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monsoon

TU-95

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I have always found this to be a fascinating plane. It is the Soviet equivalent to the B-52 and like the B-52 is still in service now by the Russian Federation even though we are talking about a late 1950s bomber. It is a jet plane but the jet engines are actually used to turn those pairs of counter-rotating props. This is probably one of the most striking features of this plane except for maybe the tail mounted gunner position where two cannons are located. (no sneaking up on this plane) They went with those very unusual props because of the fuel economy and hence very long range that it gives this plane. It should be noted the newer more aggressive Russian federation have been using this bomber recently to buzz the USA and UK causing both governments to scramble jets to intercept. Both sides are following cold war protocols. Russian gunners keep cannons pointed upwards and western pilots don't do weapons lock.

Tupolev_Tu-95_Marina.jpg

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That's a great picture. It's interesting to look at post WWII aircraft for both the U.S. and Soviet Union. In many instances, they canibalized the same core of German aircraft engineers to staff their own programs. I forget the exact aircrafts, but the U.S. F-86 Sabre and the MIG 15 are essentially the same airplane. Also the Tu-4 was a Russian version of the B-29, and was reverse engineered from U.S. Aircraft that bombed Japan and had to land in bases in China or Russia.

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Indeed. The B-29 was a very advanced plane for the time though it did have some fairly significant technical problems that were not solved until after the war. The 3 versions left on Soviet soil provided a wealth of technical information. They did have trouble reproducing it however mainly because all their tooling was set to build parts an materials to metric sizes.

The Russian designers were very competent designers on their own however and came up with numerous unique designs that met the needs of the time. An example would be the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik ground attack plane. It was the tank buster of the day and one of the most widely built planes of WWII.

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That Tu-95 is also a MIGHTY GOSHDANG LOUD PLANE because of those contra-rotating props.

I heard a story that the Il-62 is a copy of aBritish plane (Vickers Viscount maybe). Turns out the Soviets had a mole in the British company. The Brits found out, transferred him to the Concorde program, and fed him false data. Because of this, the first prototype of the Tu-144 (dubbed Concordski by the Western press) featured all sorts of design flaws in wing shape and emgine grouping. I don't think the Soviets ever solved the fuel consumption issues.

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