Tupolev Tu-4 Standard Specification & Performance

Tupolev Tu-4 Standard Specification & Performance

Tupolev Tu-4 Standard specification and performance title

The Tupolev Tu-4 was a strategic bomber utilized by the Soviet Air Force during the late 1940s to mid-1960s. This aircraft, powered by piston engines, was a replica of the famed Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It was the OKB-156 design bureau, led by Andrei Tupolev, that was given the task of reverse engineering the B-29.

But, the Tu-4 (izdeliye R) was not an exact copy of the B-29, as it was fitted with different engines (the indigenous ASH-73TK) and had a heavier defensive armament.

The Tupolev Tu-4 bomber was produced by three factories in a standard long-range version. It was designed for delivering large bomb strikes against strategic targets located deep within enemy territory regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.

 Tu-4 on display at the Central Air Force museum, Monino, Moscow Oblast, Russia. (Photo by Alan Wilson / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The following description and basic performance applies to the standard production Tu-4:


Tupolev Tu-4 dimensions
Length overall (less cannon barrels )30.177m (99ft 0%in )
Wing span43.047m (141ft 2%in )
Horizontal tail span13.108m (43ft 0%in )
Height on ground8.46m (27ft 9%in .)
Landing gear track8.676m (28 ft 5in )
Landing gear wheelbase10.444 m (34 ft 3 in)
Ground angle
Maximum rotation angle9°30'
Root chord5.18 m (16 ft 11% in)
Tip chord2.25 m (7 A 4°% in)
Mean aerodynamic chord (MAC)4.001 m (13 ft 1% in)
Wing area116,17 m2 (1,250.44 sq ft)
Aileron area (total)12.01 m2 (129.27 sq ft)
Flap area (total)30.79 m2 (331,42 sq ft)
Vertical tail area22.01 m2 (236.91 sq ft)
Fin area (including root fillet)15.94 m2 (171.58 sq ft)
Rudder area6.1 m2 (65.66 sq ft)
Horizontal tail area30.94 m2 (333.04 sq ft)
Stabiliser area20.251 m2 (217.75 sq ft)
Elevator area (total)10.683 m2 (114.87 sq ft)


Airframe weight15,196 kg (33,501 lb)
Powerplant weight14,270 kg (31,470 lb)
Weapons systems weight :
  • offensive (bomb racks ,release controls etc. )
  • 407kg (897lb )
  • defensive (cannons ,barbettes etc. )
  • 1,890kg (4,166lb )
    Operating empty weight35,270kg (77,760lb )
    Take-off weight :
  • normal
  • 47,500-47,600kg (104,720-104,940lb )
  • high gross weight configuration
  • 54,500;60,900;61,500;65,000;
    66,000kg (120,150;134,260;
    Landing weight :135,580;143,300;145,500lb )*
  • normal
  • 48,000kg (105,820lb )
  • maximum
  • 60,000kg (132,280lb )
    Payload, normal :12,330kg (27,180lb )
  • crew (11)
  • 990kg (2,180lb )
  • cannon ordnance
  • 1,060kg (2,340lb )
  • fuel
  • 3,480kg (7,670lb )
  • engine oil
  • 800kg (1,760lb )
  • bombs
  • 6,000kg (13,230lb )
    Payload, high gross weight configuration :19,230kg (42,390lb )
  • crew
  • 990kg (2,180lb )
  • cannon ordnance
  • 1,060kg (2,340lb )
  • fuel
  • 8,150kg (17,970lb )
  • engine oil
  • 1,030kg (2,270lb )
  • bombs
  • 8,000kg (17,640lb )(eight FAB -1000bombs )

    Power Plant

    • Engine Model: ASh-73TK 18-cylinder radial engine.(For details on the ASh-73KT, you can read here)
    • Engine Manufacturer: OKB-19 NKAP, MAP also known as Perm Motor-Building Design Bureau (PMKB) named after. P.A. Solovyov
    • Propeller Manufacturer: OKB-120 MAP, GKAT at plant No. 120 also known as Stupino Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (SKBM)
    • Blade model designation: V3-A3, V3B-A5(Late-production)
    • No. Blades: 4
    • Propeller diameter: 5.056 m (16 ft 7 in)


    Tupolev Tu-4 crew


    The Radar RPB RPB Kobal’t or Kobal’t-M was used for navigation over the ground and target recognition. This was a copy of the US AN/APQ-13 re-engineered by NII-17.

    An AP-5 autopilot was installed to reduce the burden on the pilots. This was a copy of the American S-1 autopilot. Copied by OKB-214 and produced by plant No.118

    The Tu-4 was equipped with the SP-48 Instrument Landing System (ILS) that included:

    EquipmentSoviet designationComment
    Automatic direction finder (ADF)ARK-4 or ARK-5 Amur. By OKB-528, produced in Plant No.798
    Low Range Radio altimeterRV-2 "Lithium" (SCR-718) low-range radio altimeter (0-1,200 m/3,940 ft). Copy of AN/PN-1 by NII-17
    High Range Radio altimeterRV-10 high-range radio altimeter (100-15,000 m/330-49,210 ft). Copy of SCR-718
    Marker Beacon transmitterMRM-45
    Marker Beacon ReceiverMRP-45

    Tu-4s from c/ns 225501 and 230101 onwards, as well as c/ns 184232 and 184133, featured the SP-50 Materik Instrument Landing System (ILS) that consisted of the following components:

    EquipmentSoviet designation
    Distance Measuring Equipment (DME)SD-1
    Localiser (koorsovoy rahdio-priyomnik)KRM
    Localiser receiverKRP-F
    Glideslope beacon transmitterGRM-2
    Glideslope beacon receiverGRP-2
    Navigation computerK-46B
    Marker Beacon transmitterMRM-48
    Marker Beacon receiverMRP-48 Dyatel (Woodpeacker)


    EquipmentSoviet designationComment
    Liaison Radio SetRSB-70 "Berkut" (AN/ART-13) Copy of AN/ART-13, produced by plant No. 197
    Command Radio SetSCR-274HAircraft up to No. 222101 (Early production aircrafts)
    Command Radio Set12RSU-10 Koora On aircraft up to No. 221901, before the installation of RSU-5,
    Command Radio SetRSIU-3On aircraft with No. 221901
    Command Radio SetRSU-5On aircraft after No. 221901
    InterphoneSPU-14 or SPU-14M on later aircraft.
    IFF InterrogatorMagniy ("Magnesium") (SCR-729) or Magniy-MCopy of SCR-729 by NII-17. On aircraft up to No. 224501 Magniy, later, Magniy-M
    IFF TransponderBariy ("Barium") (SCR-695) or Bariy-MCopy of SCR-695 by NII-17



    The first three built Tu-4:

    • PV-20 central fire control system
    • 8 x 12.7-mm (.30 calibre) Berezin UBK machine-guns in four remote controlled turrets
    • Tail turret with 3 x 12.7-mm (.30 calibre) Berezin UBK machine-guns

    From the fourth aircraft (c/n 220102):

    • PV-20 central fire control system
    • 8 x 20-mm (.78 calibre) Berezin B-20E cannon in four remote controlled turrets
    • Tail turret with 2 x 20-mm (.78 calibre) Berezin B-20E cannon

    From c/ns 223201, 184309 and 230102 onwards:

    • PV-23 “Zvezda” central fire control system
    • 8 x 23-mm (.90 calibre) NR-23 cannon in four remote controlled turrets
    • DK-3 tail barbette with 2 x 23-mm (.90 calibre) NR-23 cannon


    The Tupolev Tu-4 was fitted with a mixed complement of bomb racks, including the KD4-546A and KD4-546A. However, from Kazan’-built Tu-4 c/n 225701 onwards, a standardized set of bomb racks was introduced, enabling the aircraft to carry FAB-250M46 and FAB-500M46 bombs on two rows of shackles. This doubled the number of 250- and 500-kg bombs that the Tu-4 could carry.

    Tu-4’s standardized set of bomb racks had four KD4-248 airborne cluster holders for FAB-1500 and FAB-3000 bombs, as well as eight KDZ-547 airborne cluster holders and four SDZ-248 twin holders. The KDZ-547 bomb racks had six stations and were designed to hold FAB-50, FAB-100, FAB-250, and FAB-500 bombs. The SDZ-248 twin holders had two stations that could be loaded with the same bombs as the KDZ-547 holders, but the FAB-500 bombs could only be suspended on the right station.

    The Tu-4 also featured two BD5-50 beam holders, one in each compartment, for hanging FAB-5000 and BRAB-6000 bombs. These bombs were lifted using a BL-47 winch, with the FAB-50, FAB-100, and FAB-250 bombs being lifted by one winch using the PK-Der3-80 lifting hook. The FAB-500 bombs were lifted using the same lifting hook, but with two winches. The FAB-1500 and FAB-3000 bombs were lifted by the BL-47 winch using two types of lifting belts.

    Bomb dropping is electric.

    Possible Tu-4 payload options:

    PayloadRack typeBomb type (conventional)Quantity of bombs (forward bay/aft bay)Warload kg (lb)
    a) mixed set of bomb racks
    Option 1KD4-546AFAB-250M4324 (12/12)6,000 (13,230)
    Option 2KD4-546AFAB-250M4624 (12/12)6,000 (13,230)
    Option 3KD4-546AFAB-500M4312 (6/6)5,830 (12,850)
    Option 4KD4-546AFAB-500M4412 (6/6)6,000 (13,230)
    Option 5KD4-546AFAB-1000M44*8 (4/4)7,120 (15,700)
    Option 6KD4-248FAB-1000M44*8 (4/4)7,120 (15,700)
    Option 7KD4-248FAB-1500M448 (4/4)11,840 (26,100)
    Option 8KD4-248FAB-3000M444 (2/2)11,930 (26,300)
    b) standard set of bomb racks +
    Option 1KD4-547FAB-5048 (20/20+4/4)2,000 (4,410)
    Option 2KD3-547FAB-10048 (20/20 + 4/4)5,900 (13,010)
    Option 3KD3-547FAB-250M4648 (20/20+4/4)10,600 (23,370)
    Option 4KD4-547FAB-500M4628 (12/12 + 4/4)12,000 (26,455)
    Option 5KD4-547FAB-250M43 or24 (10/10+2/2)6,000 (13,230)
    Option 6KD4-547FAB-500M43 or14 (6/6 + 1/1)6,800 (14,990)
    Option 7KD4-248FAB-1000M448 (4/4)7,120 (15,700)
    Option 8KD4-248FAB-1500M468 (4/4)11,840 (26,100)
    Option 9KD4-248FAB-3000M464 (2/2)11,930 (26,300)
    Option 10BD5-50FAB-6000M464 (2/2)11,930 (26,300)
    Option 11FAB-250M4424 (12/12)6,000 (13,230)
    Option 12FAB-500M4414 (7/7)6,802 (14,995)
    Option 13FAB-1000M448 (4/4)7,120 (15,700)


    CG range25.7-30.1%MAC
    Maximum speed :
  • at sea level
  • 420km /h (261mph )
  • at 10,000m (32,810ft )
  • 558-578km /h (346-359mph )
    Landing speed172km /h (106mph )
    Rate of climb :
  • at sea level
  • 4.6m /sec (905ft /min )
  • at 1,000m (3,280ft )
  • 4.6m /sec
  • at 2,000m (6,560ft )
  • 4.6m /sec
  • at 3,000m (9,840ft )
  • 4.6m /sec
  • at 4,000m (13,120ft )
  • 4.5m /sec (885ft /min )
  • at 5,000m (16,400ft )
  • 4.5m /sec
  • at 6,000m (19,685ft )
  • 4.4m /sec (866ft /min )
  • at 7,000m (22,965ft )
  • 4.1m /sec (807ft /min )
  • at 8,000m (26,250ft )
  • 3.7m /sec (728ft /min )
  • at 9,000m (29,530ft )
  • 3.1m /sec (610ft /min )
  • at 10,000m (32,810ft )
  • 2.0 m/sec (393 f/min)
  • at 11,000 m (36,090 ft)
  • 0.8 m/sec (157 ft min)
  • at 11,200 m (36,750 ft)
  • 0.5 m/sec (98 ft/min)
    Time to height
  • to 1,000m
  • 3.6minutes
  • to 2,000m
  • 7.2minutes
  • to 3,000m
  • 10.9minutes
  • to 4,000m
  • 14.5minutes
  • to 5,000m
  • 18.2minutes
  • to 6,000m
  • 22.0minutes
  • to 7,000m
  • 25.9minutes
  • to 8,000m
  • 30.1minutes
  • to 9,000m
  • 35.1minutes
  • to 10,000m
  • 41.6minutes
  • to 11,000m
  • 53.3minutes
  • to 11,200m
  • 58.0minutes
    Service ceiling11,200-12,000m (36,745-39,370ft )
    Climb time to 5,000m (16,400ft )18.2minutes
    Maximum range5,600km (3,479miles )
    Range with maximum payload5,000km (3,105miles )
    Take -off run960-2,210m (3,150-7,250ft )†
    Landing run1070-1750m (3,510-5,740ft )†
    G limit :
  • with a 47,600-kg all -up weight
  • 4.6
  • with a 55,000-kg (121,250-lb )AUW
  • 4.05
  • with a 65,000-kg AUW
  • 3.56

    Further reading


    • Tupolev Tu-4: The First Soviet Strategic Bomber by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
    • Airplane Tu-4 Technical description, Book one, Basic Data, by Ministry of Defense of the USSR, State Publishing House of the Defense Industry, Moscow 1953


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    Javier Guerrero
    Javier Guerrero
    Javier is the editor @ Nuclear Companion and loves to investigate and write about the cold war.

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