Tu-85 ('85/1','85/2','851','852') by A.N.Tupolev (NATO "Barge")
Scaled-up Tu-80 with intercontinental range. It had to be powered by
ASh-2 - the most powerful piston engines built in the USSR. This engine was
not ready in time, and the backup VD-4K was installed. Aircraft was ready in
1950, and took off for the maiden flight on January 9, 1951 (crew commander A.D.Perelet).
Trials program took a long time to fulfill, but no serious complications were encountered.
Most troubling system was new panoramic radar station 'Rubidij-M' (sub-variant 'Rubidij-M-85'). But during trials it was
brought almost to perfection and under designation 'Rubidij-MM' served with number of aircraft
To provide required range, Tu-85 had a new high aspect ratio (11.4) wing. Thick wing skin (10mm in the roots) allowed
to save much weight on wing structure. Wing was much lighter than on Tu-4 and
Tu-80. Fuselage, tailplane, avionics, defence vere similar to those of the predecessors.
Aircraft had electric de-icing system installed on wing and tail leading edges, engine cowling and cockpits glazing. Propeller
blades had liquid de-icing system.
Tu-85/1 (first prototype) could accommodate bombs up to 9000kg each (high explosive FAB-9000). For special long range
missions crew could be increased to 16. During trials aircraft radio-electronic equipment was gradually upgraded to accommodate the
most recent system. 59 flights were performed (142h16min in the air).
The second aircraft was ready in Summer 1951, and flown on June
1951 with M.P.Marunov on controls. This aircraft accommodate several innovations:
It was also decided to reduce bombload to 12000kg, because two 6000kg nuclear bombs were far more 'effective'
than conventional 9000kg FAB-9000.
'85/2' systems turned to be much more reliable than those of '85/1'. It fulfilled test program in 25 flights
(55h14min in the air). On July 8, 1951 Tu-85 participated in Tushino parade, escorted by
MiG-15s. Would-be 'Flagman' of Soviet airforce was piloted by A.D.Perelet, the chief
commander of the Moscow Military District aviation V.J.Stalin (son of J.Stalin) was aboard.
Tu-85 performance was very good for 1949-1951,
and production started (?). But at the time new jet engines entered the arena, and speed of 660km/h became insufficient for bombers. Straight wing
had to give way to swept one.
Tu-85 became an ultimate development of straight-wing heavy bomber with piston engines. Both built aircraft were used as a
test until 1958, when airframe and engine resources were exhausted.
fuel system was revised, decreasing gravity center 'migrations';
all glazing was replaced by twin glass;
tail gunner cabin got better glazing and provision for aiming radar 'Argon' (never fitted due to delays);
additional bays added (for light bombs);
wing structure was strengthened;
flaps and engine nacells were redesigned;
automatic liquid cooling system added to operate in parallel with manual backup;
fuel capacity increased to 69000l;
liquid oxygen tanks were installed;
electric system was improved - new generators, regulators, extra accumulator battery;
guns aiming computers (PBV-23) updated by more recent system (PBV-48M), extra ammo added;
torpedo and naval mine capability added;