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Belyayev DB-LK


Long-Range Bomber Prototype [ 1939 ]



The Belyayev DB-LK was an interesting Soviet long-range bomber design of the pre-World War 2 period - one example being built and flown.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/21/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

GO TO SPECIFICATIONS [+]
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The Belyayev DB-LK ("Bomber - Long range") was a pre-World War 2 aircraft design of the Soviet Union conceived of for the long-range bomber role. It emerged prior to the fighting in 1939 and saw its first-flight the following year with flight trials undertaken thereafter. Despite its relatively positive showing (save for a few bumps including a collapsed landing gear and ongoing issues related to its awkward center-of-gravity), the aircraft was not ordered by the Soviet Air Force.

Design of this entry fell to one Viktor Nikolayevich Belyayev who arrived with an extensive aeronautics engineering history with players such as Aeroflot and Tupolev. Utilizing his experience garnered through development of gliders, flying wings, and twin-boom concepts, he forged the DB-LK which incorporated embedded fuselage booms and a near-all-flying-wing design planform - a vertical tail fin mounting the horizontal planes kept it from being a true flying wing. Each boom housed not only a powerplant with tractor propellers but also the crew compartments. The mainplane ran through the design and tapered at the tips. Light alloy stressed skinning was used in the construction of the aircraft while sheet aluminum alloy covered the wing members. A "tail-dragger" undercarriage (retractable) was featured with main legs set under each boom and a tailwheel supporting the tail unit.

Aft of the two traditional cockpit positions there were glazed, aft-facing cones set at the extreme ends of the fuselage booms to house specialists covering radio and gunner roles (for a total crew count of four). Due to the placement of the cockpits, the primary pilot would have had an offset position from centerline (some nine feet from the point), making take-off and landings somewhat of a challenge.

The aircraft was powered by the relatively new Tumansky M-88 air-cooled radial piston engine and each of the two units were rated at 950 to 1,000 horsepower and these were used to drive three-bladed propeller units.

As built, the aircraft had a running length of 32 feet, a wingspan of 70.10 feet and a height of 11.11 feet. Empty weight was 13,236lb and gross weight reached 23,528lb.

During testing, the aircraft managed speeds of 303 miles-per-hour and ranged out to 1,800 miles while having a service ceiling of 27,890 feet. Its primary operating domain would have been around 20,000 feet. Rate-of-climb was 1,210 feet-per-minute. Despite these rather promising figures, the unorthodox design was not furthered beyond the single, flyable prototype.

In its finalized form, the operational-ready bomber would have been outfitted with a pair of 7.62mm Medium Machine Guns (MMGs) in fixed, forward-firing mountings at the wing center section and defensive-minded 4 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns at each fuselage boom end (two guns to a gunner position). Bombs would have been carried externally, set under the wing center section, with multiple hardpoints intended to carry up to twenty-four total conventional drop bombs depending on bomb weight/type.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Specifications



Service Year
1939

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Status
CANCELLED
Development Ended.
Crew
4

Production
1
UNITS


National flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union (tested)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.


MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
RUGGED AIRFRAME
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
SUPER PERFORMANCE
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
BAILOUT PROCESS
Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.
CREWSPACE PRESSURIZATION
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
CREW-MANAGED
Beyond a pilot, the aircraft takes advantage of additional crew specialized in specific functions aboard the aircraft.
GUN POSITIONS
Defensive gun positions for engagement / suppression.
ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.


Length
32.1 ft
(9.78 m)
Width/Span
70.9 ft
(21.60 m)
Height
12.0 ft
(3.65 m)
Empty Wgt
13,239 lb
(6,005 kg)
MTOW
23,534 lb
(10,675 kg)
Wgt Diff
+10,296 lb
(+4,670 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Belyayev DB-LK production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Monoplane
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mid-Mounted
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
Straight
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Belyayev DB-LK production variant)
Installed: 2 x Tumansky M-88 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 950 to 1,000 horsepower driving three-bladed propeller units.
Max Speed
326 mph
(525 kph | 283 kts)
Cruise Speed
303 mph
(488 kph | 263 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+23 mph
(+37 kph | 20 kts)
Ceiling
27,887 ft
(8,500 m | 5 mi)
Range
1,802 mi
(2,900 km | 5,371 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
1,210 ft/min
(369 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Belyayev DB-LK production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
PROPOSED, STANDARD:
2 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in fixed, forward-firing mountings at center wing section.
2 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in rear-facing emplacements at end of port side fuselage boom.
2 x 7.62mm ShKAS machine guns in rear-facing emplacements at end of starboard side fuselage boom.

PROPOSED, OPTIONAL:
Up to 24 x Conventional drop bombs.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 12
Mounting Points




13
11
9
7
5
3
-
2
4
6
8
10
12
HARDPOINT(S) KEY:
X

15
13
11
9
7
5
3
1
2
4
6
8
10
12
14


COLOR KEY:
Fuselage Centerline
Fuselage Port/Wingroot
Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot
Wing/Underwing
Wingtip Mount(s)
Internal Bay(s)
Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).


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