December 31st 1968 : he Soviets are proud: the Tupolev TU-144, nicknamed Concordski by people in the West, is the first supersonic commercial plane to fly. The first flight lasted 38 minutes and flew at subsonic speeds. Thus the USSR has beaten the European Concorde.
June 3th 1973 : Fateful crash of a TU-144 at Le Bourget airshow. In June 1978, after a second crash, again, fortunately, a freight-carrier with no passengers, the Tupelovs were withdrawn from any further flights with no reasons given. Of all the supersonic contenders, only Concorde remained.
In total, 13 TU-144 planes were flown, 4 of them fitted out for passenger flights.
Contrary to Concorde, it can fly at Mach 2 only with lit post-combustion, which involves a very high consumption of fuel. The aircraft is also considered uncomfortable and to suffer from problems of noise, vibration and pressurization.
A Nasa/Tupolev agreement, signed at the beginning of 1995, will allow a new take-off for the TU-144 (stopped years later). This will make it possible to the Americans to acquire a new experiment on the commercial supersonic flight and to fill part of their delay.
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Exceptional sale of CONCORDE collection Parts In Toulouse
The AEROTHEQUE association is organising an exceptional auction sale of Concorde collection parts, on 28, 29, 30 September and 1 October 2007 in Toulouse (France).
All proceeds from this sale wil…