Aviation of World War II

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Multipurpose Flying Boat


The experience of the Second World War unambiguously testified that the aviation of the fleet desperately needed heavy seaplanes. Their need was met by lend-lease deliveries American Catalina , but the volume of PBY supplies did not solve the problem and it was clear that we need a domestic car of this class. Back in August 1942 G.M. Beriev sent to the NAP an explanatory note to the project of a heavy (weighing up to 22,000 kg) twin-engine flying boat with a "seagull" wing, two-keel tail, long range and powerful weapons. G.M. Beriev was reviewed and approved, and A.I. Shakhurin authorized the development and construction of a new aircraft.

Since there were no corresponding production facilities in Omsk for the construction of such a machine, by order of the NKAP dated May 5, 1943, the OKB G.M. Beriev moved to Krasnoyarsk to plant number 477.

On April 14, 1944, the first prototype LL-143 was laid down, and a little later the second. The first flight took place on September 6, 1945.

The final period of the test coincided in time with the release of the order of I.V. Stalin of February 9, 1946 and the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of June 21, 1946 No. 1289-527s on the transformation of the OKB into the State Union Experimental Plant No. 49 of the naval aircraft industry. The new enterprise became the only design team in the country to design and build seaplanes.

On July 22, 1946, in the flight and aerobatic assessment of a flying boat, the pilots noted: "The LL-143 aircraft is simple in its piloting technique and is quite accessible to an average pilot. maneuverable and seaworthy qualities, easier takeoff and landing, and also better maintains the specified flight mode, relieving the pilots from tedious rudder movements in a long flight. "

Testing of the first LL-143 was completed quite successfully. All points of the terms of reference were fulfilled. And, at the same time, it was clear to the designers and the military that the machine needed to be improved.

Development of the modernized version took place in several stages. The first version, designated Be-6 (or Be-6-2-ASh-73), was in fact the original LL-143 with new ASh-73 engines (unlike Tu-4 without turbochargers), with a takeoff power of 2,400 hp. with., and a deck rifle installation with two 20-mm cannons B-20 instead of a pair of 12.7-mm machine guns UBT.

Crew 7
Lenght, m 23,00
Height, m 7,45
Wing span, m 33,00
Wing area, m² 120,00
Weight, kg
Empry 15,104
Loaded weight, kg 21300
2 × PE ASh-72, takeoff power, hp 2 × 2,250
normal hp 2 × 2,000
Maximum speed at sea level, km/h 371
Maximum speed at altitude, km/h 401
Cruising speed, km/h 368
Rate of climb, m/min 233
Service ceiling, m 6,000
Service range, km 2,800
Maximum range, km 5100

Armament. 6 × 2 launchers with 12.7 mm UBT machine guns. The bomb load on the external sling is 400 kg, the maximum is 4000 kg.

Photo Description

Drawing LL-143 first variant

LL-143 on military tests


  • The history of aircraft designs in the USSR, before 1938 / V.B. Shavrov /
  • Aircraft TANTK them. G.M. Berieva / A.N. Zablotsky, A.I. Salnikov /
  • 75 years of TANTK them. G.M. Berieva / A.N. Zablotsky, A.I. Salnikov /