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Myasishchev M-4 / 3M Molot / Bison

mya-m-4


In 1951 V. M. Myasishchyev was direct-ly ordered by Stalin to build a jet bom-ber to fly long-range strategic mis-sions. The Myasishchyev M-4 (often called the Mya-4, and called Molot, meaning hammer, by the Soviets, and given the codename 'Bison' by NATO) proved suc-cessful.

A mid-wing cantilever monoplane with a deep section swept wing, the M-4 has a tail unit with all-swept surfaces, and retractable landing gear comprising two main units in tandem on the fuselage centreline, each with a four-wheel bogie, plus twin-wheel outrigger balancing units which retract into the wingtips. The circular-section fuselage incorporates a pressurised nose compartment and tail turret for the crew, and a large internal weapons bay in the lower fuselage between the main landing gear units. The powerplant comprises four turbojets buried in the wing roots, these being initially Mikulin AM-3Ds each of 8700kg thrust.

Following its maiden flight in late 1953, a single example of this large aircraft took part in the 1954 May Day parade fly past over Moscow, its size being gauged from the escorting MiG fighters. It was expected to appear in large numbers, but little was heard of it for years. In fact a useful run of about 150 had been delivered, at first being used as free-fall bombers (Bison A), reaching regiments of the DA (Long-Range Aviation) in 1956. Altogether about 200 were built. By 1959 the Mya-4 bombers were being fitted with more powerful engines, and their role changed from bomber to long-range over-sea reconnaissance, ECM and, in some cases, flight -refuelling tanker. Many were given different noses as 'Bison-B' and 'Bison-C' for maritime reconnais-sance purposes. All aircraft were given large fixed FR probes, the rear turrets were removed and a vast amount of special reconnaissance equipment fitted, with from five to 17 aerials visible all over the aircraft.

In the Bison C- sub-type a large search radar fills the entire nose, lengthening the nose by about 6 ft and changing its shape. Since 1967 these now obsolescent aircraft have been frequently encountered on probing missions far over the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and elsewhere, at both high and very low levels, the C-model having been seen most frequently.

bison-c
Bison C


In 1983 it was estimated that 43 remained in active service in the original role. Supporting them are another 30 rebuilt as inflight--refuelling tankers, with many mod-ifications including a large hose drum unit in the rear of the weapon bay. 'Bison-B' was a long-range maritime reconnaissance version, possibly re-built from the original bomber, with a 'solid' nose housing a mapping and ship-targeting radar with the refuelling probe above. Numerous other recon-naissance systems were installed. 'Bison-C was an improved maritime reconnaissance version with an even larger surveillance radar (NATO name 'Puff Ball') in a more pointed nose swollen at the sides and with the re-fuelling probe at the tip. These flew surveillance and electronic missions for the AV-MF (Naval Air Force).

In all about 150 were built.

About 40 tanker/transport versions of the M-4 were estimated to remain in service in 1992. These are to be replaced by II-78 'Midas' tankers.

M-4 / 3M

Engines: 4 x VD-7, 107.8kN
Max take-off weight: 202000 kg / 445336 lb
Empty weight: 74430 kg / 164091 lb
Wingspan: 50.53 m / 165 ft 9 in
Length: 51.70 m / 169 ft 7 in
Wing area: 340.0 sq.m / 3659.73 sq ft
Max. speed: 940 km/h / 584 mph
Ceiling: 12150 m / 39850 ft
Range: 11850 km / 7363 miles
Endurance: 15 hr
Armament: 6 x 23mm cannons, 24000kg of bombs and missiles
Crew: 8

Bison A
Type: heavy bomber
Engines: 4 x Mikulin AM-3D single-shaft turbojets, 19,180 lb (8700 kg).
Estimated, span 165 ft 7½ in (50.48 m)
Estimated Length 154 ft 10 in (47.2 m)
Estimated height 46 ft (14.1 m)
Estimated empty 154,000 lb (70,000 kg)
Estimated maximum loaded 352,740 lb (160,000 kg)
Estimated Max speed 560 mph (900 km/h)
Estimated Range 6,835 miles (11,000 km) with 9,920 lb (4500 kg) of bombs or electronic equipment.
Service ceiling 42,650 ft (13,000 m)
Armament: ten 23 mm NR-23 cannon in manned turret in tail and four remotely controlled turrets above and below front and rear fuselage (two guns in each turret); internal bomb bays in tandem for at least 22,050 lb (10000 kg) stores.

Bison B
Type: strategic reconnissance and ECM
Engines: 4 x D-15, 28,660 lb (13,000 kg)
Estimated empty 176,400 lb (80,000 kg)
Estimated maximum loaded 375,000 lb (170,000 kg)
Estimated Max speed 560 mph (900 km/h)
Estimated Range 6,835 miles (11,000 km) with 9,920 lb (4500 kg) of bombs or electronic equipment.
Service ceiling 49,200 ft (15,000 m)
Armament: six 23 mm cannon in two forward turrets and tail turret, internal bay for at least 10,000 1b (4500 kg) stores. In many versions a single 23 mm gun is fixed on the right side of the nose, firing ahead.

Bison C
Type: multi-role reconnaissance bomber
Engines: 4 x D-15, 28,660 lb (13,000 kg)
Estimated empty 176,400 lb (80,000 kg)
Estimated maximum loaded 375,000 lb (170,000 kg)
Estimated Max speed  560 mph (900 km/h)
Estimated Range 6,835 miles (11,000 km) with 9,920 lb (4500 kg) of bombs or electronic equipment.
Service ceiling 49,200 ft (15,000 m)
Armament: six 23 mm cannon in two forward turrets and tail turret, internal bay for at least 10,000 1b (4500 kg) stores. In many versions a single 23 mm gun is fixed on the right side of the nose, firing ahead.

M-4 Bison-E
Type: six-seat strategic bomber
Engines: 4 x 9500-kg (20,943-lb) thrust Mikulin RD-3M turbojets
Max speed at high alt: 1000 km/h (621 mph)
Service ceiling at normal loaded wt: 17000 m (55,775 ft)
MTOW Service ceiling: 13000 m (42,650 ft)
Range 10700 km (6,650 miles)
Empty wt: 70000 kg (154,321 lb)
Normal loaded wt: 160000 kg (352,734 lb)
MTOW: 210000 kg (462,963 lb)
Wing span: 50.48 m (165 ft 7.5 in)
Length (no probe): 47.20 m (154 ft 10 in)
Height: 14.24 m (46 ft 0 in)
Wing area: 309.0 sq.m (3,326.2 sq ft)
Armament: (as built) 10x 23-mm cannon in five power turrets; internal bomb bay for 15000-kg (33,068-lb) bombload.

mya-m4-ld

Myasishchev M-4 / 3M

 

 


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