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Tupolev '108' Composite Bomber & Developments

Vasily41

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Tupolev made an entry into the composite bomber program in 1952 with his 'Aircraft 100' paired with the 'Aircraft 108' supersonic carrier. Many different configurations of the '108' were proposed along with a multitude of different power plants to go along with it; AM-17, VD-5M, and VD-7M turbojets, P-8 turboprops, NK-6 turbofans, and P-4 non-afterburning turbofans. After considerable work had been carried out on the '108' design, the "rocket era" had begun and the whole composite bomber program was cancelled on July 31, 1958. There was a bomber version for the first design with VD-5M turbojets, but am I correct on saying that there were bomber versions of nearly all the proposals?

Here are the only options I know. Are there more?
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Basil

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I think so, too. As in the US at the same period (early 1950s) they did research in supersonic propeller blades but of course that does not mean you can reach supersonic speeds with them.
 

Vasily41

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Information taken from Tony Buttler & Yefim Gordon Soviet Secret Project: Bombers Since 1945 pp #74-77

  • ‘Aircraft 100’
Suspended bomber designed to be carried beneath the ‘108’ or a Tu-95 or Tu-96. It would have been carried over a distance of 3,729-4,040 miles (6,000-6,500 km) before being released to fly by itself for another 497-622 miles (800-1,000 km) to the target at an airspeed of up to 932 mph (1,500 km/h). Work on ‘Aircraft 100’ and the composite bomber concept was cancelled in 1958.

Wingspan - 41 ft (12.5 m)
Length - 77.9 ft (23.7 m)
Gross Wing Area - 495 ft2 (46 m2)
Max Weight - 68,342 lbs (31,000 kg)
Powerplant - 2x Tumansky (Mikulin) AM-11M turbojets
Maximum Thrust - 12,125-13,230 lbs (53.9-58.8 kN)
Maximum Speed - 932 mph (1,500 km/h)
Maximum Bomb Load - 2,756 lbs (1,250 kg)
Crew - 2 persons


  • Tupolev ‘Aircraft 108’ (NK-6)
A version of ‘108’ redesigned in 1956 and fitted with the Kuznetsov NK-6 afterburning turbofan.
 

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Vasily41

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Wow! That is amazing! I suspect the pods on the main wing are not anti-shock bodies but the famous Tupolev landing gear nacelles?
 

PlanesPictures

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Wow! That is amazing! I suspect the pods on the main wing are not anti-shock bodies but the famous Tupolev landing gear nacelles?
" but the famous Tupolev landing gear nacelles "- I suppose it, too
 

Basil

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Wow! That is amazing! I suspect the pods on the main wing are not anti-shock bodies but the famous Tupolev landing gear nacelles?
They are both in function - Kuechemann carrots for the landing gear.
 

Vasily41

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When it is finished, maybe we can make a four-view profile rendering with top, side, front, and bottom views of this beast.
 
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Wyvern

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Would have loved to have seen this thing fly! Sure would be a sight for sore eyes!

In all seriousness, why was a turboprop chosen? Was it to conserve fuel? I remember watching a documentary about Soviet strategic bombing in the 1950s (mainly focusing on Bartini's projects), which stated that Soviet strategic bombing capability was limited due to thirsty jet engines, hampered by limited air-to-air refuelling capability. That was why Bartini proposed a supersonic seaplane bombers that could refuel from submarines. Would this aircraft have cruised on turboprops, then switched to jets for the dash to the target?
 

Vasily41

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As this was a composite bomber project, I assume Tupolev was trying to milk out at much range as possible while still maintaining top speeds near transonic.

This specific design featured four of Kuznetsov’s experimental P-8 engines. At first glance they are turboprops, but once you get into the technical characteristics of the engine, it performs more like a prop-jet with more focus on the jet thrust than a standard turboprop. It basically is a tuned-down jet engine with substantially increased fuel economy.

Tupolev also experimental with making the ‘108’ into a strategic bomber; the one version we know about being based off the first design with six VD-5 turbojets. I do have to wonder if he and his team experimented with bomber version for all the proposals since they were trying to find the optimal layout for a composite bomber role as well as a strategic bomber one.
 
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jzichek

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PlanesPictures, this is great 3D modeling, thank you for sharing. Is the model based on a complete three-view drawing of the project, or is it a reconstruction based only on the top view? I ask because I have never seen a complete original 3-view published, only the top view. In any case, excellent work.
 

PlanesPictures

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PlanesPictures, this is great 3D modeling, thank you for sharing. Is the model based on a complete three-view drawing of the project, or is it a reconstruction based only on the top view? I ask because I have never seen a complete original 3-view published, only the top view. In any case, excellent work.
This reconstruction is based on turbotrop's top view and sketches and pictures of other versions
 

Vasily41

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Beautiful Jozef! I was just going to ask if you had finished them, but I decided to wait a couple more days ))))
 

PlanesPictures

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Beautiful Jozef! I was just going to ask if you had finished them, but I decided to wait a couple more days ))))
I had problem. Due to conflict Nvidia and display driver my OS crashed and I had only working copy of this model. A few days I didn't know if it is lost...
 

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I had problem. Due to conflict Nvidia and display driver my OS crashed and I had only working copy of this model. A few days I didn't know if it is lost...
A common nightmare of the present age...
 
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