During World War II the Pe-2 (nickname “Peshka”) was the most extensively used Soviet medium front line bomber. The team of designers of CKB-29 (Central Design Bureau), led by V. Petlyakov, began the development of the aircraft in mid-1938, the first flight took place in December 1940. Pe-2 served in the Soviet Air Force and Naval Aviation and fought on all fronts. This light bomber was much liked by its pilots: high speed, good maneuverability, powerful armament plus endurance, reliability and survival capability were its distinguishing features. After WWII "Peshka" was in service with many allies of the Soviet Union, such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and others.