Aviation of World War II

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Be-8 "Mole"

Flying boat


Beriev Be-8 Mole

The Be-8 amphibious aircraft goes out in time for the period under review during the Second World War, however, the Be-8 completed the family of seaplanes, which began with the MBR-2, and we considered it possible to place a brief description of this aircraft in the Beriev aircraft section.

The Be-8, which received the NATO designation "Mole" , is an amphibian with an ASh-21 engine of 570/700 hp, the same scheme as the Be-4, a parasol with a wing on a thin pylon and short center section struts, but much larger in size and weight. The structure is also metal, with the addition of a landing gear that can be retracted into the sides of the boat, and a tail wheel that is lifted into the boat behind the second step. The retractable landing gear made it possible to make the aircraft multifunctional, significantly improving its aerodynamics. On the second prototype, the electromechanical landing gear retraction system was replaced with a hydraulic one. In the boat there was a closed cockpit and behind it was a six-seat passenger cabin, both heated by the engine, and there was also an anti-icing device. The equipment was electrical, radio, photographic, and aeronautical. Aircraft control - double, cable, landing flaps control - electromechanical.

Purpose - connected and passenger amphibious. Paid load - six passengers or 400 kg of cargo. There was no weaponry. The aircraft was produced in 1947 and showed good flight qualities possible with its weight and power: speed up to 266 km / h at an altitude of 1800 m and a ceiling of 5550 m. The range in the reloading version is up to 1200 km.

On the Be-8, hydrofoils were tested, which were developed at TsAGI. The two front "wings" and the tail were mounted on the landing gear instead of wheels, had a convex profile at the top and very effectively drove the boat out of the water on the takeoff run before the lift needed for takeoff appeared on the wing of the aircraft. Instead of running on the redan, there was hydrofoil running, which was accompanied by significantly less overloads during waves. Although the flight experiments carried out gave interesting results, it was not possible to introduce them on serial machines due to the significant complication of the seaplane design and the increase in resistance in the air and in the water. Improving the lift-off characteristics, hydro-skis and hydrofoils took away a significant part of the power, delaying the boat's exit to the redan.

In total, two prototypes of the Be-8 were built. It was not built in series.

MBR-2 Be-4 Be-8
Crew 3 3 1-2
Length, m 13.5 10.50 13.0
Wing span, m 18.8 12.0 19.0
Wing area, m² 54.4 25.50 40.0
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3306 2228 2815
Loaded weight 4424 3468 3624
Engine AM-34NB M-62 ASh-21
Power at sea level, hp 750 1000 700
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 215 310 -
at altitude 234 356 266
m 4000 4700 1800
Service ceiling, m 7400 8100 5550
Maximum range, km 1230 1150 *810
Armament ShKAS Machine guns 2 2 -
Bombs, kg 500 400 -

* Normal range.

Photo Description

Drawing Be-8

Beriev Be-8


  • "The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950" /Vadim Shavrov/