Military Wiki
JSC Tupolev
Type Division
Industry Aerospace and defense
Founded 1922
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Products Commercial airliners
Military aircraft
Parent United Aircraft Corporation

Tupolev (Russian: Ту́полев, IPA: [ˈtupəlʲɪf]) is a Russian aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Moscow, Russia. Basmanny District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow.[1] Known officially as Joint Stock Company Tupolev, it is the successor of the Tupolev OKB or Tupolev Design Bureau (OKB-156, design office prefix Tu) headed by the Soviet aerospace engineer A.N. Tupolev. The company celebrated its 90th anniversary on October 22, 2012. The Russian government is planning to merge Tupolev with Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi, and Yakovlev as a new company named United Aircraft Corporation.[2]

The capabilities of PSC Tupolev include development, manufacturing and overhaul for both civil and military aerospace products such as aircraft and weapons systems. It is also active with missile and naval aviation technologies. More than 18,000 Tupolev aircraft were produced for the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.


Tupolev OKB was founded by Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev in 1922. Its facilities are tailored for aeronautics research and aircraft design only, manufacturing is handled by other firms. It researched all-metal airplanes during the 1920s, based directly on the pioneering work already done by Hugo Junkers during World War I.

Tupolev ANT-20 Maxim Gorky, the largest airplane of the 1930s, was used for Stalinist propaganda.

The first successful all-metal airplane was built of corrugated sheet iron by the German engineer Hugo Junkers (the J-1) in 1915. With the J-3 of 1916 Junkers shifted to lighter construction using corrugated duralumin. In the aftermath of WWI and to evade the terms of the Versailles Treaty that prevented German companies from building warplanes Junkers founded a clandestine aircraft factory in the Moscow suburb of Fili in 1922. This factory was turned over to Tupolev in 1925.[3] Russian sources usually refrain from making the link between Junkers and Tupolev. Tupolev was an able designer, but his first generation aircraft were heavily influenced by his early connection to Junkers. Among the notable results during Tupolev's early period were two significant all-metal heavy bombers with corrugated duralumin skins, the ANT-4 twin-engined bomber which first flew in 1925 and the four-engined ANT-6 of 1932, from which such airplanes as the ANT-20 were derived (see Yefim Gordon & Vladimir Rigmant, OKB Tupolev. Hinckley, UK: Midland, 2005. pp. 22–28 & 30-34). Tupolev's design approach in these two airplanes defined for many years the trends of heavy aircraft development, civil and military.

During World War II, the twin-engined, all-metal Tu-2 was one of the best front-line bombers of the Soviets. Several variants of it were produced in large numbers from 1942. During the war it used wooden rear fuselages due to a shortage of metal. This was succeeded by the development of the jet-powered Tu-16 bomber, which used a sweptback wing for good subsonic performance.

As turbojets were not fuel efficient enough to provide truly intercontinental range, the Soviets elected to design a new bomber, the Tu-20, more commonly referred to as the Tu-95. It, too, was based on the fuselage and structural design of the Tu-4, but with four colossal Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop engines providing a unique combination of jet-like speed and long range. It became the definitive Soviet intercontinental bomber, with intercontinental range and jet-like performance. In many respects the Soviet equivalent of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, it served as a strategic bomber and in many alternate roles, including reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare.

The Tu-16 was developed into the civil Tu-104, which was for some time the only jet-powered airliner due to the temporary grounding of the De Havilland Comet. The Tu-95 became the basis of the unique Tu-114 medium-to-long-range airliner, the fastest turboprop aircraft ever. One common feature found in many large subsonic Tupolev jet aircraft is large pods extending rearward from the trailing edge of the wings, holding the aircraft's landing gear. These allow the aircraft to have landing gears made up of many large low-pressure tires, which are invaluable for use on the poor quality runways that were common in the Soviet Union at the time. For example the Tu-154 airliner, the Soviet equivalent of the Boeing 727, has 14 tyres, the same number as Boeing's far larger 777–200.

Even before the first flights of the Tu-16 and Tu-20/Tu-95, Tupolev was working on supersonic bombers, culminating in the unsuccessful Tu-98. Although that aircraft never entered service, it became the basis for the prototype Tu-102 (later developed into the Tu-28 interceptor) and the Tu-105, which evolved into the supersonic Tu-22 bomber in the mid-1960s. Intended as a counterpart to the Convair B-58 Hustler, the Tu-22 proved rather less capable, although it remained in service much longer than the American aircraft. Meanwhile the "K" Department was formed in the Design Bureau, with the task of designing unmanned aircraft such as the Tu-139 and the Tu-143 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.

Tu-144 supersonic airliner

In the 1960s A. N. Tupolev's son, A. A. Tupolev, became active with management of the agency. His role included the development of the world's first supersonic airliner, the Tu-144, the popular Tu-154 airliner and the Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber. All these developments enabled the Soviet Union to achieve strategic military and civil aviation parity with the West.

In the 1970s, Tupolev concentrated its efforts on improving the performance of the Tu-22M bombers, whose variants included maritime versions. It is the presence of these bombers in quantity that brought about the SALT I and SALT II treaties. Also the efficiency and performance of the Tu-154 was improved, culminating in the efficient Tu-154M.

In the 1980s the design bureau developed the supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber. Features include variable-geometry wings.

Post Soviet Era

With the end of the Cold War, research work was concentrated on subsonic civil aircraft, mainly on operating economics and alternative fuels. The developments include fly-by-wire, use of efficient high-bypass turbofans and advanced aerodynamic layouts for the 21st century transport aircraft such as the Tu-204/Tu-214, Tu-330 and Tu-334.

Among current Tupolev projects:

  • further development of Tu-204/214 and TU-334 aircraft family
  • development of cargo aircraft Tu-330, regional and executive Tu-324 aircraft
  • research on practical aspects of aircraft operation using alternative fuels
  • modernization of Russian Naval Aviation and Air Force

On 19 August 2009, Tupolev announced that it had a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry to develop a new-generation strategic bomber which "will be a conceptually new plane based on the most advanced technologies".[4]


  • Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev was a leading designer at the Moscow-based Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) from 1929 until his death in 1972. This design bureau produced mostly bombers and airliners.
  • Alexei Andreyevich Tupolev, son of Andrei Tupolev, was also a famous aircraft designer. His most famous design was the supersonic airliner Tupolev Tu-144. He managed Tupolev until his death in 2001.

Tupolev aircraft

Many designs were developed by the design bureau. Those in production series may manufacture as many as 4,500 units as for the Tu-2. However many are also dead-ends or experimental, with as little as a single copy being produced. They were terminated by changing military or political situations. Many of these experimental variants enabled series production versions.

Early aircraft

  • Tupolev glider of 1912

Early piston-powered

  • ANT-1: The first aircraft by A.N.T. and the first Soviet-built aircraft. Mixed materials design. The work started in 1921. Assembly began in 1922. The tests were cancelled due to engine malfunction.
  • ANT-2: Two passenger aircraft. The first Soviet all-metal aircraft, 1924.
  • ANT-3/R-3/PS-3: All-metal two-seats recce biplane, 1925. About 100 were built.
  • ANT-3 Pervenets: torpedo boat (not an aircraft!). It was put afloat 14 March 1928.
  • ANT-4/TB-1: All-metal twin-engined (M-17B) monoplane heavy bomber, 1925. There were 212 aircraft built. There was a G-1 cargo version.
  • ANT-5/I-4: Prototype of I-4 fighter. The first aircraft designed by Pavel Sukhoi, 1927. 369 were built. I-4 was in service in 1928–1933.
  • ANT-6/TB-3: Four-engine development of TB-1, 1930. There was a G-2 cargo version.
  • ANT-7/R-6/KR-6/MR-6: Development of TB-1 as reconnaissance (R-6), "cruiser" (escort fighter, KR-6), and maritime patrol/torpedo bomber (MR-6), 1931.
  • ANT-8/MDR-2: Maritime long range recce flying boat, 1931.
  • ANT-9/PS-9: Three-engined passenger airliner, 1929.
  • ANT-10/R-7: Reconnaissance/light bomber aircraft prototype, 1930.
  • ANT-11/MTBT: Twin-hulled flying boat project, 1929.
  • ANT-12/I-5: Biplane fighter prototype, 1930. Later built as Polikarpov I-5.
  • ANT-13/I-8: Fighter/interceptor prototype, developed from ANT-12, 1930.
  • ANT-14 Pravda: Large five-engined propaganda monoplane developed from the ANT-9, 1931.
  • ANT-15/DI-3: Two-seat fighter project, 1930.
  • ANT-16/TB-4: Six-engine version of TB-3, predecessor of ANT-20, 1933.
  • ANT-17/TShB: Prototype ground attack aircraft, 1930.
  • ANT-18/TSh-2: Twin-engine biplane ground attack aircraft, development of ANT-7, 1930.
  • ANT-19: Passenger airliner project.
  • ANT-20 Maxim Gorky: Eight-engine huge cargo/propaganda aircraft, 1934.
  • ANT-21/MI-3: Multiseat fighter. Development of R-6, 1933.
  • ANT-22/MK-1: Armoured six-engine recce flying boat, development of ANT-11, 1934.
  • ANT-23/I-12: Experimental twin-engined fighter equipped with two recoilless 75mm cannons, 1931.
  • ANT-24/TB-4: Four-engined heavy bomber prototype developed from ANT-16, precursor of ANT-26, 1931.
  • ANT-25: Single engine monoplane long range bomber. Designed by Pavel Sukhoi. ANT-25RD (RD for "Rekord Dalnosty", i.e. "Range Record") was used in a record flight from Moscow to San Jacinto, California, USA over the North Pole—10,148 km, 1933 (one was built in 1989).
  • ANT-26/TB-6: 12-engined heavy-bomber aircraft project, 1932.
  • ANT-27/MDR-4/MTB-1: Patrol flying-boat for the Soviet Navy, 1934.
  • ANT-28: Cargo version of TB-6.
  • ANT-29/DIP-1: Twin-engined fighter. Development of ANT-21, 1935.
  • ANT-29 (II): Passenger version of MTB-1.
  • ANT-30/SK-1: Twin-engine escort fighter/high-speed bomber aircraft, developed from the R-6 and MI-3, 1933.
  • ANT-31/I-14: All metal monoplane fighter, 1933.
  • ANT-32/I-13: Single-seat fighter project, 1934.
  • ANT-33: Passenger airliner project, 1932.
  • ANT-34/MI-4: Multi-seat fighter project.
  • ANT-35/PS-35: Twin-engined passenger airliner developed from the SB, 1936.
  • ANT-36/DB-1: Long-range bomber developed from the ANT-25, 1936.
  • ANT-37/DB-2: Long-range bomber based on the DB-1, 1935.
  • ANT-38/VSB-1: High-altitude high-speed bomber project, prototype of SB.
  • ANT-39: Prototype for SB.
  • ANT-40/SB/PS-40/PS-41: Medium bomber, also erroneously known as SB-2, 1934.
  • ANT-41/T-1/LK-1: Twin-engine high speed multirole aircraft, 1934.
  • ANT-42/TB-7: Four-engined heavy bomber prototype, 1934. Later built as Petlyakov Pe-8.
  • ANT-43: Six-seat airliner project, 1936.
  • ANT-44/MTB-2 Chaika: Heavy-bomber flying-boat, 1937.
  • ANT-45/DIP: Two-seat cannon armed fighter project, 1936.
  • ANT-46/DI-8: Three-seat fighter prototype, developed from the SB, 1935.
  • ANT-47/I-20: Fighter project.
  • ANT-48/SS: High speed sport aircraft project developed from the SB, 1935.
  • ANT-49: Reconnaissance aircraft project, developed from the SB.
  • ANT-50: Proposed twin-engined high-speed airliner developed from the ANT-43, 1937.
  • ANT-51: Short-range bomber prototype, 1937. Later built as Sukhoi Su-2.
  • ANT-52:
  • ANT-53: Proposed four-engined airliner, 1936.
  • ANT-54:
  • ANT-55:
  • ANT-56/SRB: High-speed reconnaissance/bomber project.
  • ANT-57/PB: High-altitude heavy dive bomber project, 1939.
  • ANT-58: First prototype of the Tu-2, 1941.
  • ANT-59: Second prototype of the Tu-2, 1941.
  • Tu-2 "Bat" (ANT-60): 3-seat medium bomber, 1941.
  • Tu-4 "Bull" (also known as ANT-68): copied from seized Boeing B-29 Superfortresses. Initial name is B-4 (the A.N.T. want not give his name to the aircraft designed outside of his OKB), 1947.

Experimental aircraft

  • Tu-1 (ANT-63P): prototype night-fighter variant of the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-6 (ANT-64): prototype reconnaissance variant of the Tu-2
  • Tu-8 (ANT-69): prototype long-range bomber variant of the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-10 "Frosty" (ANT-68): prototype high-speed bomber, developed from the Tu-2, 1943
  • Tu-12 (also known as Tu-77): medium jet bomber prototype, developed from the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-18 (also known as Tu-72): jet-powered version of the Tu-8, 1947
  • Tu-24: high-altitude bomber project developed from the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-26: original designation of Tu-22M
  • Tu-30: four-engined bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-54: prototype agricultural aircraft, 1992
  • Tu-64: light multipurpose aircraft project
  • Tu-70 "Cart": prototype airliner variant of the Tu-4, 1946
  • Tu-71: prototype short-range bomber developed from the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-73 (I): jet-powered short range bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-73 (II): three-engined development of the Tu-18, 1947
  • Tu-74 (also known as Tu-73R): proposed high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Tu-73
  • Tu-75: prototype cargo/transport variant of the Tu-4, 1950
  • Tu-76 (I): torpedo bomber project developed from the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-76 (II): bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-76 (III) (also known as Tu-4D): military transport variant of the Tu-4
  • Tu-78: as Tu-73 bomber variant but powered by Soviet engines, 1948
  • Tu-79 (I): as Tu-4 but powered by M-49TK engines
  • Tu-79 (II): as Tu-73 reconnaissance variant but powered by Soviet engines, 1949
  • Tu-80: prototype long-range bomber variant of the Tu-4, predecessor of Tu-85, 1949
  • Tu-81 (I): twin-engined medium bomber project developed from the Tu-73, 1949
  • Tu-81 (II): initial prototype of the Tu-14
  • Tu-82 "Butcher": experimental swept-wing jet bomber, 1949
  • Tu-83: bomber project developed from the Tu-82, 1949
  • Tu-84: prototype reconnaissance aircraft, 1948
  • Tu-85 "Barge": prototype long-range heavy bomber variant of the Tu-4, 1951
  • Tu-86: long-range bomber project, 1949
  • Tu-87: Tu-86 converted into an engine test bed, 1951
  • Tu-88: initial prototype of the Tu-16, 1952
  • Tu-89 (also known as Tu-14R): prototype reconnaissance variant of the Tu-14, 1951
  • Tu-90: prototype turboprop-powered variant of the Tu-16, 1954
  • Tu-91 "Boot": prototype naval attack aircraft, 1954
  • Tu-92: initial prototype of the Tu-16R, 1955
  • Tu-93: initial prototype of the Tu-14T, 1952
  • Tu-94: prototype turboprop-powered variant of the Tu-4, 1950
  • Tu-95LAL: prototype nuclear-powered aircraft based on the Tu-95M, 1961
  • Tu-96: prototype long-range intercontinental high altitude strategic bomber variant of the Tu-95, 1956
  • Tu-97: long-range bomber project developed from the Tu-16
  • Tu-98 "Backfin" (also known as Tu-24): prototype swept-wing jet bomber, 1956
  • Tu-99: prototype turbojet version of the Tu-96
  • Tu-100: proposed parasite fighter, 1953
  • Tu-101: assault transport project, 1952
  • Tu-102: airliner project based on the Tu-101, 1952
  • Tu-103: improved Tu-16
  • Tu-105: initial prototype of the Tu-22, 1954
  • Tu-106: a re-engined Tu-22, 1954
  • Tu-107: prototype military transport variant of the Tu-104, 1958
  • Tu-108: proposed long-range carrier aircraft, 1952
  • Tu-109: a re-engined Tu-108
  • Tu-110 "Cooker": prototype long-range airliner developed from the Tu-104, 1957
  • Tu-111: 24-seat airliner project, 1954
  • Tu-112: proposed supersonic tactical bomber, 1955
  • Tu-114: prototype airliner variant of the Tu-95, entered production
  • Tu-115 (also known as Tu-114VTA): proposed military transport variant of the Tu-114
  • Tu-116: two Tu-95's fitted with passenger cabins, 1957
  • Tu-117: proposed military transport version of the Tu-110
  • Tu-118: proposed turboprop version of Tu-104
  • Tu-119: prototype nuclear and kerosene powered version of the Tu-95LAL
  • Tu-120: proposed nuclear-powered supersonic bomber
  • Tu-122: supersonic bomber project based on Tu-98, 1957
  • Tu-124: low-altitude bomber project, 1957
  • Tu-125: proposed medium-range supersonic bomber, 1958
  • Tu-127 (I): proposed supersonic tactical bomber, 1958
  • Tu-127 (II): proposed military cargo version of Tu-124
  • Tu-129: supersonic bomber project, 1959
  • Tu-130: unmanned glider project, 1959
  • Tu-132: proposed low-altitude transonic bomber, 1958
  • Tu-134: SST project developed from the Tu-106
  • Tu-135 (I): supersonic strategic bomber project, 1958
  • Tu-135 (II): supersonic bomber
  • Tu-136 Zvezda: proposed spaceplane
  • Tu-136 (II): VTOL fighter project, 1963
  • Tu-136 (III): airliner/freighter project
  • Tu-137 Sputnik: unmanned spaceplane project developed from the Tu-136 Zvezda
  • Tu-137 (II): supersonic strategic bomber project
  • Tu-138: proposed long-range supersonic interceptor of the Tu-28
  • Tu-148: proposed long-range patrol interceptor of the Tu-28
  • Tu-155: a Tu-154 converted into a testbed for alternative fuels, 1988
  • Tu-156: a re-engined Tu-155
  • Tu-161: strategic bomber project developed from the Tu-160
  • Tu-164: initial designation of the Tu-154M, 1980
  • Tu-174: proposed lengthened variant of the Tu-154
  • Tu-184: short-haul airliner concept
  • Tu-194 (I): proposed shortened variant of the Tu-154, 1973
  • Tu-194 (II): three-engined variant of Tu-184
  • Tu-206: a Tu-204 converted into a testbed for alternative fuels
  • Tu-216: a Tu-204 converted into a testbed for cryogenic fuel
  • Tu-244: SST concept developed from the Tu-144, 1979
  • Tu-334: a short haul jet airliner concept, 1999
  • Tu-2000: proposed long-range heavy bomber, 1986

Bombers and other military types

Tu-160, the last of the Soviet bombers



Tupolev Tu-154M.

  • Tu-104 "Camel" medium-range airliner developed from the Tu-16
  • Tu-114 Rossiya "Cleat" long range airliner developed from the Tu-95
  • Tu-124 "Cookpot" a short haul jet airliner developed from the Tu-104
  • Tu-134 "Crusty" a rear engine evolution of the Tu-124
  • Tu-144 "Charger" a supersonic airliner similar to Concorde
  • Tu-154 "Careless" a medium range narrow-body jet airliner
  • Tu-204 a medium range narrow-body jet airliner
  • Tu-214 Tu-204-200's built at a different factory
  • Tu-234 internal designation for the Tu-204-300

Unmanned aircraft

Planned aircraft

  • PAK DA: next generation strategic bomber based on the Tu-160
  • Tu-324: a regional airliner concept
  • Tu-330: medium transport aircraft based on the Tu-204/Tu-214
  • Tu-338: internal designation for the Tu-330K
  • Tu-344: a supersonic business jet concept based on the Tu-22M3
  • Tu-404: a long-range extra large airliner concept
  • Tu-414: a stretched Tu-324
  • Tu-444: a supersonic business jet concept


See also


  1. "Contacts." (Direct map image link) Tupolev. Retrieved on 8 December 2010. "Address in Moscow: Russia, Moscow, Academician Tupolev Embankment 17 " Address in Russian: "105005 г. Москва Набережная Академика Туполева д.17"
  2. "Russian Aircraft Industry Seeks Revival Through Merger." The New York Times. February 22, 2006.
  3. Antony L. Kay, Junkers Aircraft and Engines 1913-1945. London: Putnam, 2004, pp. 36 & 47
  4. Tupolev aircraft maker to develop Russia's new strategic bomber

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).