"Passenger" Tu-160 becomes a reality

In January 2018, President Vladimir Putin voiced the idea of ​​turning the Tu-160 strategic bomber, known as the White Swan, into a supersonic civilian passenger airliner. Russian scientists from the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have begun work on the creation of a supersonic passenger airliner, which can be ready by 2030.

The history of aeronautics knows two technically successful supersonic airliners: the Soviet Tu-144 and the French Concord. However, at present, civilian aircraft do not fly at a speed exceeding sonic. What is the reason?

Problems for the development of supersonic aviation are both economicAnd technical character. Soviet Tu-144 is technically far ahead of its time. However, its commercial operation was very short, only 7 months. Although the cost of tickets was higher than on conventional subsonic flights, one and a half times, they did not cover high operating costs and huge fuel consumption. It was not possible for Soviet citizens to significantly increase the cost of a flight. As a result, Aeroflot was forced to abandon the commercial use of the Tu-144, an aircraft accident involving this airliner became a formal reason.

Most of the released supersonic Concordes made transatlantic flights, the ticket price when converted to today's rate could reach $ 10000 one way. Over 27 years of operation, the British-French Concorde transported more than 3 million passengers across the sky. However, the Concord project was also closed after the disaster.

Experts note that in reality the Tu-144 and Concord were closed due to their unprofitability. High fuel consumption did not make it possible to fly on long-haul routes, and saving time on flights on short-haul routes did not give increased passenger traffic at a high ticket price. The demand for supersonic flights these days can be high in the field of business and corporate aviation, where prestige is not important in cost. Representatives of Middle Eastern monarchies may also show interest in a supersonic airliner.

Also, serious technical problems will arise for developers when they try to turn the White Swan into a passenger plane. It will be necessary to expand the fuselage, which will increase weight and fuel consumption, as well as reduce the speed and altitude of the flight. It will take a new engine, new materials, new fuel. It will be necessary to consider how to reduce the level of noise impact during the transition to supersonic. In fact, we are talking about creating a new aircraft. If you have an engine, it may take 7-8 years.

And the last problem that the creators of the supersonic airliner will have to face is licensing it. Firstly, there are no modern regulations for the design and operation of supersonic passenger liners. "Concord" are outdated by almost half a century. Secondly, in reality they can only be developed by the US US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The United States at one time tried to create its own supersonic Supersonic Transport, but these works were not brought to the final. Therefore, the Americans headed for discrediting the very idea of ​​supersonic aviation, supporting Boeing with its subsonic wide-body aircraft. Even the British-French Concord, they at one time allowed only for operation on its Atlantic coast.

One can hardly expect mercy from American regulators in the matter of certification of a new Russian supersonic airliner. Therefore, the novelty in case of appearance will be realized only in the domestic market, which is estimated at 20-30 aircraft at a price of 100-120 million dollars apiece, or in friendly countries.

The Russian aviation can have a real future only when creating an alternative to the American and European rules, possibly in the format of the BRICS countries.
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  1. Tatanka Yotanka Offline Tatanka Yotanka
    Tatanka Yotanka (stas) April 25 2018 19: 36
    yes, let's drive in money because "can be high in the field of business and corporate aviation, representatives of the Middle East monarchies can show." and if not? and what will be the profitability of the production of piece goods? folding wings are much more expensive to manufacture and maintain than the Tu144 and Concorde
  2. kig Offline kig
    kig April 26 2018 08: 17
    Better not. There was already a passenger plane made of TU-16. I still remember the folk song "that one hundred cheeryyyre good airplane ..." It was sung to the tune of the funeral march.
    1. Piramidon Offline Piramidon
      Piramidon (Stepan) April 27 2018 10: 40
      But there was a Tu-114 based on the Tu-95. Very reliable liner.
  3. vev Offline vev
    vev (Eugene) April 26 2018 09: 30
    The creation, operation and tickets for any supersonic aircraft will be higher than for any subsonic class. I consider it quite reasonable to create a modernized version of the Tu-144. I consider the development of the civilian version of the Tu-160 to be incorrect, because all the executive units and mechanisms of this unique airframe will become publicly available and well-known to the smallest detail, which is detrimental to the defense capabilities of the Russian long-range aviation.
    1. glavserb Offline glavserb
      glavserb (Aka) April 26 2018 11: 56
      Totally agree!
      This is another sabotage against Russian civil aviation ...
      To bring to the required requirements the existing Tu-144 project will be much cheaper than declassifying our military achievements ... look, what did the PRC and India do with our aircraft carriers, which we were once proud of?
      1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
        Marzhecki (Sergei) April 26 2018 13: 35
        The people did not accept the idea of ​​their president ... winked
  4. sxfRipper Offline sxfRipper
    sxfRipper (Alexander) April 27 2018 17: 55
    Russian scientists from the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have begun work on the creation of a supersonic passenger airliner, which may be ready by 2030 already.

    Or maybe not ready. And in general, this is a completely different story - about the next way to cut the state budget. And by 2030 either the donkey will die, or the mullah ... ©
  5. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 20 June 2018 13: 26
    To develop Siberia and the Far East of Russia, a new An-2 is urgently needed. After the stormy representations of this aircraft, rumors about it died out. Now An-2 is more important for Russia than supersonic passenger.
    1. AICO Offline AICO
      AICO (Vyacheslav) 20 June 2018 16: 32
      Miller isn’t keeping up with all the squandering conferences in RUSSIA !!!
  6. Lyabaka Lubyantsev (Lyabaka Lubyantsev) 25 November 2018 01: 13
    VIP officials need to create an appearance of activity. The Americans churn out their Boeings in the thousands, but we will suffer for the sake of a dozen aircraft (and even then in doubt) - in general, "work" in the Chubais style.