Beriev Be-6

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Be-6 Ukrainian State Aviation Museum.jpg
Be-6 at Ukrainian State Aviation Museum
Role Maritime reconnaissance and patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Beriev OKB
First flight 1949
Retired Late 1960s
Primary users Soviet Navy
People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force
Produced 1949–57
Number built 123
Developed into Beriev Be-12

The Beriev Be-6 (USAF/DoD reporting name "Type 34",[1] NATO reporting name "Madge"[2]) was a flying boat produced by the Soviet Beriev OKB. It was capable of accomplishing a wide variety of missions, such as long-range maritime reconnaissance, coastal and supply line patrols, torpedo/bombing strikes, mine-laying, and transport operations.

Design and development[edit]

The Be-6 was a gull-winged aircraft with twin oval vertical stabilizers on top of a deep fuselage. The aircraft was of all-metal construction except for fabric covering the rudders and ailerons. The fuselage was divided into eight watertight compartments to improve survivability. The engines were installed in the bends of the wings, with the floats on an underwing cantilever rack. Each float was divided into four watertight compartments.

Operational history[edit]

A U.S. Navy A-4B intercepting a Be-6 off Japan, 1964.

The Be-6 was built from 1949 to 1957 at the Beriev plant in Taganrog. The aircraft had 19 variants through its production cycle, and 123 aircraft were eventually built. Since requirements of Soviet naval aircraft did not change rapidly, the reliable Be-6 remained in service until the late 1960s. Some aircraft ended service as civilian unarmed transports in Arctic regions. One survivor is preserved at the Ukraine State Aviation Museum in Kiev, Ukraine. Beriev Be-6s operated by the People's Republic of China PLANAF proved useful in patrolling the long coastline and huge territorial waters off China's coast. During the 1970s the original Shvetsov radial engines began to wear out with no replacements available, so several aircraft were re-engined with Wopen WJ-6 turboprop engines, in new nacelles, for a new lease of life and were redesignated Qing-6.[3]


 People's Republic of China
 Soviet Union


  • LL-143: Prototype of Be-6 with Shvetsov ASh-72 radial engines; nose, beam, ventral and tail positions for a total of six 12.7mm UBT machine guns. Maiden Flight in March 1945.
  • Be-6: standard production aircraft with Shvetsov ASh-73 radial piston engines.
  • Qing-6: Be-6 aircraft of the PLANAF re-engined with Wopen WJ-6 turboprops.[3]

Specifications (Be-6)[edit]

Berijev Be-6.svg

Data from Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft [4]

General characteristics


  • Maximum speed: 414 km/h (218 kn, 257 mph) at 1,800 m (5,900 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 280 km/h (173 mph) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)
  • Landing speed: 147 km/h (105 kn, 91 mph)
  • Range: 5,000 km (2,700 kn, 3,100 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,013 ft)


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Gordon,Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Chinese Aircraft. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6
  4. ^ Gunston, Bill (1995). The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft from 1875–1995. Osprey Aerospace. ISBN 1-85532-405-9.
  • Gunston, Bill. “The Osprey Encyclopaedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995”. London, Osprey. 1995. ISBN 1-85532-405-9
  • Gordon, Yefim & Komissarov, Dmitry. Chinese Aircraft. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6