Military Review

M-4: the world's first strategic jet bomber

44
M-4: the world's first strategic jet bomber



January 20 1953 for the first time the Soviet competitor of the American B-52 rose to the sky, who went into service several months earlier than his rival
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki heralded the beginning of an era of nuclear weapons. But it was not enough to invent and manufacture a bomb — it had to be delivered to the site of the bombing. And it is precisely with this that the opponents of the new, "cold" war have problems. Both in the USSR and in the USA there were enough modern bombers capable of delivering powerful blows - but there were not those who would reach the enemy, remaining invulnerable on their territory. This required aircraft that can quickly cross the ocean. And it was necessary to create them from scratch.

The first to develop such winged cars took the Americans. And no wonder: they already possessed an atomic bomb, and besides, they had a wealth of experience in creating long-range bombers for war in Europe. The contract for the development and construction of a strategic jet bomber capable of delivering nuclear weapons to the territory of the Soviet Union was received by Boeing in June 1946 of the year, winning a design competition.

In the USSR, it was only in August that 1949 of the year undermined the first atomic bomb of its own, and therefore it was only after that that they seriously began to work on the creation of its delivery systems. In addition, the most urgent needs for them were already met: shortly before the first Soviet atomic explosion, the heavy "strategy" Tu-4, which was almost an exact copy (with the exception of its own radio station, as well as more powerful engines and cannon defensive weapons) of the American B-29.

But the Tu-4 had a range of all 5000 km, which means they had to be placed as close as possible to the enemy - that is, under the threat of a sudden blow, similar to the blows of 22 June 1941 of the year. And the task of creating an aircraft that would be based in the depth of the country, in a safe distance from the enemy, remained relevant - and every month more and more important.

By tradition, the first to solve the problem attracted the chief specialist in Soviet bombers - aircraft designer Andrei Tupolev. But, oddly enough, he refused to be honored, despite the fact that the task was set by Joseph Stalin himself. Tupolev argued his refusal simply: the creation of such an aircraft is currently impossible, since the existing engines will not provide the required range, and the turboprop will not provide the speed and height of flight. And then one of his students, the head of the MAI department Vladimir Myasishchev, took up the business. Despite the fact that his bureau number 482 during the war years did not issue a single serial bomber, and Myasishchev himself was repressed and still not rehabilitated, the designer’s readiness to solve the question and reasoned considerations about this decision in the Kremlin considered it sufficient reason to start work . 24 March 1951 was signed by Government Decree No. 949-469 on the design and construction of a new aircraft. At the same time, the recently closed design bureau No. XXUMX was reconstructed at the Moscow aircraft factory No. XXUMX, which became the production base for the new machine.

Work on the project of the future bomber M-4 began when the design bureau was not even fully formed. But the ideas were clear, people capable of embodying them in metal were already working, and therefore the project was moving fast enough. Already on November 30, 1951 was approved by the mockup protocol, and on May 15, the first prototype was laid.

According to the tasks set by the government, and according to the creators, the aircraft, which before adopting the 25 project index, should have the following characteristics: speed - up to 900-950 km / h, ceiling - 12-13 km, flight range - 12 000 km, high bomb load, the presence of powerful defensive weapons and the ability to perform tasks at any time of the day and in any weather with targeted bombing above the edge of the clouds. In reality, the world's first military strategic bomber M-4 had the following characteristics: maximum speed - 947 km / h, practical ceiling - 11 km, practical range - 8100 km, combat radius - 5600 km. True, in this case, the aircraft had a very solid armament, as required by the technical assignment. Its normal combat load was 9000 kg, and the maximum - as much as 24 tons. This more than met the demands of the military: if the first Soviet atomic bomb weighed 4,6 tons, then the production samples were already on 3,1 tons, so that one M-4 could carry three bombs at once. Plus, powerful weapons for defense against enemy fighters: three double-barreled cannon turrets - at the top, bottom and in the tail, with the top and bottom completely blocking their hemispheres.

The construction of the first prototype took almost six months. In the autumn of 1952, he was disassembled in parts and sent to Zhukovsky at the aerodrome of the Flight Research Institute (LII), where a series of ground tests began. And for the first time, the plane lifted 20 on January 1953, the crew of test pilot Fyodor Opadchiy: along with him six more specialists went on the first flight.


American bomber B-52. Photo: ru.wikipedia.org

And then the race began. By this moment, and in the USSR they knew for sure, the first-born strategic aviation The United States, the B-52 bomber, has already passed the flight test program with might and main. The size of the Soviet nuclear arsenal was clearly inferior to the American, and therefore, there was only one chance to reduce the size of a possible threat from that side of the ocean: to adopt the means of delivery of Soviet atomic bombs. And we managed to cope with it. M-4 - the Myasischevsky plane received such an index when it was put into service - it passed the program of flight and state tests in just two years. Formally, state tests ended only on July 25, 1955 with the signing of the act, which stated that the aircraft was suitable for use in combat units. In fact, the first production M-4 - true, and this index itself was assigned to the aircraft only by the July act - flew from Moscow, where it was assembled, to the airfield in Engels, where it was to serve, already on February 28, 1955. It so happened that the Soviet strategic jet bomber became the first combat aircraft of this type in the world. After all, the American B-52 began to enter service only on June 29, 1955!

In total, the Moscow aircraft factory №23 released 34 aircraft M-4: two experimental and 32 serial. All of them went to the pilots of the specially-designed 4 of September 1954 of the year for the development of these aircraft of the 201 heavy bomber air division, based in the city of Engels. The experience of the pilots of this division, which was far from being easy to earn, later served as the basis for the refinement of the next modification of the M-4 - the famous Myaschishev "strategist" 3M, which remained in service until the middle of the 1990s.
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http://rusplt.ru/wins/m4-pervyiy-v-mire-strategicheskiy-reaktivnyiy-bombardirovschik-20819.html
44 comments
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  1. Pupon63
    Pupon63 24 January 2016 07: 44 New
    12
    Maybe someone remembers there was such a railway station in Kazakhstan Chagan, and next to the village of Komsomolsky, a residential town of pilots. It was called the eighth, and the sixteenth airfield. M 4 flew there, only not as bombers, but as air refueling. There was 79 long-range aviation division, TU-95 aircraft!
    1. Mangel olys
      Mangel olys 24 January 2016 08: 08 New
      +6
      I remember, in the beginning of the nineties, we were there over the winter. Longing ... Classmates at WU were not enthusiastic about the duty station. The epee was an effective tool to disperse this longing. drinks
    2. kas1
      kas1 24 January 2016 09: 07 New
      +3
      I went there on a business trip more than once, I didn’t have enough time to work, everyone drank awl, and he lived near Sem-sk-21.
    3. Fast_mutant
      Fast_mutant 25 January 2016 04: 37 New
      +2
      I lived in that Chagan! there were 2 regiments ... missile carriers and bombers. and "m" oki flew there as refuellers. only 3m, if I'm not mistaken!
    4. Fast_mutant
      Fast_mutant 25 January 2016 04: 37 New
      +1
      I lived in that Chagan! there were 2 regiments ... missile carriers and bombers. and "m" oki flew there as refuellers. only 3m, if I'm not mistaken!
  2. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 24 January 2016 07: 56 New
    +8
    For a long time I "have a question": why so hastily .... or: was it not too hasty to "get rid" of the "Myasishchev" strategists? After all, the "old men" Tu-95 are still in service; the Chinese are in no hurry to part with the "clones" of Tu-16 ...
    1. Bayonet
      Bayonet 24 January 2016 08: 26 New
      +5
      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      For a long time I "have a question": why so hastily .... or: is it not too hasty to "get rid" of the "Myasishchev" strategists

      You will find the answer here - http://www.airwar.ru/enc/bomber/m4.html hi
      1. Iline
        Iline 24 January 2016 08: 46 New
        +5
        Quote: Bayonet
        http://www.airwar.ru/enc/bomber/m4.htm

        The article is true in all respects - the plane was unsuccessful, and did not meet the specified TTD to the end. There is no time to delve into your computer in search of photos with the stella of the pilots who died in our garrison, but the number of names is very impressive. Of these, only 4 are the crew of the Tu-160 Jura Deineko, the rest are victims of the Myasischev design bureau. With the B-52 on the characteristics somehow it was not very possible to compare.
        Therefore, the Tu-95 appeared, for which subsequently both M4 and 3M were used as tankers.
        1. br21
          br21 24 January 2016 16: 28 New
          +4
          Quote: Iline

          Therefore, the Tu-95 appeared, for which subsequently both M4 and 3M were used as tankers.


          M-4 and Tu-95 appeared together. Tupolev was the first to fly up (for half a year if my memory serves me), but the experienced Tu-95 crashed due to engine failure, the M-4 was more fortunate and as a result it was the first to be adopted. So, the appearance of the Tu-95 is due to the fact that two design bureaus worked according to one program, and not as a result of the failure of the M-4.
        2. valokordin
          valokordin 24 January 2016 18: 09 New
          +4
          Quote: Iline
          Of these, only 4 are the crew of the Tu-160 Jura Deineko, the rest are victims of the Myasischev design bureau. With the B-52 on the characteristics somehow it was not very possible to compare.

          It’s true Seryozha, the last crew of Colonel Blinkov lies there. But Myasishchev’s design bureau is not entirely responsible for this. There was a fire of the engine and the guys could shoot like a KOU, which remained alive, but the FAC decided to reach Engels, 90 km remained and it exploded over Lebedyovka near Krasnoy Kut. The kingdom to them is heaven.
          1. WUA 518
            WUA 518 24 January 2016 18: 15 New
            +2
            Quote: valokordin
            am there was a fire engine and the guys could

            Is it? There, as far as I remember, the tank "collapsed", someone decided that when refueling less than 50 tons, there was no need to pressurize the tanks.
            1. Iline
              Iline 25 January 2016 18: 46 New
              0
              Quote: WUA 518
              There, as far as I remember, the tank "collapsed", someone decided that when refueling less than 50 tons, there was no need to pressurize the tanks.

              Blinkov’s crew flew on Myasischevsky aircraft, and you are talking about the Tu-160. And it wasn’t quite like you write with him. Everything is much more prosaic - the failure of one pressure equalization valve, and then on the knurled - design omission, etc., etc.
        3. Scraptor
          Scraptor 24 January 2016 21: 06 New
          0
          The Americans at 3M were envious and he crawled out for the next contract, and if the tanker doesn’t come then ...
          The British Volcano does not make any comparison with him at all.
      2. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 24 January 2016 14: 30 New
        +2
        Thank you ... yes !
    2. The comment was deleted.
  3. andrei.yandex
    andrei.yandex 24 January 2016 08: 01 New
    +8
    In 1960, the design bureau was closed. One word Khrushchev’s time.
    1. RoTTor
      RoTTor 24 January 2016 22: 20 New
      0
      + Tupolev’s intrigues.
      A relative in his design bureau as a solid boss worked for a very long time, told something about his struggle against Myasishchev.

      Somehow briefly on this site told. I do not want to repeat.

      Respect for Tupolev as a person is zero.
  4. Amurets
    Amurets 24 January 2016 08: 13 New
    +6
    There is an interesting book by Sergei Moroz, it describes the history of the creation of these machines. It is called "Long-range bombers M-4 and 3M. It is a lot of photographs and describes almost all modifications of these machines. And in our Amur region M-4 and 3M were based at the airfield "Ukrainka". By the way, there is a book on the Internet about these machines, and the 2000 edition is more complete than the 2004 edition. Maybe this is due to the fact that I have a paper book.
    1. Mangel olys
      Mangel olys 24 January 2016 13: 30 New
      +1
      I would like to say a few kind words to the guys from "Ukrainka", the lieutenant's youth passed there himself. Good luck, guys.
  5. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 24 January 2016 08: 30 New
    +8
    The plane was amazing. We walked along the untouched, the degree of novelty was off scale. "Bicycle" chassis is one thing! The engines, as always, failed.
    Engineers did not meet the specific fuel consumption. Therefore, the range "did not fit". Nevertheless, Myasishchev was a serious competitor to Tupolev. And they don't stand on ceremony with competitors. Neither we, nor "them".
    1. bober1982
      bober1982 24 January 2016 15: 57 New
      +1
      The only aircraft of our Air Force, on which the crews refused to fly (there were such cases), the accident rate was high. Then the aircraft was modified, but the car did not become a competitor to Tupolev. Of course, the Bizon left its bright mark in the history of aviation, like all Myasishchev's aircraft
      1. br21
        br21 24 January 2016 16: 34 New
        0
        Quote: bober1982
        the only plane of our Air Force on which the crews refused to fly (such cases were), the accident rate was high.


        If my memory serves me, the crews refused to fly on the Tu-22.
        If Wikipedia is not lying.
        1. bober1982
          bober1982 24 January 2016 16: 41 New
          0
          I can’t say anything about the Tu-22 (I just don’t know), although his nickname was "Ogre"
  6. gregor6549
    gregor6549 24 January 2016 09: 57 New
    0
    In fact, the first strategic jet bomb is the B45 Tornado https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_B-45_Tornado
    1. Scraptor
      Scraptor 24 January 2016 20: 54 New
      +1
      he is not strategic
      1. opus
        opus 24 January 2016 23: 07 New
        +2
        Quote: Scraptor
        In fact, the first strategic jet bomber is considered the B45 Tornado

        B-45 Tornado they are not a strategist


        Convair B-36 intercontinental two turning, two burning, two smoking, two joking, and two more unaccounted fo - “Two are spinning, two are burning, two are smoking, two are kidding, and two more are gone somewhere”


        Convair YB-60 failed them (year was not enough)

        M-4 certainly does not go to any comparison ...
        1. Scraptor
          Scraptor 25 January 2016 02: 11 New
          0
          IL-28 is the same ... 3M is quite well, as they were converted into tankers by the Americans, they watched with great pleasure.
  7. Redman
    Redman 24 January 2016 10: 51 New
    0
    Quote: Bayonet
    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    For a long time I "have a question": why so hastily .... or: is it not too hasty to "get rid" of the "Myasishchev" strategists

    You will find the answer here - http://www.airwar.ru/enc/bomber/m4.html hi

    Thank. The link is very good stuff. Worthy of becoming a feature film!
  8. evge-malyshev
    evge-malyshev 24 January 2016 11: 01 New
    +1
    A plane of difficult fate. Yes, and 3M fate was no better. Very unlucky with the engines.
  9. Alex
    Alex 24 January 2016 11: 09 New
    +3
    I wonder how it was to land a heavy bomber on a bicycle chassis? In one film about U-2, Powers said during interrogation that landing on it was difficult and dangerous. And here it’s not an easy scout, but a heavy car.
    1. WUA 518
      WUA 518 24 January 2016 12: 18 New
      +1
      Quote: Alex
      I wonder how it was to land a heavy bomber on a bicycle chassis? In one film about U-2, Powers said during interrogation that landing on it was difficult and dangerous. And here not l
      Although the "four" and modified the chassis, but nevertheless on takeoff and landing the plane was very strict in control. As for the U-2, the fact is that the racks on the consoles were thrown off during takeoff, they were also called sacrificial, and due to the design features of the aircraft, during takeoff and landing it is always accompanied by special vehicles, in the cockpit of which pilots are also sitting , but from close range they monitor the takeoff and landing process and transmit information to the aircraft pilot.
      1. Alex
        Alex 24 January 2016 13: 47 New
        +1
        Quote: WUA 518
        Due to the design features of the aircraft, special cars are always accompanying it during take-off and landing, in the cockpit of which there are also pilots who, from the side, but at close range, monitor the take-off and landing process and transmit information to the aircraft pilot.

        It is clear that such a design is still that hemorrhoids. What are its advantages?
        1. WUA 518
          WUA 518 24 January 2016 14: 09 New
          +3
          Quote: Alex
          What are its advantages?

          Well, in short: high altitude, long range.
    2. br21
      br21 24 January 2016 16: 40 New
      +5
      Quote: Alex
      I wonder how it was to land a heavy bomber on a bicycle chassis? In one film about U-2, Powers said during interrogation that landing on it was difficult and dangerous. And here it’s not an easy scout, but a heavy car.


      He called his father, according to him (he was the navigator on the M-4 and 3M) - there was nothing like that. They took aim and sat down. Depending on the pilot, they planted either 2 points immediately or first on the back and nose then lowered. When the speed fell, then the wings were already dropping and 2 more points of the chassis began to work. Takeoff, he said, was more intense. Although Engels had a long lane, it was chronically lacking, and the grader leveled the ground until the near lighthouse, if the lane ended, another 0.5 km could be run along the ground.
      1. WUA 518
        WUA 518 24 January 2016 17: 10 New
        +7
        Quote: br21
        there was nothing like that

        A small margin in the angles of attack (on the M-4, the margin was 1.30 by 3m, the wing aerodynamics were better than the margin of 2-2.30), when the steering wheel was tugged, a stall occurred. There were even two AUASP (Automatic Angles of Attack and Overload Alarm) in the cockpit. "The third disaster also happened when the aircraft was flown by the factory crew (commander - Ilya Pronin, co-pilot - Valentin Kokkinaki, the younger brother of the famous test pilots). immediately after the mechanism of "rearing." "When the Pronin-Kokkinaki disaster happened, I must admit that I took the wrong position: I suspected that they had" had a snack "on the control booster. At first I could not believe in the disruptive nature of the phenomenon, because By that time, about 4 flights were performed by the M-200 machine, of which almost 100 were Opadchim and several dozen by me, and nothing of the kind was ever observed. But it turned out that on all flights we were somewhere within 1-2 * of the pickup! And it was enough a little more than necessary, the takeoff ... deflection of the elevator up or an accidental gust of wind, or slightly other characteristics of the "heaving" of the landing gear for a catastrophe. "As it turned out, the reason for the pickup lay in the aerodynamic features of the M-4: there was the range of angles of attack, in which the lift did not increase with increasing angle, but a moment for pitching appeared. takeoff techniques Now the crew commander calculated the angle of deflection of the aircraft, knowing the weight of the vehicle, alignment, wind, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, and had to strictly withstand the required mode.
    3. Amurets
      Amurets 24 January 2016 17: 00 New
      0
      The first aircraft with a bicycle chassis in the USSR were Yak-25 fighters, if my memory serves me right.
  10. wow
    wow 24 January 2016 12: 17 New
    +5
    As a boy in the early 70s, he saw this aircraft flying at a training and retraining center for strategic aviation pilots in Diaghilevo, near Ryazan. When he, on take-off, passed over us, the hair on his head moved with fear. Mahina is impressive.
  11. sevtrash
    sevtrash 24 January 2016 12: 40 New
    0
    Not quite a successful aircraft, one of the basic requirements - range - was not implemented, problems of takeoff, landing, operation. Out of 34 M4, as many as 17 (50%) are lost in accidents and catastrophes. 3M turned out to be more successful.
  12. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 24 January 2016 13: 32 New
    0
    Glory to the Leninist USSR!
    1. Thunderbolt
      Thunderbolt 24 January 2016 17: 56 New
      +1
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  13. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 24 January 2016 13: 49 New
    0
    There, it seems, the problems were not only with the engines. Booster control failed. It seems that even special exercises were conducted in case of booster control failure. The problem of catching on take-off after raising the nose landing gear also seemed to exist. In short, the device was very problematic. I don’t own exact statistics at the moment. Need to look for it.
  14. Des10
    Des10 24 January 2016 15: 17 New
    +2
    However, it was the descendant of the M4 that delivered the specials to Baikonur. loads for Energy and Buran.
    1. WUA 518
      WUA 518 24 January 2016 15: 45 New
      +6
      Quote: Des10
      it is a descendant of M4

      VM-T "Atlant" was created on the basis of the 3M aircraft (RF-01502), aircraft # 1502 was produced in 1982. Assigned resource 1500 l / h / 500 landings. Actual flight time 310 l / h / 150 landings.
      Last repair in August 1992. Not in operation since 1992
    2. br21
      br21 24 January 2016 16: 45 New
      +4
      Quote: Des10
      However, it was the descendant of the M4 that delivered the specials to Baikonur. loads for Energy and Buran.


      And the second Atlant is in Dyagilevo, in Ryazan. In 2010, I was in a museum there. According to the guide - even now, pour kerosene and fly. According to him, new engines have recently been supplied. To my question, "where to look for the crew?"

      It is a pity that it was not possible to place M-4 and VM-T in one frame, father and son, so to speak ...
      1. WUA 518
        WUA 518 24 January 2016 17: 21 New
        +3
        Quote: br21
        And the second Atlant stands in Diaghilevo, in Ryazan.
        1. br21
          br21 24 January 2016 18: 42 New
          +2
          Quote: WUA 518


          Thanks for the photo!
          Judging by the plate, the guide exaggerated a little.
  15. valokordin
    valokordin 24 January 2016 18: 44 New
    +2
    And the car is beautiful, but not only did the planes die from the construction. But also because of ... time. remember the EMOK collision over the Dergachs during maneuvering, the wreckage fell on a school at Vostochny state farm. It’s good that there are no victims on earth.
  16. iouris
    iouris 24 January 2016 19: 48 New
    0
    These aircraft were also (sometime before 1970) based in Siauliai (runway 3200x80). We flew "around the corner", the "jump" airfield Olenegorsk. Were transferred to Engels. According to a participant in the events, during the Cuban missile crisis, they were loaded with real A-bombs. The targets were in Florida.
  17. air wolf
    air wolf 24 January 2016 20: 31 New
    +1
    It would be better if the Tu-95 was removed from service, and 3M left, because he touched on modernization for another 50 years. soldier
  18. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 24 January 2016 21: 55 New
    0
    By the way, there were problems with modernization there. KB was not there. Tupolev’s design bureau constantly pursued the theme of upgrading the Tu-95. And who was involved in 3M?
  19. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 24 January 2016 23: 43 New
    0
    Then, however, they began to modernize, but the missile carrier of 3M was never done, and without the missiles in the nuclear triad he already had nothing to do.
    1. br21
      br21 25 January 2016 08: 32 New
      0
      Quote: Dekabrev
      Then, however, they began to modernize, but the missile carrier of 3M was never done, and without the missiles in the nuclear triad he already had nothing to do.


      Alas, only tried. But the missile system for which the aircraft was designed was not accepted into service, so the Myasishevsky aircraft remained pure bombers.
  20. Dekabrev
    Dekabrev 24 January 2016 23: 46 New
    0
    By the way, such problems with accidents as the M-4, 3M was no longer.