Tu-104: The Story of the disaster

More than half a century back started the first flight tests of the first passenger jet of the Russian Tu-104. Its creation was a fundamental step in the development of global aviation.

The successful introduction of jet aircraft in the air force has solved the problem of the introduction of such machines in civilian aviation. The first aircraft of this type appeared in 1949 in England. After a couple years of testing aircraft entered series creation. But a huge number of accidents in the 50's led to remove the car from service. The designers took four years to clear all the problems, then came back on the airline actually made anew plane.

While the British "Comet" was in the process of being finalized, with Russian Union there was a good chance to become the first country in the world, owning a jet passenger plane.

Develop its started in 1954. Served as the basis for a passenger aircraft Tu-16 bomber. A similar decision was intended to preserve time to develop the structure. First Tu-104 made flight first in November 1955. So Makar, the development has gone completely negligible time. During this flight did not work without problems: in flight plane suddenly tossed skyward, then at a certain time to lose control of the car. This state of the pilots dubbed the "pickup". The cause of this phenomenon has been found. Despite this, the continued operation of the aircraft, and the tests continued.

The Tu-104 since Nikita Khrushchev came to the liking that he even decided to fly him to England in 1956. Since prepyadstviya with aircraft options do not work, it was possible to persuade rid of this flight. But it was necessary to show the world the success of Russian aircraft. Because, on the orders of Khrushchev, the Tu-104 were driven to the British capital.

Appearing in London, the first Russian jet made a remembrance of a bombshell. The next day there has arrived once such a plane. The British have said that Russia simply repaint a single room on your own plane. Such statements are not liked very much the chief designer A.Tupolevu because he gave the order to drive in London just three of the Tu-104. It was truly a triumph of the Russian Union, because no one in the world of government had no passenger jets.

But, as shown by the upcoming developments, the problem with "pickup" have not been addressed. In August 1958, the Tu-104, lost control, crashed, resulting in the deaths of 64 people. Designer Tupolev strongly denied that there would be any problem whatsoever, and the tragedy was caused by the crew. There is a theory that the plane did not have enough fuel. But after a while, and the second Tu-104 suffered a tragedy went into a spin and crashed into the ground. And in two months — vtochnosti same situation under Canas. On that fateful day plane was flight Beijing and Moscow. Flying altitude was 12 km. Suddenly the plane bounced up sharply, with such a force that it is a tremendous mass soared up to two kilometers!

Crew commander Harold Smiths and the second pilot tried to align Anton Artemiev plane, the way to taking over the helm. But it did not help. Later plane went down sharply, ignoring management. So Makar, the plane went into a steep nosedive unmanageable. At supersonic speeds, the actual vertical plane sped toward the ground.

The result of the state commission, the tragedy did not last more than 2-minutes. The commander immediately realize that death is inevitable, because even with a 13-km altitude began airing on the ground information about what is happening. Association to work almost until the moment of impact with the ground. The last words of the commander were: "Good-bye. Destroyed. "

Kuznetsov transmitted information was of great value, as all previous accidents have remained unsolved. None of the investigations carried out by the Head of spices management CAF, Air Force, Municipal Institute, also of the Tupolev failed to shed light on what happened yet in effect. It has been put forward a lot of guesswork: techno failure, deficiencies in the design, bad weather conditions, the crew errors. All the bumps, of course, fell on the heads of the pilots, as in the technical properties of the aircraft no one hesitated. But Kuznetsov information submitted to dot the "I". Of disk imaging acquired the commission came to the conclusion that the ship hit the big ascending air current. None of the designers did not imagine that similar may be at an altitude of more than 9 km, as the ordinary piston machines could climb even the smallest height. Because the phenomenon of turbulence, there were a trifle. Until the tragedy …

Kuznetsova crew was in the center of the vertical air flow. Later, during the playback of the flight, the designers managed to find its characteristics: the width of the air flow was approximately 2 km in length — about 13, thickness — about 6 km. With all this speed it was close to 300 kilometers per hour.

It was necessary to find a way to deal with such unsafe natural phenomenon. As a result, the maximum flying height has been lowered, modernization of the design, development of new methods of centering machines, but all the same it is the problem of never solved. The highest accident rate remained at the same level, but that was the premise — or design errors or unavailability of pilots — it was hard to find.

It is logical that the plane had acquired a bad name. In 1960, the airliner Tu-104 has been discontinued, and its place in the time took turboprop airliners IL-18. And as to disperse the Tu-104 was needed longish strip, then it was used for domestic flights is rare.

It became necessary to the creation of new passenger aircraft. Tupolev decided not to deviate from the intended path. In the end, was created by the first modification of the Tu-104 — Tu-124, which is also characterized by the highest accident rate. Was created because the next version — Tu-134. This aircraft was more fortunate because since the beginning of operation in 1967 until now he makes flights on domestic routes. And only in 1972 there was the first jet airliner Tu-154, which has not been altered from the war machine, and initially designed as a passenger. This is one of their beloved Russian aircraft experienced pilots.

Recent liners Tu-104 disappeared from the regular flights only in 1979, but still used some time to practice marine fighter pilots, as a staff airplane flying laboratory. Quite flights of Tu-104 only ended after the close of Leningrad, one of the planes crashed, resulting in the deaths of 52 people.

Similar bitter experience led the Russian designers obmyslit new aerodynamic shape that could resist the flow of air.

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