When the Myasishchev design bureau was reborn in 1951, it was immediately tasked with creating a high-speed strategic bomber to balance the threat posed by NATO? heavy bombers, notably the B-52. Designated M-4 and code-named "Bison" by NATO, the new four-turbojet bomber was developed within an incredibly short time?ust one year. It made use of many innovative features, including a bicycle landing gear, and was designed around the most powerful jet engine of the day. It became the progenitor of a small family of bombers and refueling tankers, including the much-improved 3M and its versions. Many of the intended versions never materialized, and the Bison had its share of problems, but it came at just the right time, providing a valuable nuclear deterrent, and remained in service for 40 years until retired in compliance with the START treaty. The book charts the first Soviet strategic jet bomber? development and operational history. It includes the story of how the 3M was adapted to carry components of the Energiya/Buran space transport system as the VM-T Atlant outsize cargo transporter.
Yefim Gordon was born in 1950 in Vilnius, Lithuania (then part of the Soviet Union) and graduated from the Kaunas Polytechnic Institute in 1972. He has been researching Soviet and Russian aviation history for more than 40 years and has one of the world? largest photo/document archives on the subject. A professional aviation journalist and photographer since 1989, Yefim Gordon has published hundreds of features and photographs in Soviet, Russian and foreign aviation magazines. He has also authored and co-authored more than 130 books on Soviet and Russian aviation which were published in seven countries. For 12 years Yefim Gordon was Executive Director of the Moscow-based publishing house Polygon Press Ltd. specialising in aviation literature. Dmitriy Komissarov was born in 1968 in Moscow and graduated rom the Moscow State Linguistics University in 1992. He has worked as a translator ever since, and starting in 1993 most of his work has been associated with his interest in aviation. Dmitriy Komissarov has authored two books on Soviet/Russian aircraft and translated or co-authored more than 80 others. He has also written numerous magazine features in Russian and English on Soviet and Russian aviation.