Date: 10 Dec 97 04:05:03 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stephen H. Westin) Organization: Program of Computer Graphics -- Cornell University References: 1 2 3 4
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email@example.com (James Matthew Weber) writes: > Aeroflot actually fly the TU-144 in domestic service for about a year. > I think the comments ignore a major problem with Concord and the > TU-144. For the Eastern Block, the number of destinations where the > aricraft was useful was very limited. While the Cubans would probably > have liked it, it lacked the range to get anywhere where the speed > advantage was useful. The Concorde (presumably the TU144 had very > similar range characteristics) Nope. The TU-144 had significantly *shorter* range than Concorde. I think range was around 2,000 miles. This made it more of an exercise in national prestige than a workable airplane. After all, what good is a supersonic airliner that won't cross any major ocean? I believe (though I don't understand the details why) that this difference had to do with the turbofan engines on the TU-144. The non-bypass engines in Concorde are actually *more* efficient at supersonic cruise. > makes it across the Atlantic from Paris > or London ro NY, Washington or Miami, but that is about all it can do. > > About the only place the TU-144 could be flown was from Eastern > Europe/Soviet Union to the Siberia. It couldn't reach North America or > Asian destinations. > My own belief is the lack of any destinations where anyone could fly > the TU-144 had a lot to do with why no other airlines flew it, and > Aeroflot certainly didn't fly it for long. And the tendency to fall out of the sky had something to do with it, too :). I believe this had to do with the low-speed characteristics of the delta wing. At low speeds, Concorde (and presumably the TU-144) needs *more* power to maintain altitude as airspeed declines, so it's fundamentally unstable. Concorde's autothrottle system compensates for this, but is a bit beyond the Soviet technology of the time, presumably leaving it up to the quick reflexes of the pilot. As east-west relations began to warm a bit, the Soviets tried to hire Lucas to adapt Concorde's engine controls to the TU-144, until someone in Britain observed that its NK-144 engines were shared with the Backfire bomber, and figured they would just have to sort the whole thing out on their own. -- -Stephen H. Westin Any information or opinions in this message are mine: they do not represent the position of Cornell University or any of its sponsors.