Aviation of World War II

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Torpedo Bomber



TB-1P is a torpedo bomber based on the first Soviet all-metal heavy bomber TB-1. In September 1929, the UVVS informed TsAGI of its desire to receive part of the serial TB-1 in the sea version and made a request for the recommended type of floats. On October 30, 1929, the UVVS decided to order a naval chassis in England, from the well-known "Short" . In April 1931, one of the serial TB-1s was transferred to Taganrog. It took three months to assemble and install it on floats. On June 15, the car was transferred to the naval department of the Air Force Research Institute and transferred to Sevastopol, where state tests were carried out until the end of August 1931.

The increase in the weight of the empty aircraft and the additional aerodynamic drag from the floats reduced the aircraft's flight performance. The maximum speed did not exceed 185 km/h, the ceiling was 3620 m. Maneuverability and climb rate deteriorated significantly. Nevertheless, the results were considered satisfactory. Compared to the Yug-1 float boats and the Val flying boats, which were available in naval squadrons, the TB-1 a favorably distinguished itself by the ability to carry large-caliber ammunition necessary to destroy warships. The aircraft was adopted by the Red Army Air Force.

We began to prepare for the serial production of floats. The English sample was measured and the drawings were made. They wanted to entrust the batch to plant No. 22, but it was overloaded with other orders. As a result, the documentation and the sample float were transported to Taganrog. There they began to be produced under the name "type Zh" and installed on aircraft arriving from Moscow.

Installation of floats was carried out after the termination of production of TB-1. A total of 66 aircraft were refined. Serial float bombers were called TB-1P or sometimes MTB-1.

Crew 6
Length, m 18.90
Wing span, m 28.70
Wing area, m² 120.00
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 5016
Loaded weight 7500
2 × PE M-17
Takeoff power, hp 2 × 680
Maximum speed, km/h 186
Cruising speed, km/h 158
Service range, km 950
Service ceiling, m 3620
6 × 7.62 mm PV-1 machine gun, bombs, kg 1000
Photo Description
Схема АНТ-4бис (ТБ-1П) Drawing TB-1P

TB-1P were actively used in the Baltic, but due to the lack of mines and torpedoes, they actually served only as scouts and bombers. In winter, they were moved to skis or wheels. In September 1934, the 122nd squadron was involved in the search for the submarine L-2 ("Stalinets") that sank in the Gulf of Finland after the explosion. She was found and helped to take out the wounded by the squadron commander A.M. Viraka.

As of September 1, 1936, there were only six squadrons in the Soviet mine and torpedo aviation, of which four were on TB-1 (in the Baltic Fleet, two - 121st and 122nd; on the Black Sea - one and incomplete, 34th; and one, 109th, - in the Pacific). The latter was re-equipped the following year with TB-3. Another 12 aircraft were available at the school in Yeisk.

In the next two years, the situation has improved little. The 34th squadron in Evpatoria handed over worn out TB-1P, having received the R-5T. On January 1, 1938, there were 38 TB-1 and TB-1 P. in combat units of naval aviation. In the same year, an order was received to write them off or hand them over to auxiliary units.

By September 25, 1940, the naval pilots still had 14 TB-1s, of which only six could fly. All of them were used for training purposes or for transportation.


  • Heavy bomber TB-1 / V. Rigmant, V. Kotelnikov. /
  • Seaplanes and ekranoplanes of Russia / G.F. Petrov. /
  • The history of aircraft designs in the USSR, 1938-1950. / V.B. Shavrov /
TB-1 on ski chassis

TB-1 on ski chassis

July 08, 2020.
"Low" torpedoes were considered purely offensive weapons. An aircraft armed with them could operate alone or in a group, as well as in interaction with surface ships - as appropriate. Aiming was carried out on primitive rack-and-pinion sights, which made it possible to roughly estimate the lead. At first, the TB-1 was equipped with KP-2 sights converted into OTB from torpedo boats. Then they were replaced with more complex PT-136. They already had an optical range finder to determine the drop distance and a vector construction mechanism to take into account the speed of the aircraft and torpedo.
Training of pilots of naval aviation was conducted in Yeisk. In 1932, the school located there received the first TB-1. By January 1935, there were already 26 aircraft of this type.
The Air Force leadership was making grandiose plans to expand the mine and torpedo aviation. On October 4, 1933, the Air Force Chief of Staff ordered the start of preparations for the formation of ten squadrons at once (including four at TB-1). On December 29, a new plan is sent to the districts - to form eight squadrons (seven of them - at TB-1). Almost all of them were to be deployed in the Far East. But these plans were never realized.