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M-50 / M-52, Myasishchev 'Bounder'

OKB Myasishchyev began working on the supersonic intercontinental bomber M-50 in 1956. The aircraft was intended to be equipped with and the supersonic long-range M-61 cruise missile, also developed by OKB Myasishchyev. The bomber had a strategic strike capability due to its range of 10,000 km plus the 1000 km range of the missile. The M-50 had forward trailing triangular wings, a wing span of 35.1 meters and a length of 57.5 meters. Powered by four "16-17" engines developed by P.F. Zubets, two engine pods were mounted outboard on the wings and two less powerful engines at the tip of the wings. The prototype was constructed in 1959 and made the first flight on 27 October 1959. As engines the which were supposed to equip the airplane were at that time not yet available, on the prototype version two VD-7 engines and two VD-7g were used. In this configuration the demonstrated a speed of Mach 0.99. The second M-50, designated the M-52, carried the Zubets engines around which the aircraft had been designed. The engine installation was modified, and a second tailplane was added to the top of the fin.

In December 1960, N. S. Khruschev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) made a speech at the Supreme Soviet session in which he proclaimed the inexpedience of the further development of military aircraft. The Soviet leader, fascinated by the triumph of Russian space technology and exploration, directed that all the tasks formerly executed by the combat aircraft be performed by guided missiles of various types. The Council of Ministers and the CPSU Central Committee issued a joint decree terminating work on new aircraft. The first victims of the decree were the Lavochkin and Myasischev aircraft design bureaus. They had to fully reorganize their work. V. Myasischev was appointed director of TsAGI. He was very disappointed at the fact that only a few of his M-50 and M-52 long-range supersonic bombers were produced. In 1960 development of the M-50 bomber was halted when OKB Myasishchyev was dis-established.

Surprisingly little is known about the Bounder. One writer commented that it was "an outstanding failure which revealed an embarassing lack of understanding of the problems of high-speed flight."


Primary Function: Heavy bomber
Power Plant:

4*28660lb Soloviev D-15 or
4*Zubetc ?? [M-52]



Maximum Takeoff Weight:
Unit Cost:
Date Deployed:

Sources and Resources

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