11/30/2007. Remarks by Bernhard Klein: "The Pe-8 was initiated in the Tupolyev OKB as ANT-42 to a requirement for a heavy high-altitude long-range precision bomber issued in July 1934. Development and construction was assigned to Petlyakov (hence the Pe-8) and the maiden flight of the prototype was made by M.M. Gromov and N.S. Rybko from Khodinka on December 27, 1936.
The type was accepted for service as the TB-7 on April 20, 1938, while
the second prototype flew for the first time on July 26, 1938, and the
first series aircraft flew in 1939. A total of 93 aircraft were built
in several versions. The bomber had an eleven man crew.
It was powered by four 1,200 hp AM-34FRNV liquid-cooled
twelve-cylinder in-line V-engines. As these were not optimized for
high-altitude operation a Klimov M-100 water-cooled twelve-cylinder
in-line V-engine (license-built Hispano-Suiza 12Y) was installed within
the center fuselage to drive a blower system that supplied air to the
four AM-34s in the wing."