In 1960-70 they made a great contribution into technical development throughout the entire world. The USSR also produced unique models that could never be repeated. The TU-144 is a work of mechanical art. Today we’ll board the airplane Tu-144, tail-number 77107.
The plane can be viewed by anybody in Kazan.
Unfortunately, the space occupied by the airplane makes it inconvenient to take good photos of it.
The teacher of the airplane construction and engineering department Aleksey Ivanovich will tell us about the history in details.
Long time ago there existed a nuclear-weapon state USSR and people were troubled by the fact that they couldn’t not fly high in the sky.
The Tu-144 was a more successful vehicle than Concrode according to many characteristics. The canard surfaces that enabled to increase maneuvering ability at low speed, better engine location and lesser required length of an airstrip prove the fact.
But in spite of initial characteristics, 14 Concrodes flew for almost 30 years and carried around three million passengers, whereas two Tu-144s managed to carry just 3000 passengers during 7 month of their exploitation. However, they used to function as superfast vehicles carrying cargoes from Moscow to Khabarovsk.
Both planes faced flight accidents. The Tu-144 crashed on 3 June 1973 during the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. The next accident occurred on 23 May 1978 during a trial test next to Yegorievsk. The Concorde had one accident that occurred during a standard passenger flight Paris-New-York. 8 pilots of the Tu-144 didn’t survive their flights; 9 other pilots and 100 passengers of the Concorde died as well.
The plane was constructed in 1975 and was a production model intended for passenger carriage. However, it was used during test flights. On 29 March it made its last flight to Kazan.
Non-profitability of flights was the official reason according to which the planes were taken out of service.
A flight by such a superfast vehicle was 1,5 times expensive than the one by a regular plane.
It means that mankind is not ready to pay high price for fast spatial motion yet.
Or is the price too high?
29 different records were made while using the MiG-25. Victor Belenko hijacked the plane to Japan where it was dismantled and examined thoroughly.
Empennage of the Tu-16, Soviet strategic bombing jet. And a wing of the Su-7.
Famous nose of the Tu-144
The plane was used as a trial board that had measuring devices on it.
The chairs are far from being comfortable as compared with the modern planes.
The shelves remind if the ZIL fridges.
Garbage collector: for used paper and sanitary towels, press the pedal.
Push the button to call a flight attendant.
The signal will be received here.
Then the flight-attendant will turn on the light, boil water, etc.
Push the handle, turn the handle, push the door.
The Kazan model of the Tu-144 is not in that bad condition.
If it had fuel and a flight strip in front of it, it could fly high and without troubles.
The Tu-144D was used by NASA as a flying lab from 1995 to 1999. It will probably become a monument soon.
The equipment is too complicated and must have an instruction to it.
Who knows, maybe the airplanes will be used while constructing the next new economic supersonic passenger plane.