How did the Tupolev Tu-144 compare to Concorde?

At the height of the Cold War, the East and West drew battle lines across land, resources, and technology. The supersonic passenger aircraft was a technological marvel whose race to production status echoed the state of warfare between the two superpowers. So, which was better: the European Concorde or the Russian Tu-144?

When the Tupolev Tu-144 first flew on December 31, 1968, from Zhukovsky airfield, the USSR was confident that it had developed a meritorious piece of Soviet technology - capable of challenging any supersonic designs in the west.

However, plagued by inadequate construction, tragedy, and political conflict, the type encountered limited success during its chequered career. When the USSR’s Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) appointed a new minister in February 1982, any remaining support towards the programme quickly diminished, and production was eventually terminated the following year.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.