Did you know that during the Soviet Unionthere was a supersonic aircraft that could accelerate to 2,430 kilometers per hour? It was called the Tu-144, directly competed with the British-French passenger aircraft Concorde (the most famous in the world!) And even made several passenger flights. It is believed that it was this Soviet apparatus that for the first time in the history of supersonic aviation broke the sound barrier. Commercial use of the Tu-144 aircraft began in 1975, but a few years later it was completed due to accidents with human casualties. Let's briefly find out what features the supersonic aircraft of the USSR had and where can you see it today? Yes, at any time you can go to certain places and see the legend of the aircraft industry live.
- 1 The history of the creation of the Tu-144 aircraft
- 2 Differences between Tu-144 and Concorde
- 3 Why don't Tu-144 and Concorde fly anymore?
- 4 Where to look at the Tu-144?
- 5 Where to look at Concorde?
The history of the creation of the Tu-144 aircraft
For the first time about the development of supersonic aircraftTu-144 became known in 1962. It was positioned as a direct response to the foreign Concorde, which was supposed to be the first passenger aircraft to overcome the speed of sound. But the British-French plane did not succeed, because the Soviet Tu-144 was the first. The first flight of the aircraft from the Tupolev conductor's office was made on December 31, 1968 - two months earlier than the flight of the Concorde.
Differences between the Tu-144 and the Concorde
Supersonic aircraft Tu-144 and Concorde acceptedcount as twins. Some people believe that the aircraft have a lot in common because one side "stole" the blueprints from the other. But, in fact, engineers from the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France often met and discussed their ideas. There are very large similarities, but at the same time, aircraft have serious differences.
The main differences between Tu-144 and Concorde are as follows:
- The Tu-144 has angular wings, while the Concorde has smoother wings;
- The Tu-144 has a "whisker" in the bow, while the Concorde does not have them;
- The Tu-144 was made from large fragments of solid slabs, and the Concorde was made from small parts connected with rivets;
- The Tu-144 was equipped with the NK-144 jet engine, and the Concorde was equipped with the Olympus 593 engine.
THE FASTEST PLANE IN THE WORLD - WHAT IS IT? READ THE ANSWER HERE.
Why Tu-144 and Concorde no longer fly?
Supersonic passenger aircraft were taken out of service due to a string of accidents.
For the first time, the Soviet Tu-144 aircraft sufferedcrash in 1973, during the Le Bourget air show - 6 crew members and 8 people on the ground were killed. The second time the aircraft crashed was in 1978, during a test flight, killing two flight engineers. The third emergency occurred in 1980, when one of the engines of the prototype collapsed during a test - fortunately, the crew took control of the situation, landed the plane and survived. In 1981, the aircraft was about to begin commercial flights, but a fire broke out on board and the crew had to leave the aircraft through emergency exits. After all this, interest in the aircraft disappeared, but then it was sometimes used for urgent cargo and mail flights between Moscow and Khabarovsk. The last flight was made in 1999.
The Concorde aircraft got into trouble muchless than the Soviet counterpart. But the catastrophe that occurred in 2000 in Paris turned out to be the most tragic. During takeoff from Paris to New York, the Concorde's left undercarriage hit a piece of skin on another aircraft, causing a fire. The disaster claimed the lives of not only all 100 passengers and 9 crew members of the aircraft, but also 4 people who were in the hotel. After this terrible event, they tried to use the aircraft further, but after a few more malfunctions, the project was closed.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT PLANES THE PRESIDENTS OF RUSSIA AND THE USA FLY? IF NOT, HERE IS THE ARTICLE.
Where to look at the Tu-144?
For all the time, 16 ready foroperation of Tu-144 aircraft. A total of 102 flights were made, and only 55 of them were with passengers on board. It is believed that the Tu-144 aircraft got into trouble so often due to poor build quality.
At the moment, the Tu-144 aircraft can be viewed in the following places:
- Aviation test site in the city of Zhukovsky;
- International airport of the city of Zhukovsky;
- Central Museum of the Russian Air Force in the village of Monino;
- Interactive museum in Tu-144 in Kazan;
- Museum of Civil Aviation in Ulyanovsk;
- Museum of Technology in Sinsheim (Germany).
DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL IN ZEN. LOTS OF INTERESTING WAITING FOR YOU!
You can read about why it is so difficult for designers to create a supersonic airliner in this material. If you consider yourself an aviation enthusiast, you must read the article!