Why You Wouldn’t Want to Fly On The Soviet Concorde – The TU-144 Story

Why You Wouldn’t Want to Fly On The Soviet Concorde – The TU-144 Story


The Concorde could rip across the
Atlantic in just over three hours, twice as fast as any modern-day airliner. And
you’d do it in style while sipping champagne. Wait a minute… This isn’t
Concorde! This is the only other supersonic jet to
ever carry commercial passengers. No, this isn’t Concorde. This is the
Soviet Union’s Tupolev 144. And yes, it looks like the Concorde
but flying on this thing was nothing like the Concorde. The Tu-144 was kind of
like the Concord’s crazy older sister. She was loud, uncomfortable and a little
dangerous. But the 144 story is definitely worth telling.
It clearly knocked off a lot of the Concord’s design – just look at – it but it
actually did some things better, like carry more passengers, it even flew
faster. But ultimately the 144’s story is about faking it. About deceiving the
world. In the 1960’s the race to build a supersonic passenger jet, well it was
more than about just flying fast, it was about asserting superiority for both the
Soviets and the West. And the race to be the first actually started as a
three-way between the Americans with their half-baked Boeing 2707, the joint
British-French Concorde, and the Soviets with their Tu-144. The Americans ruined
their shot by tying themselves up in bureaucracy and cost overruns, this put
the Concorde project firmly in the lead. The Soviets who had more primitive
technology had a lot of catching up to do, so they relied on good old Soviet
ingenuity.. oh and they stole a whole bunch from the Concorde program. Early on Soviet spies made out with over 90,000 technical documents on the Concorde and other aircraft so they caught up to the Concorde program and the 144 took flight
two months before Concorde It’s obvious the Concorde was designed
around passenger experience. Journalists marveled at how quiet and smooth
supersonic flight was and how flight attendants had no trouble chatting up
passengers while they served martinis. In the 144? Well caviar and champagne were also brought out, but Western journalists fixated on the cramped seats, window
shades that would suddenly drop without being pulled, and that some of the
bathrooms weren’t even working. The 144’s more primitive engines and cooling
system worked together to produce a sound so loud that passengers couldn’t
talk to one another. Instead they had to pass around handwritten notes and
playing pass the note with other passengers must have killed some of the
opulence. Not that flying on the 144 was ever going to be a normal experience. The plane only ever saw passenger service on a single lonely route between
Moscow and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The thing is the 144’s engines burned so much
fuel, it couldn’t actually fly much further, it couldn’t even cross the
Soviet Union. Compare that to the Concorde, its route spanned continents
and oceans and the Tu-144 flew only once a week, even though there were seven more certified and ready for service. This shows how confident Soviet leaders were
in the 144. Out of 102 scheduled flights there were 226
mechanical failures, 80 of which were serious enough to delay or canceled the
flight altogether. The possibility of 144 crashing with passengers on board was a huge political risk. From the very beginning the one full force
air worthiness was in serious question. It crashed in front of thousands of
spectators during the 1973 Paris Air Show. Then again in 1978 when a cargo version went down after a fuel line rupture. And
yet again in 1981 one suffered an engine explosion, forcing an emergency landing.
The problem was the Tu-144 had clearly been rushed in its development. Getting
this thing built before the Concorde was more important for the Soviets than
actually building it well, and the 144’s engineers had fewer resources and
inferior technologies. But still, you gotta hand it to them for actually
getting it done. The Concorde’s design team had state-of-the-art rolls-royce
olympus engines with computer-controlled engine inlets that allowed for something called super cruise. So once Concorde reached
supersonic her fuel thirsty after burners could be
switched off while still maintaining supersonic. Tu-144 engineers had to make do with engines that needed continuous afterburners to maintain supersonic. The
Concorde had a sophisticated wing optimized for both supersonic and
low-speed flying, the Tu-144’s wing was really only good for supersonic, so pilots had to land the 144 at higher speeds, making for brutally
hard landings that even required a parachute. The Soviets worked around
their wing limitations by designing canards, little deploy-able wings at the
front of the aircraft which would improve low-speed stability. But all the
innovation on both sides of the Iron Curtain couldn’t overcome the reality
that supersonic travel was just too expensive. In the capitalist West you
could price Concorde tickets at 5 or 6 times what a regular flight would cost,
so the Concorde became about glitz and glamour, but on the other side of the
Iron Curtain things were a little bit more awkward. Who exactly in the
Communist Soviet Union was supposed to fly aboard the Tu-144? The price of a
ticket was set at just 37 rubles, not much more than you’d expect to pay on a
regular flight and not nearly enough to cover operational costs. The 14 Concordes that entered service found a small niche serving celebrities and the rich, but
even with that Concorde itself was still a commercial failure. The French and the
British had poured billions into developing it even as they knew very
early on that they’d never be able to sell hundreds of Concordes needed to
recoup development costs. But the 144 without the same premium niche to fill
on the other side of the Iron Curtain, could only ever be used as a propaganda
tool and a prestige project. The Concorde would ferry passengers for 27 years up
until it was retired in 2003. The Tu-144? Well it was retired from regular passenger
service not even a full year after it started.

100 Comments

  • Chris Bam

    August 15, 2019

    It sounds like the Soviet did not try at all, the plane is a pice of crap!

    Reply
  • Ramil Fatkhutdinov

    August 15, 2019

    Russian Supersonic Tu-144 was the best! Any russian people could buy a flight ticket on the Tu-144, and only rich people flew on the Concorde. That’s the whole difference. Also Tu-144 technologies were more advanced, look at the width of the cabin, the Tu-144 has five seats in a row, and the Concord has only 4…
    Russia has a Tu-160 aircraft, so today Russia has all the technology to continue to produce such supersonics

    Reply
  • Suresh Rajbahak

    August 15, 2019

    Hoina hola!

    Reply
  • Underground Raiload TV show in Chicago

    August 16, 2019

    USA

    Reply
  • Peter Hemming

    August 16, 2019

    People that have to stand in line for toilet paper with internal passports (need permission to leave) are going to ride this thing?

    Reply
  • dia6olo

    August 16, 2019

    "Faking it, deceiving the world" A lot the Americans with the moon landing…

    Reply
  • Sam Lutfi

    August 16, 2019

    Southwest Airlines just purchased 4 Russian Concordes to service Los Angeles to Phoenix routes. Tickets start at 99 one way

    Reply
  • Emil Sosnin

    August 17, 2019

    The stories about Russian spies meddling didn't stop I see and the reviews from New York Times, give me a break. We were first in space and we were first in supersonic transit. It was the world's first commercial SST, the second being the Anglo-French Concorde. The Tu-144 first in history went supersonic on June 5 1969, the Concorde first went supersonic on October 1 1969. On May 26 1970 it became the world's first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.

    Cue the balalaika and bayan music

    Reply
  • Striaties

    August 17, 2019

    better primitive but powerfull technology like the stupid people with complicated vulnerable products

    Reply
  • Ganesh Gaitonde

    August 17, 2019

    Coz thei send you to gulag

    Reply
  • Knightofhalo2 Alt

    August 17, 2019

    The difference between the Concorde and TU144 is the that the Concord gave out Tea and the TU144 shared vodka

    Reply
  • leonard telemaque

    August 18, 2019

    has anyone realised the tu-144 looks like a longer euro thyphoon

    Reply
  • HASEEB AZIZ

    August 18, 2019

    Bogus Review!

    Reply
  • InfinityPlay

    August 18, 2019

    Tu-144 is good for cussing cuse it’s loud and u can’t talk to echo ther lol your mom won’t know XD

    Reply
  • b 6

    August 18, 2019

    because they don't fly!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • The New Patticakes

    August 19, 2019

    Dang, I was planning to take my Concorde out for a spin today…

    Reply
  • HackDaddie

    August 19, 2019

    Freaking Russians and Chinese…can't make anything themselves…

    Reply
  • Aaron Beast

    August 19, 2019

    Need Concord back!

    Reply
  • Marco Campania

    August 19, 2019

    Da war SABOTAGE im Spiel. Man hat den Russen den Erfolg NICHT gegönnt ! ! !

    Reply
  • Lieldestructor

    August 20, 2019

    El Tu144 copio el diseño del concorde? Pero si el tu es anterior. Es al revés

    Reply
  • Lieldestructor

    August 20, 2019

    Esto es pura propaganda estadounidense

    Reply
  • Илья Захаров

    August 20, 2019

    Вообщето тушка полетела на два года раньше конкорда, и кто у кого украл разработки еще посмотреть надо, и бились эти конкорды не один раз, то, что тушки убыточные были и очень громкие, и аэропорты переделывать надо было под них, из за этого и перестали эксплуатировать, и сколько жизней конкорды унесли, а тушки всего 14 чел против двух полных конкордов

    Reply
  • Guilherme Nascimento

    August 21, 2019

    So funny to see russians all butthurt about the fact that concordski was a shit copy hahah "TU 144 was flying before concorde" and that's exactly why it had so many critical fucking problems! Why people like to tell lies to themselves, its so lame!!

    Reply
  • Soviet 4life

    August 21, 2019

    Whats the song name on 0:21 ?

    Reply
  • Rojus Naujalis

    August 21, 2019

    Socialist Soviet Union*

    Reply
  • Timothy Dudin

    August 21, 2019

    yeah you dont want fly concords either getting killed few times

    Reply
  • Bas Vlug

    August 21, 2019

    Copy/paste…but then really bad Russian shit!

    Reply
  • Khanh Vu

    August 22, 2019

    144's problem (and any commie things else's problem) in nutshell: not great, not terrible.

    Reply
  • brettwrb

    August 22, 2019

    because the Soviets built it…

    Reply
  • SG21337

    August 22, 2019

    0:56 "She was loud, uncomfortable, and a little dangerous."
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    Reply
  • philip ashdown

    August 23, 2019

    Had we shared the knowledge . Maybe we would have been in a stronger position . To challenge the Americans ..

    Reply
  • Oh well

    August 23, 2019

    A little dangerous? Are you kidding the airplane flew apart in a air show.

    Reply
  • Matus Ramadhan

    August 24, 2019

    New the mighty Russia is even better and again showing the power … power power and also intelligence

    Reply
  • M D.

    August 24, 2019

    did it have a dashcam?

    Reply
  • Jerrome Drake Jr

    August 25, 2019

    About faking it and deceiving the world…
    Well, same for Boeing and their 737 MAX.
    Difference is – Soviets acknowledged that Tu-144 has no future and quietly sent it into history. On the other side – Boeing, even the whole world know that 737 MAX is not for any kind of use (except, perhaps, as real estate – a hostels) they continue to push in their own way as if others did not exist at all.

    Reply
  • Heinrich H.

    August 25, 2019

    Mustard, was berichtest du hier für eine Scheiße!!!!

    Reply
  • Slim Shady

    August 26, 2019

    You wouldn't want to fly on Soviet/Russian anything- not if you've got any sense in your head

    Reply
  • S2BN

    August 26, 2019

    In the UK- Concorde is your choice
    In the USSR- Noise is your choice
    In the US- a prototype is your choice

    Reply
  • Pierre R

    August 26, 2019

    Noise canceling headphones recommend

    Reply
  • Marauder Мародер

    August 27, 2019

    USSR was richer bigger stronger advanced more populated superior than USA! Only the civil economy without the hidden military one according to IMF in 1990 of USSR was just little bigger than USA one!

    Reply
  • Marauder Мародер

    August 27, 2019

    Also the Russian population has higher qualities than the American one

    Reply
  • po ko

    August 27, 2019

    I told you why. because you are 20y later haahahahahaahahahahahahah

    Reply
  • Mieke Bergmann

    August 27, 2019

    When Soviets stole blueprints for Concorde to solve problems with TU-144, according to some sources engineers from Aerospatiale anticipated the move and swapped genuine blueprints with fake ones, which had deliberate design flaws. Then they allowed these to be stolen.

    Not sure if it's just a hoax or not though

    Reply
  • D Stuart

    August 27, 2019

    Concorde–cabin was SUPER loud, teensy, cramped seats even for small folks and windows were teensy. It could be hot inside. And oh yes–it polluted like a MF.

    Reply
  • Bruneau François

    August 28, 2019

    Le contre espionnage Français a pris un malin plaisir à remplir les poubelles des ingénieurs de l'Aérospatiale de plans et données erronés… Les Russes sont tombés dans le panneau !

    Reply
  • Smelly Elvis

    August 28, 2019

    Did Concorde win the Body count as well?

    Reply
  • Omar Mahfouz

    August 28, 2019

    Well, the original concorde was a cluster fuck as well

    Reply
  • Taset90

    August 28, 2019

    Russia, they are only good at cheating and stealing…

    Reply
  • II II

    August 28, 2019

    Konkordski

    Reply
  • sevic333

    August 29, 2019

    They laugh about Russian concorde. But what happened to British-French Concorde ….= The answer is, it crashed killing so many !! …Hur?

    Reply
  • multisphere1

    August 30, 2019

    It’s like some kindergartener is narrating , “ mine is better ! “
    Okay , it’s better. 😀

    Reply
  • Val Bal

    August 30, 2019

    Сосите писю, америкашки!

    Reply
  • J.C. Moes.

    August 30, 2019

    The never ending conquest, with two selfdeclaired 'Ubermensch.'
    J.C. Moes. Lelystad the Netherlands.

    Reply
  • pk424n5egkz

    August 30, 2019

    Me: mom can we have concorde
    Mom: no we have concorde at home
    Concorde at home:

    Reply
  • Michail Tsougkranis

    August 30, 2019

    Anyone knows the name of the song at the end of the video?

    Reply
  • 63bplumb

    August 31, 2019

    Obviously Western propaganda!  The TU144 flies daily here in Soviet Union!  It is just too fast to see!

    Reply
  • Alastair Archibald

    August 31, 2019

    They said that the trick was not to get Concorde to break the sound barrier, but to do it without spilling the champagne.

    Reply
  • blacktigertheone

    September 1, 2019

    TU144 kills : 0
    Concord kills : 100

    Concord Win!

    Reply
  • Надзиратель Вселенной

    September 1, 2019

    Пиздёж! уровень шума в салоне был не более 3.6дБ

    Reply
  • Надзиратель Вселенной

    September 1, 2019

    просто европейцы зажрались, а в СССР сразу поняли что это бесперспективная роскошь и безбашенный риск

    Reply
  • Future Pilot

    September 1, 2019

    Just a "little" dangerous.

    Max 8 has joined the chat

    Reply
  • Snow Blind

    September 1, 2019

    would not fly on any Russian piece of junk

    Reply
  • godstomper

    September 2, 2019

    There was a real goat that gave you fresh milk in the galley

    Reply
  • Eurospace

    September 2, 2019

    Who are you moron? How do you know about the TU-144? Did you fly on it? You're dumbass.

    Reply
  • Scorpio Engine

    September 2, 2019

    A russian walked into a soviet agency, he saw the TU-144 and said “Wow, that’s impressive men.” The 2 guards looked at the man and said “What? It’s not ours.”

    Reply
  • darkfeffy

    September 3, 2019

    00:14 wait a minute, this isn't concorde

    Reply
  • chales dor

    September 3, 2019

    LYING ENGLISH BAASTARDS
    LYING ENGLISH BAASTARDS

    Reply
  • Cesar Raudales

    September 4, 2019

    The Concord was the only one that chrashed (twice) with people onboard.
    But, go ahead an keep spewing your agenda…😂🤣

    Reply
  • Game on

    September 4, 2019

    You go to Gulag

    Reply
  • Johhny Stoka

    September 5, 2019

    All this yet I am sure Concord killed more people .

    Reply
  • singh indian

    September 5, 2019

    At least they built something, even concord was a failure, and plus a negative propaganda against soviets in west

    Reply
  • ThexDGuy FTW

    September 5, 2019

    well jokes on you i cant talk to people properly already

    Reply
  • mokta abdul

    September 5, 2019

    The 144, looks more sexier with sharp contours and oblong sharp edges, than the concorde.

    Reply
  • Triplex 29

    September 5, 2019

    Russian technology.
    AKA someone elses.

    Reply
  • Max Krumholz

    September 6, 2019

    It`s just bad copy of Concorde …Whey was caught with documents… But cant copy Engines.. Why more passenger? No Business class. Engines from Tu-160 (Copy of B1A) .. but as usual bigger. Fly before…:) I Soviet Union is was like for Date, no matter if its really done 🙁

    Reply
  • Ryan Geboers

    September 6, 2019

    Instead of engine sound, you'll hear the soviet anthem😂😂

    Reply
  • mr bojangles

    September 6, 2019

    also Russians engineers, not that great

    Reply
  • Твой Лечащий Врач

    September 7, 2019

    В комментариях одни уроды.
    Уроды, Ту-144 и Конкорд очень разные самолеты.
    Украли говорите?))
    Значит вас не родители ваши родили а соседи с другой улицы.)

    Reply
  • Titas Bartaska

    September 7, 2019

    Instead Of Sipping Martini Inside You Jug Vodka

    Reply
  • No Way

    September 7, 2019

    Some guy from a former soviet republic told me that he use to make money by selling potatoes in Moscow. How? He took a soviet plane from his country to Moscow with few bags of potatoes and sell them there.

    Reply
  • Ромашка 1941

    September 8, 2019

    Considering 144 flew first, I am surprised they don't call Concord "Concordski". TU was bigger and faster. Who cares about a little noise. It's an experience and a pride of the nation. Something that no one has done since. Also, TU LL is still flight capable unlike the Concorde.

    Reply
  • Rusty Harris

    September 8, 2019

    LOL because it was built under the socialist rule of the communist, and was built like CRAP.

    Reply
  • Hutton Rose

    September 8, 2019

    Russian concord

    Sweet

    Reply
  • Vogel Hund

    September 9, 2019

    Its safer than MAX.

    Reply
  • Motmot

    September 9, 2019

    They should have called it the COMCORDE.

    Reply
  • Mr plane

    September 9, 2019

    Where did you get the Russian music from and what is it called

    Reply
  • Bone_knapper

    September 9, 2019

    What song is this 0:22 ?

    Reply
  • John C

    September 10, 2019

    The Concorde run by Air France did crash and kill everybody onboard.

    Reply
  • Robert Dillahubris

    September 10, 2019

    The Soviet Union: "This plane will demonstrate Soviet technological superiority in all areas compared to the West."
    Also the Soviet Union: "Hey, Western countries, give us some FUCKING unprecedented levels of technological assistance with this, will you? You expect us to do this shit on our own?"

    Reply
  • Robert Dillahubris

    September 10, 2019

    Engineer: "But sir, this noise level will make babies on board cry."
    Senior engineer: "Then make it even louder so that no one can hear the babies crying."
    Engineer: "Yes, comrade!"

    Reply
  • Robert Dillahubris

    September 10, 2019

    Ironically, this plane was quieter on the outside than the Concorde. Tupolev wanted to fix the problem of the loud cabin but the government didn't give enough of a shit about actually making it a good aircraft, so no funds were available for such improvements.

    Reply
  • Jeffrey Rose

    September 11, 2019

    You can tell that's an original design, 100% not stolen or copied

    Reply
  • John Smyth

    September 11, 2019

    Another fine example of Soviet engineering, like Chernobyl. LOL

    Reply
  • Vladislav Bondarev

    September 11, 2019

    Typical western superiority bullshit

    Reply
  • Kizo Mi

    September 11, 2019

    Hahaha 😂😂😂😂 😂 😂
    Abwarten, den es kommt ein neues Modell heraus! Die Russische Regierung gab den Herstellern, Tupulev, eine neue Maschine für die großen Entfernungen und Export zu bauen! Es geht um eine schnelle Erreichbarkeit von verschiedenen Städten in kürzester Zeit wegen Business! Mal sehen, der Schnellzug geht nun in Bauphase!
    Leider ist dies eine weitere West Propaganda,leider! Ich hab nach langem nachschauen in verschiedenen Bereichen eine Feststellung gemacht, SICHERHEIT der Crew geht vor dem Geld, Haltbarkeit und Temperaturen, also Einsatz von Arktis bis zur Sahara.

    Reply
  • Rkucins

    September 11, 2019

    As most things with Aeronautics – the projects on both sides of the iron curtain primarily had a military application and only at the later stages turning to civilian domain for so called political prestige. As Tu 144 as Concorde to be fair… But as it is correctly stated in video – the capitalist system clearly has its own merits to make them somehow more economical. there is a Russia view on the same story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZxvzAil3do

    Reply
  • Jean Naimar

    September 11, 2019

    CCCP = Compte Courant Chèque Postal

    Reply
  • Peeweetheparakeet

    September 12, 2019

    TU-144 looks cooler than the Concorde

    Reply
  • Mr_Cop

    September 13, 2019

    Yes, TU-144 is loud and uncomfortable, but he did not kill anyone, unlike the Concord. so you can praise your concord as much as you want, apparently you like when people die.

    Reply
  • Aivar

    September 13, 2019

    Пропагандистская программа. Не упоминается, что Конкорд в своей последней катастрофе унёс больше жизней, чем Ту-144 во всех своих. Смешно, когда утверждается, что "Конкорд был более экономичным" – это ложь, данные по экономической эффективности машины никогда не оглашались и Конкорд всегда был убыточным. Как и Ту-144. Так в чём различие? В том, что билет на Конкорд могли позволить себе ТОЛЬКО богачи, очень богатые люди, а в СССР цены на авиабилеты держали на уровне, доступном для всех. Сознательно. И Ил-62 устраивал Бугаева (ну, если вы так залихватски рассказываете историю Ту, то должны знать министра Аэрофлота СССР на тот момент) гораздо больше. Поэтому он спокойно и быстро свернул эксплуатацию Ту, которая экономически была нерентабельной. Ибо СССР тогда было чем гордиться помимо "сверхзвука" – Космосом (пилотируемым, орбитальным, лунным), Наукой, Ядерной физикой, подводным флотом (на выбор и так далее), а Англия с Францией (БА и Эр Франс) эксплуатировали убыточную для себя машину гораздо дольше, ибо гордится больше им было нечем.

    Смешно враньё про особую подготовку пилотов Ту – я надеюсь "стадо" понимает, что на конкорды сажались тоже не рядовые линейные пилоты.

    Про шум двигателей – смешно. Обе машины на сверхзвуке. Зрители тоже не в курсе, что для конкордов был очерчен очень ограниченный список аэропортов именно из-за звуковых ограничений на эту машину.

    Вот так все эти "мелочи" не договариваются и рисуется очень однобокая картина.

    Вот так переписывается История. Не точно, не объективно. Зато с "юмором" и "балалайкой".

    Reply

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