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Tu-144 First Flight. 40 Years Ago Today....  
User currently offlineSIBILLE From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 497 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7739 times:

From different russian source.

31 December Marks 40 Years Since First Flight of Tu-144 Airplane

On the last day of 1968, 25 seconds after starting, "044" (the first prototype of the Tu-144, side number 68001) broke away from the runway of the Flight Research Institute for the first time. The flight lasted 37 minutes. A MiG-21I (A-144, "21-11") analogue accompanied the Tu-144 in flight.

Andrey Nikolaevich Tupolev had decided to award design of the Tu-144 to Department K, which had been involved before this with unmanned equipment and that had sufficient experience in the area of mastering extended flight with speeds exceeded by them of Mach 2. Andrey Nikolaevich Tupolev named A.A. Tupolev as chief designer and leader of the work on the Tu-144 project. In particular under his management, bringing in the best forces of domestic aviation science and technology, the ideology and future shape of the Tu-144 was born. Later, after A.N. Tupolev's death and A.A. Tupolev's designation as the enterprise's leader, Yu. N. Popov and B.A. Gantsevskiy managed the Tu-144 project.

Construction of the first Tu-144 experimental airplane ("044") started in 1965, and at the same time a second example was built for static tests.

The experimental aircraft was built in Moscow in the halls of the Opyt Moscow Machine Building Plant, and part of the components were assembled at it subsidiaries. Assembly of the airplane's main elements was completed in 1967. At the end of 1967, they transferred the experimental "044" to the Zhukovskiy Flight Test and Development Base where final work and fitting of the aircraft with the missing systems and components took place throughout all of 1968.

At the same time, flights of the MiG-21I (A-144, "21-11") analogue airplane began. The analogue airplane was created based on the MiG-21S fighter. It was created at the A.I. Mikoyan Experimental Design Bureau and had a wing geometrically and aerodynamically similar to the wing of the experimental "044." In all, two "21-11" aircraft were built, and many test pilots flew in them, including even those who where to test the Tu-144.

A crew consisting of the following was named for the "044" aircraft: ship commander - Honored test pilot Eh.V. Elyan (who later received Hero of the Soviet Union for the Tu-144); co-pilot - Honored test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union M.V. Kozlov; Chief test engineer V.N. Benderov and flight engineer Yu.T. Seliverstov.

The most complicated design, engineering and technological problems were resolved for the first time in the creation of the super liner. Where combat aircraft go supersonic only on approaching a target, they taught the "peaceful" Tu-144 to keep two supersonic speeds in cruise flight. The airliner completed hundreds of successful flights, served the Moscow - Alma-Ata passenger air route and its peaceful records have not yet been beaten. The whole country built this airplane. The manufacturing technologies for unique materials were found and developed which later were used successfully in cosmonautics. The newest technologies were used in the creation of the Tu-160 supersonic bomber, the "Buran" re-usable space ship and many passenger airplanes. The Tu-144 is the summit our domestic aircraft industry has achieved.

The Tu-144 is an airplane which was far ahead of its time. The professionals compare it with the eighth wonder of the world. For Russia it is a national heritage.

Source: 31.12.08, Avia.RU

The "Concorde's" Predecessor: History of the Supersonic Tu-144

The Tu-144's first flight took place on 31 December 1968, that is 2 1/2 months earlier than the supersonic passenger "Concorde." The Tu-144 is the first passenger airliner in history that overcame the sound barrier, and this happened on 5 June 1969 at an altitude of 11,000 meters.

The airplane overcame its next symbolic boundary on 25 May 1970, completing a flight at 16,300 meters altitude with a speed of 2,150 kilometers per hour. The airplane combined a huge number of advanced developments and design solutions. For example, a forward canard which was retractable during flight and that allowed increasing maneuverability appreciably and lowering landing speed.

The Tu-144 was able to lad and take off at 18 Soviet airports, while the "Concorde," whose landing speed was 15 percent higher, required separate certification for landing for each airport. According to some specialists, if the "Concorde's" engines had been located the same as they were on the Tu-144, then the accident of 25 July 2000 would not have happened.

According to specialists, the Tu-144's airframe design was ideal, but the faults were the engines and different systems.

However, the airplane's history ended rather quickly. In all, 16 Tu-144 were built in the USSR; however, the pilots who flew these airplanes say that they were too "crude" and unreliable.

The loss of a Tu-144 at the French airshow in Le Bourget on 3 July 1973 gave birth to the first misgivings about the need to modify the Soviet supersonic passenger liner.

The modified variant of the liner - the Tu-144D - ran for a short time on a regular basis between Moscow and Alma-Ata; however, after a second catastrophe, which occurred in 1977, the project was given up completely.

Afterwards, the Tu-144D was used only for cargo trips between Moscow and Khabarovsk.

The Tu-144 made 102 trips in total under the Aeroflot flag, of then 55 were passenger.

Later these airplanes made only test flights and several flights for the purpose of establishing world records.

From 1995 through 1999, one significantly modified Tu-144D under the designation Tu-144LL was used by the American space agency NASA for research in the area of high speed commercial flight for the purpose of developing a plan for creation of a new, modern supersonic passenger airplane.

The last Russian Tu-144 supersonic passenger airplane was sold at auction over the Internet to an anonymous resident of Texas for 11 million dollars in 2001.

Technical characteristics:

Manufacturer: A.N. Tupolev Experimental Design Bureau
Dimensions: Wing span (meters): 27.65
Airplane length (meters): 59.4
Airplane height (meters): 10.5
Wing area (square meters): 438
Wing loading (kilograms per square meter): 411
Number of seats: Crew: 3
Passengers: from 98 to 150 depending on modification.
Weights and loading: Takeoff (tonnes): 150.00
Operational empty (tonnes): 91.8
Fuel weight (tonnes): 92.00
Flight data: Cruising speed (kilometers per hour): 2,300
Flight range (supersonic, kilometers): 2,920
Practical range (kilometers): 6,500
Service ceiling (meters): 20,000
Required runway length (MSA conditions at sea level) (meters): 1,500
((MSA is possibly "International Standard Atmosphere."))

Source: 31.12.08, RIA Novosti

1 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7494 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7652 times:

Quoting SIBILLE (Thread starter):
According to specialists, the Tu-144's airframe design was ideal, but the faults were the engines and different systems.

Maybe according to specialists in the Soviet Union ... otherwise, the Tu-144 design was far from being ideal , especially the wings ...

Unlike Concorde, the original Tu144 prototype that took the air in Dec.1968 was later profoundly modified to be able to sustain a supersonic flight, and to be stabilized at low speed. The latest Tu144 produced have nothing to do with the original one.

The Tu144 was not ready at all when for political reasons and propaganda, the Tupolev technicians were forced by the Soviet Gov. to arrange this light as they wanted to be the first ones in the air, before Concorde.

Beside this, the Tu-144 was a beautiful bird and I would have paid a fortune to be able to fly on board one of those even if it was everything but pleasant and comfortable. I think I would not have felt safe either but never mind !

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