No. 9449. Tupolev ANT-4 TB-1 (URSS-300) "Strana Sovyetov" (Land of Soviets)
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Tupolev ANT-4 TB-1

11/30/2009. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Construction of the ANT-4 was started on November 11, 1924, the aircraft parts were finished on August 11, 1925 and transported to Moscow Central Aerodrome, where they were assembled. Powered by two 450 Napier Lion engines, and fitted with skis, the aircraft was first flown by A.I. Tomashyevskii on November 26, 1925, the second flight was not made until the skis had been strengthened, on February 15, 1926. After long series of test flights, aircraft taken into series production, fitted with BMW VI engines, later with the Soviet version, the M-17.

The second aircraft served as prototype of TB-1 bomber, was completed in February 1928, and made first test flight from Moscow Central Aerodrome in July, piloted by M.M. Gromov. The bomber-version had a crew of five, two pilots, engineer/gunner, nav/bomb, nose gunner and second dorsal gunner, each gunner operating a Lewis machinegun. It had a provision for a bomb load of 1,609 lb (730 kg) in the fuselage centre section.

The third aircraft, the first true production aircraft (pictured above), was completed in July 1929 as an unarmed civil propaganda aircraft to be flown eastwards to New York. Crewed by pilots S.A. Shestakov and F.Ye. Bolotov, navigator B.V. Sterligov and engineer D.V. Fufayev, the aircraft left Moscow August 8, 1929, but was damaged in a forced landing in Siberia, north of China. The crew made it back to Moscow, arranged asecond aircraft, and completed the 13,199 mls (21,242 km) mission in 137 flying hours between August 23 and November 1, 1929.

A total of 150 TB-1's and 66 TB-1P's (floatplanes) were produced."

Created November 30, 2009