The Russian Concorde

A result of the cold war’s technology rivalry when the Soviet Union they copied many things the west made including the some pretty impressive technology including the Space Shuttle. Another of their copies was the Concorde, they produced a pretty similar supersonic get which they called the Tupolev TU-144. But they didn’t really pull it off to good and the plane was never certified to fly passengers. They had a bit of a media disaster at the Paris Airshow in 1973 where a TU144 fell out of the sky, break up and crash. They ended up using the plane for mail runs across Russia, then a second one crashed in 1978 followed by you guessed it a third a bit later and this was out of a fleet of 22 which included a prototype. The US ended up buying a few in the mid 90’s and refit them for testing of a future supersonic project. Today one of the remaining TU-144 is on display in Germany at the Auto & Technikmuseum at Sinsheim. Interestingly the craft is on display right next to a Concorde it is interesting to see how similar the aircraft are. For more information:  http://www.gizmohighway.com/history/tu-144.htm

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