The Tupolev SB was a Russian medium bomber in service with the Soviet Air Force from 1936 to 1950, being used extensively during World War II. It was also employed by the Second Spanish Republic Air Force during the Spanish Civil War and by the Chinese in the Sino-Japanese War. The State-run factory Tupolev manufactured more than 6,600 SB aircraft in several versions, with the SB-2 and SB-2bis being the most massively produced. When it was introduced in 1936, it was perhaps the fastest bomber in the world; however, it would be outperformed in speed and range by the German Junkers Ju 88, which entered service in late 1939.

Officially called ANT-40, the Tupolev SB was a mid-winged monoplane, powered by two Klimov M103 V12 engines, which delivered 830 hp. In fact, these were really Hispano-Suiza 12 engines built in the Soviet Union under license. Fitted with retractable landing gear, the plane had a metal fuselage, with glass nose. The Tupolev SB’s defensive armament consisted of four 7.62mm Shkas machine guns, with one being mounted in dorsal turret, another in the aircraft belly, and two in the nose. It could carry up two 250-kg or ¬†five 100-kg bombs.

Specifications

Type: bomber

Wingspan: 66′ 8″ (20.33 m)

Length: 41′ 2″ (12.57 m)

Height: 11′ 9″ (3.6 m)

Maximum speed: 255 mph (410 km/h)

Range: 850 miles (1,400 km)

Tupolev_SB_bomber

Tupolev_SB

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