Pe-8

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Rank 6 USA
F-5C Pack
pe-8_m82.png
GarageImage Pe-8.jpg
Pe-8
Research:26 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:110 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Pe-8 is a rank III Soviet heavy bomber with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB) and 5.3 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.53 "Firestorm".

The Petlyakov Pe-8 was an early design Soviet heavy bomber which debuted in 1936. This monster of a bomber was the only four-engine bomber produced by the Soviet Union during World War II. Though impressive as it was, it was only produced in limited numbers and was reserved for special occasions called "morale raids" to encourage and raise the spirits of the Soviet population by hitting important German targets deep behind enemy lines to include bombing Berlin in mid-1941. Other prime targets included the nighttime bombing of factories, German airfields and rail yards. As such an important aircraft to the Soviet people, it became a priority target for the German Luftwaffe pilots to go after. By 1944 all remaining Pe-8s were removed from service but were retrofitted for other jobs such as VIP transport and operations up into the arctic circle.

The Pe-8 though a large and tempting target, it is not without its merits. The huge bomber has a nose gunner, tail gunner, rear-facing dorsal turret and two rear-facing underwing gun pods. Attacking this aircraft especially from the rear whether above, below or directly from the rear is a bad choice as, like with the BV 238, there are many defensive guns which can hit and hit hard. These defensive weapons are critical to protecting the bomber against inbound enemy fighter especially because of the bomb payload which it can carry. Options can range between 2,000 and 5,000 kg bomb loads with as many as 40 x 50 kg or 100 kg bombs, or fewer but heavier bombs such as 6 x 500 kg bombs or a single massive 5,000 kg FAB-5000 bomb.

It is easy to see why the Pe-8 would be a prime target to eliminate as if left unchecked, it could easily wipe out the enemy bases without flinching and move onto the next. Other payload options are useful for carpet bombing areas where clusters of lighter vehicles or fixed anti-aircraft targets may sit. Fleet vessels are not to discount this bomber as it has the means to destroy ships with its accurate bomb site, pending the pilot slowing the aircraft down enough to let the bombardier line up the target and release the necessary ordnance. For the pilot of the Pe-8, fly high and drop as much as you can on the targets, as a fighter trying to take out the Pe-8 set up your run so that in the event you lose control of your aircraft, it has a good chance of ramming the bomber causing it to crash as this aircraft has a good propensity to soak up bullets.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 5 900 m422 km/h
Turn time36 s
Max altitude10 500 m
Engine4 х Shvetsov M-82
TypeRadial
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight36 t

The Pe-8 has poor flight characteristics: the plane is very heavy for its engines and thus is slow. This limits its top speed as well as its climb rate. The wings being massive, the turn radius is large and the bomber's manoeuvrability is mediocre. Combined with a short tail, this creates instability and causes the Pe-8 to wobble when changing directions. The bomber usually compresses and wobbles after doing sharp turns, which can be very lethal at low altitude. It can take the pilot a certain time to regain control of the bomber. When engaged in a steep dive, the same phenomenon (compressing and wobbling) takes place, restricting it only to a level bombing role.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 5,900 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
Turn time
(seconds)
Rate of climb
(metres/second)
Take-off run
(metres)
AB RB AB RB AB RB
Stock 402 387 10500 36.9 37.6 4.9 4.9 1,500
Upgraded 445 422 35.1 36.0 10.2 7.2

Details

Pe-8 lunarrainbow 001.jpg
Features
Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
X X
Limits
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
535 300 460 434 280 ~4 ~3
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 320 < 350 < 380 > 341

Survivability and armour

Crew7 people
Speed of destruction
Structural535 km/h
Gear300 km/h

The Pe-8 has a durable airframe, meaning the bomber can take some damage, still complete its mission and make it home. Even if its fuel tanks are self-sealing, fires tend to be devastating for the structural integrity of the wings.

Armour plates
  • 8 mm Steel - Plate behind pilot's seat
  • 8 mm Steel - Plate behind copilot's seat
  • 8 mm Steel - Plate for underwing nacelle gunners x 2
  • No armour glazing
Critical components
  • The pilot and the controls are located in front of the aircraft
  • Engines and fuel tanks located throughout the wings
  • Fuel tanks are self-sealing

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB1 500 → 1 927 Sl icon.png
RB3 280 → 4 214 Sl icon.png
SB4 670 → 6 000 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications24 400 Rp icon.png
57 400 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 100 Ge icon.png
Crew training32 000 Sl icon.png
Experts110 000 Sl icon.png
Aces500 Ge icon.png
Research Aces320 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
70 / 170 / 180 % Sl icon.png
142 / 142 / 142 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
Radiator
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 300 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
Engine
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
Airframe
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 300 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
ub_turret_belt_pack
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Der-13P
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
ub_turret_new_gun
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 300 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Der-19P
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 300 Sl icon.png
170 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
shkas_turret_belt_pack
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
shvak_turret_belt_pack
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Der-20P
Research:
1 200 Rp icon.png
Cost:
2 800 Sl icon.png
150 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
shkas_turret_new_gun
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods turret gun.png
shvak_turret_new_gun
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Der-20U
Research:
1 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
3 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Pe-8 *jermster 91 001.jpg

Suspended armament

Number of setups6
List of setups
Setup 140 x 50 kg FAB-50sv (forged) bomb
Setup 240 x 100 kg FAB-100sv (forged) bomb
Setup 312 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bomb
Setup 46 x 500 kg FAB-500sv (welded) bomb
Setup 54 x 1000 kg FAB-1000 (welded) bomb
Setup 61 x 5000 kg bomb FAB-5000
Main article: FAB-5000 (5,000 kg)

The Pe-8 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 40 x 50 kg FAB-50sv bombs (2,000 kg total)
  • 40 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (4,000 kg total)
  • 12 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (3,000 kg total)
  • 6 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bombs (3,000 kg total)
  • 4 x 1,000 kg FAB-1000 bombs (4,000 kg total)
  • 1 x 5,000 kg FAB-5000 bomb (5,000 kg total)

The Pe-8 can carry the FAB-5000 bomb, the largest bomb in-game, with over 5 tons of TNT equivalent, which proves extremely deadly in ground RB and naval battles. The 40 x 100 kg bombs loadout is suitable for carpet bombing against columns of vehicles and occasionally base bombing while the 4 x 1000 kg bombs loadout is best suited for destroying bases and airfields. The stock payload of 40 x 50 kg bombs has very little efficiency against ground targets due to lack of explosive power and is ill-suited for base bombing.

Defensive armament

Turret20 mm ShVAK cannon
Ammunition200 rounds
Fire rate800 shots/min
Turret20 mm ShVAK cannon
Ammunition230 rounds
Fire rate800 shots/min
2 х Turret12.7 mm Berezin UB machine gun
Ammunition200 rounds
Fire rate1027 shots/min
Turret2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun
Ammunition1500 rounds
Fire rate1800 shots/min

The Pe-8 is defended by:

  • 1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon, dorsal turret (200 rpg)
  • 1 x 20 mm ShVAK cannon, tail turret (230 rpg)
  • 1 x 12.7 mm Berezin UB machine gun, 2 x engine nacelle turrets (200 rpg)
  • 2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns, nose turret (750 rpg = 1,500 total)

The rear-facing 20 mm ShVAK cannon turrets are quite accurate and easy to aim, they will deal with any enemy fighter daring to come close. The 12.7 mm Berezin MGs in the engine nacelle turrets provide extra coverage from behind. While the defensive armament can be powerful, it is still ridden with weaknesses: the turrets lack any kind of armour, so your gunners can be knocked out easily and each turret has a low ammo count, resulting in frequent reloads that essentially leave you defenceless. The frontal 7.62 mm ShKAS MGs lack power to deal with fighters flying towards the Pe-8 head-on. Aircraft coming from high altitude can also avoid defensive firepower by exploiting their dead angles.

Usage in battles

Pe-8 the interceptor 002.jpg

The Pe-8, as mentioned earlier, is in essence a Soviet Death Star (a.k.a Tu-4 at a lower tier). It both boasts a very effective cannon armament and a high bomb load, able to kill two bases in one pass. Its 5,000-kilo bomb is especially useful in Ground Battles as a "tactical nuke" of sorts, able to wipe out large concentrations of enemy tanks.

However, the FAB-5000's practicality ends there. In Air Battles, the FAB-5000 is woefully overpowered against most targets and makes it inferior to most of the plane's other bomb loadout combinations. In addition, it peculiarly does less damage against an airfield than the 4 x 1,000 kg payload, further decreasing its usefulness. Instead, use the other payloads. The stock payload of 40 x 100 kg bombs, while difficult to aim, can still be used to base bomb, simply drop 12 on a base to destroy it (remember that the first 16 are pylon mounted meaning they drop in pairs, so the first base will require only 6 presses of the bomb release button). Keep using this payload for base bombing until you unlock the 4 x 1,000 kg modification, as all the other payloads yield less damage. You can use your bombs to destroy ground targets as well, however, be sure to be high enough or use a timer so that the bomb's splash damage doesn't kill you.

Try to side climb around the main battle when going after bases, though your defensive armament is powerful, you will be an easy target for experienced players, heavy fighters, and groups of fighters that encounter you. If you see an enemy, always turn the plane to make sure the rear cannon-armed guns face the pursuer so you can focus as much of your defensive firepower on them as possible while also increasing the time you can put your guns on the target. Make sure to fire in bursts as your guns will jam if fired for too long.

In Ground Realistic mode, the Pe-8 can be used as a CAS aircraft to a devastating effect. If there are no fighter aircraft or few SPAA, try to find the largest group of enemies and drop the FAB-5000 as fast as you can. This usually results in 1-2 kills, but can easily net many more. Try to spawn early game, as there will be less fighter aircraft and SPAA. Let it be noted that there is a certain terror from seeing a FAB-5000 land next to your tank that is not easily replicated elsewhere in War Thunder.

In Naval Battles, the Pe-8 can be used to break up large groups of ships, however it is difficult to do so, as the AA fire in Naval battles is much more accurate, hard-hitting, and plentiful. One would try to compensate for this by flying high up, but you will find that it is hard to aim the FAB-5000 from these altitudes. Thus, it is more effective to bring the Pe-8 to higher tier battles with less manoeuvrable, usually slower ships.

Note for new Pe-8 pilots: since this plane's control surfaces are huge and rotate very slowly, they will have lots of "inertia", that is, for example after you release a keyboard button for rolling, the ailerons will keep delfecting for a second or two before stopping, which is unlike the controls of smaller aircraft where the control surfaces stop deflecting immediately as soon as you release the button. Therefore it is a good practice to release the button a second before the Pe-8 is at an optimal position, as the control surfaces' "inertia" will do the job after letting go the keyboard.

Counter-tactics

When pursuing the Pe-8, try to go for a head-on - nearly all the time there is critical damage and "pilot snipes" to down the aircraft - with the added bonus that the front is the least defended area of the Pe-8. Use your mobility to do so. When in a not so optimal position, try to come up at a angle above the Pe-8 - with a sharp enough angle, you will stop the 12.7 mm MGs from reaching you, and with a bit of luck, you will make it past the single 20 defending the plane.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Controllable
Auto control available
Controllable
Auto control available
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons

Inbound bogie as seen by the nose gunner somewhere over the Eastern Front.

Pros:

  • Good payload option for various mission types, including a massive bomb
  • Powerful defensive armament
  • Durable airframe, can take some damage and make it home
  • Can resist being uptiered for a while, possible to bring in tier IV matches

Cons:

  • Poor flight performance
    • Large, heavy, and slow
    • Poor climb rate, top speed and manoeuvrability (large turn radius, wobbling effect)
  • Prone to devastating fires
  • Stock payload is mediocre
  • Defensive armament is poorly protected
  • Almost no defensive capability against enemy planes attacking from the front or right from above
  • In mixed ground battles, the very large blast radius of the FAB-5000 bomb can easily cause accidental teamkill.

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Skins
Images
Videos

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links


V.M. Petlyakov Design Bureau (Опытное конструкторское бюро Петлякова)
Fighters  Pe-3 (e) · Pe-3 · Pe-3bis
Bombers  Pe-2-1 · Pe-2-31 · Pe-2-83 · Pe-2-110 · Pe-2-205 · Pe-2-359 · Pe-8

USSR bombers
SB and Ar  SB 2M-100 · SB 2M-103 · SB 2M-103 MV-3 · SB 2M-103U · SB 2M-103U MV-3 · SB 2M-105 · Ar-2
Yer-2 (petrol)  Yer-2 (M-105) · Yer-2 (M-105) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) LU
Yer-2 (diesel)  Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (e) · Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (l)
Tu  Tu-2 · Tu-2S · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4
Pe  Pe-2-1 · Pe-2-31 · Pe-2-83 · Pe-2-110 · Pe-2-205 · Pe-2-359 · Pe-8
IL  DB-3B · IL-4
  Po-2 · MBR-2-M-34 · TB-3M-17-32 · Yak-4 · Be-6
Lend-Lease  ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂B-25J-30