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Tupolev Tu-91


Tu-91, or as codify it into NATO, "shoe", a Soviet naval torpedo bomber. We managed to build a prototype only. In 50-ies of the military leadership of the Soviet Union often raises the question of the creation of aircraft carriers with different assignments. At the same time it was planned to develop a range of deck types of aircraft. In 1952, there were conditions of the terms of reference on the subject. It also includes common performance characteristics. Following the instructions, it was necessary to create a fighter with turbojet engines with a maximum speed of 1000 km / h, a flight time of two hours and ceiling 16 000 m.

In April next year, the Design Bureau A. Tupolev received a Decree of the USSR, according to which the employees have to KB were to design and build a torpedo dive bomber «91». In June this year, the Navy leadership has created demands on the tactical and technical data of the project bomber 1-m TVD TV 2M. The main tasks for the future of the aircraft were dive-attack on the enemy water and land (onshore) targets torpedo on the visible surface target and carrying assault Action on Transport, ships, manpower enemy bases. Additional requirements for the aircraft Tu-91 were: the landing and take-off at any weather and regardless of the time of day on the standard and small runways. The aircraft was to have sufficient maneuverability and be able to carry out tasks either alone or in a group action.


The immediate requirements of the aircraft were as follows:

  1. at an altitude of 5000-7000 m maximum speed - 800-830 km / h;

  2. cruising minimum - 300 km / h;

  3. range - 2100 km;

  4. ceiling - 12 000 m;

  5. mileage - 400 m;

  6. mass bombing armament - 1600 kg;

  7. Crew - two people.

Among the equipment focused on the presence of a radar station "Kurs" equipment for the protection of the tail "Gamma", the interrogator radar system of the respondent "Node", radio stations RSIU-3 and 5-SCR. It is mandatory on board the aircraft must attend PB-2 altimeter, automatic radio ARC-5 and aerial camera AFA-BA.


All work on the plane began rapidly and almost do not stray. In September, the commission spent on the layout and indicated the availability of equipment, location and layout. In 1953 we started building experimental prototypes, and a year later it was finished in April. In parts it was moved to Zhukovskaya flight test and development base. There he collected. Some time later, after all the preparatory work group began flying the first run on the runway LII (September 1954 years). After the approach test pilot AD Zyuzin A. Tupolev decides to proceed with the process of the first flight.

Second November 1954, the pilot and navigator Dmitry Zyuzin K. Malkhasyan accomplished its first flight on the Tu-91. The first phase of the factory test ends in late January 1955 years. For the duration of this phase of the test plane made takeoffs and landings 25 or 14 hours in the air.

The first phase of flight tests completed successfully, the Tu-91 fully answered the tactical and technical projects of the Navy. In addition, it should be noted that the plane proved to be a cost. Flying distance 2100 km from the bomb load in 1000 kg, Tu-91 2700 spent kg.

The second phase of testing began in late January 1955 years. They were attended by representatives of the Navy. Tu-91 again demonstrates its excellent quality in the air and on the ground. And during takeoffs and landings on unpaved strips staff creates and maintains aircraft, nicknamed him "Bull". After the second phase of the plane recommended for serial production.

At the same time, with the construction of the aircraft, work on fine-tuning the engine 2M TV. It was mounted in the center of gravity, the front has a crew cabin, the pilot was sitting on the left side, on the right side - the navigator. Between them is the motor shaft. At the head of the aircraft installed planetary double reduction.

In the year 1954 14 from 17 on October held a polygon ground jet firing weapons. Initially, the Tu-14 conducted aerial firing all weapons destined for the Tu-91. After firing ground in Feodosia were tested on combat employment (June 29 1955 years).

In 55, the summer shows held aircraft, which also introduced the Tu-91. During the presentation of the plane that something was not pleasant to be a head of state Nikita Khrushchev. He was immediately in his usual rough form expressed dissatisfaction. After that, the fate of a great aircraft was sealed.

But, despite the private abusive behavior to the President, tests Tu-91 continued. In addition, it was conducted flight tests. They were the most prolonged and ended only in January 1956 years. Simultaneously, the EDB is preparing for serial production. It is influenced by the ability and specificity of the plant. Also was an active preparation of the Tu-91 modifications to the academic and anti-nature, and electronic countermeasures. These works were to affect the economy and the number of aircraft series.


OP demonstrated summer 1956 year on the airfield Kubinka and in the same year in the aviation display technology, in which Khrushchev was present again. He criticized the plane again. After parking on ZHLI and DB plane disposed of.


Technical description of the Tu-91

Tu-91 presented in the form of a double dive bomber, torpedo bomber with a single theater. The aircraft is designed for takeoffs and landings with scarce runway in coastal areas of seas and oceans. Tu-91 can perform the following tasks:

  • dive-bombing for miniature and underwater targets;

  • torpedo the ships of surface type;

  • bombing from horizontal flight on objects in the front zone and naval targets;

  • assault actions on landing floating craft and manpower landing.


Armament impact type that is intended to carry out all these tasks, is placed on the external load of the fuselage and the wing. Among 1500 kg bomb armament was the possibility of different options: three rocket torpedoes PAT-52 or one torpedo in the low-altitude version of 45-36MAN, or high-altitude version - 45-36MAV. The bomber could carry on air suspension sea mines weighing 500-1500 kg. Assault action is ensured by the two suspended containers, which were placed NURS missiles 8-212 TPC, TPC-36 or 132, 120 or 85-TRS.

Protect the crew from anti-aircraft guns and air defense was provided by the installation of hulls on the front part of the fuselage, created from an alloy APBA-1. Additionally installed aluminum and steel armor plating and bulletproof glass weighing 550 kg.

Tu-91 characteristics:

Modification Tu-91
Wingspan, m 16.40
Aircraft Length m 17.70
Height, m 5.06
Wing area, m2 47.48
Takeoff weight, kg  
normal takeoff 12850
maximum take-off 14400
engine's type 1 theater TV 2M
Power ehp X 1 7650
Maximum speed km / h 800
Practical range, m 2190-2350
Practical ceiling, m 11000
Crew 2
Armament: three gun TKB-495A (AM-23) - two guns firing ahead in consoles wing, ammunition - 200 shells on the trunk, and a gun in the stern with remote installation 300 ammunition shells,
Bomb load 1050-1500 kg - on the axis of the aircraft on the central beam bomb FAB-1500, 1500-Brabo, torpedoes PAT-52 or 45-36-45MAN or 36MAV, mines dimensions 1500 kg bombs
On pylons:
two pods Nursi: 8hTRS-212-36 or 132hTRS or 120hTRS-85, odnozamkovye beam suspension FAB-500 or PAT-52, or AMD-500; chetyrehzamkovye beams under four bombs FAB-100 or two FAB-250.


Tu-91 video




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Very often there are information that, say, the Tu-91 did not want to take the Navy, because it changed the requirements for the aircraft. But this is not true. The aircraft is excellent. The first post-war attack, which is not afraid of no speed, no distance. Yes, I agree, on the view - not very. But still. You need to look at the characteristics and performance, rather than on appearance. And it all happened because of what? Due to an inadequate assessment of the May beetle (Khrushchev). He did not like the look in comparison with the fighters ... nonsense. Be launched into production. I think it would be possible to come up with many modifications.

The fate of the unlucky bomber Tu-91 once again proves how incompetent one, but very influential opinion can destroy the demanded result of a great team work.
Beginning of the Cold War caused a surge of interest in aircraft carriers and as a result, carrier-based aircraft. Tupolev, having some experience in creating such equipment, has started to work, but after some time the job has been corrected. Now the output required to obtain torpedo dive bomber to land-based application of bombing raids on coastal structures naval forces defeat the floating combat equipment, as well as ground attack from the air enemy coastal zones. Based on the goals, the new Tu-91 could use the runway to 1000 km, a top speed of up to 730-800 km / h. From the ratio of the range-combat load, fuel consumption aircraft came to be extremely cost-effective, it is absolutely not characteristic of the bomber. Quite unexpectedly, on the show equipment was TU-91 rigidly and absolutely groundlessly criticized NS Khrushchev. Marine pilots, realizing that the machine turns out excellent, at your own risk still had a routine test aircraft. The designers prepared documentation to start the Tu-91 in production, however, when the next demonstration aircraft Khrushchev changed his point of view on the plane. Second time to go against the decision of the General Secretary no one dared. Over time, it came to the fore deployment of missile, and Tu-91 was finally forgotten.

On the one hand, the idea that a good airplane. But just as the deck type bomber. Americans most was more like "Skayrayder". But the American had a reciprocating engine. British "Gannet" approached on theater and mass dimensions. But it is a purely anti. The bad side was an attack aircraft. In this regard, it was good only in the possibility to suspend more than NAR. With the possibility of prolonged loitering in the area of ​​combat operations on the condition of the European theater it was by no means the main. Booking locally. And although the powerful engines, but not hardy.