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.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,900 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 320||< 350||< 380||> 341|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,050 m||6,160 hp||7,478 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|5,400 m||5,200 hp||N/A|
Survivability and armour
- 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 located in front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- More fuel tanks located in throughout wings
The Pe-8 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 40 x 50 kg FAB-50 bombs (2,000 kg total)
- 40 x 100 kg FAB-100 bombs (4,000 kg total)
- 12 x 250 kg FAB-250M43 bombs (3,000 kg total)
- 6 x 500 kg FAB-500 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 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)
Usage in battles
The Pe-8, as mentioned earlier, is in essence a Russian 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. It's 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 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 to devastating effect as a "meme" CAS aircraft. 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-maneuverable, usually slower ships.
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's from reaching you, and with a bit of luck, you will make it past the single 20 defending the plane.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Auto control available
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Turret 12 mm||Der-13P|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 12 mm MGs (turret)||Der-19P|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||Turret 7 mm||Turret 20 mm||Der-20P|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||New 7 mm MGs (turret)||New 20 mm cannons (turret)||Der-20U|
Pros and cons
- Largest bomb in-game - the massive 5,000 kg FAB-5000
- Good overall payload for its tier
- Incredible defensive armament, third only to the G8N1 and Tu-4
- Durable airframe - can take some damage and make it home
- Can resist being up-tiered for a while; possible to bring in tier IV matches
- A big step up from the Yer-2's ShKAS
- Matchmaking can be gracious
- Decent Silver Lions and Research Points earner
- Large, heavy, and slow
- Poor climb rate and speed
- Prone to very devastating fires
- Stock bomb load is prone to missing when used for base bombing
- Defensive turrets lack ammo and jam easily, resulting in frequent reloads that essentially leave you defenceless
- Turrets lack armour and gunners are knocked out easily
- Frontal defensive ShKAS machine guns aren't particularly effective.
- While coverage to the rear is pretty good, frontal coverage is poor. Aircraft coming from high altitude can avoid defensive firepower
- In Mixed Battles, it is very easy to accidentally team kill as the blast radius of the FAB-5000 is very large
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).
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Avro Lancaster
- Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
- Heinkel He 177
- Nakajima G5N
- Nakajima G8N
- Piaggio P.108
- Short Stirling
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
|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|
|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|