Manufacturer: Beriev

Model: R-2

Name: "Mobster" (NATO codename)

Type: Patrol flying boat

Date: 1949

Status: Operational

Country: Soviet Union

Service: Soviet Navy

Designation: unknown


This very rare brochure clipping from 1949 depicts the little-known Beriev R-2 (NATO reporting name: "Mobster"), a patrol flying boat armed with cannons in the nose and machine guns in the dorsal turret.

Ten of these machines were built in 1949-50, but three were lost, with at least two on account of seabirds being sucked into the frontal intake. The "Foghorns" were soon struck off charge and replaced by less complicated prop-driven types.

The picture shown depicts a somewhat retouched R-2 flying over Petrograd (now Saint-Petersburg).

Elaboration: Much like the Kocherigin Glupysh, my Beriev R-2 is an example of how one can give the impression of a different aircraft and a different size by modifying only a few details. Can you guess what aircraft this was based upon?
Viewers' comments:
  • Brilliant stuff.  Looks very Soviet indeed. (Maverick)
  • Does indeed, some realy nice stuff here  Thumbs Up Bow (NARSES2)
  • Positioning of the cockpit is great, I believe I mentioned it on an earlier one of your works on the problems flying boat fighters faced in terms of visibility. (ONI-Defense)
  • Great piece! :-) (GTDees)
  • It's so real! (Pixel-pencil)
  • Excellent whiff. RHmmm, just gulls sucked in? Maybe a few tuna and a dinghy too.  Wink Given the Eastern blocs penchant for tit-for-tat designs of western types, this plane could indeed have been "inspired" by the Saunders Roe A1 or the American Sea Darts. (RussC)
  • Saunders-Roe SRA-1? (Caravellarella)
  • I suspect the SR/A.1 was the starting point for the design. (Maverick)
  • And some B-36, stir in some PBY...its all good. Those half-tones and paper colors really make them complete though. (RussC)

My comments:

Of course! The Saunders-Roe SRA.1 it is! Well done (but Caravellarella, you're British so you would know... :-)). I redesigned the tail, changed the cockpit position, added underwing floats and a couple of details here and there, but it definitely IS an SRA.1... Aircraft "scrapped" for this whif were the Consolidated PBY, the Convair B-46 and the Convair B-60. Indeed at first I was planning this thing to be a Convair, but then changed my mind...

Thanks to ElSqiubbonator for pointing out to me that "If it's a patrol type, its code name should start with an M (like the IL-18 "May" or the Be-12 "Mail"). Names that start with F are reserved for fighters." Indeed, I initially (and inappropriately) christened this aircraft the "Foghorn"... :/