Tupolev Tu-4 Bull

The Tu- 4 was a long-range bomber used by the Soviet Air Force during the Cold War period. Entering service in 1949, it never saw combat action and it was phased out as a bomber in the mid 1960s. From a total 850 Tu-4s built by the State-run firm Tupolev, about 100 of them continued in service as a transport aircraft. It was also deployed by the Chinese red army’s air force. The NATO gave it the code name “Bull”, which was used to test Soviet nuclear bombs.

Technical characteristics

Developed from the American B-29 Superfortress, it was a piston-engined, straight-wing aircraft, fitted with retractable landing gear. However, the Tu-4 was equipped with a different powerplant. It was powered by 4 Shvetsov ASh-73-tk piston engines, generating 2,400 hp each. It was 340 kg heavier than the American coutner part. To protect itself from enemy fighters, the Bull was armed with ten 23mm guns mounted in turrets imbedded in the fuselage.


Type: strategic bomber

Wingspan: 43.1 m

Length: 30.2 m

Height: 8.5 m

Wing area: 161 m2

Maximum speed: 570 km/h

Range: 5,000 km

Crew: 12

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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.