NW747-400 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 491 posts, RR: 0 Posted (13 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 818 times:
The Tu-144 was the only competion to the Concorde. Was this type of aircraft ever entered into service for Aeroflot and if so for how long? Has anyone ever seen or flown on one of these aircraft? What was it like?
DLMD-11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 743 times:
The TU-144 entered commercial service with Aeroflot from Moscow to Alma Ata in early 1977.
It was removed from service only seven months later due to unforeseen 'buffeting' in certain conditions.
It also had problems with extremely high fuel consumption because afterburners (reheat) were needed at all times during Supersonic cruise which made it very uneconomical.
Another reason why it was 'retired' is that the aircraft was inordinately noisy from inside and outside - louder than even the Concorde - and that is saying something!
However, in 1995 or so, the TU-144 was ressurected out of an aciatoin museum outside Moscow and, with the help of NASA and Boeing, was put to work by Tupolev as a flying test-bed for a new generation of Supersonic Passenger Jets. However, even this project was dumped in 1998 after the US parties involved, with the exception of NASA, got cold feet.
Ilyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 711 times:
In addition to buffetting at high speeds, the TU144 suffered from problems with its fuel transfer system. An in-flight fire led to an emergency landing in '77. TU144s were taken out of service not long after that.
The only thing I know of about the interior of the TU144 is that it had a 2-3 seating layout, with a wider cabin than the Concorde. There are 7 in mothball storage at Munino and other locations near Moscow. One was taken out of storage, re-engined and flown by NASA as the TU144LL (Letayushaya Laboratoriya, or Flying Laboratory). It served as a test bed for future supersonic transports. The flights ended sometime last year.