Beriev KOR 2 Be 4

More or less in parallel with the construction and development of the KOR-1 floatplane, the Beriev bureau was working on the design of a small flying-boat. This was intended to fulfil the same requirement as the hastily developed KOR-1, but was intended to provide much improved performance.

First flown in 1940, this new and basically attractive flying-boat was of all-metal construction. The term 'basically attractive' is used judiciously, for without its wing-mounted powerplant this new aircraft had superb lines. The giant engine, however, rather like the disfigurement of a hunchback, dominated all else to spoil the aesthetic lines of Beriev's design. In configuration the Beriev KOR-2, as the new aircraft was designated, was a parasol-wing monoplane, the wing itself being pylon-mounted above the stepped flying-boat hull, and braced by two streamlined struts on each side. An unusual feature was the selection of an inverted gull wing, but almost certainly this was chosen to raise the wing-mounted engine as high as possible to provide adequate clearance for the three-bladed controllable-pitch propeller and, at the same time, to ensure that the mounting struts for the underwing stabilising floats could be kept as short as possible. The tail unit was similar in configuration to that of the KOR-1, except that the high mounted tailplane was a strut-free cantilever structure.

Designer General Georgij Mikhailovich Beriev

Built in a factory at Taganrog, on the shore of the almost enclosed Sea of Azov, only a small number of these aircraft had been completed and delivered to the Soviet navy before the Taganrog area was over-run by the invading Germans in the autumn of 1941. Production of the KOR-2, or Beriev Be-4 as it had then been redesignated, was resumed at a Central Asian factory during 1942, but no records of the number constructed have so far been discovered.

Specifications (Beriev KOR-2 or Be-4)

Type: Two Seat Reconnaissance Flying Boat

Design: Designer General Georgij Mikhailovich Beriev

Manufacturer: State Industries Beriev Factory at Taganrog

Powerplant: One 900 hp (671 kW) Shvetsov M-62 9-cylinder radial engine.

Performance: Maximum speed 223 mph (360 km/h); service ceiling 26,575 ft (8100 m)

Range: 590 miles (950 km) on internal fuel.

Weight: Empty equipped 4,530 lbs (2055 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 6,085 lbs (2760 kg).

Dimensions: Span 39 ft 4 1/2 in (12.00 m); length 34 ft 5 1/4 in (10.50 m); height 13 ft 3 in (4.05 m); wing area 274.5 sq ft (25.5 sq m).

Armament: One 7.62 mm (0.30 in) ShKAS machine-gun on a flexible mount in aft cockpit, plus up to 661 lbs (300 kg) of bombs or depth charges on underwing racks.

Variants: Beriev KOR-2 or Be-4.

Avionics: None.

History: First flight 1940.

Operators: Soviet Union (VVS-VMF).