Aviation of World War II
The third plane "103B" (B - high-altitude) was planned to be equipped with M-120 turbocharged engines TK-2. But there was one "but" - in the spring of 1939 the M-120 engines did not exist in metal yet. Therefore, they decided to replace them with M-82 radial motors with a capacity of 1330/1700 hp. It was assumed that the car will be ready by August 15, 1941. However, due to the evacuation, the deadlines could not be met. The unfinished plane "103B" was sent to Omsk to the plant number 166. There was another "but" - the plant number 166 also did not exist yet. There was only an empty unfinished workshop, where the planes should have been assembled. Prototypes and the first machines were assembled under a tarp stretched instead of a roof. 7 October 1941 A.N. Tupolev was appointed to the post of chief designer of plant number 166.
In October 1941, the assembly of the 103V 2M-82 (60) prototype was completed, and on November 12, 1941, the crew was assembled for a test flight: pilot M.P. Vasyakin, navigator N.M. Panchenko, engineer Yu.K. Stoman. In order not to waste time, factory and government tests were carried out simultaneously.
The aircraft flew around on December 15, 1941, and the test cycle lasted until August 22, 1942. Such a prolonged period was due to the extremely unreliable M-82A engines. Their refusals were constantly forced to alter the wings and nacelles. In August 1942, the plane was already noticeably different from itself in December 1941.
During the testing period, the car was given the designation Tu-2, which was officially enshrined by order of the NKAP No. 234 of March 28, 1942.
Serial production of the Tu-2 began even before the official completion of state tests. The machines of the first production series were assembled from parts made in Moscow for "103U". The gliders of the first series bore the designation "103BC" (since March 1942 Tu-2 2M-82). The first series of five Tu-2s was ready in April 1942. Another series - also five pieces - was assembled in April-May.
By the end of October, when the production of Tu-2 was stopped, plant No. 166 produced 80 vehicles. Some of them were scouts, but most were released as a front-line bomber.
In April 1942, three serial Tu-2s, produced by plant number 166, were handed over for military trials. The first stage of the test took place in the rear, at the airfield near Moscow in Chkalovsk. The planes were flown by crews from among the employees of the Air Force Research Institute. The first stage of testing ended on July 29, 1942. It was possible to start combat tests only in September 1942, when it was possible to achieve sufficiently reliable operation from the M-82 engines.
It was not exactly possible to determine the characteristics of "103V" due to the fact that the M-82 motors were not getting enough power. The deficiencies noted in the design of the aircraft were corrected already during serial production. In order to finally determine the characteristics of the machine, an aircraft with serial number 100308 was taken for testing from the number of machines produced. All the wishes expressed during state and factory tests were taken into account in its design.
The plane "100308" was tested from September 13 to October 28, 1942 at the Ural airfield Koltsov. The tests were interrupted by an accident, during which the plane had to be put on its belly. Prior to that, it was possible to make 44 flights with a total duration of 32 hours.
During the tests, it was determined that the Tu-2 is a modern bomber, distinguished by a large bomb load, a long flight range, powerful defensive weapons, as well as having high flying qualities and easy to fly.
But a number of claims were made against the plane. The speed at an altitude of 6000 m was 66 km / h less than expected, the practical ceiling also did not exceed 6000 m. All the shortcomings were explained by the unsatisfactory operation of the M-82 engines. Even successful military trials did not save the Tu-2. By order of GKO No. 763 of October 10, 1942, the serial production of Tu-2 was stopped.
Plant No. 166 managed to produce 80 Tu-2s and switched to the production of Yak-9 fighters. Tupolev went to Moscow to defend his car, but he failed to get into high offices, and the fate of Tu-2, it seemed, was decided.