As it was previously noted activities on alternative RD-36-51 engines for TU-144 a/c started in 1964. Flight range at takeoff weight of 150 tones with 150 passengers on board was stipulated as 4500 km, while with 120 passengers and at takeoff weight of 180 tones – 6500 km. Modification of TU-144 /c with new engines was designated as TU-144D (“004D”). By the middle of the 70-s the RD-36-51 engine became real. The first RD-36-51A engines had takeoff weight of 20000 kgf, cruising thrust of 5100 kgf and SFC at cruising supersonic flight equal to 1.26 kg/kgf h. Lter it was supposed to have takeoff weight of 2 1000 kgf and cruising SFC not more than 1.23 kg/kgf h (in future it could be 23000 – 24000 kgf at takeoff and 5400 kgf at cruising flight).The first TU-144 a/c provided with RD-36-51 engines was the aircraft No.03-1. Before mid-1976 a new powerplant was developed on this machine. 5 June, 1976 the aircraft performed its large range flight for the distance of 6200 km at payload of 5 tones. This flight confirmed realizability and perspecrtiveness of continuation of works on TU-144D a/c.In late 70-s Voronezh plant began serial production of TU-144D. The Tu-144 No.06-2 (side number 77111) was the first production aircraft. The first flight was performed 27 April, 1978. The aircraft started joint testing but 23 May, 1978 it crashed near Yegorievsk. The reason for the crash was breakage of fuel line in engine compartment. The aircraft was piloted by test pilot Popov, co-pilot was Yelyan. The flight crew managed to performed forced landing with retracted landing gear. During the landing Yelyan was wounded and two test engineers were killed. This crash was a direct reason to suspend TU-144 operation with passenger and later on to complete termination of such flights. Four machines more were produced and developed – TU-144 №/№ 07-1, 08-1, 08-2 and 09-1. The first two machines were subject to joint government tests which were finalized in mid-80s. Basing on results of said tests TU-144D was recommended to be operated with passengers as well as TU-144 a/c with NK-144A. The aircraft was given airworthiness certificate but was not operated. The program was cut down. The last production machine TU-144 D No.09-2 was not demanded and stood for a long time on Voronezh airfield. Apart those mentioned machines several TU-144 airframes were built to be used in structural tests. TU-144D a/c takeoff weight exceeded 200 tones, during joint government tests supersonic range was reached equal to 5330 km at payload of 15 tones, and with 11-13 tones – the range if 5500-5700 km, and with payload of 7 tones – the range of 6200 km all these with fuel reserve of 10 tones.Main performance data of production SST TU-144D (according test results)- aircraft length – 64.45 m;- wing span – 28.8;- aircraft height – 12.5 m;- wing area with leading edge extension – 506.35 m2;- maximal takeoff weight – 207000 kg;- operational empty weight for modification of 150-seater – 99200 kg;- cruising supersonic flight speed – 2120 km/h;- operational flight range with payload of 7 tones (70 pax) – 6200 km;- 11-13 tones (110-130 pax) – 5500-5700 km;- 15 tones (150 pax) – 5330 km.
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