Images: UAC Russia
Transporting of the Tu-144 supersonic aircraft with the disassembled wings to the place where it will be set up as a monument.
The Tupolev Tu-144 is a Russian retired jet airliner and commercial supersonic transport aircraft. It is the first of only two commercial SST’s, the other being the Anglo-French Concorde.
Tu-144 conducted 55 passenger service flights, at an average service altitude of 16,000 metres (52,000 ft) and cruised at a speed of around 2,000 kilometres per hour (1,200 mph) (Mach 1.6).
The prototype first flew on 31 December 1968 near Moscow from Zhukovsky Airport, two months before the first flight of Concorde.
The Tu-144 first went supersonic on 5 June 1969 (Concorde first went supersonic on 1 October 1969), and on 26 May 1970 became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.
A Tu-144 crashed in 1973 at the Paris Air Show, delaying its further development. The aircraft was introduced into passenger service on 1 November 1977, almost two years after Concorde, because of budget restrictions.
In May 1978, another Tu-144 (an improved version, the Tu-144D) crashed on a test flight while being delivered, and the passenger fleet was permanently grounded after only 55 scheduled flights.
Top speed: 2,430 km/h
Cruise speed: 2,300 km/h
Range: 6,500 km
First flight: 31 December 1968
Engine type: Kuznetsov NK-144