Tupolev Tu-144


Tu-144, which is the codification of NATO called Charger, - Soviet supersonic passenger jet Tupolev design.

Created in 60-years, he became the first supersonic airliner, which is exploited for commercial air transport airline.

History of Tu-144

The first flight of the prototype Tu-144 31.12.1968 was performed. During the creation of the work carried out in two directions simultaneously. The first involves the creation nonafterburning economical turbojet RD-36-51, the second was aimed at improving the aerodynamic characteristics of the Tu-144.


As a result, we planned to receive a quest to achieve supersonic flight. In 1969, the Commission of the USSR the decision was adopted by a variant configuration of the aircraft powerplant with RD-36-51.

In parallel, the company MGA decision on the construction of six Tu-144 with more economical engines NK-144A. Upgrading to the new engines meet the requirements of the first phase of a supersonic flight range (4-4,5 thousand. Km), the serial model was planned to equip the engines RD-36-51.

The first pre-modernized Tu-144 1968 start putting in, at the MMZ "Experience." According to the calculations engines NK-144 could provide a range of supersonic level 3275 km flight, and NK-144A - 3500 km.

Tu-144 cabin

To improve the aerodynamic characteristics of the machine, changed the shape of the wing. The degree of sweep was changed: at the leading edge it was 76 °, and on the base edge it was 57 °. In contrast to the "044", the wing area was enlarged, intensive conical twist of the terminal parts of the wing was introduced. But the main thing that improved aerodynamics was the change in the central part of the wing, which ensured self-balancing in cruising speed regimes. The changes touched the length of the fuselage, which could accommodate up to 150 passengers. Improvement of aerodynamic data was facilitated by processing the shape of the nose of the fuselage. Coupled engines with the nacelle propelled apart, thereby freeing up space in the lower part of the fuselage. This arrangement entailed changes in the chassis system: the main chassis bearings were placed under the nacelles, the removal passed inside the air channels of the motors.

As a result of design improvements, increased fuel capacity and payload of the aircraft take-off weight increased to 190 tons (the project «044» the figure was 150 t).

The first pre-production copy of the Tu-144 was released at the beginning of 1971, and the first flight took place 1.06.1971. According to factory test program conducted flight 231, 55 flying hours performed in a supersonic mode.

20.09.1972 aircraft performed a flight on the route Moscow - Tashkent, which managed to overcome for hours 1 50 minutes. During the flight, the cruising speed of the car reaches 2500 km / h.

Series production aircraft Tu-144 was established at the Voronezh aircraft factory.


The production model, which was equipped with engines NK-144A, first raised in the air 20.03.1972. In contrast to the pre-production machines, a few added wing area, which resulted in an increase in the take-off weight of up to 195 t.

3.06.1973 first production aircraft crashed in front of 350 thousand viewers. The crew wanted to repeat the feat of the Concorde, which performed the "fighter" maneuver the day before - to fly over the runway and again to take off. However, this could not be done. Starting from a height of 1200 m, the aircraft suddenly began to dive and, only reaching 120 m above the ground, began to slowly rise. The overload greatly exceeded the permissible level, as a result of which the left wing first fell off, and then - the tail section. The design of the aircraft completely collapsed. The crash occurred near the small French town of Goussainville. As a result of the crash, the entire crew of the liner and 7 local residents were killed, 28 people were injured.

The first passenger flight involving Tu-144 1.10.1977 held. Until May 1978 was carried out on the aircraft 55 47 passenger and cargo flights.


Total produced 17 copies supersonic airliner Tu-144, 14 of which - in Voronezh. passenger cabins equipment ordered in the GDR. At the present time, two of the Tu-144 stored in aviamuzeyah Monino and Ulyanovsk.

Design Tu-144

Tu-144 - is an all-metal nizkoplan, which was carried out on "tailless" scheme. The fuselage of the aircraft is made by the type of semi-monocoque and has a smooth stressed skin with stringers and frames set. Chassis Tu-144 tricycle present bow rack.


The structure of the power plant consists of four turbojet engines NK-144A, in the modification of the Tu-144D - besforsazhnyeRD-36-51A. Each of the motors has its air intake. Location of air intakes - paired. The nose landing gear is retracted into the space of the front part of the fuselage between the air intakes.

Wing Aircraft variable sweep. Covering of the wing is made of aluminum alloy sheets. At the trailing edge elevons placed titanium. They, along with rudders perform deviation due to irreversible boosters. The cabin is made by the mobile type "duck" to provide a better view during takeoff and landing.

Tu-144 2 photo

Most of the fuel stored in the wing tanks 18. In the rear part of the fuselage placed a balancing tank. It enters the fuel transition from subsonic to supersonic speed mode. Performing landing can be carried out at any time and in any weather conditions. New technical solution is to debut in the history of the use of Soviet aircraft on this plane of automated health monitoring system on-board systems. This in turn has reduced the time and the complexity of the machine maintenance.

Interesting facts about Tu-144

Tu-144 used not only as liners. They are involved in research of solar eclipses, the ozone layer, a focused sonic boom. These aircraft became the Cosmonaut Training Center, who trained at "Buran" program. In 1983, the test pilot ST Agapov installed on Tu-144D thirteen world aviation records, which are not beaten until the present time.

Tu-144 Environmental Specifications:

  • Aircraft length without LDPE - 64,45 m;

  • wingspan - 28,8 m;

  • the height of the aircraft - 12,5 m;

  • wing area with the influx - 506,35 m2;

  • maximum takeoff weight - 207000 kg;

  • empty weight of the aircraft for a variant of passengers on 150 - 99200 kg;

  • supersonic cruising flight speed - 2120 km / h;

  • Practical flight range with a payload:

  • 7 tons (70 pass.) - 6200 km;

  • 11-13 tons (110-130 pass.) - 5500-5700 km;

  • 15 tons (150 pass.) - 5330 km.



Tu-144 video


5 in the photo number (top to bottom) shows the Concorde, not the 144


Blog and articles