The TU-95 BEAR was perhaps the most successful bomber produced by the Soviet aviation, enjoying long service in a variety of roles and configurations. It was the only bomber deployed by any country to use turbo-prop engines, which provided extraordinarily long endurance at speeds only slightly less than comparable turbojet-powered heavy bombers.
Development of the TU-95 intercontinental bomber began in the early 1950s after series production of the medium-range TU-4 started.. Initially, several designs were considered, including a modification of the TU-4 and production of a new aircraft with piston engines. Prototypes of these aircraft were developed and tested from 1949 through 1951, it was concluded that bombers with piston engines could not provide adequate performance for the intercontinental attack mission. In March 1951 development of the T-4 intercontinental jet bomber began. However, KB Tupolev did not support the development of a bomber with turbojet engines, believing that the proposed AM-3 jet engines would not provide for the required range of more than 10,000 km. As an alternative, KB Tupolev proposed an aircraft with four turbo-prop engines that would provide a range of more than 13,000 km and speeds of more than 800 km/h at altitudes of 10,000 meters. The aircraft-design was designated as Â“95Â”.
The design of the wings drew heavily on the experience gathered by Tupolev and the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TSAGI) during the development of the swept wing TU-16. The wings of the Â“95Â” were swept back at an angle of 35 degrees, allowing the placement of a large bomb bay behind of the torsion box of the wingsÂ’ central unit at the aircraftÂ’s center of gravity.
The BearÂ’s wings are mid-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips. Its engines consist of four turboprops with contrarotating propellers located on the wings. The engine nacelles extend well beyond the wings’ leading edges. The fuselage of the Bear is tube-shaped with a rounded nose that tapers to the rear. It also has a stepped cockpit and a tail gun compartment. The tail of the aircraft is a fin that is swept-back and tapered with a square tip.
The greatest difficulties during the development were the engines. After studies on different engine combinations and versions, the final design of the aircraft incorporated four turbo-prop engines with a thrust of about 10,000-shp. In the late 1940s, the most powerful turbo-prop engine available was the BK-2 prototype which had significantly less thrust (4800-shp). In the early 1950s OKB-276 N.A. Kuznetsov developed the TV-2 engine and the TV-2F booster engine with a thrust of 6,250-shp. while work on the TV-12 engine with sufficient thrust for the Â“95Â” aircraft continued.
After consideration of TupolevÂ’s proposals, on 11 July 1951 the government officially approved the development of the Â“95Â” aircraft: Two versions were built, one with eight TV-2F engines coupled through the reduction gearbox in four pusher-tractor tandem pairs, and a second version with four TV-12 engines. N.I. Bazenkov became the chief designer of all subsequent TU-95 versions. When he died in 1975, N.V. Kursanov took over as chief designer, and from the end of the 1980s, D.A. Antonov became head of the program.
In 1952, the first prototype Â“95/1Â”, equipped with 8 2TV-2F engines, was built at Plant Nr. 156. The reduction gearbox and the four-blade contra-rotating propellers were developed by OKB-120 headed by K.N. Zhdanov. Each pair generated a thrust of 12,000-shp. The first flight of the Â“95/1Â” airplane took place on 12 November 1952, but on 11 May 1953 during itsÂ’ 17th flight the plane crashed and burned due to an engine fire. The second prototype (Â“95/2Â”), equipped with TV-12 engines, was completed in June 1954 with a first flight on 16 February 1955. During tests, while carrying a load of 5000 kg, it reached a range of about 15,000 km, a speed of 993 km/h and a ceiling of 11,300 m. Series production of the aircraft -- now designated as TU-95 -- started in January 1956 at Plant Nr. 18 in Kuibyshev, while production tests were still underway.
General Product Information
Our Tupolev TU 95 Bear scale model aircraft exhibits unique, unrivalled quality and detailed design to come as close as possible to the accuracy of the actual plane. It comes standard with a robust , durable base or stand which is available in a variety of different finishes designed to match your own personal requirements including solid wood, wood with polished chrome steel supports or adjustable wood wall mount and will be ready within about 10 weeks from placement of order.
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