Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Tupolev Tu-16 Badger

Versatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber



by Yefim Gordon & Vladimir Rigmant



S u m m a r y

Title: Tupolev Tu-16 Badger - Versatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber
by Yefim Gordon and Vladimir Rigmant. Aerofax Series  Published by Midland Publishing
ISBN: 1857801776
Media and Contents: Soft cover; 160 pages plus covers
Price: GBP£19.99 online from Ian Allen Publishing
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: A thorough analysis of this major Soviet combat aircraft
Recommendation: Recommended for Russian Aviation Enthusiasts

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron


The latest Aerofax title “Tupolev Tu-16 Badger” arrived at the door at the same time as the Midland Counties Publications Red Star Series Volume 17 Early Soviet Jet Bombers. As such it made an interesting companion piece with the family resemblance of the Badger apparent in some of the earlier products of the Tupolev Design Bureau such as the Tu-14 and Tu-20 medium and heavy bombers.

Designed as a direct response to the obsolescence of the Tu-4 Bull and the deployment of the B-47 by the US, the Badger soldiers on in one form and another to the present day. Author Yefim Gordon needs little introduction given his prolific output in recent years, including many of the aforementioned Red Star Series. Vladimir Rigmant is equally well credentialed, collaborating with Gordon on many previous Soviet and Russian Aviation volumes.

This book details the complicated design process which began in the late 1940s before reaching the Type 88 design which was the true prototype of the Tu-16. It then proceeds to cover the many variants and production processes, laying the foundation for later chapters dealing with the specific use of the major sub-types. Experimental developments are dealt with next before the real meat of the book is reached. By this time though the reader has been comprehensively introduced to the complicated subject that is Soviet aircraft design and production. This knowledge serves the reader well in understanding the significance of individual types addressed later.


The authors have chosen to break the book into themed chapters rather than a chronological approach. Hence the reader encounters chapters on experimental versions, missile carriers, reconnaissance and ECM versions, and finally testbeds. These chapters provide a short description of each subtype, supported y many black and white photographs. The technical part of the book follows with an analysis of the design and structure. Finally the book addresses the long service history of the type including foreign users. Many of these are familiar but some of the more unusual include Indonesia and Iraq. China is not forgotten with a section devoted to the many variations of the licence produced H-6 which remain in widespread service with the PLAAF and PLANAF. Each chapter is well illustrated, with many drawings, artists concepts and photographs supporting the detailed text. As a result the coverage is very complete. The final section “The Tu-16 in Colour” rounds out the volume nicely with 15 pages of Russian and foreign users in large well reproduced full colour images.

This book will appeal to those with an interest in Russian aviation. One particular highlight is the many general arrangement drawings of the major sub-types that are included. Hard core facts and figures fans will get their teeth into the performance statistics and the comprehensive production list, which attempts to document the service lives of each airframe by construction number, including the less well documented H-6. For the modeller who is looking for good reference for the recent Trumpeter kit, this book is hard to go past. Overall a very interesting read.

The book consists of 160 pages printed on glossy paper between cardboard covers.


Thanks to Simon of DLS Australia for the review sample

Review Copyright © 2004 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 09 September, 2004
Last updated 10 September, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page