Technical data
Type ANT-7 R-6 R-6 pre- prod. R-6 prod.
Function Multi-role combat aircraft
Year 1929 1930 1931 1932
Crew 4
Engines (2) BMW-VI M-17F
Power (hp) 2*500/730 2*500/715
Size (m)
Length 14.75 15.06
Wingspan 23.2
Wing area 80.0m2
Weights (kg) and Loads
Empty 3790 3708 3900 3856
Loaded 5173 5406 6130 6472
Wing Load (kg/m2) 64.7 67.6 77.6 81.0
Power load (kg/hp) 5.17 5.40 6.10 6.50
Speed (km/h)
at 0m 222 - 240 230
at 3000m 192 227 - 216
at 5000m - - 212 -
Landing 100 97 110 -
Roll (m [sec])
Landing 250 [20] - - 250 [24]
Takeoff 120 [8] - - 160 [11]
Turn time (sec) 19 - 23 23>
Range (km) and Endurance
Tactical 1780 - 1680 800
Maximum 8h 4h
Ceiling (m)
Maximum 5640 7090 5620 5620
Climb (min)
1000m 3.4 - - -
2000m 7.1 - - -
3000m 11.7 - - 16.7
4000m 18.4 - - -
5000m 30.3 - 39.3 24.0
Guns 5*mg 7.62mm
Bombs 500kg

R-6, ANT-7 by A.N.Tupolev

24k b/w second R-6 from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.377

Idea of heavy multi-role aircraft was very popular in many countries since 20's. Indeed, twin-engine monoplanes often were faster than contemporary biplane fighters. Large aircraft could have long range and carry strong armament, providing reliable escort for bombers and capable to perform reconnaissance (and strike) missions far behind enemy lines.

Success of TB-1 (ANT-4) provided Soviet aviation with reliable basic design, and scaled down variant was put into series production even before first flights were performed. Design stage started in October 1926, TTKh of the 'air combat aircraft' were approved in January 1928, and on September 11, 1929 first ANT-7 was ready. Originally planned 520...610hp Hispano-Suiza (or 420hp Bristol Jupiter VI) were replaced by more powerful BMW-VI, scheduled for mass production in the USSR as M-17.

After some modification of the aircraft tail R-6 was presented on State Trials (even without passing Factory Trials!) in May 1930. The first aircraft differed from following machines by retractable radiators in center wing section. All series R-6 had honeycomb radiators installed under the engines, in same nacelles.

Aircraft was armed with 5 machineguns, one gunner occupied retractable underbelly turret.

Trials of first series R-6 (started October 5, 1931) revealed dangerous vibration of tail, caused by wing generated vortex. Problem was solved by adding fixed flaps at trailing edge of the central wing section. Speed was lowered by 7...8km/h

Team of V.M.Myasichev modified cooling system on one ANT-7. radiators were moved into in-wing tunnels, with air flow exit on the upper wing surface. Eventually this modification allowed to remove fixed flaps from the wing. Aircraft speed increased by 5km/h and ceiling by 300m, but during taxi and hot weather operations engines suffered from overheat.

In 1936 R-6 was already outpaced by fighters and new light bombers. More and more R-6 were transferred to Aeroflot and Glavsevmorput. There they served as PS-7-2M-17 and MP-6-2M-17.

In 1937 P.G.Golovin flew the R-6 over the North Pole. He reconned the area, where other aircraft of The First Polar expedition landed later.

In 1936 - 1938 ANT-7 were used as a trainers for pilot transition to high speed bombers. During the Great Patriotic War served as a transport until 1944.

More than 400 built, in service for ~15 years.


ANT-4 TB-1


  • R-6 Limousine
  • KR-6
  • MR-6
  • M-6
  • PS-7-2M-17
  • ANT-17 ANT-18

  • ANT-8


  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.376-378;
  • R-6
  • ANT-7 at the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • R-6, Tupolev called 'ugly' on this page. Contemporary aircraft from other countries are even uglier!
  • Tupolev aircraft list
  • ANT-7 R-6

  • Created December 6, 1996
    Modified September 15, 1998 by
    by Alexandre Savine
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