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26th of May 1970

Today's trip in aviation history takes place at Mach 2.0! It was on this day in 1970 that the Tupolev TU-144 reached Mach 2.0 for the first time, making it the first commercial aircraft to reach that speed.

The Tu-144 made its first flight on the 31st of December 1967, two months before the British-French Concorde made its first flight. A total of 16 aircraft were built. A total of only 102 commercial flights were made. This was mainly due to reliability and development issues. The crash at the 1973 Paris Air Show and after a second crash in 1978 the faith of the Tu-144 was sealed, and the aircraft were withdrawn from passenger services. It was still used for cargo flights up to 1983 when it was retired from commercial service. It remained active as a training aircraft for pilots of the Russian Buran spacecraft and was used by NASA for research into the next generation supersonic commercial aircraft. Some aircraft specifications Crew: 3

Capacity: 150 passengers (11 first class & 139 tourist class)

Length: 65.7 m (215 ft 7 in)

Wingspan: 28.8 m (94 ft 6 in)

Height: 12.55 m (41 ft 2 in)

Wing area: 506.35 m2 (5,450.3 sq ft)

Empty weight: 99,200 kg (218,699 lb)

Gross weight: 125,000 kg (275,578 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 207,000 kg (456,357 lb)

Fuel capacity: 93,000 kg (205,000 lb)

Powerplant: 4 × Kolesov RD-36-51 turbojet or Kuznetsov NK-144 turbofan afterburning engines, 240 kN (54,000 lbf) thrust each

Performance

Maximum speed: 2,500 km/h (1,600 mph, 1,300 kn)

Maximum speed: Mach 2.15

Cruise speed: 2,125 km/h (1,320 mph, 1,147 kn)

Cruise Mach number: M2

Range: 6,500 km (4,000 mi, 3,500 nmi)

Service ceiling: 20,000 m (66,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 50 m/s (9,800 ft/min)

Wing loading: 410.96 kg/m2 (84.17 lb/sq ft)

Thrust/weight: 0.44

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