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31 Jan, 2019 11:48

Russia to bring back the supersonic passenger airliner

Russia to bring back the supersonic passenger airliner

The United Aviation Corporation (UAC) will develop Russia’s newest supersonic passenger jet starting 2022, according to the Russian Ministry of Industry, over five decades after launching supersonic travel with the Tupolev Tu-144.

The flight simulator demonstrating the new jet’s capabilities should be developed within three years, said Denis Manturov, the head of the ministry.

He added that research studies will be conducted to improve the aircraft’s aerodynamic characteristics and increase the load ratio.

Also on rt.com Putin eyes supersonic civilian airliner based on Tu-160 strategic bomber

“Serious work will have to be completed during the same period to prepare a package of documents aimed at regulating the processes of assessing conformity for ultrasonic passenger jets,” Manturov said.

Russia launched the world's first supersonic passenger plane. The Tupolev Tu-144 made its maiden flight in 1968 and began passenger service in 1977. However, it operated for only a year and was deemed economically unfeasible and potentially unsafe. The same eventually happened to the only other similar aircraft, the British-French Concorde, which made its last flight in 2003.

READ MORE: Blackjack returns: Russia unveils newly built Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber

Last year, while watching a test flight of Russia’s new Tu-160 strategic bomber, President Vladimir Putin suggested that a civilian passenger version of the supersonic aircraft could be a viable commercial prospect.

Also on rt.com Supersonic passenger flights may return, but without the boom

Designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union, the Tu-160 is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic aircraft ever built, and second only to the comparable XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length.

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