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A B-29 returns to life / How the TU-4 came to be


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BC, I've been thru that aircraft in the picture and determined the engines were Russian. I then read that Stalin gave China (only) ten Tu-4s in 1953. China had no aviation industry that could have handled such a retrofit. It seems the ten were retrofitted, with Soviet assistance, with Ivchenko AI-20K turboprop engines in 1966 (an olive branch after the big falling out?). I read China retired their TU-4s in 1988.

The AI-20K also powered the Antonov 10 and 12 and Ilyushin-18.

China built a copy of the engine. the WJ6, but I didn't enter service until the 1970s.

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KS... I have no doubt you are correct... I've seen other pics of radial engined Chinese TU-4's and I think there are still 2 or 3 in museums... my brain seemed to recollect that they were retrofitted using Russian parts and knowledge but the work done in China...

I think they did the same when they licence built AN-12's as the Shanxxi Y-8

Chinese aviation was always a copy of another manufacturers product, by licence or reverse engineering or simply stealing technology...

they bought a fleet of Hawker Siddeley Tridents from Britain in the late 60's but never copied them, they were nicknamed "the gripper" for sticking to runways... maybe that's why..!!! LOL

BC Mack

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