Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Tupolev Tu-80

Heavy Bomber Prototype Aircraft

Tupolev Tu-80

Heavy Bomber Prototype Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Tupolev Tu-80 existed in a single prototype form born from the Tu-4 Bull program, itself a copy of the American Boeing B-29.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Soviet Union
YEAR: 1949
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Tupolev - Soviet Union
PRODUCTION: 1
OPERATORS: Soviet Union
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Tupolev Tu-80 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 11
LENGTH: 112.60 feet (34.32 meters)
WIDTH: 142.55 feet (43.45 meters)
HEIGHT: 29.20 feet (8.9 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 83,445 pounds (37,850 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 133,600 pounds (60,600 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x Shvetsov ASh-73FN 18-cylinder radial piston engines developing 2,650 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 339 miles-per-hour (545 kilometers-per-hour; 294 knots)
RANGE: 5,105 miles (8,215 kilometers; 4,436 nautical miles)
CEILING: 36,680 feet (11,180 meters; 6.95 miles)




ARMAMENT



Up to 26,500lbs of internally-held ordnance.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Tu-80 - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Tupolev Tu-80 Heavy Bomber Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/6/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
In order to provide its bomber force with a long-range weapons delivery platform, Soviet engineers set to work on the new Tupolev Tu-80. The Tu-80 was a further development of the Tupolev Tu-4 (NATO codename of "Bull") which, itself, was nothing more than a direct, unlicensed copy of the technologically-laden Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The Soviets gained access to the technology when it confiscated three complete B-29 examples that were forced into landing on Soviet soil following raids on the Japanese mainland during World War 2 (1939-1945). While the crews were eventually returned to U.S. authorities, the aircraft were held and studied at length. Under Stalin's direct order, the B-29 was reverse-engineered down to the final bolt to become a Soviet Tu-4 product. About 847 Tu-4s were eventually produced from the span of 1949 to 1952 and these remained faithful to the original American design.

The Tu-80 was born primarily with endurance in mind as the Soviet air arm of the period lacked any long-range, high-altitude bombers to compete with the growing American/West stocks - particularly in the realm of nuclear weapons delivery. As it was forced to fight a short-ranged war with Germany during World War 2, little thought and resources were placed on developing long-ranged heavy platforms. Instead, the Soviet collection of aircraft revolved around fighters, twin-engined light bomber/strike types and the only four-engined Soviet-originated bomber of the war - the Petlyakov Pe-8. One of the primary targets during the Cold War for the Soviet Union would have been American soil some distance away and its current collection would not have sufficed while intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile technology was still some decades away.

Several other heavy bomber programs of the period fell to naught and it was the Tu-80 that gained some notable traction. Compared to the original Tu-4, the aircraft was granted more appropriate engines for the role, powerplants that allowed for greater output, range and hauling capabilities. Dimensions were increased for more internal volume. On the whole, the B-29 influence could still clearly be made out in the Tu-80s profile - the large-area single vertical tail fin, the tubular fuselage and the straight main wing appendages each mounting two engines along their leading edges. The most noticeable difference in the new design was the stepped cockpit which, unlike the B-29 and Tu-4, featured an extended nose assembly which was glazed for the bomber crew. The undercarriage was also revised, promoting a slight "nose-up" attitude with the aircraft at rest.

Structurally, the Tu-80 was given a running length of 112.6 feet, a wingspan of 142.5 feet and a height of 29.2 feet. When empty, the aircraft weighed 83,445lbs and sported a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 133,600lbs. Power was served through 4 x Shvetsov ASh-73FN 18-cylinder two-row radial engines developing 2,650 horsepower each. This provided the aircraft with a maximum speed of 340 miles per hour, a range of 5,100 miles and a service ceiling nearing 36,680 feet. Its operating crew was made up of 11 men including two pilots. The bomb-carrying capacity of the airframe was listed at 26,500lbs.

Work on the design began in February of 1948 and construction was ongoing by the end of the year. First flight of a Tu-80 prototype ("Aircraft 80") occurred on December 1st, 1949. However, this is where the story of the Tu-80 essentially came to a close for the type was given up in favor of the more promising Tu-85 venture - itself a direct predecessor to the famous Cold War-era Tu-95 "Bear" still to come. The Tu-85 was faster and carried a better bomb load further and higher, leaving the Tu-80 initiative stillborn. Soviet authorities then cancelled the Tu-80 during September of 1949, before the first flight had taken place, in an effort to further the Tu-85 initiative. The Tu-80, therefore, lived out the rest of her days as an engine and airframe testbed before being handed over to a Soviet ordnance range as a target. Thus ended the story of the Soviet Tu-80 heavy bomber.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (339mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Tupolev Tu-80's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.