Tupolev Tu-141


Tu-141 «Swift» - a Soviet reconnaissance reusable operational-tactical unmanned aircraft, which was developed in OKB. Tupolev.

History of the Tu-141

Experience in design, testing and mass production of unmanned aerial vehicles that were in the compositions of the intelligence systems and DBR DBR-1-2, let go Tupolev bureau to create a new drone with a fully saves intelligence equipment. As a result of this work it was created and adopted for operational-tactical complex Tu-141 «Swift", which was further developed in the creation of complex Tu-143 «Flight" and the Tu-243 «Reis-D".


Work on aviation systems, "Swift" and "Race" began almost simultaneously. In both used similar ideas, technology and layout solutions. The differences concerned only the range of application of these aircraft.

Purpose unmanned aircraft systems BP-2 «Swift» is the implementation of intelligence operations at a distance of several hundred kilometers from the front line, while the aviation complex BP-3 «Flight" could penetrate into the depth of no more than a few tens of kilometers.

In the case of designing the complex "Swift" was originally planned to create a dual-mode aircraft. The plan was to break the enemy's air defense systems in a mode of exploration and during the return to the base airfield drone «141» supersonic and transonic speed (1200-1300 km / h). Focus mode exploration took place in a subsonic cruise. Landing UAV performed on the ski, an aircraft. It is this approach demanded by the military designers.

Tu-141 volley

However, studies have shown Tupolev to make such requests, it is necessary to dramatically increase the mass of the airplane, and this will entail deterioration of tactical flight characteristics. Entering the transonic regime was not profitable and demanded optimization of aerodynamic data of the aircraft, improving its power plant due to higher cruise speed.

It was necessary to abandon the single-mode air intake and introduce into the design of the motor, which has a much greater thrust to the possible existence of the afterburner. This would pull an increase in the amount of fuel required, and hence the weight lifting. Therefore, in order to increase the stability of the complex to the front-line air defense installations while maintaining other characteristics, it was necessary to significantly complicate the design of the Tu-141 by reducing the cost and increasing the reliability of the aviation industry.

Through lengthy discussions, customer concessions and refused to supersonic mode. The speed limit on the aircraft during the reconnaissance missions had been agreed at the level of 1000 km / h. Also, it was refused on the landing of Tu-141 on ski. We agreed that the new unmanned systems during landing is to land with a parachute and the braking device.

Tu-141 cabin

Work on the creation of aviation complex "Swift" was headed by GM Gofbauer, which in OKB. Tupolev before 90-ies held the highest office in the department of unmanned vehicles. He makes adjustments during development, improvements, launch series production and development of military Tupolev unmanned systems "Swift" and "Flight." In the early 90-x in its place he was appointed LT Kulikov, who concurrently was the chief designer of OKB.

The first flight of the prototype Tu-141 1974 in December year. The first machines were equipped motors KR-17A. Series production at the Kharkov aircraft factory established (the former factory № 135). Until the city was released 1989 152 production aircraft Tu-141. Upon successful completion of the factory and state tests, he was accepted into service in the Soviet Army. After the collapse of the Soviet Union complexes "Swift" remained in the location of the country in which the deployed (former western republics of the USSR).

In the final stages of developing a set of "Swift" its design took as the basis for the design of smaller size complex "Flight". Last composition differed extensive intelligence and on-board equipment, dimensions and new facilities and enforcement missions.


Based on the integration design and technical solutions, the plane «141» was a copy of «143» Larger sizes. The composition of the intelligence apparatus allows to perform the corresponding operation day and night. Navigation and piloting complex, which was equipped with a drone Tu-141, made it possible for the functional application of the aircraft at great distances from the base airfield. The structure of reconnaissance equipment were quantum-mechanical oscillators (lasers).

Design TU-141

Tu-141 was an all-metal nizkoplan, which was established on a "tailless" with the CHR. Wing sweep was 58 °. The wing in root nodules were often minor. Vertical tail was exposed to a sweep 52 ° to the front edge. Management of aircraft was carried out by the rudder and ailerons two-section, which is located on the wing. The fuselage is shaped as a cylinder of diameter 950 mm. In the propulsion hull has an oval shape.

Tu-141 installed two turbojet R9A-300, which on later machines have replaced the CD-17A who had 2000 kg static thrust. During take-off unit was driven by solid booster, which is mounted under the tail section of the fuselage.

Tu-141 photo

Planting Intelligence Tu-141 performed at the involvement of the parachute system (brake and landing parachutes). It was located in the fairing of the turbojet engine nozzle. Landing gear heel type tricycle produced during the landing. The aircraft had a system responsible for the shooting of the landing parachute and solid brake power unit, which includes landing on the enclosing step.

Land mobile tools that provide takeoff and landing UAV (TZM141, SPU-141, CPC-141, AML and MT-3-141), contributed to the rapid transfer of the main elements of the complex on a long distance, maintaining the necessary level of combat capability. During transport UAV console wings folded in a vertical position to reduce the size of the machine.

Tu-141 characteristics:

Modification   Tu-141
Wingspan, m   3.875
Aircraft Length m   14.33
Height, m   2.435
Wing area, m2   10.00
Weight, kg   5370
engine's type   1 TRD KR-17A
Maximum speed km / h   1110
Flight distance, km   1000
Practical ceiling, m   6000
The minimum flight altitude, m   50


Tupolev Tu-141. Gallery.

Tu-141 photo in fleetTu-141 powerplantTu-141 in the aviation museum

Tu-141 on the machine installationTu-141 side viewTu-141 before starting

Tu-141 before running in the fieldTu-141 nose of closeupTu-141 large photo side plan

Tu-141 general viewTu-141 image on earthPhoto Tu-141 on the machine installation side view



Other UAVs

Tu-141. Video.