Does Russia need an updated supersonic passenger airliner?

The day before it became known that Russia could still have its own supersonic passenger airliner, which, as is customary, has no analogues. This is probably the most difficult task for our design engineers. technical The task is up to the task, but will Russians be able to afford flights on such planes?

This has never happened before...

The head of the Ministry of Transport, Vitaly Savelyev, said at the plenary session of the Transport of Russia forum that Russian officials have not given up on the idea of ​​creating a passenger airliner flying at supersonic speed:

Russia, with its vast expanses, cannot do without the development of supersonic civil aviation. Our country already has experience in relevant developments and, what is important, experience in operating the Tu-144 supersonic aircraft. Yes, this aircraft was ahead of its time, and today we have all the necessary developments to create such an airliner on a new technological basis.

It is reported that the first flight of the demonstrator aircraft could take place in two years. Commenting on this news, I would like to recall the chronology of events.

"White Swan"

For the first time, President Putin personally announced the possibility of creating a supersonic passenger aircraft in the Russian Federation in 2018. The head of state was so impressed after his visit to the Kazan Aircraft Plant, where the Tu-160 strategic supersonic missile-carrying bomber is produced, that he expressed the idea of ​​creating a civil aircraft based on the White Swan as a corporate business jet:

We need to make a civilian version... Why did the Tu-144 go out of production - the ticket had to correspond to some average earnings in the country. But now the situation is different. Now large companies have appeared that could use this aircraft.

Since the wishes of the president are the law for the nomenklatura, the idea was immediately supported by the relevant Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin:

The main thing is that the production of center section beams has been mastered in Kazan, and there is a powerful design bureau. The solutions used in the development of both the military and civilian versions of the Tu-160 will increase the profitability of production, as serial production will be increased.

I remember that this, at first glance, excellent idea immediately seemed to us somewhat divorced from the reality that it was dedicated to whole publication. A year later, in 2019, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov announced that he would create a civilian supersonic airliner based on the Tu-160 strategic bomber impossible:

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

By the way, in order to verify this conclusion, 1,4 billion budget rubles were spent on design work. However, no one was going to give up the chic presidential idea.


Instead of the civilian version of the Tu-160, the UAC proposed developing a supersonic passenger aircraft from scratch. Its capacity was supposed to be from 16 to 19 people, the speed was from 2000 to 3000 kilometers per hour. The budget was previously estimated at 10-12 billion dollars. The project of a promising business jet, called "Strizh", is being prepared by the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N. E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI).

Its distinctive feature should be a unique aerodynamic design with an elongated nose compartment, a V-shaped wing and outstretched fins, and the designers placed two engines and air intakes in the upper tail section of the vehicle. The passenger plane was supposed to be glazed. The first demonstrator was planned to take off in 2029.

In 2021, Minister Manturov said that the project could be implemented jointly with partners from the United Arab Emirates:

This will be a joint venture. The question is what kind of equity participation this will be. We have not yet approached this issue. From the Emirati side it will be Mubadala, from our side it is clear that it will be UAC, perhaps one of its “subsidiaries”.

According to the government official, a supersonic business jet flying at a speed of about Mach 1,5-1,8 should have two versions - for 8 people and for 30. Here we see obvious discrepancies with the project from TsAGI, and it is no longer clear which one. specifically the plane in question. Subsequently, the head of Rostec Chemezov clarified that the supersonic airliner will still be produced not in the UAE, but in Russia:

For now, perhaps, production will be entirely with us. Maybe they will participate as a financial investor. But everything is still at the initial stage.

From heaven to earth

On February 24, 2022, the Russian military offensive in Ukraine began, and our country came under the most severe sectoral sanctions. Perhaps the most painful restrictions concerned the domestic aircraft industry and the air transportation market. One of their consequences was that the rights to the short-haul Superjet 100 airliner in a non-import-substituted version were sold to a consortium of investors from the UAE and Italy.

The situation in the domestic civil aircraft industry today is quite difficult. Available Western-made airliners cannot undergo repairs and maintenance at official Boeing and Airbus dealers. The short-haul Superjet in an import-substituted version and the medium-haul MS-21 have not yet gone into mass production. Soviet airliners Tu-214 and Il-96-400 are produced in small series. The timing of the start of production of the super-powerful PD-35 engine has again shifted to the right, and there is a possibility that it will actually be replaced by the less powerful PD-26.

And against this backdrop, they tell us in plain sight about a supersonic passenger airliner, which will save several hours in time when flying from Moscow to Vladivostok. I would like to ask a few counter questions.

At first, what engines should this plane fly on?

Secondly, are there plans to certify the supersonic airliner for flights abroad, and if so, for which markets?

Thirdly, if the route to the West for such a very narrowly segmented aircraft turns out to be closed and Russian oligarchs will not be allowed to fly it to Courchevel and back, then will a supersonic flight from Vladivostok to Moscow and back be affordable for the average Russian? Is this why the Concorde and Tu-144 projects were closed at one time?

Finally, I would like to ask the question whether it would not be more expedient to spend budget funds on expanding the production volumes of the medium-range MS-21 and Tu-214, as well as the long-range Il-96-400 and the development of the PD-26/PD- engines that are really needed for them 35?
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  1. Elena123 Offline Elena123
    Elena123 (elena) 16 November 2023 09: 58
    Time and huge financial losses have proven that such aircraft are not needed in civil aviation.
    1. Sergey Tokarev Offline Sergey Tokarev
      Sergey Tokarev (Sergey Tokarev) 16 November 2023 10: 19
      Advanced business jet project

      This is not civil aviation, but to transport the management of Norilsk Nickel, Alrosa and others to conferences in Moscow and back. The country is large and you need to quickly get to the same international economic forums in Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok.
      1. Nikolay Volkov Offline Nikolay Volkov
        Nikolay Volkov (Nikolai Volkov) 17 November 2023 04: 19
        The country is large and you need to quickly get to the same international economic forums in Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok.

        Vasyuki is renamed to New Moscow, Moscow to Old Vasyuki...

        well, it’s good that only managers need to fly... but simple... it’s not necessary... look what you wanted... the grandfathers under Sergius of Radonezh did not fly and you, orphans and wretches, have nothing to do...

        Isn’t it time to put up “no dogs or lower ranks” signs yet?
    2. curl Offline curl
      curl (Valery) 16 November 2023 21: 41
      We need helicopters and multi-tiered drones. And a lot.
    3. etoyavsemprivet Offline etoyavsemprivet
      etoyavsemprivet (It's me. Hello everyone.) 17 November 2023 06: 37
      Yes, it's obvious))).
    4. prior Offline prior
      prior (Vlad) 17 November 2023 16: 34
      The president just wanted to have his own supersonic flying Aurus.
      And there is no need to look for any more economic justifications.
  2. valery lebedev Offline valery lebedev
    valery lebedev (Valery Lebedev) 16 November 2023 10: 44
    The main thing: not to create an airplane, but to spend billions of dollars over a long period of time telling people about our technological power. Until now, everything supposedly new is created on the basis of Soviet developments of the late 70s and early 80s. 30 years down the drain!
    1. vik669 Offline vik669
      vik669 (vik669) 16 November 2023 10: 59
      Russia needs an updated analogue of the AN-2, but for decades we have had what we have and, as they say, first of all, airplanes, well... well... then!
      1. Nikolay Volkov Offline Nikolay Volkov
        Nikolay Volkov (Nikolai Volkov) 17 November 2023 04: 21
        So the Zyu-patriot above already told you that you need to fly only to international economic forums and only to managers of Alros and Norilsk Nickel... are you one of those people? if not, then sit quietly...or take the train laughing
  3. faiver Offline faiver
    faiver (Andrei) 16 November 2023 10: 49
    As for me, the development of this aircraft at the expense of the budget is a crime
    1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 16 November 2023 11: 17
      They can’t finish a small ordinary “Superjet,” but here is a transcendental fantasy - a supersonic civilian one. Except for tightening. "cuts" for many decades of allocated funds, such a supersonic venture will not end with anything else...
    2. curl Offline curl
      curl (Valery) 16 November 2023 21: 39
      Against humanity.
  4. Pound Offline Pound
    Pound (Alexander) 16 November 2023 11: 49
    They CANNOT MAKE an aircraft to replace the AN-30 for 2 years, only projects, but here it looks like a goldmine for cutting and stealing the budget.
  5. Mikhail Dadeko Offline Mikhail Dadeko
    Mikhail Dadeko (Mikhail Dadeko) 16 November 2023 11: 56
    Dreaming is not harmful, we can’t bring civil aircraft to “smart”, but here we are! fool
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 16 November 2023 12: 02
    The day before it became known that Russia could still have its own supersonic passenger airliner, which, as is customary, has no analogues.

    Alas. One can understand spending a little money so that designers and technologists do not run away, and the school of aircraft development does not completely disappear. In the hope that one day the kleptocracy will go away and Russia will develop economically.
    But for now, partners are leaving Russia, because... and we cannot properly develop and produce conventional aircraft. Intrigue, theft, disruption of projects and deadlines, lobbying of Boeing by the “Western-hating” elite.
    Either because the aircraft manufacturing school is by-the-bye. Either the money is too much. (as in the case of the development of a transporter with India and something else)
  7. Alexey Lan Offline Alexey Lan
    Alexey Lan (Alexey Lantukh) 16 November 2023 14: 00
    This has never happened before and here it is again!!!

    Top officials and billionaires want to move long distances at the expense of the poor, deficit Russian budget. Even if the war ends in a couple of years, the problems in devastated Russia will be through the roof. New lands will need to be restored. Fight poverty. Finally, a stealth bomber strategist wouldn't hurt. After all, the United States is not going anywhere.
    1. Nikolay Volkov Offline Nikolay Volkov
      Nikolay Volkov (Nikolai Volkov) 17 November 2023 04: 24
      New lands will need to be restored.

      It would also be nice to restore the “old” ones after 40 years of perestroika, glasnost, Gaidarism, Kudrino-Siluan-Nabiulinism and, well, other spiritual fortitude
  8. Flight Offline Flight
    Flight (voi) 16 November 2023 14: 15
    Does Russia need an updated supersonic passenger airliner?

    Russia needs it, but the people who manage and receive income from Russia definitely don’t, because they have something to sell to the aborigines.
  9. Shelest2000 Offline Shelest2000
    Shelest2000 16 November 2023 14: 30
    Instead of the civilian version of the Tu-160, the UAC proposed developing a supersonic passenger aircraft from scratch. Its capacity was supposed to be from 16 to 19 people,

    That's all you need to know, why and for whom this aircraft will be developed - for the army of officials, instead of throwing all their efforts into restoring the production of civilian airliners. And the reason is simple - our bureaucrats were cut off from the opportunity to buy foreign business jets “with their hard earned money.” And the people... And the people have enough reserved seat...
  10. Ilya 22 Offline Ilya 22
    Ilya 22 (Ilya) 16 November 2023 15: 45
    We don’t have two dozen companies that can afford such planes. That's the entire fleet. For the sake of so many planes, a lot of money would be wasted. In my opinion, this will be another “effective” use of budget money. If all design and other work will be carried out through private investment, then let them do it. If each of our moneybags chips in a billion in foreign currency, then it may well be enough.
    1. strange guest Offline strange guest
      strange guest (Strange Guest) 16 November 2023 16: 47
      Can be financed through the National Welfare Fund. So as not to lose competence. For the sake of the great future of great Russia.
      1. DO Offline DO
        DO (Dmitriy) 16 November 2023 21: 09
        Can be financed through the National Welfare Fund. So as not to lose competence.

        What competencies?
        On the development and production of standard subsonic civil airliners? So this is the most pressing problem today that needs to be solved. And her decision is guaranteed to pay off, because Russian airlines now and for decades to come have nowhere to buy aircraft except from Russian factories.
        On the development and production of supersonic military aircraft? So why not direct these competencies, and their funding, to the Su-75, which never flew; on the MiG-35, which is not being produced, despite the fact that two specialized factories are idle?
        1. unparalleled Offline unparalleled
          unparalleled 17 November 2023 03: 42
          They will buy second-hand Boeings and Airbuses, just more expensive than they cost. Nobody wants from airlines to fake effective managers for the price of two Airbuses or Boeings. Only if they force them in and force them to buy.
          It is obvious that MiG35 will not be built, but why the bankrupt MiG did not take over the drone industry is a big question. After all, this area can revive the company
  11. DO Offline DO
    DO (Dmitriy) 16 November 2023 20: 40
    The reason why the Concorde and Tu-144 supersonic aircraft projects died is well known - this is their categorical unprofitability. And here they also propose to throw away many billions of budget money on a supersonic plane, not even for one and a half hundred passengers (the unprofitable Tu-144 - 120 passengers), but for one and a half dozen. It has no analogues, because even the rich West cannot handle such a budget cut.
    Yes, it seems that Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev is not in his right chair. Because with such ministers Russia will collapse even without a war.
    1. strange guest Offline strange guest
      strange guest (Strange Guest) 16 November 2023 23: 16
      Unprofitability.. When the conversation is about family honor, all talk about money is inappropriate hi
      No one will have a supersonic business jet, but we will!
    2. Nikolay Volkov Offline Nikolay Volkov
      Nikolay Volkov (Nikolai Volkov) 17 November 2023 04: 26
      and who occupies their chairs there anyway? maybe nabiulina? Manturov? or is it scary to say the carpenter's son-in-law???
  12. Vasya_33 Offline Vasya_33
    Vasya_33 16 November 2023 23: 02
    Su 75 "built"...
    Now you can take a swing at the Russian Concorde.

    the future belongs to horse-drawn transport. but the wheel will come later, - first the stone ax...
  13. Vasya_33 Offline Vasya_33
    Vasya_33 16 November 2023 23: 09
    Su 75 the day before yesterday. the day after tomorrow we will “build” Buran. I ask you not to disperse.
  14. Platon Verdictov 17 November 2023 00: 20
    To begin with, you can build some kind of crystal bridge across the pond. It would have been much cheaper, and it would have been a notable landmark, maybe even a symbol of Russia. Pilgrims from all over the world, from each a nickel - you look at the spaceship and they would run into it. Damn, we need to be creative, we live in the 3rd millennium!
  15. Norma51 Offline Norma51
    Norma51 (Nick) 17 November 2023 04: 13
    As usual: the party said it was necessary. The party did not say what it was for. Everyone rushed to do it stupidly.
  16. The comment was deleted.
  17. Pavel Mokshanov_2 (Pavel Mokshanov) 17 November 2023 07: 12
    The Kremlin dreamers talk about supersonics, but the country doesn’t even have its own new maize plant! Comedy and nothing more!
  18. anclevalico Offline anclevalico
    anclevalico (Victor) 17 November 2023 15: 24
    Do I need a time machine? Can I create it? The answer is negative. Maybe to warm up, finish off the IL-112? So small and simple. Then the Su-57. And only then, if by this time the Central Bank rate is not 20% and the dollar is at 200...
    1. strange guest Offline strange guest
      strange guest (Strange Guest) 18 November 2023 10: 05
      But it's worth a try - a time machine. If you feel strong)
  19. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Alexander) 17 November 2023 15: 57
    Today the Russian Federation does not need such an aircraft. The actual level of income of the majority of the population of the Russian Federation has dropped noticeably, and the price of tickets for such an aircraft cannot be low. There is also a financial crisis in the world and one cannot expect any significant demand for such an aircraft from foreign countries... That is why the Anglo-French Concorde has gone down in history... which recently flew half empty...
  20. 1_2 Offline 1_2
    1_2 (Ducks are flying) 18 November 2023 18: 39
    I think it's necessary. and the point is not that the snickering Manturovs, at the expense of the state budget, fly faster to their palaces. but to maintain and develop competencies in this complex matter. Of course, the prospects for exporting a business jet are vague, but they exist! (China is our everything). and in order not to make a mistake at all, it is necessary to develop a military version of the business jet. Can be used as a carrier of the Dagger. and as an interceptor with a large supply of missiles in the compartments (stealth). there are engines (NK-32, RD-36, product 30), which means that half of the plane already exists.
    1. DO Offline DO
      DO (Dmitriy) 18 November 2023 19: 31
      develop a military version of the business jet. Can be used as a carrier of the Dagger. and as an interceptor with a large supply of missiles in the compartments (stealth).

      There are already carriers of the Dagger, including the mass-produced Tu-160. We just need to make more of them. If we are talking about the carrier of naval versions of Daggers, then a new heavy stealth bomber would not hurt. However, stealth aircraft are usually not designed for supersonic flight, and fly at speeds no higher than conventional passenger airliners.
      An aircraft with civilian performance characteristics is not suitable as an interceptor. Of the mass-produced fighters, the Su-30SM2, Su-35S, Su-57, MiG-35 (ready for mass production) are quite suitable for this role.

      Why pull an owl on a globe?