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Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:33 am

On New Years day final made it to Sinsheim Germany to see the Concorde and Tupolev TU-144 on display at the Technik Museum. Great museum and you actually get to go inside both planes!
If poll here was done asking which plane you prefer, it would probably favor the Concorde due to it's longer service history. Of course the TU-144 was really cool since it was unique with its canards. Since they both are long out of service, I'm curious of any comments from the community from folks that either worked on these cool aircraft (ground staff or flight/cabin crew) or was lucky enough to fly on board these aircraft. Please share any unique memories/comments, would love to learn more from folks that lived a flight or experience.

Made a brief video from the museum to share the experience

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Re: Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:17 pm

Here's a photo of the aircraft on display

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Re: Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:29 pm

I'm yet to have read a true trip report for a TU-144 commercial flight, not a surprise since it flew only a few dozen times commercially. I did hear that the noise was incredible in the cabin and it was much more cramped than Concorde with 2-3 seating.

I was able to fly LHR-JFK on Concorde in 2002, shortly before the retirement was announced but after it had returned to service after AF4590.

Trip report linked but scroll down for pictures, the image links became broken since I wrote it in 2007..
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Re: Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:24 am

After seeing the TU-144 I did more research and would have never thought is had 2-3 seating I always assumed it was like the Concorde. I saw some pictures and even when touring at the museum you can see the walkthrough cabin bulkhead was off center since the 2-3 seating didn't cetner the aisle.
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Re: Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:33 pm

All info on Tu-144 here is second-hand, as I never got to experience it myself. In no particular order, from the top of my head:
-it only operated one route, Moscow-AlmaAta, commercially
-the route was a weekly one; and there was a myriad of other flights on the same route
-the price for flying on Tu-144 was somewhat higher, on account of supersonic travel (like +10%, or so). There is an anecdote of someone making a scene at the ticket desk over "a rip-off with a more expensive ticket", despite explanation of a unique supersonic experience; and faster travel, to boot.
-cockpit crew was a mix of MGA (Aeroflot) and MAP (Ministry of Aircraft Production) personnel, as if these were test flights (some would argue they were)
-departure from Moscow was always accompanied and witnessed by a high-ranking MAP team, including Tupolev people
-crew of mechanics/technicians from MAP (Voronezh plant?) was forward positioned in AlmaAta, to take care of the plane, "in case of"... just in case.
-service aboard had a special touch, with caviar served to all passengers
-rumor had it, that economically, it all made no sense whatsoever. When passenger flights were suspended, and the service continued, flying mail, it was joked in the aviation community that Tu-144 delivered the fastest and most expensive postal service anywhere.
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Re: Concorde or TU-144 Supersonic jets (Video)

Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:04 am

I didn't actually fly on either but everything I've read suggests that the Concorde was a more refined experience. And it was certainly more reliable and safer. The Tu-144 was more of an experimental plane that carried passengers for a while (when it probably shouldn't have). The list of failures and other issues it suffered is almost shocking - more flights were canceled due to mechanical issues than ever actually successfully carried passengers, and of course there were two early crashes.

With only 55 successful passenger flights, I don't know how easy it's going to be to find a trip report from a Tu-144. Maybe someone who flew the NASA Tu-144LL would be easier to find for comments on that updated variant.
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