The weakness of the Navy of the USSR in the prewar years, tried to compensate by creating flying cruisers – multi-engined and heavily armed seaplane, able to deal with both surface and underwater ships, ground targets, and engage in mine production. As a result, in July 1931, the air force issued TSAGI reference for the development of seaplane MK-1 (ANT-22) with a lifting capacity of six tons. The plane had to fly at a speed of 300 km/h and have a radius of 1000 km. the Defensive armament was raised from four to five machine guns and two or three guns.

In all publications on this seaplane, it is argued that katamarana scheme chosen for reasons of enhancing its seaworthiness and stability. However, in one of the archival documents showed that the plane was intended for the transportation of small submarines. What kind of boat is unknown, but based on its carrying capacity, the displacement of the submarine could not exceed

13 tons. Recall that the displacement of the smallest of domestic submarines “baby” period of the great Patriotic war was about 150 tons, and the postwar “Triton” – 3,75 tons. In 1936 he tested a special Autonomous underwater vessel “APSS” created under the leadership of V. I. Bekauri, with a displacement of 7,2/8,2 tons, allowing to transport it by plane type MK-1.
Katamarana scheme identified and the choice of war feathers. Six engine M-34R was located in three tandem engine nacelles with pulling and pushing screws on the center section of the wing.
Defensive armament included nasal shielded installation ShKAS machine guns, deck – guns “Oerlikon” and feed – with two YES-2. Provided for suspension of up to 6000 kg of bombs (including caliber 1000 kg) in the cargo compartment of the wing and under the wing or four 1200-kg torpedoes.
The building was completed in July 1934. The first flight of the MK-1, piloted by T. V. Ryabenko and D. N. Elias, took place on 16 August of the same year in Sevastopol. Tests showed that the speed of the aircraft in the reconnaissance variant did not exceed 233 km/h, which is clearly not consistent with the original task. In the accelerated version of the maximum speed of the bomber fell to 30 km/h at the water surface. Given that the motors had no charge when flying at altitude the speed was even less. In addition, the ceiling of the aircraft does not exceed 3500 meters. The reason for this was not only a great drag of a catamaran, but the lack of engine power, and also drop thrust pusher propellers located in a cocurrent stream from pulling propellers.
On state tests, held from 27 July to 15 August 1935, in flight with external suspension bombs speed did not exceed 205 km/h cruising at 180 km/h Ceiling – 2250 meters. The aircraft could take off and land at the wave height up to 1.5 m and winds of 8-12 m/s, can withstand long-term Parking lot at sea, towing and taxiing, had good seaworthiness, stability and handling.
To improve the same flight these machines was possible only through the replacement of engines on the M-34RN with supercharging, but before business is not reached.
In 1935 he built a second instance of MK-1 (understudy). In the same year, the assistant to the commander, black sea fleet air force Bergstrom, reporting to the chief of the air force to Apcnis on the state of the black sea fleet air force, noted in particular that “the second prototype MK-1 during factory tests were planted at full throttle on the pitfalls. 15 may of the same year another boat seaplane was damaged in the rear”.
Dvuhlodochnaya marine cruiser MK-1
Dvuhlodochnaya marine cruiser MK-1
Marine heavy bomber MTB-2bis:
1 – bow-shielded unit with a gun ShVAK; 2 – antenna coherent radio; 3 – front LDPE; 4 – power plant engine M-87; 5 – deck machine gun ShKAS (conventionally not shown); 6 – feed shielded unit with a gun ShVAK (conventionally not shown); 7 – hatch for the ShKAS machine gun; 8 – rear redan; 9 – the first redan; 10 – wheel main landing gear to land in a landing position; 11 – float lateral stability; 12 – Luke anchor equipment; 13 – antenna radiolucency; 14 – ski main landing gear; 15 – ski spike support; 16 – main landing gear in folded position; 17 – upper brace stabilizer; 18 – lower brace stabilizer; 19 – entrance door

The climax of the creation of the MK-1 was a record flying pilots So Ryabenko and D. Elias in December 1936. Then 10 040-kg load is raised to the elevation of 1942 feet. Maximum, but not registered in the FAI, the weight was 13 tons, which indirectly confirms the possibility of the aircraft with appropriate improvement to transport a mini submarine.
Aviation in those years was developing with rapid strides, and MK-1 quickly outdated. Have changed opinions on the use of military seaplanes. Besides, in the autumn of 1934, a British company of “Shorts” offered the Soviet government to create a heavy four-engined seaplane-type S. 23 with a maximum flight speed of 300 – 320 km/h and a range of 1200 – 1300 km. the Proposal is sent at the conclusion of TSAGI. After reviewing the materials, the chief of the brigade of A. P. Golubkov, the chief designer A. N. Tupolev and TSAGI chief N. M. Kharlamov has suggested that the Office of the air force to build a seaplane of similar purpose, but with better performance data. In the end, the order machine, the designation of MTB-2 (ANT-44) was transferred to TSAGI.
According to the decree of the Council of Labor and Defense (STO) on December 27, 1934, the aircraft with engines “Gnome-Rhone” K-14 was to develop a speed of 300 km/h at an altitude of 4000 meters, up to an altitude of 7500 meters, flying a distance of 1,000 km with two tons of bombs or 1600 – 1800 km without load. In the accelerated version, these settings were supposed to be 2500 and 3000 km, respectively. The seaplane had to land and take off at the wave height up to 1.5 meters and wind speed of 7-10 m/s.
The main task facing the car, there was a bombing at the enemy. While 2000 kg bombs were placed in the cargo compartment of the boat, and the rest of the load under the wing. The maximum size of bombs-1000 kg
Defensive weapons included the bow and stern shielded installations with a 20-mm cannons ShVAK. Deck and hatch installation was completed ShKAS machine guns.
Envisaged use of the machine for transportation of various cargoes and people.
When you create aircraft in the Tupolev refused placing engines above the wing, focusing on a more progressive from the point of view of aerodynamics the diagram, placing them on the wing. And for removing the propeller from the water bearing surface when viewed from the front gave shape to the Seagull.
The MTB-2 was built in March 1937.
The plane was a duhre-this all-metal flying boat semi-monocoque with running covering. The bottom of the boat was divided into watertight compartments, providing the necessary buoyancy in case of damage to one or more of them.
Wing – cantilever type “Chaika”, recruited from the profiles TSAGI-40 average relative thickness of 15%.
The rudders and ailerons were covered with fabric. In the Central part of the wing housed the fuel tanks. Under the wing is attached to fixed gear side floats for stability.
The power plant consisted of four engines M-87 with screws VISH-3 with a diameter of 3.25 meters. For ease of maintenance engines in socks wing on both sides of each nacelle had a folding catwalk.
Defensive weapons included the bow and stern shielded installations with a 20-mm cannons ShVAK, as well as upper fuselage and lower hatch (the second step) installation with machine guns ShKAS 7.62 mm. the Normal bomb load is 2000 kg, maximum – 4000 kg. the bombs could be suspended in the fuselage and under the wing. The crew consisted of six people: the Navigator (aka the arrows of the bow setup), two pilots, flight engineer, radio operator-gunner and aft arrow.
The first prototype of the Maritime heavy bomber MTB-2 with engines M-85
The first prototype of the Maritime heavy bomber MTB-2 with engines M-85
The first prototype was built in March 1937 as a seaplane, but with the wheel fixed landing gear. The car was engines M-85 with variable-pitch propellers VISH-3. The first flight was performed by pilot T. V. Ryabenko (copilot hatters) on April 19 in Moscow. Then the test continued on the Khimki reservoir. The plane flew by M. M. Gromov, A. B. Yumashev. According to the pilots, MTB-2, received own name “Chaika” was easy to fly and available for the development of pilots of combat units.
In November, the MTB-2 was transferred to the state tests, during which the engines were replaced by more powerful M-87, with which it showed a speed of 355 km/h at an altitude of 3750 meters. The plane is almost consistent with the requirements of 1934 and is recommended for adopting.
After his arrest, Tupolev in the fall of 1937, work on MTB-2 continued in OKB-ZO, headed by A. P. Golubkova, located on the territory of factory No. 30 in Moscow Ivankovo.
After the completion of state tests in 1938 the car was equipped with a folding chassis, making it amphibious. On the cheeks the bow of the boat appeared bryzgogasiteli plate. Lapping machine continued until February 1939, when after a bad landing destroyed the boat and she sank.
Testing continued on the second instance of MTB-2bis with engines M-87A, differing from its predecessor by a large wing area and tail. On the plane, like its predecessor, has mounted a folding in flight wheeled chassis, smenauscheesa winter skiing. The first flight understudy, piloted by M. Yu. Alexeev, took place on 26 June 1938 with a land airfield. Then the test continued with the pilot So Ryabenko.
State tests understudy started in April 1939 (the lead pilot I. T. Sukhomlin). Not everything went smoothly. In one of the flights engine caught fire, to extinguish which with the help of available funds failed, but Sukhomlin still held on to the Bay and safely landed. Despite adopted measures, the crew, the fire managed to be liquidated only with the help of the rescue fire boat.
In another test flight denied the fuel pump and had to sit on the waves of the stormy Kerch Strait, and on two engines. Fortunately, not far away were the fishermen, who took “the Seagull” in tow. In flight, confirmed the high seaworthiness amphibians.
State tests of the understudy showed that the machine has the required stability, can continue flight not only at one but two engines (on one wing), and sit at a height of waves up to five feet. As such, the amphibian was recommended to acceptance for arms, but with engine M-88. However, after a year of military judgement, as follows from the report of the commander of naval aviation by S. F. Zhavoronkov, largely directed towards planes land. In the end, further work on the MTB-2 was discontinued.
Unlike many of their peers prototype MTB-2 is not lived on the edge of the airfield, and was actively used for its intended purpose. Moreover, in June 1940 it under the designation of TSAGI-44D (by that time, Tupolev worked in a prison design Bureau, and his name was forbidden to mention in documents and media) I. T. Sukhomlin’s crew (the second pilot I. Kosynkin) has set several world records. In particular, 1000 kg cargo was lifted to a height of 7134 meters, and 5000-kg – 5219 meters. Three months later the same crew flew a 1000-km closed route Kacha – the city -Taganrog with a load of 1000 kg with an average speed of 277.5 km/h, and with 2,000 kg of cargo -with an average speed of 241,909 km/h.
With the beginning of the great Patriotic MTB-2bis with his longtime commander of I. T. by Sukhomlin became part of the 80-th separate squadron of the black sea fleet air force and in 1943 was repeatedly brought to bombing attacks on the rear objects of Germany and its satellites. Bombed military targets in the area of Bucharest and the oil refineries.
At the insistence of the commander with the machine dismantled wheeled chassis, which improved its performance.
In “the Seagull” had to make sorties to flagstore of the BSF air force Lieutenant Colonel N. Vasilyev, navigators, major I. Dirty and captain N. The club. Assistant to the commander of the ship was known in those years polar pilot major M. Kozlov.
Making night raids, the crew suhomlyn constantly kept the enemy in nervous tension. A significant amount of fuel allowed for a long time to stay in the air and during the night, with breaks to “handle” the same goal. 16 October 1941, the crew of MTB-2bis struck the first bombing in the capital of Romania – Bucharest. The blow was so successful that the Romanians evacuated the government in Sinai (near Ploiesti).
Basic data for naval aircraft
Note. 1-810 HP at the height of 3850 m; 2 – bomb load 2,000 kg; 3 – at an altitude of 2000 m; 4 – ferry – 4550 km (calculation); 5 – including oil.
In addition to the objectives on the South coast of the Black sea, had to bomb concentrations of troops and airfields in the occupied enemy territories.
On MTB-2 the crew continued to fight as long as our troops left Sevastopol in July 1942, “the Seagull” was overtaken by the black sea coast of Caucasus, from where they continued firing. In early 1943 after another night RAID on Yalta sea fog descended and “the Seagull” at the landing, crashed and sank.
As the development of MTB-2, in 1938, the designers of the KB-4 pilot plant N8 Lots 156 A. B., G. N. Pogrow and A. G. Stroganov suggested a project of high-speed long-range reconnaissance first, with motors M-88, and then with a promising M-89ТК. According to calculations, the speed of the machine, depending on the engine was increased to 470 – 520 km/h with maximum range of 5,000 km.
The second prototype Maritime heavy bomber MTB-2bis with engines M-87
The second prototype Maritime heavy bomber MTB-2bis with engines M-87
In 1939 the option was considered MTB-2 with 1800-horsepower engines M-120, but he also remained on paper. By and large, I must admit that even in the case of a decision on serial production of marine giants program their production was doomed to failure. First of all, because the capacity of the production plant No. 31 of Dimitrov in Taganrog (it was the largest factory specialized in the manufacture of seaplanes) was small, and during the evacuation of industrial enterprises to the East of the country, the issue of the MTB-2 would quickly stop.
In addition, design and other planes of similar sizes. Noteworthy among them are the four project “a Distant boat scout” (DLR). According to the task, the aircraft had to fly at a distance up to 5,000 km, reach speeds of 400 – 425 km/h and lift up to 4000 kg bombs. While its seaworthiness had to be at least 5 points. As always, the timing of the establishment of the new machines were extremely tight. According to the plan of experimental aircraft in 1938 year, DLR was ordered to submit to the test in November 1939. But further calculations have been done.
The MTB-2 was the last seaplane built in CB A. N. Tupolev, although after the war it was proposed to build such a machine on the basis of the Intercontinental bomber Tu-85.

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