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Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:25 am

Discovery Wings - Tupolov

Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:23 pm

Anyone see the Tupolov documentary on Discovery wings channel? Very interesting. Near the end they mention the TU-144, 2xx,3xx series. It looked like they were gearing up to make a sales push. I thought the TU-144 was shelved. Unless this program was old. But, it did show the 204, and smaller 300 series aircraft, so it could not have been that old.
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RE: Discovery Wings - Tupolov

Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:07 am

One Tu-144 was put back into flying condition again a few years back to fly some test flights for NASA. Maybe that's what you saw? Does anyone happen to know what happened to this plane? Is it still airworthy?
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RE: Discovery Wings - Tupolov

Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:24 am

I doubt whether it is still flyable, it was reactivated for the now cancelled HSCT programme run by Boeing and NASA, to look at issues involved in maybe building a new SST.
Presumably it was used as BA and AF Concordes were busy serving their airlines, and none of the prototype, pre-production or or 1st two production aircraft were available, the UK one, 202, was little more of a hollow shell by the late 1990s after being used as a spares source by BA since the mid 1980's.
The TU-144 reactivated was re-engined with engines taken from a TU-160 Blackjack bomber, maybe an attempt to provide it with some kind of decent performance for the research role, to be frank the TU-144 was a lesson in how not to build an SST in the 1960's.
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RE: Discovery Wings - Tupolov

Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:02 am

AFAIK, Tu144-2xx or -3xx never existed. There were just Tu144 (the first prototype, first SST to fly) and two production versions: Tu144S (the one that actually was in cargo and passenger service) and Tu144D ("ER" version; finally achieved range similar to that of Concorde but still only with 7t of payload... never entered service). BTW, it's Tupolev!