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ANT-40 (SB)


    Consideration of possible manufacturing of high-speed front-line bomber which speed could be comparative with those of fighters of potential enemies started in early 30s. By the end of 1933 research, design and technical back-log was gained to provide practical realization of such aircraft concept. The Design Bureau started designing a high-speed bomber with internal designation ANT-40 and official designation SB. A.A.Arkhangelskiy was appointed as a manager of the project who headed specialized team No.5 that was founded in 1935.
    Serial aircraft SB-2M-100A as an exhibit of Air Force   Museum in Monino
    Serial aircraft SB-2M-100A as an exhibit of Air Force Museum in Monino

    Prototype ANT-21(MI-3) a/c
    Prototype ANT-21(MI-3) a/c

    In March 1934 Air Force issued its Tactical and Technical Specifications to new machine: max speed at altitude of 4000 m - 330 km/h, ceiling -8000 m, range 700 km, bomb load 500 kg, defensive weapon nose installation 2xmachine-gun ShKAS, 1 ShKAS on upper turret and lower hatch installations.

    Other teams of the Design Bureau and TsAGI diivisions also participated in activities on ANT-40 a/c. Thus wing and ailerons control were developed by V.Petlyakov team. In aerodynamics A.Martynov was a leading specialist. A.Makarevskiy, S.Shishkin and G.Ozerov were busy with strength problems.

    ANT-29(DIP-1) prototype a/c
    ANT-29(DIP-1) prototype a/c

    ANT-30 (SK)  aircraft design
    ANT-30 (SK) aircraft design

    Following intensive work three months later 8 March, 1934 a preliminary design of the new bomber was presented for approval to Air Force The new bomber was made according to two-engine three-seat cantilever mid-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear and smooth fuselage and wing skin. Its layout was based on the fact that at prescribed bomb load equal to 500 kg and powerful defensive weapon the machine should be of minimal sizes. All payload was disposed within fuselage. Aerodynamic shape was perfectly free of any protrusion. Thus the ANT-40 project became a logic final of the process of searching optimal approaches and development of concepts used in ANT-21, ANT-29 and ANT-30 aircraft.

    On the 10-th of March mock-up of the aircraft was approved. Simultaneously decision was taken to build two prototypes of ANT-40: first of which should be provided with Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines of 730 H.P., the second - with Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs engines of 780 H.P.each.

    ANT-40 2WC under factory tests (1934)
    ANT-40 2WC under factory tests (1934)

    A.Arkhangelskiy  manger of activities on SB a/c
    A.Arkhangelskiy manger of activities on SB a/c

    The aircraft manufacturing began on the 25-th of April and on the 7-th of October, 1934 K.Popov test pilot performed the first flight on ANT-40 a/c with Cyclones During the 9-th flight the aircraft crashed and was sent to plant for restoration. Later on it was used in experimental works.

    The second ANT-40 prototype was provided with Hispano-Suiza engines. Its manufacturing was started 15 May, 1934. On the 30-th of December the dubler was made and on the same day it performed its first flight (pilot I.Zhurov). Factory tests were being made till 21 January, 1935. Maximal speed equal to 430 km/h was recorded at the altitude of 4000 m which exceeded significantly the speed specified in Tactical and Technical Specification.

    Plant assemblage of ANT-40 2HS prototype a/c
    Plant assemblage of ANT-40 2HS prototype a/c

    Government joint tests of the second ANT-40 were performed since 8 February, 1935 and were interrupted due to wing aileron flutter which was eliminated in few days by installation of mass balance on the ailerons (the works were headed by M.Keldysh future academician). In Summer, 1935 the tests were continued and in April, 1936 were completed. Later the doubler was delivered to serial plant No.22 as a serial standard.

    TsAGI  test-pilots: from the right  to the left T.Ryabenko, K.Popov and S.Korzinshikov
    TsAGI test-pilots: from the right to the left T.Ryabenko, K.Popov and S.Korzinshikov

    The question of putting the new bomber in to serial production was decided much earlier in March, 1934. Soviet Air Force extremely needed this type of aircraft therefore transfer of documentation to Plant No.22 began before State tests finished - starting from March, 1935 (according to some sources - starting from 5 December, 1934). According to Government resolution in the middle of 1936 team No.5 headed by A.Arkhangelskiy was delegated to serial plant as a separate research Design Bureau for introduction and improvement of ANT-40 (SB).

    ANT-40 2HS prototype a/c under factory tests (winter, 1934-1935)
    ANT-40 2HS prototype a/c under factory tests (winter, 1934-1935)

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