Aviation of Word War II

Home Russian


Heavy Fighter



Pe-3 - fighter and interceptor, a bomber and the reconnaissance aircraft - modification of the production Pe-2. Having left without changes the scheme, the sizes and the capital equipment, designers have equipped a wing of an airplane in version of a fighter - interceptor with automatic slats. The braking lattices limiting speed of diving, have been removed, and the onboard armament is increased. Tested S.I.Sofronov. Almost 200 aircrafts of this type was built in 1941.

Soviet Air Force employed limited quantity of the Pe-3 only then. What's the matter? Perhaps, there were two main reasons. Firstly, the style of air war at Eastern front allowed to manage without quantities of twin-engined fighters. The second, production and improvement of the aircraft were quite difficult and expensive.

Furthermore, there weren't engines for multirole fighter. The ASh-82FN was only engine enabled twin-engined fighter to have required performance. Fitted with the M-105 or VK-105PF engines planes would have shown sufficient data by beginning of WWII, but it hadn't been well in 1943-45. The fighters would loose in flight performance. The VK-107 engine wasn't brought to required condition. The AM-35 and the AM-37 engines production was halted to provide the AM-38 quantities for massbuilt M'yshin II-2 attackers.

Although both fine front bombers and advanced twin-engined fighters had been created by the war, in a final bid, some Petlyakov Pe-2 dive bombers were rebuilt into the Pe-3 fighters to provide Moskow region air defence in 1941. But this wasn't full twin-engined fighter. It's interesting the Pe-2 dive bomber had some shortcomings because of its origin from VI-100 high altitude twin-engined fighter and the Pe-3 had defects descended from «bombardment» past of the Pe-2.

In total about 360 heavy fighters Pe-3 were built.


Heavy Fighters
Pe-3 Pe-3bis Pe-3
Crew 2 2 2
Date of tests 8.1944 5.1942 8.1944
Length, m 12.66 12.66 12.66
Wing span, m 17.13 17.13 17.13
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 5730 5858 -
Loaded weight 7860 8000 8270
Engine M-105R M-105RA BK-105PF
Power, hp at altitude 2x1100 2x1100 2x1260
m 5000 5000 3850
Maximum speed, km/h at sea level 444 438 465
at altitude 535 530 527
m 5000 5000 3850
Time to 5000 m, min 9.0 9.65 -
Service ceiling, m - 9100 8800
Service range, km 2150 2000 1650
Machine guns 2xBK 1xShVAK
3xShKAS 1xShKAS 1xShKAS -
Normal bomb load, kg 700''' 700''' 500''

'' On the external suspension

''' On the external suspension and in engine nacelles compartments

'''' In engine nacelles compartments

Photo Description
Drawing Pe-3

Drawing Pe-3

Drawing Pe-3bis

Drawing Pe-3bis

The prototype Pe-3bis

The prototype Pe-3bis. Three gun barrels — two BK machine guns and one ShKAS

In Detail


  • The history of designs of planes in USSR 1938-1950 /Vadim Shavrov/
  • Planes of Stalin falcons /Konstantin Kosminkov and Dmitriy Grinyuk/
  • The Soviet planes /Alexander Yakovlev/
  • Dive bomber Pe-2 /arMada/