reply to post by waynos
You saved me digging out the multi-part article 'The Billion Dollar Bomber' from early Air Enthusiast / Air International. The personal experiences
of the crews of the B-29s that 'found sanctuary' (sometimes due to combat damage, sometimes as planned shuttle raids on Japan) in the USSR, has also
been well documented - eventually they were returned, but without their B-29s. The reports of reverse engineering battle damage, sounds a lot like an
urban myth to me - another case of 'they'd be too stupid to know' bigotry and cold war propaganda. Ironically the engines used on the Tu-95/Tu-142
have a direct lineage back to German WWII research programs, which aimed to produce both a 'small' and 'large' family of turboprops - the
'large' series were never pursued (or at least perfected) in the West.
The Ruskies did put a satellite into orbit first, didn't they - oh, yeah that must have been Germans forced to work for them, mustn't it - just like
the US space program - if you follow that theory then Germans are far smarter than either Russians or Americans!
With regard to the career of the Tu-144, I seem to recall that the aircraft never did go into service with Aeroflot as a passenger carrying aircraft,
and was used for high speed mail carriage. This may be a slight exaggeration and that it was in such service for a very short period and then shifted
into 'non-human' cargo.
It is my belief that the Russians started on their design (regardless of what they may say) quite a while after the Anglo-French partners, and in the
spirit of the space race produced something that, while it flew first, was somewhat underdone. I do not believe that the Russians ever really
expected to put the bird into service. For instance, I don't ever recall the Soviet Premier using it as an aircraft of state, which had it been a
success, even technically, I'm sure he would have - if only to annoy the US.
The reason that NASA used the Tu-144 for that particular program was that there were no Concordes available and the Tu-144 was. After all, all the
extant Concordes at the time were in revenue earning (or losing as the case may be) service. The Tu-144 concerned had been mothballed and had to be
refurbished (and modified) for the NASA program.
I think you will find that the Lisunov Li-2 is the result of a license agreement with Douglas. Bill Gunston states in 'Aircraft of the Soviet
Union' that ...
''Despite (the) wish to avoid changes, 1293 engineering change orders on original Douglas drawings involving part design, dimensions, materials and
The engines installed were different as well - the original engine installed in the Li-2 was the Ash-621R. As part of the license agreement Lisunov
was at Douglas, Santa Monica between November 1936 and April 1939.
The same is true of the Japanese version of the DC-3 (Nakajima L2D) - it was also licensed from Douglas ($90,000 bought them the rights to build and
sell in 'The Empire of Japan and Manchukuo' - this was $10,000 more than the same deal they did on the DC-2 with Douglas).
This design copying thing is a dumb argument, especially when one considers that all aircraft cannons, for instance, are based on three or four
original designs which various countries have gained licenses to produce and have gone on to refine those designs in various directions.
The Winged Wombat
[edit on 28/10/07 by The Winged Wombat]