More details of the TU144 supersonic airliner, which has just gone into production, were given recently by its designer Alexei Tupolev at an in-flight press conference above the Soviet Union.
AIR TO AIR TU144 in flight
SV & CU INT. Alexei Tupolev speaks to media (4 shots)
AIR TO AIR 144 in flight
GV & LV PAN 144 in hangar (2 shots)
GV 144 takes off
AIR TO AIR TU144 climbing
SV & CU Pilots & controls (4 shots)
GROUND TO AIR 144 flies over
GV PAN 144 lands
Initials ES. 1725 ESP/1833
OFFICIAL SOVIET FILM
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Background: More details of the TU144 supersonic airliner, which has just gone into production, were given recently by its designer Alexei Tupolev at an in-flight press conference above the Soviet Union.
At the time the aircraft was cruising at an altitude of about 40,000 feet (13,000 metres) at a speed of around 1,250 miles an hour (2,000 kilometres an hour).
Mr. Tupolev said that in the four years since the TU144's first test flight (December, 1968, from the Zhukovsky plant near Moscow) it had been greatly improved in performance. A particularly notable improvement was the fitting of front telescopic wings which give greatly improved stability at take-off and landing. Its engines have also been moved inboard.
The aircraft was crewed by first pilot Edward Yelyan and co-pilot Valeri Molchanov who had to keep an eye on over two thousand instruments.
The TU144, which looks very much like the Anglo-French Concords, was first exhibited in model for at the 1965 Paris air show. The first prototype flight was in 1968 and the first flight above March I (the speed of sound) took place the following June.
In May 1970, the TU144 exceeded Mach 2, the first time ever for a commercial plans. It was also given its first public showing, in Moscow, that month.
The TU144 will seat about a hundred passengers, will cruise between Mach 2 and Mach 2.35 (about 1,550 miles an hour or 2,500 kilometres an hour). It's a four-engined craft with a wing span of about ninety feet (27 metres) and an overall length of about 200 feet (60 metres).