IXO Models IXJ008005 Russian Petlyakov Pe-8 Heavy Bomber (1:144 Scale)
"In the future, war will be waged essentially against the unarmed populations of the cities and great industrial centers."
- Italian General Giulio Douhet
The Petlyakov Pe-8, also known as the TB-7, was a Soviet heavy bomber aircraft of World War II, the only four-engined bomber the USSR built during the war.
Development of Pe-8 was initiated in the Tupolev's OKB as ANT-42 in July 1934. The maiden flight of the first prototype was in December 1936 by M.M.Gromov. The aircraft actually has five engines - an auxiliary M-100 ATsN-2 was fitted inside the airframe.
Only 93 or 96 (including two prototypes) were built from 1936-1944 - older sources claim a number of 81 including prototypes, with production stopping in 1940; this seems to indicate that indeed only replacement aircraft were built after 1940. Some had Charomski M-30B/ACh-30B or M-40/ACh-40 diesel engines and the later aircraft were fitted 1,380 kW (1,850 hp) Shvetsov ASh-82 radials due to low availability of the AM-35A. Neither variant was as successful as the original, the diesel engines giving poorer performance and the radial delivering better performance but often being unreliable. It is a testimony to the soundness of the design however, that the examples which survived WWII were retained in service until the late 1950s despite the availability of the Tu-4. Altogether, the Pe-8, despite suffering from low priority of the strategic bombing role in the USSR military doctrine of its time and problems with the engines, compares well with other four-engined bombers designed in the late 1930s.
From a technical standpoint, the Pe-8 is remarkable because it had defensive machine-gun positions installed in the rear of the inboard engine nacelles. These were deleted when the nacelles were reconstructed for accommodation of the radial engines.
Pictured here is a 1:144 scale replica of a Russian Petlyakov Pe-8 heavy bomber. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10.75 inches
Length: 6.5 inches
Release Date: April 2009
Historical Account: "Red Stars Over Berlin" - The USSR had no plans for strategic bombardment, and only a few Pe-8 attacks on Germany were flown, the first in early August, 1941 (only weeks after the German attack on the USSR had started), when aircraft of the 81 DBAD (Long Range Bomber Division) bombed Berlin. Most Pe-8 attacks on Berlin were 'nuisance' bombings involving only a handful of aircraft (e.g. 14 in the first raid). It was used in the strategic bomber role to attack targets in German-held Eastern Europe and as a tactical bomber to support ground forces in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk.
The Pe-8 at first equipped a single bomber regiment, the 432 BAP (ON) (432nd Special Bomber Regiment) and its reserve unit, the 433rd; they were later reorganized into the 746 and 890 BAP (bomber regiment).
The Pe-8's most important claim to fame is flying Soviet foreign minister Molotov and his delegation from Moscow to London and Washington DC and back for talks on the opening of a second front against Nazi Germany (May 19th - June 13th, 1942), on the return trip crossing German-controlled airspace without incident.