|TRANSPORT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Tupolev|
Next in the extended B-29/Tu-4 family was a military transport, basically a version of the Tu-70. Its design was very similar to its civilian counterpart. Again Dmitri Markov had gone for a low-wing, four-engined transport, with the wings, undercarriage and tailplane virtually identical to those of the B-29/Tu-4; only the wing's centre section had any major differences in order to fit a low- rather than a mid-wing arrangement. The fuselage was also almost a direct copy of the Tu-70 in length, cockpit and cross-section, but its military purpose resulted in some differences. These included the interior: rather than a luxury passenger cabin, the Tu-75 had a pressurised cargo hold with an underbody loading ramp which swung downwards on hinges to allow ramp access for its planned military cargoes. These could include vehicles such as jeeps or small tracked armoured personnel carriers. General cargo could be loaded or unloaded using a hoist which was mounted in the aircraft beside the loading ramp. Ahead of its time, even aero engines could be carried in the hold. Alternatively, 100 fully equipped paratroops could be carried, and could exit the aircraft while in flight.
Like the Tu-70, powerplants were those of the B-29, but this time Shvetsov's copy, the ASh-73K, was used, with each engine giving 2,300hp. It was armed with three pairs of machine-guns, one on the upper fuselage, one below and one in the tail.
Work began on the Tu-75 in 1947, and the prototype was built at factory N 156. Its first flight was made on 22 January 1950. Although the aircraft was not put into production, it was another step on the road to the VVS building up its strategic transport and bomber capability.