MOSCOW – February 12, 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin supports the development of a new Russian airliner, based on the Tupolev Tu-160 bomber. “We have to go back to supersonic passenger transport”, Putin said – according to Russia Today – during a visit to Kazan.
“Everything is going like clockwork,” the Russian president said about the Tu-160. “So why not create a supersonic passenger aircraft?” Putin was already positive about the development of such an aircraft, which would be needed, since the last Russian supersonic airliner flew 4 decades ago.
In the late 1960s the Russian aircraft industry developed the Tupolev Tu-144 as an answer to the French-British Concorde. The aircraft flew for the first time in 1968, but was going into service nine years later, in 1977. After a Tu-144 crashed, only one year later – in 1978 – during a test flight, the type was taken out of service. After only 55 passenger flights.
There have been plans for the development of a new Russian supersonic airliner for some time. Aeroflot’s topman Vitaly Savelyev, said last year that his airline would like to become the first user of such a super fast airliner.
(Photo: Sergey Lysenko [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tupolev_Tu-160_in_flight.jpg)