Aircraft 00-1 : CCCP-68001

Picture from
Copyright Steve Williams-1971.

Aircraft Number 00-1
Current Registration CCCP-68001
Production Model Tu-144 “044”
Maiden Flight 31st December 1968 : Zhukovsky, USSR.
1st flight of Tu-144.
1st flight of SST.
Registration History Registered CCCP-68001 to Tupolev Design Bureau.
Final Flight 27th April 1973.
Total Flights 120 flights.
Total Flight Hours 180 hours.
Top Speed Reached 1,518 mph / 2,443 km/h (Mach 2.30).
Maximum Height Reached 16,960 m (over 10 miles high).
Current Usage Scrapped at Zhukovsky.

At the end of 50's the idea of creating a supersonic passenger plane was taking form. Based on the success of military planes, many different projects were developed in USA, Europe and USSR.

When in the earlier 60's the Anglo-French “Concorde” became a reality the Council of Ministers of the USSR gave authorisation to develop the first generation of SST with the designation of Tu-144 and equipped with NK-144 engines.

Works began at MMZ “Opyt” plant near Moscow in 1965 until all sections were transported to the assembly plant in Zhukovsky. At the end of 1968 the prototype “044” registered as CCCP-68001 was ready for the first flight.

The late day of 1968, with pilot E.V. Elyan in the cockpit and without international observers, the prototype aircraft performed the first ever flight with a duration of 37 minutes. The crew reported that the aircraft proved to be flexible and easily piloted. Half a year later, on June 5, 1969 she exceeded Mach 1 and on May 26, 1970 go into history as the first civil aircraft that reached Mach 2.

In 1969 was presented to the world in Moscow and in 1971 flew to Paris to take part in the XXIX Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport where she met with the “Concorde” for the first time.

Studies and works developed on test flights with Tu-144 “044” shows different problems like enhanced vibrations level and tail fuselage heating from the package of four engines. The next model needed an improvement of structure and engines, this did that the prototype Tu-144 remains as the only one of her type.

Aircraft Picture Gallery Clicking on thumbnail brings up full picture
Tu-144 prototype roll-out in Zhukovsky.

Copyright PJSC «Tupolev»-1968.
Tu-144 prototype being accompanied by analog-aircraft “21-11” performing the first flight.

Copyright PJSC «Tupolev»-1968.
A.N.Tupolev and A.A.Tupolev with crew of Tu-144 prototype after the first flight.

Copyright PJSC «Tupolev»-1968.
On display on the ramp at Zhukovsky airfield.

Copyright PJSC «Tupolev».
CCCP-68001 deploying the parachute that she was using to stop after the landing. Aircraft 00-1 was equipped with four Kuznetsov NK-144 engines.
Tu-144 in her first ever presentation to the public opinion at Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport in 1969.

Copyright PJSC «Tupolev»-1969.
The prototype was the only one Tu-144 with the four engines mounted side by side.

Presentation of Tu-144 at Paris Air Show
Images taken during the Paris Air Show in June 1971

 Copyright Rowland White-1971 

Outside view of 00-1 : CCCP-68001
Pictures taken at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport from 13 to 17 June 1971

 Copyright Archive Planeboys-1971