Aviation of World War II

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Tu-2R (Tu-6)

Tactical Reconnaissance Aircraft


Tu-2R (Tu-6)

In the spring of 1942, on the basis of the Tu-2, the OKB for the first time began to develop a front-line reconnaissance aircraft.

"According to its flight and tactical data, armament and equipment, the Tu-2p aircraft must correspond to the Tu-2 of the 6th series with the following changes:

1. Range at a speed of 375-400 km / h for day reconnaissance 2500 km, for night reconnaissance - 2000 km.

Note: Increasing the flight range for daytime reconnaissance should be carried out by hanging an additional gas tank in the bomb compartment.

2. The aircraft must have special aerial photographic equipment for day and night reconnaissance.

3. Aiming on bombing is carried out only with the OPB-1m sight.

4. It is advisable to provide removable armor to protect the most vital units and communications, the hydraulic system of the rear cockpit side and the navigator's canopy. "

Since, first of all, the front still needed bombers, work on the reconnaissance progressed slowly. Only in December 1942, the plant transferred three aircraft (No. 508, 601 and 603) out of the five planned to the 2nd Airborne Aircraft Route.

At the same time, on machines No. 508 and No. 601 installed one fixed camera each, and No. 603 was equipped with two paired cameras AFA-Zs/50 on a mobile installation with one-way swing. One of the vehicles tilted to the left, the other to the right at angles from 0 to 7 degrees. As a result, it was possible to carry out a perspective two-line survey of the area.

All three aircraft from December 30, 1942 to January 21, 1943 successfully passed military tests in the 2nd Airborne Aircraft Regiment on the Kalinin Front. The report on the test results noted: "... The dimensions of the bomb compartments allow the installation of large-size cameras of the AFA-33 type ... The swinging twin installation allows photographing an area equal to the area photographed with the same initial data by four aircraft ..."

Layout scheme of Tu-2R

Layout scheme of Tu-6 reconnaissance aircraft: 1 - pilot's seat; 2 - navigator's chair; 3 - installation of a BUSH with a UBT machine gun; 4 - additional fuel tank; 5 - ShVAK cannon at the root of the wing; 6 - camera AFA-33/20; 7 - camera AFA-33/75 on the installation AKAFU-156; 8 - AFA-IM camera; 9 - armchair of the gunner-radio operator; 10 - VUB-2M installation with UBT machine gun; 11 - shooter's place; 12 - installation of the LU with the UBT machine gun

The testing of the petrol system with an additional outboard tank was completed only in July 1943. Finishing work was carried out on the Tu-2 No.406 aircraft. In addition to the outboard tank installed in the front of the bomb bay, two paired AFA-Zs / 50s were mounted on a swinging installation on the machine. One device could deviate to the left, the other to the right at angles from 0 ° to 9.5 °.

State tests took place at the Research Institute of the Special Services from December 18, 1943 to March 20, 1944.

Tu-2R Specifications
Crew 4
Length, m 13.80
Wing span, m 22.06
Wing area, m² 48.80
Weight, kg
Empty 7,546
Gross Weight 11,420
Engine 2 × PE ASh-82FN
Power, hp 2 × 1.850
Maximum speed, km/h over ground 492
at altitude 548
Service range, km 2,280
Service ceiling, m 9,050
Three 12.7 mm UBT machine guns  

In 1944, plant No. 23 modified the production aircraft Tu-2 No. 304 production of plant no. 166 in the scout version. A hanging tank and an AFA-33/50 camera on a swinging installation for two-route shooting were installed on it. After modernization and factory tests, the car was transferred to the 47th GDRAP for military trials in May 1944.

On their basis, the following conclusion was made: "... - the Tu-2 aircraft in the reconnaissance version passed military tests, - the installation of an outboard gas tank provides a practical range of 2130 km, - it is considered necessary to raise the issue of serial construction of Tu- 2 in the reconnaissance version, - to recommend the use on the Tu-2 aircraft in the reconnaissance version of the swinging photographic installation under AFA-33/50 or AFA-33/75 and additionally to it AFA-33/20, - to ask the NKAP to give the task to the OKB of plant No.156 to develop and submit for testing a simplified design of a swinging aerial photographic installation for AFA-33/50 and AFA-33/75 and an aerial photographic installation for AFA-33/20;

Military tests of Tu-2R No. 304 made it possible to determine the characteristics of photographic equipment, and on the basis of this, the UVVS released new TTTs for the Tu-2R aircraft as a standard for the series for 1945. Basically, they boiled down to the following:

"... 1. An additional gas tank with alarms for full and remaining fuel must be installed in the bomb compartment.

2. The aircraft must be equipped with eight oxygen cylinders with a capacity of four liters, which would ensure a flight of 5 hours at an altitude of 7000 m.

3. The bomb compartment shall contain: a) a swinging aerial photographic installation for AFA-33/50 and AFA-33/75 in order of interchangeability, b) a fixed aerial photographic installation for AFA-33/20.

4. Photo hatches must have doors that open and close in flight, which must be controlled by the navigator.

5. The aircraft must have appropriate household equipment ... "

The crew of the aircraft included: the pilot, the navigator, who was sitting behind and slightly to the right of the pilot for a better view, the gunner-radio operator (his cockpit was located directly behind the wing) and the gunner, who protected the rear lower hemisphere. The shooters and navigator had three 12.7 mm UBT machine guns at their disposal.

Photo Description
Tu-2R from the 2nd long-range reconnaissance aviation regiment, 1942

Photo reconnaissance aircraft Tu-2R from the 2nd long-range reconnaissance aviation regiment, participant in military trials. 1942 g.

Placing an AFA camera on an airplane

Placing an AFA camera on an airplane


  • Tupolev Tu-2 bomber / Vladimir Rigmant. /
  • Tu-2 is the best bomber of the Great Patriotic War. / Nikolay Yakubovich /
  • History of aircraft structures in the USSR, 1938-1950. / V.B. Shavrov /