MOSCOW, August 15. /TASS/. Russian specialists will reconstruct a Soviet WWII Tu-2 frontline bomber in a unique operation unrivaled in the world, the press office of Russia’s Science and Higher Education Ministry announced on Thursday.
“For the first time in the world, a Tu-2 bomber will be reconstructed to its operational condition on the premises of the Novosibirsk State Technical University. The reconstruction work will be carried out by Aviarestavratsiya. This work will take three years,” the ministry said in a statement.
After reconstruction, the WWII two-engine fast-speed plane will become the world’s sole Tu-2 operational bomber. Such planes are only featured as museum exhibits.
The plane will be delivered to Novosibirsk on August 21-22 for its reconstruction. Presumably, the bomber was in service with the USSR Air Force until 1949, after which it was transferred to China where it was operational until the 1980s. After it was de-commissioned, the plane was disassembled and delivered to the War Eagles Air Museum in the United States where it was kept in its disassembled condition and was not exhibited. In the summer of 2019, the plane was acquired by the Wings of Victory Foundation and will be returned to Russia.
“This is not a plane that was shot down or was broken. We have not yet studied its series numbers and have not yet tracked its exact history. The plane will be studied and analyzed in detail. Each element will be reconstructed or restored,” Wings of Victory Foundation President Boris Osyatinsky was quoted as saying in the ministry’s statement.
The Tu-2 is considered as one of the best Soviet WWII frontline bombers by its flight characteristics, adaptability to production and the casualty per sortie rate.