Re: Soviet Aircraft

From:         h andrew chuang <>
Date:         14 Apr 93 00:55:58 PDT
References:   1 2 3 4
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

Stefano Pagiola wrote:

>If you had claimed that the L-1011 was Lockheed's version of the  
>DC-10, I would probably have chided you by E-Mail for sloppy  

I'm confused.  I thought the L-1011 was designed before the DC-10.  The
L-1011 program was delayed only because Rolls Royce went bankrupt.

>Swartz> The second point is that
>Swartz> manufacturers are often working on the same set of requirements
>Swartz> from the same set of airlines.  This latter point is perhaps 
>Swartz> nowhere clearer than in the DC-10 and L-1011.
>To the extent that these points (different technology for fundamental  
>components such as engines and different requirements) are correct,  
>then it becomes all the more evident that any resemblance of soviet  
>designs to western designs is purely coincidental, since by the first  
>point they _could not_ have copied western designs, and by the second  
>would not have _wanted_ to.

I simply won't believe that there wasn't any "plagiarism" in the Soviet
designs.  I don't have any documented evidence, but the law of statistics
tells me that there are way too many occurances to be coincidental.  Having
similar set of requirements does not mean the designs will be visually
similar.  For example, When the SST effort first started, the US airframers
came out with different designs based on similar requirements.  Other than
being a bigger plane with the canards, the Tu-144 looked too much like the
Concorde.  (Shahid Siddiqi pointed out the Tu-144 flew before the Concorde,
but that was only because the Soviet rushed through the process.  Obviously,
the rush resulted in the crash at the Paris Air Show.  Does anyone know if
Rolls' bankruptcy delayed the Concorde program, too?)

Also, when the Air Force gave the aircraft manufacturers a same set of
requirements for the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighters), the two teams came up
with two distinctive designs, the (Y)F22 and YF23; even the engines, (Y)F119
and YF120, were distinctively different.  Throughout the cold war, there was
no single Soviet-designed fighter that showed significant resemblance to a
Western fighter.  Do the Soviet and NATO nations have different combat
requirements?  Clearly not.  Then, why does the resemblance only occurs in
the commercial transport?  Much of the information on the US and European
commercial airplanes are readily available even at the preliminary stage
(thanks to publications like Aviation Week, Flight International, etc.,
haven't most of you reading this newsgroup learned a lot about programs like
the 7X7 and 7J7 from those magazines?), while preliminary information on
military designs is harder to find unless espionage is involved.  I do
believe the Soviet designers did their own mechanical and aero designs, but
"initial creativity" had to be very limited.

Moreover, there is a very good reason (other than the national pride like
flying the first commerical SST flight with the Tu-144) why the Soviet
wanted to build airplanes that had similar specs as the Western planes:
they wanted to make sure that the airlines in the Soviet-bloc nations would
not buy Western planes.  Correct me if I am wrong, JAT of Yugoslavia was the
only Soviet-bloc airline that had bought American jets in the 70's.

Unless you can show me hard evidences that there was no significant Western
influence on many of the Soviet designs, I have as much right to say that
the Soviet "plagiarized" as your right to say otherwise.  Don't we all make
our conclusions based on our perception?

P.S. How about Dassult's Mercure 100C and the 737?

|  H. Andrew Chuang         || Tel:   (513) 774-5267          |
|  LEA                      || Fax:   (513) 774-5171          |
|  GE Aircraft Engines      || Email: |
personal opinions... not speaking for GE Aircraft Engines