Aviation of World War II
The refusal to manufacture AM-35A engines in favor of AM-38 forced Nezval back in the fall of 1941 to begin the first work on converting his car to a new type of engine. To speed up the work, it was decided to take with minimal modifications the power plant developed for the Su-2 M-82. In a short time, the OKB did all the necessary work to install new engines on the Pe-8. From the Su-2, the engine mounts were used, its cooling system and exhaust nodding were used. In production, the necessary equipment was made for welding the motor frames and for the manufacture of elements and assembly of hoods.
Tests of the Pe-8 4 × M-82 were conducted jointly with the ADD from April 3 to October 24, 1942. The first flights with new engines installed on TB 7 No. 42047 showed acceptable results. The behavior of the first Pe-8 4 M-82 was no different from the rest of the machines. It was not possible to obtain the expected increase in speed at the second speed of the supercharger; in this mode, the M-82 worked very unstable. To resolve issues with a new power plant from the LII, which was also in Kazan during the war years, Chief Designer S.K. Tumansky, who was of great help in solving many problems with the M-82. However, the achieved speeds were considered sufficient, focusing on achieving the greatest possible flight range.
According to the test results, the aircraft was launched into series. Until the end of the year, the plant produced another Pe-8 with M-82 (against the background of three with M-30 and 15 with AM-35A), and in the following years 1943 and 1944 all Pe-8s were built and surrendered in part only with engines of the type M-82. On April 8, 1943, the Pe-8 4M-82 No. 42049 was adopted by the ADD as the standard of 1943. The first serial Pe-8 # 42058 entered service with the 746 Aviation Regiment in January 1943. In total, in 1943, plant number 22 produced 18 Pe-8s, and all of them were with the M-82. Although the tests were passed with a lot of comments, the power plant had to be finalized already in the series.
At the turn of 1942 and 1943, the bow rifle turret mount for two ShKAS type NEBs was replaced by a lighter and more aerodynamically streamlined and simpler one with one heavy machine gun UBT, following the example of the installation used on the Er-2. The OKB designed and built in a short time a new, very compact and lightweight installation with good angles of fire, equipped with weight compensation and with better sealing of the gunner's cabin.
Based on the experience of two years of war, the navigator's cockpit was rearranged. Taking into account the fact that, basically, the bombings were carried out at night, the Design Bureau, at the request of the military, installed an additional NKBP-4 night collimator sight on the Pe-8, which makes it possible to quickly find a target in a combat situation at night. At that time, criticism from the flight crew constantly came to the PS-1 sight. Considering this, the OKB replaced the PS-1 with the simpler OPB-2U, and then with the OPB-1R. All this was introduced in 1943 on serial Pe-8s with M-82s.
In total, in 1943, the plant produced 18 aircraft with M-82, and by the end of 1944 - 14 aircraft with M-82 and four with ACh-30B diesel engines (in the Pe-8 ON version, of which they finished and submitted for testing only two cars). The Pe-8 4M-82 troops were quickly and easily mastered, and there were no special comments from the flight and technical personnel either to the OKB or to the plant.
Enemy fighters in the period from 15 to 23 July 1943 shot down four Pe-8 4M-82, and one machine was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The reason for this lay in the serious lack of the new Pe-8 with M-82 - the exhaust manifolds of the exhaust gases gave a large and noticeable tongue of flame in the night sky. In August and September, one more Pe-8 was shot down. As a result, until late autumn, combat flights on the Pe-8 4M-82 were discontinued until effective flame arresters were installed on them. The engines began to be equipped with "fishtail" type flame arresters, proposed by the engineers of the 45th division, by analogy with the flame arresters on Fw 200. The trophy captured at Stalingrad came in handy.
February 02, 2020.