Russian supersonic airliner: Tu-160 left out of work

Russian supersonic civil liner to be. But it will not be created on the platform of the White Swan. Domestic aircraft manufacturers, having spent a fair amount of money on working out President Putin’s idea to turn the Tu-160 strategic missile carrier into a business jet, ultimately delicately rejected it. We will create a supersonic aircraft from scratch. Is the game worth the candle, and is it necessary to invest budget billions in the “toy” for the super-rich?




A rather exotic idea - to make a civilian supersonic airliner based on the White Swan - was personally voiced by the Russian president, who had experience flying a strategic bomber. The relevant departments pleased the initiative. But even then, independent experts pointed out a number of problems that such a project would inevitably encounter.

At firstThis is the lack of the necessary engine. The Tu-160 power plant is dual-mode, that is, in supersonic mode it flies only afterburner, consuming an insane amount of fuel. For a military aircraft, whose task is to destroy the enemy, this is not a problem, for a commercial airliner - what else.

Recall that the experience in creating and operating supersonic airliners already exists. Both the Soviet Tu-144 and the Franco-British Concord were eventually discontinued. The official reason was technical problems, the real one was the banal disadvantage of their commercial use. A ticket, costing $ 5 one way for Concorde, very few people could afford. And for Soviet citizens - to give almost half the monthly salary for flying on a Tu-144 - was a difficult decision.

Secondly, a design feature of the “White Swan” is that in the middle it is divided by a powerful beam, which divides its interior in half. For a business jet, the solution is not entirely optimal. The civilian version of the Tu-160 would be able to carry even fewer passengers than the Concord and Tu-144 that had sunk into oblivion, which would have further increased the cost of tickets.

In the end, everything turned out as originally expected by skeptics. Having spent 1,4 billion on design work, aircraft manufacturers came to the conclusion that it was not practical to remake the White Swan. Minister Manturov said:

Based on this platform, a project is not possible. We do not have the task of placing a person in a capsule and transporting it between two points in space, breaking the supersonic barrier. Our task is to create an economically viable model of the aircraft that meets the requirements of comfort.


It is interesting that we still cannot calm down on this at all. Now, the UAC is starting to develop a new civilian supersonic airliner from scratch. Its capacity should be from 16 to 19 people, speed - from 2000 to 3000 kilometers per hour. The problem with the engines is supposed to be solved through deep modernization and increased fuel efficiency of the power plants used in fighters and front-line aviation.

The idea is that at least in this segment overtake the Boeing, which is also developing in the direction of civilian supersonic. But is it necessary to hit such extremes?

According to preliminary estimates, the project will cost at least 10-12 billion dollars. In our realities, budgets tend to only grow, and very significantly. Monarchies of the Persian Gulf, which have already shown interest, are indicated as possible buyers of the liners. No one else, except for the sheikhs and several oligarchs, will be able to afford the purchase of such an expensive toy and its contents.

Is the game worth the candle, or is it more reasonable to put these funds into the expansion of the range of domestic short-haul and medium-haul civil aviation, and the maximum import substitution of components for them?
Photos used: https://mtdata.ru/
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  1. beeper Offline
    beeper 7 September 2019 10: 01
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    The GDP then spontaneously blurted out (without thinking?), And officials politely “picked up the idea” and quickly “sawed it off”, under the initially absurd “best wishes of the president”, as much as 1,4 billion (from the Article it is not clear - rubles, dollars ???) budget money (who allowed them to squander so thoughtlessly as some rich Arab sheikhs, have all the urgent problems of Russia already been resolved - all that’s left is to "forge" strategic bombers into "passengers" ?!) ??! what
    1. Marzhecki Offline
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 7 September 2019 11: 52
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      Everything is as it should have been ...
      1. Akuzenka Offline
        Akuzenka (Alexander) 8 September 2019 19: 54
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        And the money (ours with you, by the way) settled in compliant pockets.
  2. Nikolaevich I Offline
    Nikolaevich I (Vladimir) 7 September 2019 13: 19
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    Officials are not uprooted! Like their desire to teach us how to live! After all, it was clear that the supersonic business - a jet from the Tu-160! And for this you do not need to be an aviation specialist! It is enough to read a little info on the internet about the problems of creating a supersonic "air passenger"! Also read about the design of military "supersonic", their features ... This is enough to understand ... It is enough to understand with elementary engineering calculations! But here ... belay it was necessary to spend 1,4 billion to "understand" ?? !! What is it? Is there a burning desire of a "psycho-patient" to pull an owl on a globe or a completely "reasonable" decision of a Russian official to cut the budget?
  3. Marzhecki Offline
    Marzhecki (Sergei) 7 September 2019 17: 32
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    Quote: Nikolaevich I
    Is there a burning desire of a "psycho-patient" to pull an owl on a globe, or is it a completely "rational" decision of a race official to cut the budget?

    And what do you think? smile
    1. Nikolaevich I Offline
      Nikolaevich I (Vladimir) 8 September 2019 03: 03
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      There are situations when it’s better not to specify ... there is such a thing as a "rhetorical question" ... there is more room for thought ... wink
  4. bonifacius Offline
    bonifacius (Alex) 7 September 2019 19: 22
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    Searchlights, floodlights, floodlights ... Yes, you at least start a replacement for Maize in production, and with your engine. A half billion rubles. ask from Putin. Let it reimburse, not become poor. Next time, maybe he will think and keep silent, you look - and he’ll pass for a smart one.
  5. Vkd dvk Offline
    Vkd dvk (Victor) 7 September 2019 22: 43
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    Quote: pishchak
    The GDP then spontaneously blurted out (without thinking?), And officials politely “picked up the idea” and quickly “sawed it off”, under the initially absurd “best wishes of the president”, as much as 1,4 billion (from the Article it is not clear - rubles, dollars ???) budget money (who allowed them to squander so thoughtlessly as some rich Arab sheikhs, have all the urgent problems of Russia already been resolved - all that’s left is to "forge" strategic bombers into "passengers" ?!) ??! what

    I do not agree. "Blundered," thinking well, in order to gain new prestige for the country. As an emotional person, he believed that such a rework would not be so expensive. The tyranny of the dictator, in which our shitmen accuse him, of course, led to the fact that the project began to be implemented, no matter what.
    I personally disagree with many of them. For example, he would stop stroking the wool of many of his associates. And the fact that he does not punish and does not shoot proves his liberal (in the admissible, as I think, limit), convictions.
  6. assault 2019 Offline
    assault 2019 (assault 2019) 8 September 2019 01: 31
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    Quote: pishchak
    ... as much as 1,4 billion ...

    This money would be deducted from the bonuses of the UAC leadership, they will not become much poorer, but will become smarter from now on ....
  7. Termit1309 Offline
    Termit1309 (Alexander) 8 September 2019 04: 05
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    And the source, on the basis of which it is all written, where can I see?
  8. Sergey Latyshev Offline
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 8 September 2019 17: 05
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    Another cut noodles gave an oak. What is there to be surprised.
  9. NordUral Offline
    NordUral (Eugene) 8 September 2019 19: 47
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    Pontooner and sneaks.
  10. DPN Offline
    DPN (DPN) 8 September 2019 20: 52
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    The UNION realized that it’s a little expensive for a Soviet person to fly a TU-144, in our time, whoever wants to be Russian millionaires flies on his own, and a Russian is overwhelmed by the sound and this toy can’t afford again.
  11. pafegosoff Offline
    pafegosoff (Arkhip Pafegosov) 10 September 2019 07: 18
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    Where will he fly? Over the oceans? Civilian airplanes are somehow forbidden to fly with supersonic sound over settlements. Well, yes, I tested the Tu-144, flew over the Perm taiga, turned around, did not reach Khanty-Mansiysk with a radius of 300 kilometers and flew back.
    And I remember, Mitterrand in Tokyo on the Concorde flew at 16 kilometers altitude with an intermediate landing in Tolmachevo. By the way, such aircraft do not fly on the same level. They have a "hill" as fuel is developed.
    And anyway, why not just a rocket launcher? Another ten billion would be spent on the study and the conclusion: “It doesn’t work!”
    Well, both solar and cosmic radiation. In the stratosphere passengers will be issued spacesuits? I had many cases when, at 12 kilometers, a dosimeter in the cockpit issued danger signals.