Tupolev Tu-119


On the basis of the Soviet Tu-95 he was drafted first atomoleta, but rather a flying laboratory. It was possible to test turboprop engines that operate nuclear reactors placed directly on board the aircraft.

A brief history of the design and testing of the Tu-119

In mid-August, in 1955 Tupolev Design Bureau came to the decree of the Council of Ministers of the beginning of development and further studies of a qualitatively new type of power plant Yasu (nuclear facility). Also Tupolev, the development of the aircraft with a nuclear power plant were engaged in other well-known designers of the time. The government planned to 20 years across virtually all aircraft were equipped with Yasu.


The main task of the designers was to study the nuclear radiation and its effects on all systems and components of the aircraft, on the health of the crew. At that time, scientists have tried as much as possible to reduce the negative impact of nuclear radiation.

For a detailed study was set up poster version of the machine on which you installed the reactor. This project led by the designer, IF Nezval, who worked at a branch in the city of Tupolev Tomilinskaya. There was made the middle part of the body with the reactor and all related systems. In the manufacture of the compartments were used new materials not previously used in aircraft.

For the manufacture and processing of materials designers had to resort to the use of new technologies, by the Division of non-metals. New materials manufactured high-class chemists and nuclear physicists have been repeatedly tested. After all the tests of these materials have shown a high degree of protection against radiation.


At the beginning of this year 58 stand was moved to the city of Semipalatinsk experimental base halves. Also this year has been completely ready power plant, which was represented by a nuclear reactor. This unit had its own platform, with which it was convenient to serve in the body of the aircraft. This framework could be omitted from the installation of the apparatus of the load compartment.

The first launch of the power plant was made at the beginning of the year 1959 in terrestrial conditions in finalizing reactor designers managed to obtain the necessary power. With stand scientists and engineers have gained a lot of experience with these devices. When the reactor was investigated all the systems of the Tu-119 and even prepared the necessary recommendations to the pilots of the machine.

As mentioned earlier, the basis of the aircraft with a nuclear power plant has been taken on board the Tu-95, but it is much finalized for the new power plant. The first nuclear aircraft took to the air in the late summer of 61 years. The device Tu-119 34 made a flight in which an aircraft was on other than the pilots, many researchers in the field of physics and biology. During the flights, mainly scientists studied the effect of radiation on the environment and the health of pilots. Flights were both cold and running a nuclear reactor.

Design Features of the Tu-119

The front of the plane was equipped with a sealed cabin, which was protected from nuclear radiation. In the middle of the cabin there were sensors that constantly monitored the radiation from the reactor. Such devices were installed in other compartments of the apparatus, and even on the wings. For greater safety of the crew of the ship behind the backs of the pilots a wall was constructed, made of lead and more progressive materials, which did not allow harmful radiation from the reactor. In the middle of the machine's body was located the reactor itself, which had a thick protective shell. The cockpit was quite large, as it housed the 9 crew members who operated the liner and watched the reactor work.


The power plant of imparting a force of four engine types NK-12, which were given the power to 15 thousand kgs each. It is worth mentioning that the weight of the aircraft reached 145 tons, the weight of only one power plant was almost 40 tons. But the plane was different good speed, and its cruising speed was 800 km / h and range almost 5 thousand kilometers.

The department had a slightly larger than the width of the body, so the sides of the fuselage was covered with metal fairings. Under this part of the body it was placed a large air intake, which provides cooling of the reactor. Its operation is controlled by scientists on the machine using a special console.

All the experiments and tests have confirmed the high flight safety of the power plant. It confirmed that it is possible to carry out development of aircraft such power plants without harm to the pilots and the environment. Despite all this, the project has been closed due to funding limitations. The government turned its attention to nuclear submarines and other military targets. The most compelling reason for the closure of the project Tu-119 was the fear of the collapse of such an aircraft, as this could lead to more pollution and victims.

At the same time, such developments were and American scientists who created the nuclear aircraft in-36, but they eventually gave up this plan. But the Soviet leadership was certain to catch up in the aircraft industry. In addition, these studies were quite expensive and took a lot of time.

Tupolev Tu-119 characteristics:

Modification   Tu-119
Wingspan, m   50.04
Length m   46.17
Height, m   12.5
Wing area, m2   283.7
Weight, kg  
  empty aircraft   90000
  maximum take-off   172000
engine's type   2 TVD NK-12M and 2 NK-14A
Thrust, kgf   2 x 15000 + 2 x?
Speed, km / h  
  maximum   920
Flight distance, km   15400
Practical ceiling, m   12000
Crew   8