Tupolev Tu-98


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Tupolev Tu-98

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 follow later.

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 12,000m.

Tupolev Tu-98A three-view drawing (1000 x 561)

 ENGINE2 x AL-7F turbofans, 6850-8000kg
  Take-off weight39000 kg85981 lb
  Wingspan17.27 m57 ft 8 in
  Length32.06 m105 ft 2 in
  Height8.63 m28 ft 4 in
  Wing area87.5 m2941.84 sq ft
  Max. speed1238 km/h769 mph
  Ceiling12750 m41850 ft
  Range2440 km1516 miles

Timothy Potter, e-mail, 26.09.2017 10:30

I can fill in details of the first test flight as I was the test pilot. It was March 29th 1956, and although there was still snow on the ground it was a lovely clear day. I took her up slowly at first, gently pushing the controls further and further until in the end, I just thought "fuck it" and went max chat up to Mach 4.6.


Daniel Cifuentes, e-mail, 10.09.2010 19:49

Looks more like a fighter rather than a bomber, such is the case of B1B. The design looks very aerodynamic for the time but the range and speed were to poor for modern standards.


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