Revealed: Myasishchev M-4: A Sturdy Opponent of the B-52 Stratofortress.pink

The Myasishchev M-4, an impressive Soviet strategic bomber, took its maiden flight on January 20, 1953, shortly after the launch of the B-52 Stratofortress. This aircraft left a significant impression on the Americans, marking a key moment in the Cold War era. The M-4, also known as Bison-A, successfully completed state acceptance trials by March 1954, leading to the commencement of its production later that year. By 1955, it was actively serving, with a total of 34 units manufactured, including two prototypes.

A notable feature of the M-4 was its 18 bladder fuel tanks distributed across the fuselage and wings, allowing it to carry an impressive fuel load of 123,600 liters. This capacity gave the aircraft a range of 9,500 km (5,900 mi), which, while below the initial specification of 12,000 km (7,500 mi), still enabled it to carry a payload of 24 tonnes in various configurations.

Despite initial concerns from the United States, the feared capabilities of the M-4 never fully materialized. Even with subsequent enhancements, the aircraft lacked the range to reach the U.S. mainland. By the 1960s, production of the M-4 had ceased. Most of these aircraft were eventually decommissioned and scrapped, though a few were repurposed as refueling planes until the mid-1990s.

The M-4’s historical significance lies in its role as a symbol of Soviet aviation prowess during the early Cold War years, illustrating the intense technological rivalry between the superpowers of that era.

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