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The Soviet Supersonic Airliner
Author:Yefim Komissarov, Dmitriy Rigmant, Vladimir Gordon
Dimensions:8.5" x 11"
Photos:548 color and b/w images
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Developed in the 1960s/1970s, the Tu-144 was the Soviet Union's only practical venture into supersonic commercial aviation. Though its career was all too brief, it was a major technological achievement for the Soviet aircraft industry. The book provides in-depth coverage of the "Concordski," including projected versions, the Tu-144's production and service history, and a comparison with the Concorde. First flown on the last day of 1968 - ahead of the Concorde - the Tu-144 had to undergo a long gestation period before the production version entered service in November 1977. Unfortunately, its career proved to be brief; two accidents and a powerful anti-Tu-144 lobby caused the type to be withdrawn in May 1978. The book describes the Tu-144's versions (including the Tu-144LL research aircraft developed under a Russian-U.S. program) and touches on the projected military derivatives. It is illustrated with color side views and previously unpublished photographs.