Myasishchev M-50

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Myasishchev M-50
Myasishchev M-50 on display at Monino Aviation Museum
Role Supersonic strategic bomber
Designer Myasishchev
First flight 27 October 1959
Status Retired
Primary user USSR
Number built 2

The Myasishchev M-50 (NATO reporting name Bounder) was a Soviet prototype four-jet engine supersonic strategic bomber, which never attained service. Only one prototype was built, which was believed to have first flown in 1957. The M-50 was constructed by the Myasishchev design bureau.

It was a fast jet bomber with four engines: two Dobrynin VD-7 and two VD-7F turbojets. Two engines were located under the wing and two on the tips of its shoulder-mounted, truncated delta wings.

The second M-50 was designated M-52 and carried Zubets 16-17 turbojets, around which the aircraft had been designed.[1] The engine installation was modified, and a second tailplane added to the top of the fin.[1] M-50 participated in a Soviet Aviation Day flyby in 1961. M-52 was completed but was not flight tested.

Like most of the early 1960s supersonic strategic bomber projects, the M-50/52 program was terminated due to the development of the Intercontinental ballistic missiles and the priority assigned to the Soviet space program.

Nuclear bomber hoax[edit]

The 1 December 1958 issue of Aviation Week included an article Soviets Flight Testing Nuclear Bomber claiming that the Soviets had made great progress in their own nuclear aircraft program.[2] This was accompanied by an editorial on the topic as well. The magazine claimed that the aircraft was real beyond a doubt, stating that "A nuclear-powered bomber is being flight tested in the Soviet Union. ... It has been observed both in flight and on the ground by a wide variety of foreign observers from Communist and non-Communist countries." In reality, however, the article was a hoax. The aircraft in the photographs was later revealed to be a M-50 and not a nuclear-powered plane at all.

In reality, in the early Sixties Soviet Union did test a technology demonstrator for a nuclear-powered strategic bomber, Tupolev Tu-95LAL, similar to the somewhat earlier American Convair NB-36H project, but, being based on the turboprop Tu-95, it was never supersonic, it never flew under nuclear power (its main goal was to test the nuclear reactor shielding efficiency), and, moreover, it was developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau, as Myasischev company had lost the competition to develop the prototype. It was deemed successful, but further development dragged because of environmental concerns. When the functional ICBMs appeared, the majority of funding and development effort was shifted into that field, and in the late Sixties the project was scrapped for good.

Specifications (M-50A)[edit]

Rear view of the Myasishchev M-50

Data from [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 57.48 m (188 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 35.10 m (115 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 290.6 m2 (3,128 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 85,000 kg (187,393 lb)
  • Gross weight: 175,000 kg (385,809 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 200,000 kg (440,925 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Dobrynin VD-7F afterburning turbojet, 137.29 kN (30,865 lbf) thrust each wet
  • Powerplant: 2 × Dobrynin VD-7 non-afterburning turbojet, 110 kN (24,000 lbf) thrust each


  • Maximum speed: 1,950 km/h (1,212 mph; 1,053 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 1,500 km/h (932 mph; 810 kn)
  • Range: 7,400 km (4,598 mi; 3,996 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 m (54,134 ft)
  • Wing loading: 602 kg/m2 (123 lb/sq ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.29


  • 30,000 kg (66,000 lb) of bombs or missiles carried in internal bays

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b Pearce, William. "Myasishchev M-50 / M-52 Bounder". Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Soviets Flight Testing Nuclear Bomber, Aviation Week, 1 December 1958, p. 27.
  3. ^ Gunston, Bill (1995). The Osprey Encyclopaedia of Russian Aircraft 1875–1995. London: Osprey. ISBN 1-85532-405-9. 

External links[edit]