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The Russian Concorde: Why Did The Tupolev TU-144 Fail?

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During the Cold War, the ever-looming threat of technological inferiority drove innovation in the aviation industry on both sides of the Iron Curtain. One of the most prominent examples was the race to conquer commercial supersonic air travel. The Tupolev Tu-144 was built as the Soviet Union's response to the Concorde in the West. Unlike the Concorde, the Tu-144 never experienced the same level of success as its western counterpart. (aeroxplorer.com) More...

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jeffinsydney
jeff slack 27
Russia has proved repeatedly how well espionage works and they continually prove that you can steal the plans but if you do not have the ability to understand the engineering you might as well just buy one of the finished products from those that do. Buran anyone? Concordeski?
stansdds
It's one thing to steal the plans for a technological marvel, it's a whole other thing trying to create the materials and reverse engineer the entire piece. Plus, if your manufacturing technology cannot hold the required precision in making the parts, well, to the eye it can look like the original part, but it's not likely to fit quite as well nor work as well as the original part.
AlanBDahl
Alan Dahl 6
The Buran shuttle technically may have actually been superior to the US Space Shuttle as it could land itself. What did it in is that they didn't have the ability to design it on computer and thus had to build countless prototypes. The launch system (Energia) and it's engines were also totally expendable while the US shuttle, at least nominally as they had to constantly be rebuilt, re-used it's engines. As a result the Buran program was very expensive and with the fall of the Soviet Union simply could not be sustained. I have no doubt however that if they had actually gotten to the operational phase with their block II shuttle that it would have been very successful.
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 5
There's no doubt that the designer of the TU-144, Aleksey Tupolev was a master of aeronautical engineering, having also designed the TU-134, TU-154 and TU-204 jet transports, and the TU-160 supersonic bomber, which has been in service for 36 years. The TU-144 failed because of political pressure to rush it into service before Concorde. Tupolev also designed the Buran spaceplane, which was cancelled because the government stopped funding it and, as far as we know, not for any engineering concerns.
bentwing60
bentwing60 10
well, Ive' posted this before, but long ago and far away the B29/TU4 became a great Stalin invention/clone that served as their strategic bomber for at least a decade +

wonder where thy got the idea? 847 of them!

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/b-29-bomber-russia-loved-and-copied-iconic-plane-180065
djheher
Dennis Heher 3
I saw a documentary about this years ago and whether it is true or not I don't know. But, according to the narrator, there was a discussion amongst the engineers charged with building the replica if they should include a patched tail section in their copy since Stalin asked for an exact reproduction.
jbsimms
James Simms 3
That’s what I’ve heard too. They were deathly afraid (for good reason) if the Boeing emblems were not included; they’d be sent to the Gulags in Siberia or worse…….
oldfolkie
Iain Girling 8
Blatant rip-offs rarely perform as well as the original.
jbsimms
James Simms 2
Just like sequels/remakes of Hollywood hits. The only ones that come to mind are the ‘Thin Man’ series in the mid-late Thirties/early Forties, & the Ma & Pa Kettle series.
bkoskie
Billy Koskie 7
I wonder if we will ever know how many cosmonauts the USSR killed in the early days.
ColinSeftel
Colin Seftel 9
There's only one which was kept secret and only revealed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. On March 23, 1961, a flash fire in an oxygen-saturated isolation chamber took the life of cosmonaut-trainee Valentin Bondarenko. Had NASA known, it's possible that the Apollo 1 tragedy may have been avoided.
The other 4 cosmonaut deaths were reported at the time and not secret. Vladimir Komarov died in Soyuz 1 on April 24, 1967 when the parachute failed to open and the three occupants of Soyuz 11, Georgy Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov died when the re-entry capsule depressurized on June 30, 1971.
Rumors of earlier cosmonaut deaths have been debunked since full details of the Soviet space program were declassified after 1991. See https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/lost-cosmonaut-conspiracy
jbsimms
James Simms 1
My understanding the only viable veins found on Bondarenko after the incident were in his feet. Can’t imagine the horror & pain, but still sends shiver's down my back thinking abt it.
mpenney
Michael Penney 1
For interactive page with more information on flight and other incidents related to space flight:
https://sma.nasa.gov/SignificantIncidents/
Nooge
Nooge -1
I wonder if we will ever know how many Ukrainian women and Children the USSR killed so far
nathansthepilot
Nathan Cox 2
You’re saying this a day after a Ukrainian NATO missile hits a civilian populated area in Russia?
nickmarino758
Nicholas Marino -2
Hi, I am with you on this one. I believe is is a large amount!!!
Nooge
Nooge 2
Why Did The Tupolev TU-144 Fail?

Because it is Russian
nickmarino758
Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JoelRugeno
Joel Rugeno 1
Nothing new here it’s merely a rehash of what’s been written and video documented many times before
dr1622
David Roberts 1
LOL!!
nickmarino758
The answer to your question is. Because it was made in Russia!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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