NI: Tu-144 project failed due to air espionage errors in the USSR

The Soviet Union tried to design its own supersonic Concord - Tu-144. However, the project to create it actually failed due to possible errors in copying the drawings of the British-French liner, which the USSR aircraft designers did not fully understand. About this writes the American edition of The National Interest.

Part of the problems of the project was associated with the high level of the aerospace industry necessary to create a viable design for a supersonic jet airliner. According to one estimate, the design of the Tu-144 was 10-15 years ahead of the capabilities of the Soviet aerospace industry at that time. Perhaps a certain role was played by aviation espionage, since the similarities in the design of the Concord and Tu-144 are striking. However, due to a number of errors in the interpretation of the data, the Soviet supersonic aircraft did not achieve commercial success.

The brainchild of Tupolev made only 102 flights, only 55 of which carried passengers. Compared to Concord, the Tu-144 failed, taking precious time and money away from other projects. The British-French liner also had problems, but they were dictated by market reasons, not constructive flaws.

Thus, the Tu-144 was heavier than the Concord by 20 tons and approximately 360 cm longer. The tires of the Soviet aircraft included synthetic rubber, which was a structurally weak material and failed more often than its natural counterpart. Tu-144 engines were also underdeveloped, and the noise insulation of the cabin left much to be desired.
  • Photos used: Vlad Volkov /
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  1. 123 Offline 123
    123 (123) 3 June 2020 15: 29
    According to one of the estimates, the design of the Tu-144 was 10-15 years ahead of the ability of the Soviet aerospace industry at that time
    Attention! , a certain role was played by aviation espionageBecause striking similarity in design Concord and Tu-144. However due to a number of errors in data interpretation Soviet supersonic plane and did not achieve commercial success.

    The level of analytics is off the charts. belay
    According to one estimate, that is, according to someone there, the Russian designers have not yet matured. Aircraft are similar, definitely, espionage. The key to commercial success is the correct interpretation of data. Of these shortcomings, the large length of the aircraft was particularly impressive. The original article about the engines says that their thrust is 2,7 tons more, but they are "less sophisticated."
    Unequivocally, the assistant seller of dates wrote.
    Article in the furnace. negative Professionals from The National Interest warm greetings. smile
    1. Bitter Offline Bitter
      Bitter (Gleb) 4 June 2020 00: 03
      American edition of The National Interest.

      The Soviet Union has not been around for thirty years, but some projects still cause overseas heartburn among partners overseas. Who and why needed to pour another tub of mud on a long-closed project? I think if he continued to fly and improve, then all childhood diseases would be eradicated and his characteristics improved.
      It seems that if the Americans were able to make such a machine at one time, then it would fly and partners would be able to convince the appropriate lanes for it to build and would have handed everyone a couple of pieces to reduce the unit price.
  2. Alexey Grigoryev (Alexey Grigoriev) 3 June 2020 17: 45
    The Tu-144 flew over the country, and since it was supersonic, the rumble stood, even the windows in the houses burst. And Concord flew over the ocean, no one heard him there. And in terms of economics, the Tu-144 was very expensive for people.
    1. goncharov.62 Offline goncharov.62
      goncharov.62 (Andrei) 3 June 2020 20: 01
      A couple of times he sat in Ust-Kamenogorsk. Glasses are whole since then. Blah blah blah ... eksperd ...
      1. Alexey Grigoryev (Alexey Grigoriev) 3 June 2020 20: 12
        He lands at a speed of 300 km per hour, and not at a super sound. Blah blah blah ... eksperd ...
        1. goncharov.62 Offline goncharov.62
          goncharov.62 (Andrei) 3 June 2020 20: 16
          So I saw it from my window, dear! And in the country, there are statistics of glass blown out from it? The question is not glass, alas. It is somewhat deeper. The question is in imperfect engines - he landed with almost dry tanks, and his flight was monitored at the very top every minute. And then the arguments are glass ...
    2. Bitter Offline Bitter
      Bitter (Gleb) 4 June 2020 00: 11
      ... the rumble stood, even the glass in the houses burst ...

      Did you work there as a glazier, according to requests from Aeroflot? It can be understood that information is first hand. wink
  3. bear040 Offline bear040
    bear040 3 June 2020 19: 54
    The Tu-144 failed because it was entrusted to the design of the Tupolev Design Bureau ... Not only was Tupolev himself far from a saint and very stubborn, as evidenced by the numerous Tu-104 disasters that happened due to his personal fault, he also pushed the transfer of the project The Tu-144 group, led by his son, who had no experience at that time for such a complex project ... If the Tu-144 project were transferred to the Myasishchev Design Bureau, or Sukhoi, I am sure this plane would still fly ... Sukhoi Design Bureau there was a T-4 missile carrier, on the basis of which it was quite possible to make a passenger plane ... Myasishchev Design Bureau had a perfectly suitable M-50 bomber, on the basis of which a completely reliable passenger aircraft could also be launched.
    1. nov_tech.vrn Offline nov_tech.vrn
      nov_tech.vrn (Michael) 3 June 2020 21: 53
      Supersonic planes were noisy, but they were not killed by design flaws, but because such a plane was not mastered beyond the puddle. And so they adopted standards for airports that Concord did not fit into, so the European plane lost its main market, where, thanks to the time of flight, it had its own iron niche. Economically, supersonic driving was not profitable. On flights to the USSR, the Tu-144 was also unprofitable and, due to the lack of demand on international airlines, the project was closed. Of course, the well-known disaster also played a role.
    2. michael Offline michael
      michael (michael) 4 June 2020 00: 27
      T-4 was never completed, made several flights. Well, look at his midsection, even if the fuselage is freed from the fuel tanks, in a row you get 2, maybe 3 seats, i.e. there will be fewer passengers than in the An-24. Well, and what is the range without fuselage tanks, is there, unlike the Tu-144, a thinner wing, a deltoid, without capacious caissons?
      1. Don36 Offline Don36
        Don36 (Don36) 4 June 2020 04: 49
        The Tu-104 was made on the basis of the Tu-16 bomber and nothing, the passengers were placed ... If Tupolev was less stupid and listened more to test pilots, and there would be no such disasters with him ...
    3. Binder Offline Binder
      Binder (Miron) 4 June 2020 20: 49
      Quote: bear040
      Tu-144 failed because it was entrusted to design Tupolev Design Bureau.

      Tupolev Design Bureau has long had the experience of pirated copying of foreign aircraft, and in record time, on the instructions of Stalin, the Tu-4, a copy of the American B-29, was released at the time.
  4. michael Offline michael
    michael (michael) 4 June 2020 00: 22
    The article is completely illiterate, as are the comments. The main mistake in the design of the Tu-144 is that it was not made according to the usual semi-monocoque design, like the Concorde, with a frame and a riveted-glue joint of the skin, but according to the technology positioned before the party leadership as super-advanced - milled duralumin were hung on the frame on bolts panels. The technology was tested on a supersonic cruise missile of the Tupolev Design Bureau, you can google it. But what is suitable for a disposable military product, for a passenger liner, where safety and economy are important, is not suitable in principle. The Central Committee of the CPSU set Tupolev the task of surpassing the Concorde in order to fly faster and higher, his cruising speed turned out to be about 20% higher, i.e. entered the speed range where aerodynamic heating takes place. Well, since the energy costs are equal to the square of the speed, if it had the same engines as the Concorde, it would consume one and a half times more fuel per kilometer. Due to heating, the bolts and panels played, in addition to the violation of the geometry of the aircraft from the high-speed pressure, there were fuel leaks in flight from the caisson wing tanks, well, over time, depressurization is inevitable, the sealant ages and dries out. In such a situation, a disaster is just a matter of time. The assembly of the airframe using this technology was carried out with torque wrenches, with control of the tightening torque of each bolt, there are several thousand of them, then each must be controlled during operation. In general, the designers in the design bureau received orders and state awards and dropped the drawings to the serial plant in Voronezh - do it, guys, and we will ask. At the plant, in addition to the fact that it was necessary to design the interior, toilets and all the stuffing from scratch, about 2.5 thousand more changes were made to the drawings. The chief designer of the plant, Sokolov, went to Tupolev, they had a long conversation about optimizing the interaction of the serial plant with the design bureau, the latter returned to the plant as the head of the multiplying center. In general, the stupid program turned out, they transferred a lot of money for nothing. In my youth, I had the good fortune to climb on it, did not make an impression, the cabin is narrow, like that of the Tu-134, but longer and with tiny windows, it is extremely uncomfortable. It thundered not weakly, but no windows flew out, I can attest, by this parameter it was not much noisier than the MiG-25, somewhere on the same level with the Tu-22M. As for the old man Tupolev - when the pilots told him about the Tu-104 that this product still had all the control problems from the Tu-16 and therefore it was dangerous to carry passengers on it, he replied that the plane was good, they just didn’t know how to fly it. to fly. Well, the fact that, like Yakovlev, broke through the transfer of his chair to his son, a mediocrity, says a lot.
  5. Sergey Klyushev Offline Sergey Klyushev
    Sergey Klyushev (Sergey Klyushev) 4 June 2020 20: 27
    Rave. Flights began earlier than the competitor. Tu's maximum thrust was higher than that of Concord. Cruising speed is higher and landing speed is not 300 km / h, but lower. And so on and so forth. Operation has been discontinued due to low profitability. Ticket for 80 rubles. in those years not everyone could afford. In general, authors need to learn materiel.
  6. Egor 7b7 Offline Egor 7b7
    Egor 7b7 25 June 2020 08: 18
    American edition of The National Interest.

    You can not read further.