Remembering the "Soviet Concorde", the Tupolev Tu-144

Pretty much everyone has heard about the supersonic airliner that for more than two decades crossed the Atlantic at a record speed, the Concorde.

What is much less well known is that, as in other technological fields, there was a contemporary Soviet equivalent, the Tupolev Tu-144, which made its first flight a couple of months earlier than its Western counterpart.

Much like the Concorde, the Tu-144 never made it big, if anything, it was even less successful than the former, since it was plagued but reliability issues from the very start and it has managed to complete 102 commercial flights until it was withdrawn from regular passenger service.

No wonder there is not much material around about the Tu-144. However, on this treasure trove of our days that is Youtube, though, I found this Soviet documentary (in English) where you can get very interesting footage about the Tu-144 as well as the history of its development and interviews with the engineers that managed this aircraft programme...Enjoy!

By the way, the Tu-144 might not be the last civilian supersonic jet to come out of Russia, as a project to develop a supersonic executive jet is said to be currently under way...!