TU-16 Badger airplane model. In the late 1940s the Soviet Union was strongly committed to matching the United States in strategic bombing capability. The Soviets' only long-range bomber at the time was the Tupolev Tu-4, a reverse-engineered version of the American B-29. The development of the extremely powerful Mikulin AM-3 turbojet led to the possibility of a large, jet-powered bomber.
The Tupolev design bureau began work on the Tu-88 ("Aircraft N") prototypes in 1950. The Tu-88 first flew on 27 April 1952. After winning a competition against the Ilyushin Il-46, it was approved for production in December 1952. The first production bombers entered service with Frontal Aviation in 1954, receiving the service designation Tu-16. It received the NATO reporting name 'Badger'.
A versatile design, the Tu-16 was built in numerous specialized variants for reconnaissance, maritime surveillance, electronic intelligence gathering (ELINT), and electronic warfare (ECM). A total of 1507 aircraft was constructed in three plants in the Soviet Union, in 1954-1962. A civilian adaptation, the Tupolev Tu-104, saw passenger service with Aeroflot. The Tu-16 was also exported to Egypt, Indonesia, and Iraq. It continued to be used by the Air Forces and naval aviation of the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia until 1993.
Delivery of the Tu-16 to China began in 1958, and the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) produces a copy of it under the Chinese designation Xian H-6. 120+ of these aircraft remain in service.
Mahogany Wood. Wingspan 16 inches, Length 18 inches.