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Tupolev Tu-135 Supersonic passenger aircraft

Tupolev Tu-135 Supersonic passenger aircraftThe history of the first Soviet supersonic transports project began in 1958, when in OKB-156, under the code aircraft "135" under the leadership of S. M. Yeger, initiative work on a strategic strike aviation system began. The work went on proactively, until the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 1057-437 was signed on October 3, 1960, according to which the Myasishchev Design Bureau was transferred to the Chelomey Design Bureau and was released for the design of the M-56 supersonic carrier aircraft, and the Tupolev Design Bureau was supposed to a three-month period to give proposals on the creation of long-range supersonic reconnaissance aircraft and a supersonic carrier aircraft with consideration of the possibility of their serial construction at Aviation Plant No. 22 in Kazan.

On the basis of the aircraft, its passenger modification Tu-135P was also worked out. This aircraft was supposed to provide a practical flight range of 6,500 km at supersonic, for a non-stop flight from the USSR to the USA. In the passenger version, the 135 aircraft was designed to provide transportation in two versions: normal and long-range, where the aircraft's range varied depending on its payload.

In the normal version, the Tu-135P was supposed to carry 12,000 kg of commercial cargo (100-120 passengers) at a range of 4500-5000 km at a supersonic cruising speed of 2100-2200 km / h. This would provide flights: from Moscow to the Far East with a landing in Irkutsk or Novosibirsk; to all countries of the African continent with one landing in Cairo or Khartoum; to all countries of Southeast Asia with one landing in Kabul or Delhi; to New York or Montreal with a landing in Reykjavik, in Rio de Janeiro with two landings in Cairo and Dakar.

In the long-range version, the Tu-135P was supposed to carry 8000 kg of commercial cargo (70-80 passengers) at a range of 6000-6500 km at a supersonic cruising speed of 2100-2200 km / h. This would provide flights: Moscow - Khabarovsk; Moscow - New York, with a stopover in Murmansk, London or Paris. In addition, an option was considered for performing special flights with a payload of 3500-5000 kg in mixed supersonic and subsonic modes for a range of 7500-8000 km for a non-stop flight from Moscow to New York. From the latter it follows that the plane was also planned for fast diplomatic transportation, probably also for the first persons of the state.

Considering that the 135P aircraft was developed on the basis of the 135 military aircraft, which, according to the requirements of the Air Force, for the possibility of operating a heavy aircraft from airfields with a weak concrete surface or unpaved surface, should have been equipped with a ski-wheeled or multi-wheeled chassis for use with takeoff weight 160,000 kg from first-class airfields and unpaved airfields of an improved type, and in the reloading version, take-off weight of 200,000 kg, from reinforced first-class airfields and from out-of-class airfields. The projected aircraft "135P" was supposed to revolutionize the existing airfield network of the USSR, probably from the very beginning it fit into the airfields capable of receiving the first-born jet Tu-104. Tu-135P was supposed to be based on class 1 airfields, and with the reloading version for long-distance transportation at airfields outside the class.

Tupolev Tu-135 Supersonic passenger aircraftThe Tupolev Design Bureau was unable to create even a military version of the 135 aircraft. Although Nikita Khrushchev made a bet on a complete rejection in favor of ICBMs from manned strategic bombers, the project of the 135 aircraft was not closed. Instead, the task was changed in favor of increasing the cruising speed to 3000 km / h, as a result of which A.N. Tupolev was forced to withdraw the aircraft from the competition, in which A.S. Yakovlev had already participated with the Yak-35 and P.O. Sukhoi with the legendary T-4. By a decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR in December 1963, the development of the Tu-135 aircraft was closed in favor of the shock-reconnaissance T-4. All work on the design of the Tu-135 in the mid-60s was curtailed completely.

Although Nikita Khrushchev refused to use bombers, he was not going to give up on passenger planes. After all, he couldn't carry people on ballistic missiles with comfort. The idea of ??creating a supersonic passenger aircraft was returned in the year when the 135 aircraft was closed. In the third quarter of 1963, in accordance with MAP order No. 276cc of July 26, 1963 and Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 768-271 of July 16, 1963, the Tupolev Design Bureau team was instructed to design and build a supersonic passenger aircraft with a cruising speed of 2300-2700 km / h , the practical range of supersonic flight with 80-100 passengers is 4000-4500 km; in the reloading version with additional fuel tanks and with 30-50 passengers - 6000-6500 km. Operation from first class airfields with a normal take-off weight of 120-130 tons. It was assumed in the years 1966-1967 to build five copies of the Tu-144 (three flight and two copies for strength tests). The first prototype aircraft was supposed to take off three years later. This is how the Tu-144 was born.

SM Yeger proposed to design the Tu-144 on the basis of a large amount of work carried out on the 135 aircraft and its civil modification 135P. As a result, the Tu-144 appeared, but this is already a thoroughly known story, beyond the scope of this article. Summing up, it should be said that although the Tu-135P was not created and remained on paper, it had a great influence on the creation of the Tu-144.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:24:32 ZULU