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Why You Wouldn't Want to Fly On The Soviet Concorde - The TU-144 Story
  Published: 4 months ago


While the Concorde is often hailed as a triumph of modern engineering, the first supersonic transport to ever fly was actually Soviet-built. The Tupolev TU-144 flew even faster than the Concorde and it carried more passengers. What happened to this aircraft and why have so few heard about it?

Getting the TU-144 built before the Concorde (and therefore proving Soviet superiority to the world) was allegedly a high priority for the Soviets. The plane was developed under a tight schedule and relied on a few less advanced aviation technologies. The TU-144 suffered three known crashes, the most famous being at the 1973 Paris Air Show (there are conflicting theories on the cause of the 1973 crash). In regular passenger service, the TU-144 proved unreliable. Only one flight a week was permitted on a single route between Moscow and Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is rumoured that Soviet leaders were nervous about the 144's airworthiness and ordered it's chief designer Alexei Tupolev to personally inspect every 144.

Supersonic travel proved expensive and could only be offered as a 'premium' product in commercial airline travel. In west, the Concorde could be marketed as a luxury product to serve the wealthy and airfares could be sold at prices well beyond typical airfares. In the communist Soviet Union, where egalitarian principles demanded that displays of wealth or class be subdued, the TU-144 airfare had to be set similar to the typical Soviet airfare. This meant that the 144 had to be operated at a loss for Aeroflot, and Aeroflot couldn't wait to stop flying it.

The TU-144 was removed from regular passenger service less than a year after it began (although cargo service was offered for a couple more years). In the 1990's, a modified version of Tu-144 was utilized by Tupolev, NASA, and other aerospace conglomerates as a research testbed for a second-generation supersonic jetliner.
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2 hours ago
1:55 Concorde and Tu-144 were initially conceived as one project, they split apart due to political shifts within soviet union and it's foreign policy. So yeah, design concept was the same, everything other than that would suggest that each side took their own unique approach to the problem and worked with what they had. 2:50 Concorde had the same problem with noise as Tu-144 had, Tu-144 might have been suffering more but neither one was pleasant in this regard. 2:40 Concorde seats were cramped as fuck, more so than Tupolevs. 3:50 That crash was literally pilots error, he treated the aircraft like a jet fighter and literally broke it in half doing quite impressive maneuvers that nobody sane would do. If you attempt the same in A320 today, it will not let you do anything like what that guy did and it will probably let you nosedive into the ground instead of pulling off 2.5G loop like what that crazy russian MF tried. 5:00, actually Tu had better landing characteristics than Concorde because they used canards and more rigid landing gear. As far as parachute goes, Concorde had reverse thrust nozzles, which basically divert engine power at the back so that it works in opposite direction. 5:15 for soviets this wasn't so much about the costs, they had the same problem as brits and french, noise. Supersonic boom from Concorde/Tu is so loud that it can shatter thin windows even from 10km altitude, hence why Concorde was always limited to flying over the ocean. Soviets didn't have too many routes to use Concorde either, not like soviet citizens were routinely flying over oceans as they were largely landlocked. This is the biggest and the most overlooked factor of supersonic jet travel failure. Other than that I largely agree with rest of the points, just providing more context. Oh and few more quick points (no timestamps): Money was never an issue in soviet union with these projects, designers could abuse as much resources as was available (it was THE problem of the system and it's inefficiency, but not a project issue per se). Lastly, money and resources on civil aviation were never actually consider "waste", they were directly connected to military applications. In Tu-144s case it was Tu-160 bomber (developed later with better engines and global range for standoff nuke cruise missile delivery), but pretty much all soviet airliners came directly from military aviation counterparts. Another thing to say here is that for every flying Concorde there were 2 planes on the ground in each terminal station doing nothing but waiting as a backup in case that technical malfunction prevents the main Concorde from flying. Ticket price had to account for that and even then it was net loss from business perspective. It wasn't just soviets who used these planes as a symbol. The thing that ultimately made Concorde a better design were its engines (which by the way were originally meant for governmental military program), but both designs still suffered from many problems that they couldn't have solved at the time, notably sonic boom problem. I think DARPA or NASA (or both) are still trying to solve this for the future - there is no incentive for companies to do it, hence why government programs do all the work from taxpayers money and companies get to profit from them. Sounds surprisingly a lot like what people hate here about commies in the comments, unfortunately strong government doing R&D, regulations and subsiding stuff is actually necessary for business to actually "work" at all. But that would be a topic of entirely different discussion. Overall it would seem that the video was rather poorly researched :(

6 hours ago
Watch this in 144p for Soviet experience.

18 hours ago
so fucking biased view of TU144, TU144 came first which means french bristish are actually the thief to steal soviet technology. TU144 had no crash with passengers but concorde crashed with more than 100 passengers

21 hours ago
Click bate

2 days ago
1:24 Just a few Gopniks casually squatting on the plane...

2 days ago
Sad that political nonsense got in the way of solid engineering. Its not that they couldn't make it well, but politics did not allow it (trying to hit some bullshit timeline).

2 days ago
the 144 went down in paris because of a stupid ass sabotage bullshit fighter plane from the also corrupt shit french-uk west

2 days ago
Concorde bitch

2 days ago
next plane race:

fucking star wars

2 days ago
Why the name mustard?

2 days ago
The Soviets had primitive technology? You must be kidding

2 days ago
It's the blyat flyer!

3 days ago
I heard a ride on a concorde was anything but comfortable

3 days ago
I'd rather go on a slower concorde than go on one thats faster and could kill u

3 days ago

3 days ago
One of the documentories about these planes it was mentioned that the French put a fatal flaw

3 days ago
Tell everything! Russia wants peace, Russia does not want war, but if someone dares attack Russia, she will have a ragged ass in her mouth, she will not attack you weak and defenseless, Russia can stand up and give very much over a brainless head, tell everything , everything, everything !!!!

4 days ago
Rotten propaganda, the friends of the rat came, destroyed the union, Tu 144 unique aircraft, it remained a little to refine, where the Accord Concord, what statistics, why do not you say it? Lease the dirt without knowing anything

4 days ago
It still looks much better than the Concorde.

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