Aviation of World War II
Marine Heavy Bomber
In accordance with the terms of reference of the Air Force Directorate, the new four-engine seaplane was to be built as a naval heavy bomber capable of conducting combat operations in all naval theaters, based on unequipped hydro aerodromes, that is, being afloat, and flying in difficult weather conditions in the ranks or singly. MTB-2 was also supposed to provide transportation of people, transportation of ammunition and fuel, have seaworthiness to perform takeoff and landing in a wave of 1.0-1.5 m and wind of 7-10 m / s. The flight range with a bomb load of 2000 kg was set equal to 1000 km, and the maximum speed was 300 km / h at an altitude of 1000 m.
The aircraft was carried out according to the scheme of an all-metal flying boat-high-wing with a "gull" wing and a conventional single-fin vertical tail. Four M-85 engines, equipped with VISH-3 propellers with a diameter of 3.25 m, were installed in the toe of the wing, and their drag was significantly less than with the previously used installation of engine nacelles above the wing on numerous struts. For the convenience of servicing the engines when the aircraft was afloat, the wing tips on both sides of each engine nacelle were made in the form of folding ladders.
The first flight of the experimental ANT-44 on a wheeled chassis from the Central Aerodrome of Moscow on April 19, 1937.
On February 28, 1939, an experienced MTB-2, already with 4M-87A engines, received damage to the boat's hull during tests and was not subsequently restored.
The second, modified copy of the MTB-2D (backup) was released in June 1938. After the factory testing on March 27, 1939, the "backup" was transferred to state tests, after their completion on May 16, 1939, the MTB-2 was adopted by the naval aviation as a heavy bomber and long-range reconnaissance aircraft. Among its main characteristics, a bomb load of 2000 kg was indicated, which he could deliver to the target at a distance of 3000 km (range of 1500 km). Also named were the maximum speed of 364 km / h and the maximum flight range of 4400 km obtained with the M-87A engines.
However, the launch of a large and costly seaplane into a series at the new aircraft plant did not quite match the capabilities that the Soviet aviation industry had at that time. In January 1940, on the basis of the decision of the KO under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, work on the preparation of a series and experimental improvements of the MTB-2 was stopped.
In June 1940, in the amphibious version, several world records were set for lifting cargo to a height.
MTB-2 in June 1941 was based in the Northern Bay of the Sevastopol raid. The plane during this period not only in everyday life, but even in some documents was called "Seagull", and sometimes "Black Sea seagull".
Test pilot Ivan Moiseevich Sukhomlin remained the commander of the Black Sea Gull from the moment of its testing.
Sukhomlin met the beginning of the war at MTB-2. It is known about some combat missions MTB-2D (and there were about 80 in total). MTB-2 bombed enemy troops and German airfields, made strategic flights to enemy targets. We flew mainly to Ploiesti. On the night of October 17, 1941, MTB-2D successfully bombed Bucharest, bomb load 8 FAB-250.
They took the wounded out of Sevastopol. It is known about one episode, when a four-engine MTB also participated in the evacuation of the city's defenders. On July 1, 1942, 20 people (including 9 wounded) were taken to the Caucasian coast of the Black Sea.
August 10, 1942 MTB was prepared for departure - 12 FAB-250 were suspended. It was calm, therefore, from the first, and even from the second time, the heavily loaded plane could not get away from the water. In the third attempt, at the moment of separation from the surface of the bay, the taking off MTB-2 was attacked by two Messerschmitt fighters and it crashed into the water. Only the captain of the ship, Captain Naumov, survived (he was thrown out of the cockpit), who was later blamed for the disaster. The navigator captain I.P. Gryaznykh, second pilot of Art. l-nt A.A. Chaika, radio technician l-nt N.K. Nazarov, shooter st. sergeant M.M. Dubina, gunner-radio operator junior sergeant A.U. Kosnar.
The remains of MTB-2 have been lying in the sea for more than forty years, at a depth of 10-12 meters at the exit from the Gelendzhik Bay near Tolstoy Cape. In 1988-1989. the crash site was examined by divers. Inspection showed that the wreckage of the airplan was mixed with unexploded bombs. Sappers called from Sevastopol blew up a dangerous find right at the bottom.