A Tu-144 documentary, Lufthansa 747-8I and a programming note

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, there has been a lack of content here since last week. That has not escaped my noticed as well. Professional and personal obligations have made it difficult to write regularly here, but regular content will return in earnest as I wrap up a set of features on 787 entry into service for Flight International and complete up a month-long transition to a new home in DC. There’s no shortage of things to write about, just a dearth of hours in the day to write about them.

In the meantime, I found this Russian documentary (translated to English) on the 1969 development of the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 or Concordski as it later became known. The video, which doesn’t quite pass for Movie Monday (as it’s Wednesday) runs a bit over 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Also, if you haven’t yet seen the first 747-8I in full Lufthansa colors, it’s now on the Everett flight line and registered D-ABYA. Boeing says its first flight is planned for November and delivery in the springtime.

8 Responses to A Tu-144 documentary, Lufthansa 747-8I and a programming note

  1. David Spritzer September 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    This is a great video. I had no idea how some of these things originated. The plane itself is brilliant for its time and I am quite amazed by what that video showed. I have videos on my site, but that was stellar.

  2. CM September 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    I want that tug; that thing was awesome! I want to turn it into a 14′ wide street rod! :) Thanks Jon.

  3. Trebuchet September 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    Jon can you please, please, please turn off the autoplay on the 737 Max podcast?

  4. prophead September 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Hi Jon,

    There’s a 747-8I that has been at Boeing Field FT for quite some time now. It has the background Luftansa paint (blue fin, white fuselage, grey belly) but not the company name or the distinctive “yellow ball” with the bird inside on the fin.

    Is this a delivery airplane?

  5. letalske September 9, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Great video! Russians have done some amazing engineering! Today we can see a lot of accidents involving Russian planes but it should be reminded that russian planes are high quality … they only lack in maintenance!

  6. Peter Schneider September 9, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Thar Lufthansa 747-8I in the background is one of the flight test aircraft. Specifically it is 37826/1435 RC021 N6067U and will become D-ABYE when delivered. Lufthansa does not was their company indentity/logos on flight test aircraft.

  7. StarBlue September 9, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Tupolev was famous for taking one of three B-29s that crash landed in the USSR and reverse engineering it. A lot of the big name soviet designers were all brilliant engineers. Yes a lot of designs were copied from other western designs but they were built like tanks.

    You also have to remember that Russia has some of the worst weather to fly in. So yes unfortunately we do hear of a lot of crashes but a lot of it probably can be attributed to weather and/or pilot error.

    Read up a little on Ilyushin, Mikoyan, Irkut, Sukhoi, Tupolev, Antonov, and Yakovlev (The people not the companies) and you have a lot more respect for these men. You may not agree with their political views or their copies of planes but all were brilliant with what tools and materials they had to work with.

    prophead: The -8i you are seeing is RC022 if I remember right. It is helping the late 747-8 certification effort and will ultimately go to Lufthansa after certification and a retro fitting.


  8. Lee A. Karas September 27, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    FWIW, here’s an Air-to-Ground shot of D-ABYA c/n 37827/1444 – RC022: