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.
A Beriev MBR-2 flown by the Soviet Navy
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.
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
Beriev MBR-2M-17 -
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 680 hp (507 kW) Mikulin
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 7.62 mm (0.30 in) PV-1 machine-gun.
Beriev MBR-2AM-34 - 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 830 hp (619 kW). An entirely new curved fin and
rudder replaced the original angular vertical tailplane and ShKAS
machine-guns supplanted the obsolete PV-1s. The new version was soon
placed in large-scale production, which continued until 1942, when some
1,300 of all variants had been built. The maximum speed of the
MBR-2AM-34 was 152 mph (245 km/h), a considerable improvement over the
initial production version. Range was 497 miles (800 km), and service
ceiling was raised to 23,460 ft (7150 m); weight empty increased to
5,992 lbs (2718 kg) and loaded weight was 8,818 lbs (4000 kg); 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 1941-45. It was tough, reliable
and acquitted itself well and it 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'
Beriev MBR-2M-103 - 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.
Beriev MP-1 - 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. It was used in
some numbers by Soviet Civil Aviation.
Beriev MP-1bis - A 1937
civil development of the MBR-2AM-34, with similar capacity to that of
the MP-1. One MP-1bis, piloted by Paulina Osipenka, established a
number of women's world records. Between 22 and 25 May 1937 she
attained respectively 24,905 ft (7605 m) with a 1,102 lbs (500 kg)
payload and 22,966 ft (7000 m) with a 2,204 lbs (1000 kg) payload. On 2
July, in the same year she made a non-stop flight of 1,501 miles (2416
km) between Novgorod and Archangelsk.
Beriev MP-2bis - The
outbreak of World War II triggered hurried efforts to develop a new
version, the MBR-2bis, which was powered by an 860 hp (642 kW) AM-34NB
engine in place of the earlier 680 hp (507 kW) Mikulin M-17B engine.
Increased fuel tankage raised the range from 597 miles (960 km) to 870
miles (1400 km), for the purposes of maritime reconnaissance over the
confined waters of the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as the northern
Artic seaboard. The new version was seen as an ideal interim aircraft
pending the arrival in service of the Chetverikov MDR-6 (Che-2). In
1942 about 1,500 aircraft had been delivered, making the MP-2bis the
most widely used short-range flying boat during the first three years
of the war. Its principle task was that that of Air-Sea Rescue.
Mediocre performance and poor defensive armament made it easy prey to
Type: Four Seat
Short Range Coastal Reconnaissance Bomber Flying Boat
General Georgij Mikhailovich Beriev
State Industries (Prototype) Menschinsky Factory in Moscow but
production aircraft were built at the Beriev Factory in Taganrog
680 hp (507 kW) Mikulin M-17B 12-cylinder inline engine.
Maximum speed 124 mph (200 km/h); service ceiling 14,435 ft (4400 m)
Range: 404 miles
(650 km) on internal fuel.
equipped 5,456 lbs (2475 kg) with a maximum take-off weight of 9,039
lbs (4100 kg).
62 ft 4 in (19.00 m); length 44 ft 3 1/2 in (13.50 m); height 15 ft 8
3/4 in (4.82 m); wing area 592.03 sq ft
(55.0 sq m).
7.62 mm (0.30 in) ShKAS machine-gun on bow and midship ring mountings,
plus up to 1,102 lbs (500 kg) of bombs or depth charges on underwing
MBR-2M-17, Beriev MBR-2AM-34, Beriev MBR-2M-103, Beriev MP-1 (civil),
Beriev MP-1bis (civil), Beriev MP-2bis.