52
    The theme of hydroaviation continues to live ... An interesting car was, for its time ...
  5. rubin6286
    rubin6286 23 March 2015 11: 06
    The Be-10 seaplane was the next attempt to create a jet-powered flying boat in the USSR. Specific problems related to stability and controllability in various flight modes, compliance with the “area rule” in the presence of redan, floats and other attributes of a seaplane that arose during the design of R-1, also added new ones: ensuring the tightness of the cargo compartment (bomb bay) during landing on water, the difficulty of loading ammunition on land, the lack of boosters in the control system and the increase in effort on the control stick in take-off mode with a full bomb load when entering a shallow dive and out of it, surging engines when firing nose guns and stopping them when hit water into the air intake. The use of unprotected tanks, which were filled in flight as inert gas was consumed, was ineffective and unsuitable in combat conditions, as was the air conditioning system in the cockpit, which significantly affected the survivability of the aircraft. The aircraft during landing “Barsil” is practically unsuitable for landing on water with a wave of 2 points and could not be used in the Baltic, Northern and Pacific Fleets. All records set on the Be-10 were performed by experienced test pilots taking off from land. To master the machine in combat units, the matter, in simple terms, did not reach.

    Most often, by the design flaws, one can judge the maturity of the design team. In this regard, in the mid-50s, the Design Bureau of G.M. Beriev was considered relatively young. Could the fate of the car be different if its creation were entrusted to the Design Bureau of Tupolev or Ilyushin? I think not, although the plane could probably be more rational. The rapid development of missile weapons put an end to the very idea of ​​a combat jet seaplane. In the United States and Great Britain they also refused to build such machines.
    1. Aleksandr72
      Aleksandr72 23 March 2015 12: 01
      Yes ... "the boat was heavy" - though it was said about the difficulties of operating another flying boat developed by Beriev Design Bureau - the post-war Be-6. But on the other hand, the design, testing, in a number of cases, the operation of such machines as the Be-6, Be-8, R-1, Be-10 in the troops gave Beriev's Design Bureau invaluable experience, which proved itself in the development of the famous "Chaika" - a seaplane -amphibians Be-12:
      In the mid-60s, the design team headed by G.M. Beriev, a new Be-12 amphibious anti-submarine aircraft was created. In October 1960, the new aircraft made its maiden flight. The machine was intended to replace the Be-6 flying boat. The Be-12 seaplane is a monoplane with a two-spar "gull" wing. The aircraft has an all-metal construction, the main material is duralumin. The boat is two-legged. The rear step is pointed, with a water rudder, Wing floats are not retractable. The Be-12 became the first Russian amphibious aircraft equipped with turboprop engines. It was equipped with two Progress AI-20D theaters, designed by A.G. Ivchenko with a motor resource of 4000 hours and a power of 5500 hp each. The engines were equipped with automatic four-bladed AV-68I propellers with a diameter of 4,5 m. To ensure the viability of the aircraft when the main engines were inoperative, auxiliary AI-12 GTEs were installed on the Be-8. To search for submarines, the aircraft had a radar located in the nose cone, and a magnetic anomaly sensor in the tail rod, which was placed to eliminate interference by the tail unit. During its operation, 42 world records were set on it. As of 2014, the Russian Navy still had 15 anti-submarine aircraft of this type in service - although I do not know how many of them are in flight condition.
      Here is a photo of the Be-12 Seagull:
      1. padded jacket
        padded jacket 23 March 2015 13: 59
        Thank you, great and very informative article.
      2. Riperbahn
        Riperbahn 27 March 2015 09: 59
        In the 80s, they often saw them over the Kola Bay. Beautiful planes!