Hate to break it to you all, but TU
-144's performance was poor compared to Concorde, forget brochures, consider real life.
-144 needed to retain reheat in supercruise, so poor range, worse still with pax. Concorde was efficient in supercruise, TU
-144 was not.
No reliable intake system so lots of engine unstarts and other nasties (they were so desperate they even asked for Concorde's system. Made by BAC's Guided Weapons Division, during the Cold War too)!
Poor aerodynamics compared to Concorde, poor wing design leading to extensive redesign to incorporate retractable canards, big weight penalty there.
Poor engine intake config, another big redesign needed.
Bad cabin noise, on the handful of 'commercial' flights inside USSR
pax seating next to each other needed to write notes to communicate.
Bad cabin vibration.
But that won't sway people, I know this.
But consider, it is the late 70's, Cold War on, US has dropped out of the SST game after the failure of the B2707.
would love to rub the US nose in it, imagine TU
-144's into JFK
, a better image than IL
-62 against 747's, DC-10's, L1011's.
Or for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
So, Moscow via Shannon, then on to Cuba and/or JFK
In reality, no much more than 100 or so internal USSR
flights, some with pax, most with mail.
Really little more a pre service set of proving flights.
Why did the service beyond the USSR
I described above never happen? What a great stick it to the US PR
opportunity it would have been.
Because the damn thing was too risky to put overwater, too unreliable, SNN
range capability? Only with none or very few pax.
A dead duck after 1978, but it was one of Brezenev's (SP?) pet projects, so only finally and formally axed after he was dead and buried.
A brave attempt by an otherwise the great Tupolev design team, (what a beauty the TU
-114 propliner was), but this time they had too little time (started in 1963), too little money, too many irrational goals (like have it flying before Concorde AT ALL
In fact, it was just like the N1 Moon Rocket, compared to the Saturn V.