TUPOLEV

Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev was most senior designer in Soviet Union, managing largest OKB which from 1922 until his death December 1972 created more types (129) of more diverse aircraft than any other designer or company. Design engineer at Duks, co-founder with Zhukovskii of CAHI 1918, member of Komta, he headed state commission on metal construction 1922, building ANT-1 and ANT-2 cantilever monoplanes using corrugated Kolchug skin. Metal construction thus proven, formed AGOS as chief CAHI construction bureau, producing ANT-3 biplane (7 August 1925), many built including 70 as military R-3 with imported Lorraine engine. There followed amazing succession of mostly large and challenging monoplanes, often with major parts or even whole design carried out by Arkhangyelskii, Petlyakov, Myasishchyev or Sukhoi. Included ANT-4 (26 November 1925) leading to 218 TB-1 bombers and other versions; ANT-6 outstanding heavy monoplane bomber (22 December 1930) leading to 818 TB-3 and other versions; ANT-9/PS-9 airliner (about 83); ANT-20, largest aircraft in world 1934; ANT-25 long-distance (various); ANT-40, most modern bomber of 25 April 1934, leading to at least 6,656 SB-2; and ANT-58 (designed in a VT prison) leading to ANT-61 and 'about 3,000' Tu-2 during war. Designations then changed to Tu, a major project being dissection of B-29 and conversion into Tu-70/75 transports and then Tu-4 bomber, which via piston-engined Tu-80 and -85 led to giant swept turboprop Tu-95, produced as Tu-20 and -142 over 38-year period. Tu-88 (27 April 1952) led to about 2,000 Tu-16 in over 25 versions, plus about 200 of derived Tu-104 passenger transport. Bombers led to Tu-22 supersonic bomber and Tu-22M swing-wing bomber and missile-launcher, and to Tu-128 long-range interceptor. Transport led to turbofan-engined Tu-124, aft-engined Tu-134 (about 700 built) and Tu-154/164 (over 600 built 1968-91). On founder’s death, OKB continued to bear his name, general designer now being founder’s son Dr Alexei Andreyevich Tupolev. Military aircraft mainly centred at vast Kazan complex, where Tu-160 produced 1981-92. Civil teams under Lev A. Lanovski develop aircraft for production at Kharkov and Ulyanovsk, notably Tu-204 which with British engines is marketed by Bravia. 1993 attempt by OKB to proliferate into smaller aircraft. Title ANTK Tupolev (Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex named for A.N. Tupolev).

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