Tupolev Tu-4

Tupolev Tu-4

Infobox Aircraft
name =Tupolev Tu-4
type =Strategic bomber
manufacturer =Tupolev

caption =Tupolev Tu-4 at Monino museum
designer =
first flight = 19 May 1947
introduction =1949
retired = mid 1960s (Soviet Union)
status =
primary user =Soviet Air Force
more users = PLA Air Force
produced = 1949-1952
number built = 847
unit cost =
developed from = B-29 Superfortress
variants with their own articles = Tupolev Tu-70 Tupolev Tu-75 Tupolev Tu-80 Tupolev Tu-85

The Tupolev Tu-4 (NATO reporting name: Bull) was a piston-engined Soviet strategic bomber which served the Soviet Air Force from the late 1940s to mid 1960s. It was a reverse-engineered copy of the U.S.-made Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

Design and development

Towards the end of World War II, the Soviet Union saw the need for a strategic bombing capability similar to that of the USAAF. The U.S. regularly conducted bombing raids on Japan, virtually in the Soviet Union's backyard, from distant Pacific forward bases using B-29 Superfortresses. Stalin ordered the development of a comparable bomber.

The U.S. refused to supply the Soviet Union with B-29 heavy bombers under Lend Lease, despite repeated Soviet requests. [http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/geust/aircraft_deliveries.htm "Aircraft Deliveries."] airforce.ru. Retrieved: 21 September 2007.] However, on three occasions during 1944, individual B-29s made emergency landings in Soviet territory after bombing raids on Japanese Manchuria and Japan. In accordance with Soviet neutrality in the Pacific War, the bombers were interned and kept by the Soviets, despite American demands for their return. [http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1852 Soviet Union Impounds and Copies B-29] . "National Museum of the USAF". Retrieved: 21 September 2007.] Tupolev OKB studied them and dismantled one airframe, while Stalin ordered Tupolev and his design bureau to copy the B-29s down to their smallest details, and produce a design ready for quantity production as soon as possible. Tupolev duly copied the B-29s bolt-by-bolt where possible, reverse engineering the design where necessary.

The Soviets used a different engine, the Shvetsov ASh-73, which had some parts in common with the Superfortress' Wright R-3350 but was not identical. The remote-controlled gun turrets were also redesigned to accommodate Soviet 23mm cannons.

The Soviet Union used the metric system, thus 1/16th inch sheet aluminium and proper rivet lengths were unavailable. The corresponding metric-gauge metal was thicker; as a result, the Tu-4 weighed about 3,100 lbs more than the B-29, with a corresponding decrease in range and payload.

The Tu-4 first flew on 19 May 1947. Serial production started immediately, and the type entered large scale service in 1949. Entry into service of the Tu-4 threw the USAF into a virtual panic, since the Tu-4 possessed sufficient range to attack Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City with a worthwhile load on a one-way mission. Some limited attempts to develop midair refuelling systems were made to extend the bomber's range, but these were fitted to few aircraft.

Public display surprises the West

The aircraft was first displayed during a flyover at the Aviation Day parade on 3 August 1947 at the Tushino Airport in Moscow. Three aircraft flew overhead. It was assumed that these were merely the three B-29 bombers that were diverted to the USSR during World War II. Minutes later, what appeared to be a fourth B-29 aircraft appeared. Western analysts then concluded that the Soviets were capable of, and actually had, reversed engineered the B-29 because the Soviets were known to have only three B-29s. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=ZpiZo5fJrCsC&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=%22tu+4%22+parade+four&source=web&ots=LF5jwoiy2n&sig=PJ_yryK2uo02Xg_IDWnOUk64evw Parade] ] The appearance of an obvious Superfortress-derived Tu-70 transport over the crowd removed any doubt about the success of the reverse-engineering task.

People's Republic of China

In 1967, China attempted to develop its first Airborne Early Warning aircraft, based on the Tu-4 airframe outfitted with turboprop engines. The project was named KJ-1, with a Type 843 rotordome mounted on top of the aircraft. However, the radar and equipment was too heavy and the KJ-1 did not meet PLAAF's requirements, thus the project was cancelled in 1971. [ [http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/aew-prc.htm Chinese Airborne Early Warning (AEW)] ]

Operational history

A total of 847 Tu-4s were built in the Soviet Union by the time production ended in 1952, with some going to China during the later 1950s. Many experimental variants were built and the valuable experience launched the Soviet strategic bomber program. Tu-4s were withdrawn in the 1960s, replaced by more advanced aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-95 (starting in 1956) and Tupolev Tu-16 (starting in 1954). At the beginning of the 1960s, the only remaining Tu-4s in Soviet use were used in transport aviation and as airborne laboratories.


;Tu-4: Main production version.;Tu-4 AWACS: Chinese prototype with KJ-1 AEWC, "AWACS" radar and powered by Ivchenko AI-20K turboprop engines. [http://www.simonb6.co.uk/2002/DS-TU-4-4114.jpgExternal link with image] ;Tu-70: Airliner derivative, never reached mass production.;Tu-75: Cargo aircraft derivative, never reached mass production.;Tu-80: Bomber derivative, never reached mass production.;Tu-85: Bomber derivative, never reached mass production.


*People's Liberation Army Air Force
*Soviet Air Force


;Tu-4 "4114" (c/n 286501), ex-KJ-1 AEWC, "4114":Stored at Datangshan, China [ [http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/china_gt_aircraft_TU4aew_01.jpgPhoto of the Tu-4 (c/n 286501) at the FAS.org website] ] [http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1213817&size=L&width=1280&height=960&sok=JURER%20%20%28ZNGPU%20%28nvepensg%2Cnveyvar%2Ccynpr%2Ccubgb_qngr%2Cpbhagel%2Cerznex%2Ccubgbtencure%2Crznvy%2Clrne%2Cert%2Cnvepensg_trarevp%2Cpa%2Cpbqr%29%20NTNVAFG%20%28%27%2B%22gh-4%22%27%20VA%20OBBYRNA%20ZBQR%29%29%20%20beqre%20ol%20cubgb_vq%20QRFP&photo_nr=1 Photo of the Tu-4 (4114, cn 2806501) AWACS example exhibited in the Datangshan Museum, China] ] ;Tu-4 "4134" (c/n 2205008), "4134":Stored at Datangshan, China [ [http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1205559&size=L&width=1280&height=853&sok=JURER%20%20%28ZNGPU%20%28nvepensg%2Cnveyvar%2Ccynpr%2Ccubgb_qngr%2Cpbhagel%2Cerznex%2Ccubgbtencure%2Crznvy%2Clrne%2Cert%2Cnvepensg_trarevp%2Cpa%2Cpbqr%29%20NTNVAFG%20%28%27%2B%22gh-4%22%27%20VA%20OBBYRNA%20ZBQR%29%29%20%20beqre%20ol%20cubgb_vq%20QRFP&photo_nr=2 Photo of the Tu-4 (4134, cn 225008) "missile carrier" exhibited in the Datangshan Museum, China] ] ;Tu-4 "unknown" (c/n 2805103), "01":Stored at the Central Air Force Museum, Monino, Russia [ [http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=1170866&size=L&width=1024&height=780&sok=JURER%20%20%28ZNGPU%20%28nvepensg%2Cnveyvar%2Ccynpr%2Ccubgb_qngr%2Cpbhagel%2Cerznex%2Ccubgbtencure%2Crznvy%2Clrne%2Cert%2Cnvepensg_trarevp%2Cpa%2Cpbqr%29%20NTNVAFG%20%28%27%2B%22gh-4%22%27%20VA%20OBBYRNA%20ZBQR%29%29%20%20beqre%20ol%20cubgb_vq%20QRFP&photo_nr=5 Photo of the Tu-4 exhibited in the Central Air Force Museum in Monino, Russia] ]

pecifications (Tu-4)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
length main=30.18 m
length alt=99 ft
span main=43.05 m
span alt=141 ft
height main=8.46 m
height alt=27 ft
area main=161.7 m²
area alt=1,743 ft²
empty weight main=35,270 kg
empty weight alt=77,594 lb
loaded weight main=46,700 kg
loaded weight alt=102,950 lb
max takeoff weight main=65,000 kg
max takeoff weight alt=143,000 lb

engine (prop)=Shvetsov ASh-73TK
type of prop=radial engines
number of props=4
power main=1,790 kW
power alt=2,400 hp

max speed main=558 km/h at 10,250 m (33,600 ft)
max speed alt=349 mph
range main=6,200 km (with 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) bomb load)
range alt=3,875 mi
ceiling main=11,200 m
ceiling alt=36,700 ft
climb rate main= m/s
climb rate alt= ft/min
loading main=400 kg/m²
loading alt=82 lb/ft²
power/mass main=0.11 kW/kg
power/mass alt=0.07 hp/lb

* Guns: 10× 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 aircraft cannons, two each in four turrets and tail barbette
* Bombs:
** 6× 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombs "or"
** 1× atomic bomb (Tu-4A) "or"
** 2× KS-1 standoff missiles (Tu-4K)

ee also


*B-29 Superfortress
*Tupolev Tu-70
*Tupolev Tu-75
*Tupolev Tu-80
*Tupolev Tu-85

similar aircraft=
*B-32 Dominator
*Avro Lincoln
*Messerschmitt Me 264


* List of bomber aircraft
* List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS

see also=




* Bowers, Peter M. B"oeing B-29 Superfortress". Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 1999. ISBN 0-933424-79-5.
* Hess, William N. "Great American Bombers of WW II". St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1999. ISBN 0-76030-650-8.
* Pace, Steve. "Boeing B-29 Superfortress". Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press, 2003. ISBN 1-86126-581-6.

External links

* [http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?front=yes&maxres=500&keywords=tu-4 Tu-4 Photos at airliners.net, including PLAAF examples.]
* [http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/bomber/tu-4.htm "Tu-4 "Bull" entry at the "FAS.org" website]

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