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M-50 Myasishchev
M-50, M-52
ASCC codename: Bounder
Strategic Bomber Prototypes

DESCRIPTION:
Though it never entered service, the Myasishchev M-50 was a highly advanced design for a large, supersonic intercontinental bomber. The M-50 was considered top secret by Soviet leadership and very little is known about the project even today.

The Myasishchev design bureau began work on the M-50 concept in 1956. The M-50 was designed to carry the long-range M-61 cruise missile also under development by Myasishchev at the time. A key element of the M-50 design was its engines, originally intended to be advanced powerful turbojets built by Zubets. Development problems delayed these engines, so the first M-50 prototype was instead equiped with less powerful VD-7 turbojets mounted two beneath the wing and one at each tip of the large cropped-delta wing. The long-slender fuselage provided accomodation for two or three crew members and a large weapons bay. The fuselage also incoporated the area-rule to reduce transonic drag. The first M-50 prototype, with its substitute engine installation, served as a technology demonstrator and was capable of a maximum speed of Mach 0.99.

The second prototype, redesignated the M-52, was equipped with the more advanced engines that doubled the maximum speed to Mach 1.83. Despite this progress, the M-52 program failed to impress Soviet leaders who had become convinced that manned bombers were obsolescent following the development of ballistic missiles. As a result, the M-50/M-52 project was cancelled and the Myasishchev design bureau closed in 1960. A surviving example of the impressive M-50 is now on display at the Monino Aviation Museum in Moscow.

Last modified 19 September 2009

HISTORY:
First Flight 27 October 1959
Service Entry

did not enter service

CREW: two or three

ESTIMATED COST:

unknown

AIRFOIL SECTIONS:
Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip

unknown

DIMENSIONS:
Length 188.46 ft (57.48 m)
Wingspan 82.29 ft (25.10 m)
Height 27.05 ft (8.25 m)
Wing Area 3,125 ft (290.6 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

WEIGHTS:
Empty 187,390 lb (85,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 462,970 lb (210,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

44,090 lb (20,000 kg)

PROPULSION:
Powerplant four Dobrynin VD-7B afterburning turbojets
Thrust 83,700 lb (372.33 kN)

PERFORMANCE:
Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,215 mph (1,950 km/h), Mach 1.83 [M-52]
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 935 mph (1,500 km/h)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 54,100 ft (16,500 m)
Range 3,995 nm (7,400 km)
g-Limits unknown

ARMAMENT:
Gun none (?)
Stations one internal weapons bay
Air-to-Surface Missile designed to carry the M-61 cruise missile
Bomb various nuclear and conventional bombs
Other none

KNOWN VARIANTS:
M-50 First prototype used as a technology demonstrator
M-52 Second prototype equipped with more powerful engines and a new tailplane arrangement

KNOWN OPERATORS:

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)

3-VIEW SCHEMATIC:

M-50


SOURCES:
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 672, Myasishchev M-50/M-52.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 260-261, M-50, M-52.





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