Tupolev Tu-144 versus Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde. Comparative

Tupolev Tu-144 versus Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde. Comparative

- The Tu-144 aircraft was completed in the spring of 1968, but for ground and run tests it was moved to another airport and it was until autumn to be reassembled to start the ground test run. The first flight took place on December 31, 1968, as pilots and technicians waited for 12 days to improve the weather.
- There were 4 variants Tu-144, the first prototype not having "mustaches" (a kind of retractable fins near the fuselage and mounted above the driver's cab) to reduce the landing speed close to the Franco-English counterpart Aerospatiale / BAC Concorde. There were also 15 Tu-144 models that were almost completely redesigned, with a longer fuselage with "mustaches" to reduce landing speed, more passengers, more powerful engines, and reconfiguration of the main landing gear.
- The landing train at Tu-144 was made up of 24 main wheels and 2 wheels on the front. The reason why so many wheels were used in the Tu-144 type was that the Soviet Union had airport slopes of poor quality compared to those in the West. Evil gaps show that the reason was to compensate for the lack of technology of friction-resistant tires with landing tracks. In comparison, Concorde had 8 main wheels on the main train and 2 wheels on the front.

- the reason for Tu-144's collapse at the 1973 Le Bourget aerospace saloon is likely to be due to the unexpected occurrence of a French Mirage-3R photographic camera that entered the Tu-144 plane boundary, causing it to crash . Officially, it was shown that it was reducing Tu-144's air demonstration time to 15 minutes and subjecting the Soviet crew to additional psychological stress compared to the Concorde airplane that had previously had 30 minutes of airborne presentation.
- The Tu-144 could not be reached without gloves after landing for at least 20 minutes due to its temperature of 120 degrees Celsius, similar to its aerospace / BAC Concorde counterpart.
- In 1996, the Americans chose Tu-144 to design a new generation of supersonic airplanes in the future, due to its speed of almost 2400 km / h, compared to Concord with 2179 km / h. However, the prototype Tu-144 "CCCP-68001", which flew two months ahead of Concorde, was faster with a maximum speed of 2530 km / h and was fitted with KS-1 ejection seats; for the first time in the world an aircraft the passengers had ejection seats) taken from the Tu-22 supersonic bombers. 

- Soviet civil aeronautics industry specialists said they were technological behind the West for about 20 years, and because of this, the engines that made noise inside could not be isolated from the passenger cabin at an acceptable level. The Soviet government appealed to the English and French to buy the noise insulation technology in the Concorde passenger cabin, but they were refused. In fact, Concorde had the engines placed farther away from the Tu-144 type fuselage and participate as an advantage over the noise they produced in the passenger cabin.

- when the Tu-144 aircraft in the LL version as an aerospace research laboratory was relaunched, the Koliesov RD36-51 engines where replaced with the Kuznetsov NK-321 type, taken from the supersonic strategic bomber Tu-160, because the original Tu-144 engines were no longer in production.
- there were rumors about Soviet company Sukhoi refusal to transfer part of the T-4 strategic bomber technology to improve the Tu-144 passenger plane, which is still unconfirmed.
- With all its malfunctions and imperfections, Tu-144 carried 3194 passengers on the only authorized Moscow-Alma Ata route and made 50 landings at Moscow Airport. The ticket price was $ 91. 
- as a peculiarity, the Tu-144 plane had three types of turbojet engine. The first prototype and the Tu-144S variants had Kuznetsov NK-144A engines but could not reach the projected speed of 2,100-2400 km / h without post-combustion in engine operation. Due to this fact, the flight distance was only 2400 km, much less than at Concorde (6400 km). But the latest Tu-144D versions were powered by Koliesov RD36-51 engines, and the post-combustion was only used for take-off, then on cruise to fly without jolting (like the Concorde type) at 2,070 km / h (still lower than at Franco-British counterpart) and being able to reach the projected 6400 km flight distance.
- the first prototype Tu-144 was built using 20% ​​titanium and the rest of the alloy steel and steel, and the other series were built only from aluminum and steel to reduce operating costs.
- While Concorde was designed to fly over the ocean, the Tu-144 was much more difficult to use on cruise flights overland, which further complicates its situation as a proper aircraft. In addition, the Soviets attempted to make the Tu-144 type with supersonic passenger flights close to subsonic aircraft, which was not possible on Condorde, as ticket prices were exorbitant for the average person.

Technical specifications Tu-144D (Concorde)

  • Crew: 3, two pilots and a flight engineer
  • Max passenger capacity: 140 (Concorde: 92-120 passengers)
  • Wingspan: 28,80 m (Concorde: 25,6 m)
  • Length: 65.70 m (Concorde: 61.66 m)
  • Height: 12.55 m (12.2 m)
  • Loaded area: 506.35 m² (Concorde: 358.25 m²)
  • Empty weight: 99.200 kg (Concorde: 78.700 kg)
  • Weighted average weight: 125,000 kg 
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 207,000 kg (Concorde:  187.000 kg la rulare dupa aterizare)
  • Propulsion:: flow Kuznetsov NK-144, later Koliesov RD-36-51 26,100 kgf each in post-combustion mode (Concorde: 4 Rolls-Royce / Snecma Olympus 593 Mk 610 single turbo-jet turbines of 17,200 kgf each post-combustion)

  • Viteza Maximum cruise speed: 2125 km/h ( Concorde: 2179 km/h)
  • Flight maximum flight 6400 km (Concorde: over 7000 km)
  • Ceiling : 20.000 m (Concorde: 18.300 m)
  • Viteza Rate if climb:: 23 m/s (Concorde: 51 m/s)

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