Tupolev's progress in the development of aircraft
design rarely came about by huge technical leaps;
rather it was a progressive, but time-consuming, step
by step advancement. Thus when work began on the
Tu-98 at the beginning of 1954, it was not intended for
production; instead it was a bridge to evaluate the
problems of supersonic flight, and a stepping stone to
the Tu-105 and the Tu-128 programmes which would
Chief designer on the project was Dmitri Markov;
he based the wing design on that of the earlier
Tu-16, but cleaned it up and moved the engines back into the fuselage, with two large air intakes
located just behind and on either side of the cockpit.
The engines selected were Lyulka's AL-7Fs,
which developed 10,000kg static thrust, and
were fitted with afterburners. With a maximum takeoff
weight of 39,000kg, the Tu-98 was close
in size to the Tu-16, but the extra power, and particularly
the afterburners, gave it the extra energy to go
through the sound barrier.
The first aircraft was completed by early 1956, and, as usual, after road transfer, it was
reassembled at Zhukovski and made ready for flight.
Unfortunately details of its first flight are not available
except that it was made in spring 1956. A second aircraft joined the first in the state trials. Performance was measured at a maximum
speed of 1238km/h (with afterburners on) at