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Tupolev Tu-4 Aircraft Data

Photo ID 213092 by Sven Zimmermann. Russia Air Force Tupolev Tu 4,
The Tupolev Tu-4 (NATO reporting name: Bull) was a piston-engined Soviet strategic bomber that served the Soviet Air Force from the late 1940s to mid-1960s. It was a very succesfully reverse-engineered copy of the American-made Boeing B-29 Superfortress, with only 340 kg (750 lb) more than the B-29, a difference of less than 1% !

Operational history
A total of 847 Tu-4s had been built when production ended in the Soviet Union in 1952, some going to China during the later 1950s. Many experimental variants were built and the valuable experience launched the Soviet strategic bomber program. Tu-4s were withdrawn in the 1960s, being replaced by more advanced aircraft including the Tupolev Tu-16 jet bomber (starting in 1954) and the Tupolev Tu-95 turboprop bomber (starting in 1956). By the beginning of the 1960s, the only Tu-4s still operated by the Soviets were used for transport or airborne laboratory purposes. A Tu-4A was the first Soviet aircraft to drop a nuclear weapon, the RDS-1.
  • Country of Origin: Soviet Union / CIS / Russia
  • First Flight: 19 May 1947
  • Initial Service Date: 1949
  • No. Built: 847
  • No. In Service: 0
  • No. of Hardpoints: 0
  • Crew: 11


4 × Shvetsov ASh-73TK 18-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines at 2,400 hp or 4 x AI-20K turboprop engines at 2,700 hp


10 × 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 aircraft cannon, two cannon in each of the four turrets and two cannon in the tail barbette
2 × KS-1 Komet standoff missiles (Tu-4K only; these anti-ship missiles resembled a scaled-down MiG-15)
6 × 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bombs

1 x RDS-1, RDS-3 or RDS-5 nuclear fission bomb (Tu-4A only)


Length: 99 ft.
Wing Span: 141 ft. 3 in.
Wing Area: 1,741 sq.ft
Height: 27 ft. 9 in.
Empty Weight: 81,240 lbs
Max. Weight: 140,214 lbs


Max. Speed: 347 mph
Service Ceiling: 36,700 ft.
Normal Range: 2,916 nm


Soviet Air Force, People's Liberation Army Air Force (24)

Random great photos of the Tupolev Tu-4:

Photo ID 13227 by Peter Terlouw. China Air Force Tupolev Tu 4, 4134
Photo ID 121472 by Baldur Sveinsson. China Air Force Tupolev Tu 4, 4134
Photo ID 213092 by Sven Zimmermann. Russia Air Force Tupolev Tu 4,
Photo ID 18329 by Zdenek Ondracek. Russia Air Force Tupolev Tu 4, 01 RED
Photo ID 128702 by Martin Thoeni - Powerplanes. Russia Air Force Tupolev Tu 4, 2805103
Photo ID 136837 by Chris Albutt. Russia Air Force Tupolev Tu 4, 2805103