Tupolev Tu-144 in flight

The Tupolev Tu-144 (NATO codename: "Charger"; nicknamed "Concordski") was a supersonic transport aircraft. It was the first supersonic transport (SST) and remains one of only two in the world to enter commercial service (along with the Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde).

A total of 16 airworthy Tu-144 aircraft were built. The last commercial passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in 1978. Production ceased in 1984.

History[edit | edit source]

Development of the Tu-144 was ordered

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in July 1963 - six months after the go ahead for it's Anglo-French rival. As well as close study of various aspects of Concorde - including a number of failed attempts to collect information through espionage[N 1] - the development programme utilised the A-144, a special variant of the MiG-21 fitted with a scaled version of the wing intended for the Tu-144.[1]

Details[edit | edit source]

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 70-140 passengers
  • Length: 65.5 m
  • Wingspan: 28.8 m
  • Height: 10.5 m
  • Powerplant: 4 x Kolesov RD-36-51 afterburning turbojets
  • Empty weight: 85,000 kg
  • Loaded weight: 120,000 kg
  • Max. takeoff weight: 180,000 kg
  • Cruise speed: Mach 2.15 (2,285km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 meters

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. This resulted in the chief of Aeroflot's Paris office being arrested with a set of Concorde engineering drawings in his briefcase, and a plot to acquire tyre samples from Le Bourget, which was foiled when Aerospatiale scientists substituted an exotic compound that had no use in tyres.

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 554 Sheet 1 )World Civil Aircraft:Tupolev Tu-144 'Charger' - Supersonic Soviet)
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