Soviet aircraft M-4, or in other words "2M", also known as "Product 103" became the first domestic jet bomber, which was created to perform strategic tasks, later becoming a serial model. The NATO coalition designated him as "Bizon-A". Subsequently, on the basis of the M-4, a number of experimental and serial jet strategic vehicles will appear in the Soviets.
Project from scratch
The Soviet M-4 made its first flight more than 60 years ago, and the precondition for its creation, like other machines of this class, was the appearance of atomic weapons. The atomic bomb launched a new era not only in the field of weapons, but also in military flying equipment. The mere presence of atomic weapons in the arsenal was not enough, a powerful transport was needed to deliver them to the desired location. Both the Soviet Union and the NATO countries at that time did not have such bombers capable of withstanding an overseas flight with a serious cargo on board. All developments were carried out from scratch.
As a result, the M-4 bomber received a serious combat weight load, which the military initially hoped for. Normally, it was 9 tons, and the maximum reached 24 tons, which exceeded the expectations of designers and customers too much. The defensive armament of the 2M was three double-barreled cannon installations. The aircraft reached a maximum speed of 947 km / h, taking off to a maximum of 11,000 meters. The practical flight range was 8100 km.
The development of the bomber was carried out at the same time with another Soviet celebrity - Tu-95. In comparison of the two cars, the Tu-95 lost in speed and weight of the load, but differed in a large range, since the M-4 engine consumed more fuel. In order to reduce the weight of the M-4, a large-panel assembly was used, which greatly complicated the entire production process.
During operation, Myasishchev's M-4 aircraft made the crews nervous, and at the same time prove the entire class of flying skills. The bomber was produced in a limited number, while each individual machine had only its own inherent individual characteristics. And this has become one of the difficulties in training crews. A task requiring exceptional attention was to get the stable operation of all the controls that needed to be adjusted. Their number reached several hundred. In addition, each crew member had too many operational steps to prepare the aircraft for the upcoming takeoff.
The M-4 presented a number of control surprises for pilots accustomed to different algorithms, especially during takeoff and landing. For a long time, the pilots could not come to terms with the fact that a powerful jet bomber was lifted off the ground using an automatic mechanism. At this point, it was only required to keep the car on a straight line and periodically get rid of the roll, however, many pilots tried to help the plane by pulling the steering wheel, which often led to unpleasant consequences. Another problem for the crew was the bicycle-type chassis, which made it difficult for the landing process.
At some point, the practical operation of all 2M bombers was slowed down. Many accidents and a large number of failures were the cause. The downtime period for upgrades lasted over a year. During this time, the M-4 was retrained into a tanker aircraft, its control system and a number of parts, including the landing gear, underwent serious revision. In total, more than 20 units were left in the ranks, of which two squadrons of tanker aircraft were formed.
Despite all the shortcomings, the M-4 aircraft became the first aircraft of this class, and the practical experience of its operation did not pass without leaving a trace. The bomber became not only a simulator for honing flight skills, but also an experimental model for designers, who, on its basis and taking into account all the revealed shortcomings, created the next modification of the strategist - the famous "ZM", which served regularly until the mid-90s and ends its service as and the previous strategist, by tanker plane.
The Topic of Article: Soviet M-4 bomber - response to the nuclear bomb.