Tupolev Tu-80


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Tupolev Tu-80

Under the project number 64 Tupolev, with Dmitri Markov as chief designer, had begun to work on a long-range strategic bomber in 1945. The arrival of the B-29s and the subsequent Tu-4 programme put a stop to this project.

At the end of 1948, just as production Tu-4s were beginning to be delivered to the VVS, Tupolev and Markov began work on a replacement. In a sense, it was an improved B-29 design, with a major programme to trim weight and thus to improve performance. Once again, the wing was raised (after the Tu-70 and Tu-75) back to mid-fuselage position, but a new wing with better aerodynamic qualities and with a lighter but stronger spar was developed. The fuselage was also redesigned; it was lightened and the round Tu-4 nose of the same chord as the fuselage was replaced with a more usual one in which the cockpit was raised above the nose for improved visibility. A new, more angular tail was also built, with a distinctive dorsal fin. Its engines were four of Shvetsov's ASh-73TKFNs, a Soviet-built turbocharged version of the original B-29 engines.

All these changes resulted in the Tu-80 being substantially lighter than the Tu-4, and this allowed it to carry more fuel. Its first flight was made on 1 December 1949 from Zhukovski. In state tests, its maximum speed was established as 640km/h. But the Tu-80 was just another step on the way to the Soviet Union achieving a long-range strategic bomber. With the coming of age of turbines, it was not developed beyond its test programme.

Tupolev Tu-80A three-view drawing (1102 x 886)

 ENGINE4 x ASh-73FN, 1770hp
  Take-off weight67200 kg148151 lb
  Empty weight41030 kg90456 lb
  Wingspan44.3 m145 ft 4 in
  Length36.6 m120 ft 1 in
  Height8.91 m29 ft 3 in
  Wing area173.1 m21863.23 sq ft
  Max. speed650 km/h404 mph
  Ceiling11180 m36700 ft
  Range7000-8000 km4350 - 4971 miles

bombardier, e-mail, 06.07.2011 11:07

The Shvetsov ASh-73 engines were totally different from the R-3350 used in the B-29


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