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Myasishchev M-50 / M-52 (Bounder)

Strategic Bomber Prototype

Even to this day, very little has been revealed about the Cold War-era Myasishchev M-50 Bounder strategic bomber series.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/20/2016
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1959
Manufacturer(s): Myasishchev - Soviet Union
Production: 2
Capabilities: Ground Attack; X-Plane;
Crew: 2
Length: 188.58 ft (57.48 m)
Width: 82.35 ft (25.1 m)
Height: 27.07 ft (8.25 m)
Weight (Empty): 187,393 lb (85,000 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 462,971 lb (210,000 kg)
Power: 4 x Dobrynin VD-7B turbojet engines developing 83,700lb of thrust with afterburner.
Speed: 932 mph (1,500 kph; 810 kts)
Ceiling: 54,134 feet (16,500 m; 10.25 miles)
Range: 4,598 miles (7,400 km; 3,996 nm)
Operators: Soviet Union (cancelled)
The M-50 and M-52 bombers were two prototype intercontinental supersonic strategic bombers proposed by the Soviet firm of Myasishchev as early as 1956. Though the project and its design is some fifty years old, very little information and performance specifications have been made available to this day. Nevertheless, the system appeared at a time when many a defense network were looking for supersonic aircraft capable of delivering the latest in guided munitions at high speed and at high altitudes. The series (codenamed "Bounder" by NATO) would never see operational status as changing times and advancing technologies negated the need for such an expensive and manned aircraft during the early decades of the Cold War.

The Bounder appeared in just two prototype forms. The initial one, designated as the M-50, was a technological demonstrator in which much research was garnered from. The secondary prototype in the series became the M-52 which featured uprated engines and an improved tail design. The M-50 was intended to feature a different engine alignment than what was later seen, but developmental setbacks with the powerplants forced engineers to incorporate a less efficient and poorer performance array of four low-thrust engines mounted in a distinct layout - with two serving underwing and two mounted to each wingtip.

Design of the M-50 was quite traditional, featuring a long and slender fuselage, high-mounted delta-type wings and a forward-mounted cockpit. The tail was of a standard design with a single vertical tail surface. Armament for the system was to center around the delivery of the M-61 cruise missile though the aircraft was equally capable of delivering conventional and nuclear-tipped bombs as well thanks to its large payload bay. Though unclear from available sources, it is assumed that the system was to be crewed by two personnel, as attention to automation was a priority in design of the M-50.

With the boom on ballistic missiles as the future of global warfare, the need for such a supersonic presence no longer made any sense. As a result, interest in the Bounder project ended. The cancellation of the project effectively spelled doom for the Myasishchev company, which would close its doors by 1960. Only the first Bounder prototype has survived, being put on display at the Monino Aviation Museum in Moscow, Russia.


Various air-to-surface systems including cruise missiles (M-61 type). Other munitions were to include nuclear and conventional bombs bombs.

Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an air launched cruise missile weapon
Graphical image of an air launched nuclear weapon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models

• M-50 - Initial Prototype Model Designation; developmental demonstrator.
• M-52 - Second Prototype Model; improved engine output with 2 x Zubets 16-17 turbojet installations; new tailplane assembly.
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