Tupolev Tu-91


Tu-91, or, as NATO codifies it, "Boot", is a Soviet naval torpedo bomber. We only managed to build a prototype. In the 50s, the military leadership of the Soviet Union often raised the issue of creating aircraft carriers with various purposes. In parallel, it was planned to develop a number of carrier-based aircraft. In 1952, the terms of the technical assignment on this issue appeared. They also included generally accepted tactical and technical characteristics. Following the instructions, it was necessary to create a fighter with turbojet engines with a maximum speed of 1000 km / h, a flight duration of two hours and a ceiling of 16 m.

In April of the following year, the Tupolev Design Bureau received a Resolution from the Council of Ministers of the USSR, according to which the KB employees were to design and build a dive torpedo bomber "91". In June of the same year, the naval leadership created requirements for tactical and technical data for the bomber project with 1 TVD TV-2M. The main tasks for the future of the aircraft were dive attacks on enemy water and land (shore) targets, torpedo-metering at a visible surface target and carrying out assault actions against transport, ships, enemy manpower, bases. Additional requirements for the Tu-91 were: landing and take-offs in all weather conditions and regardless of the time of day for standard and small runways. The aircraft should have sufficient maneuverability and be able to perform tasks both alone and in group action.


The immediate requirements of the aircraft were as follows:

  1. at an altitude of 5000-7000 m maximum speed - 800-830 km / h;

  2. cruising minimum - 300 km / h;

  3. range - 2100 km;

  4. ceiling - 12 m;

  5. mileage - 400 m;

  6. mass bombing armament - 1600 kg;

  7. Crew - two people.

Among the equipment focused on the presence of a radar station "Kurs" equipment for the protection of the tail "Gamma", the interrogator radar system of the respondent "Node", radio stations RSIU-3 and 5-SCR. It is mandatory on board the aircraft must attend PB-2 altimeter, automatic radio ARC-5 and aerial camera AFA-BA.


All work on the plane began quickly and almost did not go astray. In September, they conducted a commission on the layout, and also stipulated the availability of equipment, layout and layout. In 1953, the construction of an experimental prototype was started, and a year later in April it was completed. In parts he was transported to the Zhukovsky flight test and refueling base. In the same place it was collected. Shortly after all the preparatory work for the flight crew, the first runs began on the runway of the LII (September 1954). After the flight test pilot D. Zyuzin A. Tupolev decides to begin the process of the first flight.

Second November 1954, the pilot and navigator Dmitry Zyuzin K. Malkhasyan accomplished its first flight on the Tu-91. The first phase of the factory test ends in late January 1955 years. For the duration of this phase of the test plane made takeoffs and landings 25 or 14 hours in the air.

The first phase of flight tests completed successfully, the Tu-91 fully answered the tactical and technical projects of the Navy. In addition, it should be noted that the plane proved to be a cost. Flying distance 2100 km from the bomb load in 1000 kg, Tu-91 2700 spent kg.

The second phase of testing began in late January 1955 years. They were attended by representatives of the Navy. Tu-91 again demonstrates its excellent quality in the air and on the ground. And during takeoffs and landings on unpaved strips staff creates and maintains aircraft, nicknamed him "Bull". After the second phase of the plane recommended for serial production.

At the same time, with the construction of the aircraft, work on fine-tuning the engine 2M TV. It was mounted in the center of gravity, the front has a crew cabin, the pilot was sitting on the left side, on the right side - the navigator. Between them is the motor shaft. At the head of the aircraft installed planetary double reduction.

In the year 1954 14 from 17 on October held a polygon ground jet firing weapons. Initially, the Tu-14 conducted aerial firing all weapons destined for the Tu-91. After firing ground in Feodosia were tested on combat employment (June 29 1955 years).

In 55, the summer shows held aircraft, which also introduced the Tu-91. During the presentation of the plane that something was not pleasant to be a head of state Nikita Khrushchev. He was immediately in his usual rough form expressed dissatisfaction. After that, the fate of a great aircraft was sealed.

But, despite the private abusive behavior to the President, tests Tu-91 continued. In addition, it was conducted flight tests. They were the most prolonged and ended only in January 1956 years. Simultaneously, the EDB is preparing for serial production. It is influenced by the ability and specificity of the plant. Also was an active preparation of the Tu-91 modifications to the academic and anti-nature, and electronic countermeasures. These works were to affect the economy and the number of aircraft series.


OP demonstrated summer 1956 year on the airfield Kubinka and in the same year in the aviation display technology, in which Khrushchev was present again. He criticized the plane again. After parking on ZHLI and DB plane disposed of.


Technical description of the Tu-91

Tu-91 presented in the form of a double dive bomber, torpedo bomber with a single theater. The aircraft is designed for takeoffs and landings with scarce runway in coastal areas of seas and oceans. Tu-91 can perform the following tasks:

  • dive-bombing for miniature and underwater targets;

  • torpedo the ships of surface type;

  • bombing from horizontal flight on objects in the front zone and naval targets;

  • assault actions on landing floating craft and manpower landing.


Armament impact type that is intended to carry out all these tasks, is placed on the external load of the fuselage and the wing. Among 1500 kg bomb armament was the possibility of different options: three rocket torpedoes PAT-52 or one torpedo in the low-altitude version of 45-36MAN, or high-altitude version - 45-36MAV. The bomber could carry on air suspension sea mines weighing 500-1500 kg. Assault action is ensured by the two suspended containers, which were placed NURS missiles 8-212 TPC, TPC-36 or 132, 120 or 85-TRS.

Protect the crew from anti-aircraft guns and air defense was provided by the installation of hulls on the front part of the fuselage, created from an alloy APBA-1. Additionally installed aluminum and steel armor plating and bulletproof glass weighing 550 kg.

Tu-91 characteristics:

Modification   Tu-91
Wingspan, m   16.40
Aircraft Length m   17.70
Height, m   5.06
Wing area, m2   47.48
Takeoff weight, kg  
  normal takeoff   12850
  maximum take-off   14400
engine's type   1 TVD TV-2М
Power ehp   X 1 7650
Maximum speed km / h   800
Practical range, m   2190-2350
Practical ceiling, m   11000
Crew   2
Armament:  three guns TKB-495A (AM-23) - two guns for firing forward in the wing consoles, ammunition - 200 shells per barrel, and one gun in the aft remote installation with ammunition 300 shells,
 Bomb load 1050-1500 kg - along the axis of the aircraft on the central beam of the bomb FAB-1500, BRAB-1500, torpedoes PAT-52 or 45-36МАН or 45-36МАВ, mines in dimensions 1500 kg, bomb,
 On the pylons:
 in two suspension containers NURSY: 8ТРС-212 or 36ТРС-132 or 120ТРС-85, single-lock beams for the suspension ФАБ-500 or РАТ-52, or AMD-500; four-lock beams for four bombs FAB-100 or two FAB-250.


Tu-91 video



Very often there are information that, say, the Tu-91 did not want to take the Navy, because it changed the requirements for the aircraft. But this is not true. The aircraft is excellent. The first post-war attack, which is not afraid of no speed, no distance. Yes, I agree, on the view - not very. But still. You need to look at the characteristics and performance, rather than on appearance. And it all happened because of what? Due to an inadequate assessment of the May beetle (Khrushchev). He did not like the look in comparison with the fighters ... nonsense. Be launched into production. I think it would be possible to come up with many modifications.

The fate of the unlucky bomber Tu-91 once again proves how incompetent one, but very influential opinion can destroy the demanded result of a great team work.
The outbreak of the Cold War caused a surge of interest in aircraft carriers and, as a consequence, to deck aviation. OKB Tupolev, having some experience in creating such a technique, started to work, but after a while the task was corrected. Now, at the exit, it was required to obtain a torpedo dive ground-based dive bomber for bombing attacks on coastal naval installations, the destruction of floating military equipment, and also air assault from enemy coastal areas. Based on the tasks, the new Tu-91 could be used from the runway to 1000 km, developed the maximum speed to 730-800 km / h. By the ratio of range-combat load-fuel consumption, the aircraft was extremely economical, which is absolutely not typical for a bomber. Quite unexpectedly, at the show of the Tu-91 technique, NS Nuriyev was severely and absolutely groundlessly criticized. Khrushchev. Marine pilots, realizing that the car is getting excellent, at their own peril and risk, still conducted scheduled tests of the aircraft. The designers prepared the documentation for launching the Tu-91 in production, however, at the next demonstration of aircraft Khrushchev did not change his point of view on the aircraft. No one dared to go against the decision of the secretary general. Over time, the deployment of missile weapons advanced to the forefront, and the Tu-91 was completely forgotten.

On the one hand, the idea of ​​this aircraft is not bad. But just like a deck-type bomber. The Americans had the most similar "Skyrighter". But the American had a piston engine. On TVD and mass-dimensions, the British "Gannet" approached. But it is purely antisubmarine. And the bad side was the quality of the stormtrooper. In this regard, he was good only in the ability to hang more NAR. Having the possibility of prolonged barrage on the territory of military operations on the condition of the European theater of operations was by no means the main one. Booking is local. And engines though also powerful, but not tenacious.

A skydiver built in the years of 2MB with a piston engine and just like the Bull carrying all the weapons from the outside, and being designed like a deck with similar tasks, had an 2700 engine and an empty weight of 3 tons lighter than a Bull, 5 tons against 8. The bull carried 1600 kg of weapons, the 3600 Skyraider on the 15 suspension nodes. This is despite the fact that the Bull TVD already 7500 ls !! And if the Bull's blow was compared with the salvo of the cruiser, then probably Skraireder should be compared with the battleship .. Unsuccessful was the plane. And it's not in Khrushchev

You have forgotten about the speed that the "Bull" was one and a half times higher and the practical ceiling is 3 km more.