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Friday, December 12th 2014, 3:42am

Russian Carrier Aircraft

There hasn't been much info on Russian carrier aircraft, and so I worked up some ahistoric types: Sukhoi Su-4K dive bomber, and the Beriev Be-5K torpedo bomber.

Also put together two naval fighters, the Lavochkin La-9K and La-11K. The former is historical; the latter is basically a larger improved variant.

These are basically the planes that are in service now, as of 1945. (Though the Su-4 is going to be out of service fairly soon, as it's pretty much obsolete.)


Sukhoi Su-4 Dive Bomber
The Sukhoi Su-4 dive bomber was the first and only retractable-gear monoplane dive bomber adopted by Russian Naval Aviation for carrier-borne use. Designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB), the Su-4 first flew in March 1938, and entered service with the Russian Navy in October of 1940. The Su-4 was never more than moderately successful in its intended role, with lackadaisical speed and payload in comparison to designs fielded elsewhere. However, the range was good, making the Su-4 a useful carrier-borne search and antisubmarine aircraft, a role it performed even after dive bombing fell out of favor in Naval Aviation. Although level-flight performance was mediocre, during dive bombing the aircraft behaved in a satisfactory manner.

The Russian VVS (Military Air Forces) also purchased a quantity of Su-4s as land-based dive bombers, although they failed to displace the Ilyushin Il-2 and Il-10 Shturmoviks, and were instead used as target tugs.

Crew: 3 (pilot, turret gunner and radioman/bombardier)
Wingspan: 14.6 m ( feet)
Length: 12.1 m ( feet)
Height: 4.65 m ( feet)
Wing Area: 30.84 m² (332 ft²)
Empty weight: 4,411 kg (9,725 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 6,486 kg (14,300 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Shvetsov M-82-111 14-cylinder radial (1,570hp takeoff)

Max speed: 443 kph (275 mph)
Cruise speed: 378 kph (235 mph)
Range: 2,253 km (1,400 miles)
Service ceiling: 6,860 m (22,500 ft)
Rate of climb:

- 4 × 7.62mm (0.30cal) MGs in wings OR 2 × 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannon
- 2 × 7.62mm (0.30cal) in rear cockpit
- 2 × 225 kg bombs on centerline
- 2 × 100 kg bombs under wings, or rockets

- First flight: March 1938.
- Entered service: October 1940


Beriev Be-5 Naval Strike Aircraft
The Beriev Be-5 naval strike aircraft entered service with the Russian Naval Aviation forces (AV-MF) in late 1943, displacing obsolete Ilyushin Il-2K "Sturmovik" aircraft. The Beriev functioned primarily as a torpedo bomber, although it could carry bombs and rockets for particular missions.

The aircraft was not particularly advanced for its day, but acquired a reputation for ruggedness and reliability equivalent to the Sturmovik it replaced. Throughout its lifetime, the Be-5's loss rate due to mechanical accidents was 35% lower than any other type of aircraft in the Russian inventory. It also was well-regarded for being extremely hard to stall, and easy to recover. This made it the aircraft of choice for training naval aviators in carrier operation, a role it served until 1959.

The primary version manufactured was the Be-5K, which was designed for carrier operations.

Wingspan: 17.35 m (56 ft 11 in)
Length: 11.95 m (39 ft 2 in)
Height: 4.72 m (15 ft 6 in)
Wing Area: 40.88 m² (440 ft²)
Empty weight: 5,142 kg (11,366 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 8,386 kg (18,448 lb)
Engine: 1 × Shvetsov ASh-112 18-cylinder radial (2,300hp takeoff)
Crew: 3 (pilot, turret gunner and radioman/bombardier)

Max speed: 499 kph (310 mph)
Cruise speed: 325 kph (201.9 mph)
Range: 2,400 km (1,491 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,290 m (27,200 ft)
Rate of climb: 10 mps (1968 fpm)

- 2 × 14mm (0.55cal) MGs in turret
- 1 × 14mm (0.55cal) MG in ventral mount
- 2 × 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons in wings, 75 rpg
- 1 × 1,000kg torpedo or bombs

- First flight: April 1942.
- Entered service: November 1943.

- Be-5: Initial design.
- Be-5K: Carrier based torpedo bomber.
- Be-5T: Land-based torpedo bomber.
- Be-5UT: Training aircraft; engine lacking supercharger.


Lavochkin La-9K Naval Fighter

Crew: 1
Wingspan: 9.8 m (28 ft 4 in)
Length: 8.63 m (32 ft 2 in)
Height: 3.56 m (11 ft 8 in)
Wing Area: 17.6 m² (189 ft²)
Empty weight: 2638 kg (5,816 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 3,676 (8,104 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Shvetsov M-82FN 14-cylinder radial (1,850hp takeoff)

Max speed: 690 kph (428 mph)
Cruise speed: kph ( mph)
Range: 1,735 km (1,077 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,800 m (35,433 ft)
Rate of climb: 17.7 m/s (3,484 ft/min)
Wing loading: 195 kg/m² (40 lb/ft²)

- 4 × 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons in wings, 75 rpg


Lavochkin La-11K Naval Fighter

Crew: 1
Wingspan: 11.76 m (38 ft 7 in)
Length: 10.35 m (33 ft 11.5 in)
Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
Wing Area: 23.4 m² (251.9 ft²)
Empty weight: 3,166 kg (6,980 lbs)
Max Takeoff Weight: 4,411 kg (9,724 lbs)
Engine: 1 × Shvetsov ASh-112 18-cylinder radial (2,300hp takeoff)

Max speed: 720 kph (447 mph)
Range: 2,100 km (1,305 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,800 m (35,433 ft)
Rate of climb: 18.3 m/s (3,602 ft/min)
Wing loading: 188.5 kg/m² (38.6 lb/ft²)

- 4 × 23mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons in wings, 75 rpg

- First flight: January 1944.
- Entered service: June 1945.


Saturday, December 13th 2014, 1:51pm

I'm glad you've managed to get your carrier aircraft sorted.

What are the specs of the Be-5 based off?


Saturday, December 13th 2014, 4:28pm

What are the specs of the Be-5 based off?

TBY Seawolf.

The Su-4 is basically the Vultee Vengeance.


Monday, December 15th 2014, 9:36am

Thanks. Actually I could imagine the TBY looking pretty good and authentic as a Russian type.


Monday, October 19th 2015, 10:19pm

Tupolev Tu-4K Naval Strike Aircraft
The Tupolev bureau designed the Tu-4 in order to meet a request by the Aviatsiya Voenno-Morskogo Flota (AV-MF) for a carrier-based strike aircraft to replace the Ilyushin Il-2K "Sturmovik". Tupolev's design used a turboprop engine centrally placed behind the cockpit, although to that date no turboprop engine prototypes existed in Russia. The initial prototype built in 1943, equipped with a V-12 engine, suffered several minor accidents during ground-handling and required a series of major modifications during the testing phase. For this reason, the rival Beriev design was selected for production and entered service in October 1943. Tupolev comprehensively redesigned the aircraft, collaborating both with the Kuznetsov engine design bureau and the French Turbomeca company in order to develop a sufficiently-powerful turboprop engine. The AV-MF's directorate encouraged the continued work, with an eye toward replacing the Sukhoi Su-4 carrier-based dive bombers. The first prototype flew in May 1945 using the 1,500 kW NK-02 prototype engine. Series production started with smaller and more reliable NK-03 engine in December of 1945, but relatively few aircraft were built before production shifted to the more powerful and reliable NK-04, a change made visible with the addition of a contra-rotating propeller and slightly longer fuselage. Although the Tu-4K entered squadron service aboard Afonskoye by April of 1946 as a replacement for older Sukhoi Su-4 dive bombers, teething issues kept it from immediate success. The engines, which had been hurriedly developed and put into production with a very tight design cycle, had a fairly low service life of sixty-eight hours and a regular maintenance cycle was required in order to achieve this; there were also issues with heat treatments of certain engine components, which resulted in the loss of four aircraft by the end of 1946. By mid-1947, NK-4 engines were replaced by the upgraded NK-4U (Improved), which helped ease maintenance and extended the life-cycle of the engine. In service, the Tu-4K was used in conjunction with the Beriev Be-5K torpedo bombers as part of the main strike component of the shipboard naval aviation regiments. Although the Tu-4 could carry torpedoes, a load of mixed bombs and rockets was usually preferred.

General characteristics
Crew: one
Length: 12.7 m (41 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 18.5 m (57 ft 5 in)
Height: 4.26 m (13 ft 11 in)
Wing area: 37.13 m² ( ft²)
Empty weight: 5,300 kg (11,684 lb)
Loaded weight: 8,150 kg (17,967 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 9,300 kg ( 20,503 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Kuznetsov NK-04 turboprop, 2,400 kW

Maximum speed: 679 km/h (367 knots, 422 mph) at sea level
Cruise speed: 525 km/h (283 knots, 326 mph)
Range (Loaded): 1550 km (963 mi)
Ferry range: 2935 km (1824 mi)
Service ceiling: 13,000 m (42,650 ft)
Rate of climb: 15 m/s (3,150 ft/min)

Armament (Tu-4K Model 1946)
- 2 × 14 mm machine guns in cowling
- 1,500 kg of payload on six external hardpoints (two belly, four wing)

- Tu-4 Object 66: Prototype with NK-02 engine.
- MTB-4: Early production version with NK-03 engine; few made; used from land bases only.
- Tu-4K: Standard carrier-based attack aircraft with 2 x 14mm machine guns in wing roots.
- Tu-4ShB-37: Equipped with two 37mm cannon for ground attack.
- Tu-4MR: Reconnaissance seaplane equipped with floats; only six made, all converted from MTB-4s.