DISGRACED LINERThe first post-war years were marked by the aircraft industry in the rapid development of jet technology. To increase the thrust of gas turbine engines, their efficiency and, most importantly, reliability has allowed us to start building the first jet Airliners. Their success, despite a number of mysterious, at first glance, the disaster was huge, and overcome the “sound barrier” military aircraft and even gave rise to the opinion that passenger planes may have to fly faster than sound. Of course, there be willing to create such a machine, and on paper they all turned out smoothly. It seemed sufficient to reduce the specific fuel consumption of the engine and increased to the necessary level of aerodynamic quality of the airframe, and aircraft, and competitive – ready. However, the reality was much more complicated.

The first researches on creation of supersonic passenger aircraft (PCA) joined the British. This is understandable, because the British experts in the early 1950s were the most knowledgeable in the field of engine, is the Foundation of world aviation. However, it all started with the study of aerodynamic configurations a variety of schemes – from the classic with the tail to “duck” – with the destabilizer and placed it on the Elevator.
In the end, I came to the conclusion that the most appropriate scheme ATP is the devil-hostka. This way went the Americans during the creation of bombardirovschika XB-70, the British and French during the development of the “Concord”.
After the British to design such aircraft began in OKB-23 under the leadership of V. M. Myasishchev, and was made far-reaching conclusions concerning the choice of the main parameters of both airplane and its engines. But since myasishcheva in 1960, was removed from the design activities, appointed chief of TSAGI, the laurels of the Creator of the PCA went to the OKB of A. N. Tupolev.
In 1965, when at the next Airshow in Paris showed the model of the Anglo-French Concorde and the Soviet Tu-144, decided on the SPS and in the USA, and the winner of the competition of preliminary projects came the company “Boeing” with a very ambitious and unrealistic project super fast (the number M=2,7) aircraft with increased capacity and coming into fashion a variable sweep wing. The complexity and, I would say, the absurdity of this project, unable to bring airlines profits revealed pretty quickly. Then experts of “Boeing” moved on to more real, but the rest of the paper project SST classical scheme. The development of SPS in the U.S. stopped in the early 1970s, but research in this direction has not ended. However, reports of overseas information in the foreseeable future amid the ever-increasing cost of oil and shake the world financial crises create in the United States, SPS are not expected.
First flight of the prototype Tu-144. December 31, 1968
First flight of the prototype Tu-144. 31 Dec 1968
In the end, the leaders remained the Anglo-French Concorde and Russian Tu-144. To the development of the Tu-144 OKB-156 began in 1961, after the chief of the CAF E. Loginov has approached the government with a request to proceed immediately to the creation of ATP for Aeroflot. Only after this industry “stirred” and the first responded in OKB Ilyushin, suggesting the sketch of the PCA. Then had their say and the experts of OKB-156, to intensify work in this direction.
In early 1962 D. F. Ustinov, P. V. Dementyev, and A. N. Tupolev in the report of the CPSU Central Committee reported, in part: “In accordance with the instructions of the Central Committee and the State Committee on aviation technology has prepared a draft decree of the Council of Ministers on the results of the task OKB-156 on the development of Tu-144 with the following performance parameters: speed of 2,000 – 2,500 km/h, the number of passengers 80 – 100, normal operational range – 4500 km, reloading 5500 – 6000 km.
The plant № 156 will be built two flying prototype aircraft, designed for practicing the fundamental issues of the design and definition of the basic flight characteristics. The first instance will be built in 1965, second in 1966 in addition, for operational tests <…> to build in 1965 – 1967 the forces of the Voronezh plant № 18 three flight instance.
GU GVF proposes to increase the number of passengers up to 120 people and a range of set 6500 km. Given that the provision of the requirements of GUGUP unnecessarily will cause a significant increase in takeoff weight, g cat with this proposal disagree …”.
Six months later, E. Loginov in a letter sent to the government, said the poor progress of the ATP (the topic is not funded), and expressed the wish to have two types of supersonic passenger aircraft. The first was calculated to transport 120 passengers at a distance up to 3500 km with a reserve of fuel for range of 1000 km and with a smaller pay-load in the reloading option – at a distance of 4500 km. the Development of two prototype machines of the first type with Tumansky engines and a cruising speed of 2500 km/h it was proposed to entrust Ilyushin and P. O. Sukhoi.
The Tu-144:
1 — radio-transparent Radome of the antenna of the radar “Groza-144”; 2 – with the front wing; 3 – Aileron; 4 – adjustable jet nozzle of the engine NK-44A; 5 – air intake device of the engine; 6 – main landing gear; 7 – the front landing gear; 8 – door; 9 – the emergency door; 10 – nose cone in a landing position; 11 – dorsal fin; 12 – rudder; 13 – fold makeup auth user air; 14 – antenna command radio; 15 – the glazed nose fairing; 16 – glass cockpit; 17-opticality rudder; 18-tail safety heel; 19-wheel size 950×300 mm (2 PCs); 20 – wheel size 950×400 mm (8 PCs. on two trucks)

A second type of aircraft with engines N. Kuznetsova or S. Izotova, or Cradles (all indeterminate), designed to carry 140 passengers with a speed of 2300 km/h at a distance of 4500 km (with fuel reserve per 1000 km) or lower load and overload weight at a distance of 6500 km offered to charge Tupolev. These aircraft were supposed to start flight tests in 1965 and commissioned in 1967
In October 1962, the Tupolev has developed another version of the draft government resolution on the establishment of the future Tu-144, based on (according to tradition) the layout of war supersonic bomber Tu-135 with a Delta wing.
But in the government job results for PCA are not in a hurry, and only a year later by the Council of Ministers and the CPSU Central Committee of 16 July the construction of the first Tu-144 was assigned to the OKB-156.
In the 1950s, OKB-23 was determined one of the most important conditions needed to create a competitive ATP – required values of parameters of the power plant. In particular, the specific fuel consumption of the engine at a maximum cruising speed must not exceed of 1.12 kg/kgf per hour. But this engine had to create, and the whole experience of motors shows that it will take at least ten years.
The only choice for SPS turbofan in the early 1960s, was NK-6, which was developed and Tu-135. But its parameters, including specific fuel consumption, is not allowed to create ATP with the required performance characteristics. For example, cruise flight when flying at a speed corresponding to the number M=1,7 at an altitude of 11 km, the specific consumption of fuel in more than one and a half times higher than required.
Much better data had project NC-10, but it remained on paper.
In the end, there was dual NK-144 with a multi-stage afterburner, created on the basis of the gas generator subsonic turbofan engines NK-8, which was widely used technical solutions, implemented in MK-6. But his options left much to be desired. NK-144 at the takeoff thrust of 17,500 kg had a specific fuel consumption at cruising supersonic mode when in afterburner of 1.56 kg/kgf per hour. Tell that dual NK-144 was made on the consideration that part of the route of flight of the PCA will be carried out at subsonic speed, but the main mode of the Tu-144 – supersonic.
For comparison, single-circuit TURBOJET “Olymp” 593 MK.610 developed jointly by the companies “rolls-Royce” and SNЕСМА for “Concord” was developed at takeoff thrust 17 200 kg and had a specific fuel consumption at cruising 1.19 kg/kgf per hour, which slightly exceeded the value defined by the specialists of OKB-23.
The control column without additional remote with keyboard channel-based connectivity trajectory calculators to display and Director of ABSU
The control column without additional remote with keyboard channel-based connectivity trajectory calculators to the Director of the display and ABS
The cockpit
The cockpit
Multislot front wing
Multislot front wing
The main (left, no load) and front (right) landing gear
Main (left, no load) and front (right) landing gear
The design of the future Tu-144 began in the Department “K” of the Bureau, engaged in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. The chief designer and supervisor of the subject appointed A. A. Tupolev. In the future, after the death of A. N. Tupolev and the appointment of his son head of the company, the creation of the Tu-144 was led by B. A. Ganczewski and Yu. N. Popov.
The construction of the first prototype Tu-144 began in 1965 at MMZ “Opyt” in broad cooperation with other enterprises of the map. At the same time built a second instance of the machine for static tests. Since the mid-1960s, formed the preliminary shape of the Tu-144, in the summer of 1965, on the eve of the opening of the next show in France, the Soviet press announced it to the whole world. This openness was struck not only by Soviet citizens but also foreigners. Surprised and claimed the flight data of the machine: the speed of 2500 km/h and flight range of 6500 km.
In 1967 finished the Assembly of the major components of the aircraft and at the end of the year he was transferred to the Moscow region town of Zhukovsky Flight test and development base OKB (Lidb), where for the next year was carried out final Assembly, ground tests and preparation for first flight.
It should be noted that the first prototype of the PCA was not a passenger car, because it has taken unprecedented security measures. Suffice it to say that for the crew provided ejection seats and the pilots assigned to the Tu-144, had to fly the experimental plane-the analog of the MiG-21. Moreover, the SPS after the Tu-104 has returned to the brake parachute to reduce the landing run.
The first prototype of the Tu-144 was prepared for testing in late 1968, but raise it up in the air due to bad weather happened only on 31 December. The plane was piloted by honored test pilot of the USSR Eduard V. yelyan. The crew also consisted of co – pilot M. V. Kozlov, flight engineer Yu. T. Seliverstov and chief engineer V. N. Benders.
Tests of the Tu-144 was pretty slow. So, sound barrier car for the first time surpassed the 5 June 1969, and on 15 July 1970, reached a top speed of 2443 km/h, which corresponds to the number M=2,35.
The first foreign trip took place in may 1971, when the plane went to the international Airshow in Le Bourget with a stopover in Prague. After the end of the cabin of the Tu-144 landed at the Berlin airport (Schoenefeld), but shortly after the flight to Moscow on June 17 made an emergency landing in Warsaw because of the tightness of the fuel system.
From 6 to 14 September of the same year, he took flight at supersonic speed on the route Moscow – Sofia, which spent 1 hour 19 minutes. The return flight went a little faster.
In 1972 the plane was shown in Hannover and Budapest. The last time the first prototype Tu-144, have committed more than 120 flights a total duration of 180 hours, including 50 hours at supersonic speeds, took to the air on 27 April next year. After this he stood at the fence Lieb, waiting their turn for disposal.
While I tested the prototype, July 1, 1971, soared pre-production Tu-144, and it was a completely different car. In comparison with the first prototype aircraft has undergone significant changes. First of all, changed the aerodynamic configuration of the wing, which will have a geometric twist, but more sophisticated design due to the transition from the ogive shape in plan to direct the front edges. On the forward fuselage positioned front, retractable simultaneously with the chassis, a highly mechanized wing (“whiskers”), transforming the car to the biplane, however, on landing modes.
Production copy of Tu-144 powered by NK-144A
An instance of the serial Tu-144 D
Changes were made to the power plant. The engines NK-144A arranged in pairs, in two isolated nacelles, which reduced the probability of their interaction. Changed the passenger cabin became more spacious.
After the completion of factory tests of the Tu-144 specialists of the Moscow machine-building plant (MMZ) “the Experience” and GosNII GA started with joint state tests (leading engineer A. Teterukov and the pilot V. Popov).
20 September 1972 the first production Tu-144 (CCCP – 77102) made a flight on the route Moscow – Tashkent and back at supersonic speed. On may 23 the car was presented at the XXX air show at Le Bourget, which is 3 in June, she crashed. This tragedy led to the suspension of flights, has become the first ordeal for the entire program of the PCA. Over a year has gone in search of the causes of the tragedy and coping. Testing of the liner, which was followed by numerous flights and participation in air shows, were resumed in November 1973.
Nine-year-old epic of the Tu-144 was completed on 1 November 1977 exit cars on passenger airlines Moscow – Alma-ATA. But was carrying passengers short-lived, and may 30 of the following year after the disaster of the first production instance of the Tu-144D airliner operation was suspended.
The first production models of the Tu-144 did not satisfy the requirements of the MGA, and the main reason was lack of range, associated with increased fuel consumption with engines NK-144A. To solve this problem it was possible only after the creation of the design Bureau of P. A. Kolesov BES-afterburning engine РД36-51A. First, still experienced instances of this turbojet engine installed on a production Tu-144 (USSR -77105), transformed virtually into a flying laboratory for the refinement of the new engines, and in November 1974 began flight tests. So there is a third variant of the Tu-144D with a range of meeting the requirements of the MGA, USSR.
At the same time, the plant in Voronezh has moved to mass production has not yet passed the state tests of the Tu-144D. Engine РД36-51A sustained joint state 200-hour bench tests in early 1978, and then it seemed that the main obstacle to Soviet SFOR to mass exploitation is eliminated.
27 April of the same year took place the first flight of the serial Tu-144D (USSR -77111), but less than a month later, the car crashed, which led to the suspension of the operation of passenger aircraft since may 30. However, the point in the “biography” Tu-144 not yet set.
19 February 1979, flew the second production copy, the Tu-144D. It was followed by other cars. On passenger transport while it was not because the engine could not cope with the task, and planes have long been on the factory airfield without engines. In addition, on August 31, 1980 during a test flight due to a fire one of the engines made an emergency landing at a military airfield in Engels (Saratov region) Tu-144D (USSR-7713).
The program of state tests of the Tu-144D was able to complete only in November 1981, but problems with reliability and engine life РД36-51A remained, and November 12, 1981 after the destruction of the engine on the stand in Rybinsk during the control trials again followed by a temporary stop flights.
April 13, 1981 raised in the air Tu-144D (CCCP – 77114), and two years later it set a cascade of world records. In particular, the world speed record 2031,5 km/h flight in a closed 1000 km route with a cargo of 30 000 kg. Then 2000-km closed route with the same commercial load flew at an average speed of 2012,2 km/h at an altitude of 18 200 m. In the press has passed the message modest about these achievements, but mentioning the type of aircraft it did not bother, modestly calling the car as “aircraft 101”.
1 July 1983 it was decided to use produced Tu-144 only as flying laboratories. In particular, the Tu-144D (CCCP – 77114) was performed by the flight training of test pilots LII training program for flight in the orbital ship “Buran”.
According to some, the fuel consumption per passenger kilometer in the Tu-144D has been reduced to 100 grams and nearer on this indicator to the “Concord”, but passengers have never been transported. If we consider that the requirements of the MGA to the flight range of Tu-144 have been satisfied in its latest version, the creation of domestic SPS took 15 years. The last aircraft (CCCP – 77115) was built in the autumn of 1984, and on October 4, he rose in the air.
In the summer of 1991 in the “biography” Tu-144 occurred another very important event – the meeting in Paris, the leaders of the American company “Rockwell” and Tupolev signed a Protocol of intent to conduct a joint research program SPS-2. The final decision was reached in June 1993 at the meeting of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation V. Chernomyrdin, and Secretary of state al Gore. The Tu-144D was very well suited for these purposes.
The basic data of the aircraft Tu-144
The basic data of the aircraft Tu-144
To finalize in a flying laboratory chose the penultimate serial plane (№ 77114) by the time after only 82 hours, and subsequently received the designation Tu-144ЛЛ “Moscow”, and for the development of new finished products as ground – based test the car # 77112. While reserved Tu-144D USSR-77115.
Revived the machine, equipped with engines NK-321 of Tu-160 bombers, the crew of the S. Borisov raised in the air in November 1996. Actually the Tu-144ЛЛ became the fifth modification of the aircraft, because in addition to changes in the power plant had to reinforce the wing and part of the equipment borrowed from the passenger Tu-204. During the experiments, completed in April 1999, conducted research, in particular, on the influence of the geometry of the OVC on its characteristics, determine the equilibrium temperature of the airframe, thermal state parameters of the power plant and fuel systems, and basic aerodynamic characteristics, including the influence of the display effect, characteristics of stability and controllability of the car.
Despite the setbacks, the Tu-144, which was more politics than common sense, of course, is the outstanding achievement of the Russian aircraft industry. This car was set not only records of speed and altitude of the aircraft, but the record of mismanagement that led to the closure of the entire program. On the “wind” threw billions of rubles that could be used better for the benefit not of the wealthy citizens of the USSR.
Today one can argue about the place and role of ATP in the life of earthlings, but it is clear that in the foreseeable future from concrete slabs airfields will not come off no aircraft of similar purpose. An exception may be administrative only ATP, but this is the subject of another conversation.

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