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Petlyakov - Chronicle of a Dive Bomber
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For the anniversary of the birth of Soviet aircraft engineer Vladimir Mikhailovich Petlyakov,
we are introducing a new single player mission "Chronicle of a dive bomber".

July, 1944. Soviet troops fight to liberate Belorussia and Poland. A bomber squadron belonging to the 16th air army has been attacked multiple times by German Focke-Wulf fighters during the last few weeks, they were operating from special “ambush” airfields. The main “ambush” airfield has been located at the expense of the lives of crew No.5. Your mission is to deliver a bomber strike against enemy aircraft stationed on the airfield. Beware of air attacks - the sector is full of german Focke-Wulfs!

You can access the new mission from: Menu/Single missions/Eastern Front/Missions

Vladimir Mikhailovich Petlyakov was an outstanding Soviet aeronautical engineer who made a significant contribution to victory in the Great Patriotic War. Unfortunately, he never lived to see the end of it. On the other hand, his creations did: the fighters and bombers that fought against the Germans from the first to the last days of the war.
Vladimir Petlyakov was born in 1891 in the village of Sambek in what is now known as Rostov Oblast. From an early age, he dreamed of receiving a good technical education, so in 1911 he took all his savings to Moscow and applied to the Imperial Moscow Technical School.

His studies had to be interrupted due to a lack of funds, so Petlyakov only finished his studies after the revolution in 1922. After graduating from the school, the aeronautical engineer joined the Tupolev design group, where he received priceless experience and stood out for his contributions.

One of Petlyakov’s earliest and most impressive projects was the Pe-8 heavy bomber. He undertook this design at the start of the 1930s, but the first flight took place on December 27th, 1936. This giant, powerful, well defended aircraft capable of lifting huge weight first left the production line in 1940. It was a statement of the Soviet Union’s progress in the development of heavy bombers. A glorious career awaited the aircraft: it caught the eye of the Soviet administration and acted as a passenger aircraft, it bombed Berlin in 1941, and it became a symbol of the start of the Great Patriotic War for the next generation.
The Pe-8 is represented in War Thunder as a bomber in rank III. It is by rights one of the best medium-range heavy bombers in the game, and is valued and loved. Compared to its equivalent American aircraft, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the Soviet aircraft has excellent defenses and is very survivable, its bomb load is truly impressive: it can carry 40x100 kg of high-explosive bombs or one five-ton bomb, the highest capacity in the game at the current time. If the aircraft has any serious flaw, it is its speed: a middling 387 km/h (in realistic mode) allows any enemy fighter to catch up to the bomber and attack it. But the Pe-8 has two cannons and three machine gun turrets for exactly that situation.

As the war progressed, the Pe-8 saw less and less use: the USSR basically had no need for such a vehicle. The same can’t be said of another of Vladimir Petlyakov’s inventions: the wonderful Pe-2 front-line bomber and the Pe-3 heavy fighter. These aircraft remained in demand up to the very last days of the war. Petlyakov’s fate is a tragic one: in 1937, he was deprived of his freedom on falsified charges and exiled to TsKB-29, a special closed design bureau. This is where he developed the famous Pe-2 ‘Peshka’.
The Pe-2 (and its fighter variant the Pe-3) is a twin-engine centre-wing aircraft with a simple design and a unique tail assembly. It remained irreplaceable in the war both for bombing raids in enemy zones near the front and for directly supporting troops on the battlefield.

War Thunder has a great many different versions of the Pe-2 and Pe-3. They differ in versatility, practicability, survivability and their varied bomb loads and frontal weaponry. The Peshkas are some of the best multi-purpose airplanes in the game, particularly in mixed battles. Here the Pe-2 and Pe-3 can display incredible results: bombs to suit any taste, a bomb sight, an airbrake and the ability to divebomb allow for very accurate attacks on ground vehicles, with its frontal weaponry, it can quickly switch to air targets. In addition, the defensive machine guns and cannons make it difficult to shoot the aircraft down from the rear or sides: The Pe-3 is protected from attacks from the rear by defensive weapons and from the front by frontal weaponry, the Pe-2 is, in principle, protected from all sides.
Vladimir Petlyakov died in an aviation accident in 1942. The circumstances surrounding this tragedy remain unknown to this day. But the memory of Petlyakov is still alive – his talent and contribution to Russian aeronautical engineering are unquestionable.

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