Petlyakov PE-2 In Action (Aicraft Number 181)
By Hans-Heiri Stapfer
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 2002 52 Pages
PDF 25 MB
The Petlyakov Pc-2 was the most numerous bomber deployed by the Soviet Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily (VVS; Military Air Forces) in World War Two. State Aviation Factories completed I 1,247 examples between 1940 and 1945 - more than any other Soviet bomber in history. The Pe-2 was fast and accurate in a dive: however, it had an internal bomb load of only 600 kd (1322.8 pounds) and poor handling characteristics during landing - including bouncing off the landing strip. Nevertheless, the Peshka (Pawn, or little Petlyakov) became the back-hone of the Soviet Dive-Bomber Aviation Regiments during the Great Patriotic War (the Soviet name for the 1941-45 war with German} I.
These performance characteristics were inherited from the Pe-2 progenitor, the VI-100 high altitude fighter. In mid-1938, Vladimir Mikhavlovich Petlyakov and his design team began the first design studies lor a twin engine high altitude fighter project. The work was done under unbelievably difficult conditions. Petlyakov and his mentor Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev were arrested and detained in the notorious Butyrki prison in late 1937. They were among many victims of the purges Soviet Voz.hd (Leader) Iosil Stalin initiated in the late 1930s. Petlyakov and Tupolev were later transferred to a camp at Bolshevo, near Moscow. Bolshevo housed Tsentral'naya Konstruktorskoe Byuro (TsKB: Central Design Bureau) 29. an aircraft design office supervised by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.1 Petlyakov became the leader of TsKB 29 Spt'tsial'iiyi Teknicheskii Otdel (STO; Special Technical Department) 100. This number served as a suffix behind the VI (Vysotny Istrcbitcl; High Altitude Fighter) designation.