Tu-22M history

To replace unsuccessful Tu-22, Tupolev's design bureau (or OKB-156, as it was marked in USSR) started works on two projects. First of them was bomber and missile carrier under code "125". This plane had "duck" aerodynamical scheme and two NK-6 turbojets (or other engines with the same thrust), maximum speed 2500 km/h, range 4500-4800 km. Its main armament consisted of one air-to- surface missile with masse 4 tons and range of 600 km. Titanium alloys had to be the main material of airframe. During design period several variants of "125" project were tested in supersonic wind tunnels. A lot of "tube hours" were spent, and maximum aerodynamic quality at Mach=2 was equal to 6. As fuel consumption ratio with alterburning was assigned to 1.6 kg/kg of thrust*hour, the aerodynamical scheme provided range, enough for aircraft of this class. Unfortunately, in that period such fuel consumption ratio was non-real value, as it became clear several years later, during design works at supersonic passenger aircraft Tu-144. Inspite of supposed high performance, "125" plane did not move from design to real aircraft. One of main reasons of this fact was its unusual aerodynamical scheme. Doubts appeared about the aircraft stability, which is especially important for long-range bomber. Finally it became clear, that with existing in that period political elite of the USSR, headed by N.S.Khrushchev, it will be impossible to finish design works on "125" aircraft and start its serial production. More important for Tupolev's design bureau was the fact, that it was not re-oriented to the missiles, as it happened with the design bureau, headed by V.M. Miassishchev. The second direction of design works was creation of supersonic bomber on the base of "105" aircraft (as was Tu-22 Blinder marked in the design bureau). During design period for "105" and "105A" planes the design bureau specialists intended to use two NK-6 turbo jets or other engines with the same thrust, but these plans were cancelled, because even high thrust of these engines was not enough to provide speed, corresponding to Mach=2, for Tu-22 with its aerodynamical scheme. The ultimate modification of Tu-22 was quite nesessary, and new project got in the design bureau code "106". Its apperance was similar to "105A", but "106" aircraft had the wing with 60 degree leading-edge swept angle (at 1/4 of chords), and the wing's relative thickness was reduced from 6% to 3.5% . The NK-6 turbojets were located in the fuselage aft, so the fuselage got two lateral air intakes with hydraulic controlled vertical wedges. In designs "106","106B" and "106K" the forward part of fuselage was used from "105" aircraft, and only rear part of fuselage was newly designed. The aerodynamic quality at Mach=1.5 was equal to 4.5, and this value provided range 2800-3000 km at supersonic speed. One of the variants had fuselage from "105" aircraft, new wing and a T-type tail configuration. 3 variants were discussed for engines location: two NK-6 under wing consoles, four R-15B under wing in pairs, or three R-15B (as on Lockheed DC-10): two R-15B under the wing and one inside the fin. The NK-6 engines could provide speed 2800 km/h and range 5000 km. There was an idea to create really supersonic bomber (with supersonic cruise speed), but Soviet Air Force intended to get an aircraft with wide speed area, under an influence of unsuccessful career of B-58 Hustler. The works at "106" project had several stages, the rear part of fuselage was already produced and evev its static tests were begun. Several components of new aircraft's electronic equipment had been tested on one of serial Tu-22 (this system was located in the fuselage aft instead of guns). The design bureau specialists studied the possibility to modify Tu-22 quickly and cheaply - to install wing with reduced relative thickness with existing aerodynamical scheme and engines VD-7M (the same as on serial Tu-22). The take-off and landing features of this experimental aircraft, which got the marking Tu-22RTK, became worse, and addition lift engines RD36-35 were installed in the rear part of engine nacelles. On other serial Tu-22 these engines were installed in the rear part of landing gear nacelles. The last effort to increase Tu-22 prformance was the installation of NK-144 engines, used on supersonic passenger aircraft Tu-144. No one of these measures were encorporated on serial Tu-22s. The detailed analysis of development of aircrafts of that type was conducted, and requirements to heavy long-range bomber were deined. These requirements accumulated latest achievements in aircraft construction, aerodynamics, armament and the possible opponent's AAD (Anti-Aircraft Defence) development level. The new aircraft had to have high subsonic speed, maximum speed, which corresponded to Mach=2, and range 6000-7000 km at subsonic speed. The bomber ought to break through possible opponent's AAD (Anti- Aircraft Defence) at high altitudes with the speed, corresponded to Mach=2, or at low altitudes with subsonic speed. In addition to this, the aircraft ought to keep good take-off and landing characteristics. The design bureau specialists came to the conclusion that only variable geometry wing (the wing with variable leading-edge swept angle) can fit all requirements to heavy long-range bomber. These wings studied in the USSR from early 60s. The main items were as follows: the influence of leading-edge swept angle of the consoles on the position of aircraft's centre of gravity and focus (centre of pressure - the point in which the aerodynamic force acts), on aircraft stability and maneurability. Also the construction of the console rotation unit was investigated, and the methods of their lubrication. The first aircrafts with that kind of wing were the fighters MiG-23 and Su-17, their prototypes were under flight tests from mid 60s. The first theoretical works about variable geometry wing and flight tests results showed the following advantages of the new type of wing: - increasing of aerodynamic quality and range at subsonic speed; - at minimum leading-edge swept angle the take-off and landing characteristics increase more than from using of flaps; - at maximum leading-edge swept angle the wave drag reduce and the required energy for breaking through Mach=1 reduce; - at maximum leading-edge swept angle the aircraft's feeling to blasts of wind reduce, and thus simplify pilotage at low altitudes flight. This new wing had one demerit - empty aircraft mass increased at 3-4% because of console rotation units, bearings, additional airframe elements, etc. Later it became clear, that for heavy aircrafts (this was the main field of activity for Tupolev's design bureau) this kind of wing was the best choice. The first project of bomber with variable geometry wing got in the design bureau code "145", its development started in mid 60s. This multy-role aicraft could act from short runways with thin layer of concrete and even from ground runways. It became possible thanks to four- or six-wheel main landing gear. Maximum start mass of this aircraft was equal to 105 tons, take- off distance 1405 metres, alienation (take-off) speed 280 km/h. Its apperance was similar to "106", "106K" and "106B", but "145" aircraft's wing had 3 fixed values of leading-edge swept angle: 20, 65 and 72 degrees, optimum for maximum range at subsonic and supersonic speed, and also for flights (and breaking through possible opponent's AAD (Anti-Aircraft Defence)) at low altitudes with subsonic speed. The "145" aircraft was powered by two NK-144 turbojets which provided maximum speed 2500-2700 km/h at altitude 14500 metres, during flights at low altitudes (50-100 metres) the speed was equal to 1100 km/h. As regards for range, it was equal to 6000- 7000 km at subsonic speed and 4000 km at supersonic speed. The combat radius at low altitudes flight with 900 km/h speed was 1500 km. The typical flight profile for "145" aircraft during breaking through AAD (Anti-Aircraft Defence) was low-altitude, the missiles released from range of 100 km from target. In conditions of local counter-action or at maritime operations "145" aircraft could use the X-22 missiles. The maritime patrol (anti-submarine) variant of "145" aircraft was also under construction. As the avionics and offensive and defensive electronic equipment was enlarged in comparance with "105" aircraft, it became nesessary to increase the power of energy sources. The high performance of new aircraft and multy-role purpose also let to create reconnaissance variant - "145R", due to its equipment the captured information could be processed aboard the aircraft and could also be transferred to its consumers during flight. If nesessary, "145R" aircraft could mark the targets to its strike sisterships (sisterplanes). As "145" aircraft development started, its apperance was similar to "105A", and similar design features ought to simplify its mastering in Air Force units. In order to remove the lacks of precedor (and because of increased range and flight duration), the crew in new aircraft was increased to four: pilot, 2nd pilot (co-pilot), navigator and operator of offensive and defensive electronic equipment. Two pilots were located in forward cockpit, navigator and operator - in the second cabin. The cockpit became more roomy and crew operated in more comfortable conditions. All the crew members had ejection seats KT-1, created in Tupolev's design bureau, which ejected upwards and let to leave aicraft at zero altitude and speed, exceeding 130 km/h. Multy-role purpose of an aircraft made it rather expensive, it was one of extremities in new weapon systems creation. By the way, in USA under the influence of Vietnam war beginning came to creation of specialized (one-role) aircrafts, especialy tactical aircrafts. When in October 1964 N.S.Khrushchev was put into resignation by his "faithful companion-in-arms", there began works at several new aircrafts. All design bureaux took part in new aircraft boom. The unique T-4 (Su-100), developed in Sukhoi's design bureau, was the opponent to Tupolev's aircrafts by its purpose - medium bomber and missile carrier. This aircraft, whose airframe was made of titanium alloys, was similar to earlier "125" aircraft by its aerodynamical scheme and had maximum speed, which corresponded to Mach=3 and range 6000 km. T-4's flight tests began in 1972, but it never was put into service in Soviet Air Force and was declared as too expensive, too specialized (one-role) and too complicated in production. The projects, elaborated in Tupolev's design bureau, could forestall the opponents, in many respects, due to great authority of A.N.Tupolev, a great figure in Soviet aviation history. The new projects were estimated by commission of qualified specialicts from Air Force and aerospace industry, and the most important factor was the combat efficiency and aircraft performance, and cost was only at second place. When one of projects was finally confirmed by high leadership of CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union - if you in the West already has forgotten it), government and Soviet Air Force, it was no reason to worry about finances during starting production of new aircraft. Usually the opponent projects rarely were embodied in metal. As regards for "145" aircraft, the main role was played by the leadership of Soviet Air Force, as Tu-22 quickly became obsolete and needed in replacement. This latter phenomenon (Tu-22 quick obsolescense) was too difficult to explain to high leadership of CPSU and government, so all works on new aircraft in Tupolev's design bureau conducted as "Tu-22 modifying", and new aircraft dot in Air Force code "Tu-22M" and in production plant it was called "45" or "Yu" object. In November 1967 the main document, confirming the development of new aircraft Tu-22M and airborne missile complex K-22M (based on this aircraft), was signed. It was called Decree of CPSU Central Committee and Counsil of Ministers (government) and can be compared with Congress Act, which allows and orders to create a new weapon system. Initially the new aircraft ought to be armed with one missile X-22M amd 3 tons of bombs, to have maximum speed 2300-2500 km/h at high altitude, range 7000 km at subsonic speed and take-off distance 1600 metres. The equipment for control of X-22M missile was used from serial Tu-22K. The aerodynamical scheme in comparance with Tu-22 was radically changed: the engines were located in the fuselage aft, and lateral air intakes initially were semicurcular with hydraulic controlled central cones. Later it become clear, that semicurcular shape of air intakes makes the engines' working conditions in case of non- symmetric streaming too difficult, so air intakes were changed and got rectangular shape with hydraulic controlled vertical wedge. "145" aircraft had the wing had 4 fixed values of leading-edge swept angle: 20 degrees for take-off and landing, 30 degrees for altitude increasing after take-off and for speed run at subsonic speed, 50 degrees for breaking through AAD (Anti-Aircraft Defence) at low altitudes with subsonic speed and 60 degrees for flight with maximum speed at high altitudes. All changes in aircraft structure increased its empty weight up to 120 tons. During design period Air Force demanded to increase the weight of armament in forerunning variants of the new bomber - up to three X-22M missiles and 24 tons of total combat payload. It was a rather difficult for design bureau to fulfil this demands, but they were realized at serial Tu-22M2 and Tu-22M3s. New aicraft's units and systems caused difficulties in aircraft projecting, especially it concerned the console rotation units. The location of consoles' rotation centre was choosed according to the demands to keep the same position of aircraft's centre of gravity and focus (centre of pressure - the point in which the aerodynamic force acts), these points could move not more than at 2% (of the mddle aerodynamic chorde). The aircraft ought to keep stability and maneurability at all range of altitudes and velocities. The consoles are moved by helical motions, and their hydraulic motors were feeded from two independent contours (hydraulic systems) in order to increase reliability. If leading-edge swept angle value changed from 60 degrees to 20 degrees, the wing's profile relative thickness increased from 6% to 12%, increasing also the wing surface and its lengthening. These factors favourably acted on wing streaming at high angles of attack and increased the efficiency of wing mechanization (double-slotted flaps and auxiliaty wings on the consoles and the centre wing flaps). The ailerons were disused, the spoilers used for transverse maneurability at low and middle angles of attack, and horisontal tail unit used for that purpose at high angles of attack (its consoles moved aside in scissors-like way). The variable geometry wing formed a good combination with other aircraft's structural uits. The longitudinal beams, which carried console rotation units, transferred the loads from this units further to fuselage airframe, and also used for bomb bay strengthening, providing the fuselage torsional rigidity in this area. The centre wing used for removing of main landing gear, and traditional for Tupolev's design bureau heavy planes the landing gear wing gondoles were now disused. The first serial planes had small bulges over main landing gear and over console rotation units, bul later these bulges were also disused. The engines location inside the fuselage simplified its maintenance, but radically increased the length of air intakes' entrance channels, so the pressure lacks before compressor and power plant mass also increased. In order to provide enough amount of air, coming through engine while the aircraft sits on the runway or at flight with low speed, the additional folds were made in upper part of air intakes. These folds were hydraulically controlled and closed simultaneously with landing gear removal. The engines located inside the fuselage, and also lateral air intakes increased its width and efficiency of vertical tail unit reduced. The tests in TsAGI's wind tunnels showed that at high angles of attack vertical tail unit is closed by wide fuselage and centre wing, so large additional forward vertical tail unit was used and the aircraft got very typical side view. By the way, even for one-engine powered MiG-23, which is close to Tu-22M by its aerodynamic configuration (except tis high-located wing), its authors had to do the same operation with vertical tail unit. Otherwise, two-engined Su-15, Su-24 and F-111 with wide fuselage don't have any additional forward vertical tail unit - no direct analogy is here... One of main requiremenys to the new bomber was achieving of maximum range, so fuel tanks were located at all free volumes of fuselage (bag tanks and integral tanks), inside the center wing and consoles, and in additional forward vertical tail unit. The flight refuelling system units used from serial Tu-22K. In summer 1964 assembly of the first prototype Tu-22M0 (in production plant it was called "45-00" object) was finished. Initially the aircraft got official marking Tu-22KD in order to confirm "Tu-22 modifying" and disguise conducted project works on the new aircraft. On August 30 the maiden flight was fulfilled, several weeks later 9 serial Tu-22M0 vere completed, 6 of them used for production tests from September 1969 till February 1970. In February 1973 two Tu-22M0 were received by Long-range Aviation Crews' Training Centre near Riazan (about 170 km to south-east from Moscow). The main task at that time was quickly transfer the new aircraft to Air Force units for mastering by pilots. The early Tu-22M were not fitted with guns, but under influence of Vietnam war experience it was acknowledged nesessary using og guns even on heavy aircraft for "dog fight". Last serial Tu-22M0 got tail unit UKU-9-502 with two GSh-23 cannons. All Tu-22M series keeped this armament inspite of mass increase almost at 4 tons. Pilots had doubts on cannon's useful effect, but they still were the important item of bomber's defensive complex. The special shells were developed for them - with anti-radar reflectors (false targets) for missiles with radar sight heads, and with "thermal traps" for missiles with infra-red heads. During Tu-22M0 flight tests there were fixed maximum speed 1530 km/h, range 4100 km at subsonic speed and take-off distance 2600 metres. The performance were a bit better than Tu-22, but the new aircraft was too young and fate gave a long life to him. The flight tests showed unsufficient carrying capability of the wing, so maximum start mass was limited up to 95 tons (initially it was equal to 121 tons). Also it became clear that additional folds in upper part of air intakes had almost zero effect. On July 27, 1971 Tu-22M1, the prototype of new modification, fulfilled its maiden flight. This aircraft (in production plant it was called "45-01" object) had the wing with extended span, air intakes with changed shape and reduced bulges of main landing gear bays. Instead of big folds 9 small folds were installed on each air intake, they opened automatically due to pressure difference in entrance air channels. This was done specially for installing of MK-22 turbojets. The new automatic control system ABSU-145 was installed instead of autopilot and power units in control system. Tu-22M1 could carry two X-22M missiles and up to 12 tons of bombs. Tu-22M1 (only 10 was built) were semi-experimental - 4 of them used for tests of automatic control system ABSU-145, for fixing of performance, power plant tests and defensive and navigation-bombing equipment tests. New enforced wing with increased carrying capability was also tested on one of these aircrafts. Tu-22M1 tests finished in 1975, there were fixed maximum speed 1660 km/h, range 5000 km at Mach<1 and 1560 km at Mach=1.25, and take-off distance 2300 metres. The performance increased a bit than Tu-22M0, several aircrafts were transferred in Air Force units but performance, demanded by customers, still was not reached. On May 7, 1973 Tu-22M2, the prototype of new modification, fulfilled its maiden flight. This aircraft (in production plant it was called "45-02" object) was the first to be put into service in Air Force (Long-range Aviation, thus Strategic Aviation in USSR was called) and also into Naval Aviation (something about Fleet Air Arm). Tu-22M2 had new radar (PNA type), new radio-communication equipment, new NK-45 navigation complex and could carry three X-22M air-to-ground missiles. Also main landing gear connection units' bubbles were reduced and new additional forward vertical tail unit was divided into 3 blocks (connected each other) in order to reduce its deformations at supersonic speed. The radio communication system antenna was installed behind vertical tail unit and covered by radio -transparent radome. Tu-22M2 flight tests fixed maximum speed 1800 km/h, range 5100 km at subsonic speed. As performance, demanded by customers, still was not reached, it was nesessary to continue aircraft's modifying. Though Tu-22M2 was in 1976 put into service, the design bureau did not stop its development. First of all it was nesessary to install engines with increased thrust, as NK-22 and NK-144 turbojets gave all they could to give. NK-23 modified engine was installed on several planes, but soon this engine was cancelled as Kuznetsov's design bureau worked at new NK-25 turbojet with 25-ton maximum thrust (with alterburning) and with reduced fuel consumption. The engine also had modern electronic control system. In 1974 one of serial Tu-22M2 was used for new NK-25 turbojet flight tests. This plane was marked Tu-22M2E (as NK-25 engine was called "E" object in production plant and NK-22 engine was called "FM" object). In 1975-76 NK-25 engine was under tests on Tu-142LL test bed (this flying laboratory was re-designed Tu-142 long-range anti-submarine patrol aircraft made on the base of famous Tu-95 Bear bomber). Aboard Tu-142LL the engine worked in conditions nearest to real Tu-22M2 flight, and mainly engine's electronic control system was tested. These tests showed the nesessity to change Tu-22M2's aerodynamic scheme and reduce airframe mass because of new powerful but heavy engines. In order to change aerodynamic scheme on one of serial Tu-22M1 the refuelling boom was removed and forward fuselage was stretched at 0.8 metres. Also maximum leading-edge swept angle value was changed from 60 to 65 degrees, the horisontal tail unit dimensions were reduced and one GSh-23 cannon was removed from UKU-9-502 tail cannon unit. The wing and horisontal tail unit received new profile (so-called super-critical with flat upper surface (for horisontal tail unit - lower surface) and with bended rear profile's area). The new profile increased aircraft stability at high angles of attack. The air intakes shape was changed for installation of new engines, also their entrance air channels and wedge control system were changed. The modified aircraft showed maximum speed 2050 km/h, also the masses of some units was reduced. As regards main landing gear, the middle pair of wheels' position control system was disused. On early Tu-22M middle pair of wheels of 6-wheels main landing gear before landing mowed aside, increasing rut of main landing gear and also aircraft's capability to roll at ground runways. Later the demand for heavy aircraft basing on ground runways was cancelled and from Block 34 6-wheels main landing gear were simplified. The wing mass was reduced at 5% without decreasing its carrying capability and fatigue durability. The aircraft's electric power system also was radically changed. Tu-22M of early series had six constant-current generators, which produced current with tension 27 Volt. Alternators were installed, but as these units, powered by main engines, were non-stabilized on rotation velocity, the current frequency was too flowing, this fact limited this current's usage. Such kind of electric power sources was unsufficient for numerous energy consumers of the new aircraft, so rotation stabilizers were installed on the main engines. So alternators could produce current wiht constant frequency and heavy transformers could now be disused. In constant current contour of the aircraft's electric power system new generators were installed, equipped with electronic parameters' stabilizing system. At last, lead accumulators were replaced by new ones (nickel-cadmium). As regards radioelectronic equipment, it was also modified and tested at ground and flying laboratories (flying test-beds), one of which was made on base of first Sowiet passenger jet liner Tu-104. In order to enforce Tu-22M's strike capabilities, new air-to-surface missiles X-15 were installed. The short-range missiles were located in the bomb bay (6 on rotary launcher) and 4 under centre wing. During Tu-22M modifying one exotic variant of aerodynamic scheme was discussed in design bureau. The centre wing looked like SR-71, Lockheed's 3-Mach strategic reconnaissance aircraft. The engines NK-25 located in nacelles, located in half-wingspan, tail unit had twin-tail configuration. The engine nacelles carried vertical tail units and also used for main landing gear remowing. This radically changed aerodynamic scheme was not supported by Air Force, customers considered the technical risk to be too high, projecting works to be too long and aircraft, if it was realized, to be too expensive. In mid-1977 the first Tu-22M3 (in production plant it was called "45-03" object) was ready to flight tests and fulfilled its maiden flight on June 20. During tests there were fixed maximum speed 2300 km/h. The official tests ("state" tests) ended in 1981, in 1986 the new bomber was officially put into serwice in Air Force (Long-range Aviation, thus Strategic Aviation in USSR was called) and also into Naval Aviation (something about Fleet Air Arm). Tu-22M3 serial production was organized in Kazan, as all other Tu-22 and Tu-22M modifications. Until 1984 Tu-22M2 and Tu-22M3 were produced jointly. In Air Force units first Tu-22M3 appeared in 1981. Several specialized modifications were also created on base of Tu-22M2, for example, Tu-22MR reconnaissance aircraft. In end 70s it was under production tests, but didn't become serial aircraft as its different electronic equipment had electromagnetic incompatibility. In early 80s one of serial Tu-22M3 was used for NK-32 turbojets, developed for Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber. This Tu-22M3 differed by number of additional folds on air intakes. After finishing of new engine flight tests this plane was test-bed for different electronic equipment. In serial production some changes were made in Tu-22M3 structure, as follows: - after several aircrafts were produced with flight refuelling boom used from Tu-22M2, the new flight refuelling system was installed, with flight refuelling boom, removing under bubble (radome); - non-efficient centre wing spoilers were disused; - two additional armament pylons were installed under centre wing; One of serial Tu-22M3 was used for new ejector seats K-36D tests. These seats were developed for Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber, but in Tu-22M3 serial production the old ejector seats KT-1 were keeped. As nesessity in reconnaissance aircrafts for replacement of old and obsolete Tu-22R, Tu-16R and Tu-16RM increased, Tupolev's design bureau in mid 80s started works on reconnaissance aircraft, based on Tu-22M3. The capabilities of new aircraft gradually increased due to electronic equipment. The maiden flight was fulfilled on December 6, 1985 and the aircraft was recommended to serial production. During prepared to serial production the crisis in USSR economy sharpened, and after USSR collapsed it became impossible to start production of aircraft with such complicated electronic equipment. In the West first information concerning Tu-22M appeared in 1969 due to reconnaissance satellites and valorous two-legs spyes. The first published Tu-22M drawing resembled Tu-22K and "145" project, a bit later appeared comparisons of Tu-22M and Rockwell B-1. These analysts overestimated Tu-22M capabilities and consdered it to be the heavy intercontinental-range strategic bomber, corresponding to the Western standards. Tu-22M3 was an item of discussion in Soviet-American strategic armament limitation talks (SALT). The Soviets declared it to be the medium bomber, without intercontinental range and non-limited by the SALT treaty. For "camouflage" flight refuelling boom was removed in all aircrafts, being in Air Force service and was not installed on new production Tu-22M3s (though it was produced for each aircraft as spare part and could be quickly installed). Thus Tu-22M capabilities were reduced to the level of theatre of operations with range about 4000 km, but its payload (24 tons) was quite sufficient. Finally the annual production was limited to 30 aircrafts, and total number of Tu-22Ms - to 300. Tu-22M3 was shown in the West for the first time in Farnborough Air Show in 1992. Though Western press called Tu-22M3 as mighty weapon, ready for strikes in Western Europe targets, it is nesessary to note, that maximum efficiency years for Tu-22M3 (and also for all Soviet-Russian Air Force) are already gone. The possibility to break through mighty AAD (Anti-Aircraft Defence) for aircraft, carrying non-nuclear armament, is under doubt, and each year reduce it. So, without radical modifying the aircraft will definitively lose its efficiency and capabilities, though this aircraft will remain as the unique type in world aviation history. Now Tupolev's design bureau tries to find Tu-22M3's civil usage. One aircraft re-equipped as test bed for laminated wings profiles in supersonic speed and was shown for the first time in Moscow Air Show in 1992. One console of its wing has super-critical profile with the reduced friction drag. The tests program includes the investigation of aerodynamic pressure on wing surface in wide range of values of leading-edge swept angle, Mach and Reynolds values. Also there was a plan to use Tu-22M3 as test bed for different flying vehicles' large-scale models flight and drop tests.

Created April 20, 1998

modified August 21 1998
by Alex V.Mryakin
and Sergey V.Andreev