Beriev MBR-2 / MP-1 / Be-2
Georgii Mikhailovich Beriev produced his first original design, Aircraft No. 25, at the Menzhinsky plant in Moscow in 1932. The B.M.W. VIF-powered prototype was transported to Sevastopol on the Black Sea for flight tests, and proving successful the new flying-boat went into production as the MBR-2 (Morskoy Blizhnii Razvedchik, or naval short-range reconnaissance). In production form it was powered by a Soviet-built M-17B inline engine.
Deliveries of the MBR-2M-17 intended for use in the short-range bombing and maritime reconnaissance roles, began in 1934. It was a shoulder-wing cantilever monoplane, with its M-17B engine mounted on a pair of N-struts over the wing; it had a two-step wooden hull with plywood covering, and the pilot's cockpit located just in front of the wing. A strut-braced horizontal tailplane was set high on the single fin. Bow and midships gunners each had a single 7.62mm PV-1 machine-gun.
In 1935, with the first production version already in service, Beriev carried out a redesign of the MBR-2. The pilot's cockpit was fully enclosed, and the midships gunner's position protected by a glazed cupola. The M-17B engine was replaced by the M-34NB (redesignated AM-34NB in 1937) of 619kW, and a new curved fin and rudder replaced the original angular vertical tailplane. ShKAS machine-guns supplanted the obsolete PV-1s. The new version was placed in large-scale production, which continued until 1942, when 1,300 of all variants had been built. The MBR-2AM-34 served with all four main Soviet fleets and saw considerable service, first during the Winter War of 1939-40 with Finland, and then throughout the Great Patriotic War of 1941-5. It was tough, reliable and could be fitted with wheel or ski landing gear. Post-war, the MBR-2 served for nearly a decade on fishery patrol duties; it received the NATO codename 'Mote'.
In 1935, with the first production version already in service, Beriev carried out a radical redesign of the MBR-2. The pilot's cockpit was fully enclosed, and the midships gunner's position protected by a glazed cupola; the M-17B engine was replaced by the M-34NB (redesignated AM-34NB in 1937) of 619kW; an entirely new curved fin and rudder replaced the original angular vertical tailplane; and ShKAS machine-guns supplanted the obsolete PV-1s.
In 1937 a standard MBR-2AM-34 was modified to take a more powerful M-103 engine, but no production of this version was undertaken
This was a civil passenger version of the MBR-2M-17; it carried six passengers in an enclosed cabin, or an equivalent weight of freight; used in some numbers by Soviet Civil Aviation
A 1937 civil development of the MBR-2AM-34, with similar capacity to that of the MP-1; one MP-1 bis, piloted by Paulina Osipenka, established a number of women's world records; between 22 and 25 May 1937 she attained respectively 7605m with a 500kg payload and 7000m with a 1000kg payload; on 2 July the same year she made a non-stop flight of 2416km between Novgorod and Archangelsk.
Engine: 2 x M-17B inline piston, 507kW
Take-off weight: 4100 kg / 9039 lb
Empty weight: 2475 kg / 5456 lb
Wingspan: 19.0 m / 62 ft 4 in
Length: 13.5 m / 44 ft 3 in
Wing area: 55.0 sqm / 592.01 sq ft
Max. speed: 200 km/h / 124 mph
Ceiling: 4400 m / 14450 ft
Range: 650 km / 404 miles
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm machine-guns, 500kg of bombs
Max speed: 245km/h
Service ceiling: 7150m
Empty weight: 2718kg
Loaded weight: 4000kg
Engine: 1 x AM-34NB, 860hp
Length: 44.29ft (13.5m)
Width: 62.34ft (19.00m)
Height: 12.47ft (3.80m)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 9,359lbs (4,245kg)
Maximum Speed: 154mph (248kmh; 134kts)
Maximum Range: 870miles (1,400km)
Service Ceiling: 19,685ft (6,000m)
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm machine gun
Bombload: 661lbs (300kg)