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Tupolev Tu-144 (wikipedia.org)
39 points by akandiah on Oct 20, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments

> With the accumulated failures, an alarm siren went off immediately after the takeoff with sound and volume similar to that of a civil defense warning. The crew could not figure a way to switch it off and the siren stayed on throughout the remaining 75 minutes flight. Eventually the captain ordered the navigator to borrow a pillow from the passengers and stuff it inside the siren's horn. Luckily, all landing gears extended and aircraft was able to land.


I was on a British Airways flight from London to Chicago that had a similar alarm problem on a 767 which indicated landing gear failure. But on that flight, they shut it off manually after 15 minutes or so. I did notice that while we were still over the UK, the flight info system with the map kept showing all kinds of odd locations as our destination, as if the pilots were planning to set down at the nearest airport if anything else strange happened. Before landing at Chicago they warned us that the alarm would sound again, and that we should prepare for a rough landing in case the wheels did not come down fully. We also made a pass over the airport for someone on the ground to look at the landing gear with binoculars. The landing was normal.

Disabling cockpit alarms seems to become routine for some pilots:

> Other MD-80 pilots reported that some operators would occasionally intentionally open the P-40 circuit breaker to prevent annoyance of stall/flap warning annunciation during taxi operations.


Other worthy SST competitors at the time:


The US cancelled their programs due to costs. This is why there was never an American version of the Concorde.



Yeah, the article explains all of this and you even got your links from it. No need to rehash the source.

I found the links helpful - I already knew enough about Concorde to not bother reading the article, but I didn't know about the US's SST program.

Is HN a replacement for the TIL sub-reddit now?


Some startup founders might need inspiration for the last question of their YC application.

I don't go on Reddit, so I enjoy those posts on HN. I never knew the USSR had a space shuttle, nor did I know it had its own "concorde". I want more !

Maybe you should visit reddit ;-)

that's not even /r/todayilearned material, that's /r/wikipedia at best.

Reminds me of some fascinating other tibits you may enjoy googling:

* M-50 "Bounder" bomber, which was believed to be nuclear powered

* how to count the "bomber gap" of M-4 "Bison" bombers

* how to spy on the USSR by using the moon as a reflector

And so on. The truth is often wilder than the conspiracy theorists ever dream ;)

>With a Soviet aircraft that could counterpose Concorde nowhere near in sight for at least years to come, the Tu-144 programme was becoming more of a political embarrassment rather than a source of pride to the Soviet Union, a symbol of a technological race lost to the West, and was quietly ended.[citation needed]

yuck, such over-the-top emotionally loaded writing.

The Soviets went to great lengths indeed making shittier copies from stolen blueprints from their western counterparts to show the rest of the world how great we were. The magnitude of failure only becomes evident when you consider that 90% of the 'GDP' went to fund projects like these while the general population was starving and didn't have sufficient clothes or housing. Very proud to be Russian indeed.

Oh yeah also check out the Byran space shuttle program, doesn't that thing look familiar as well?

Your ignorance is absolutely astonishing, as is the amount of bile excreting from your comment. You should really learn a thing or two about the subject matter before claiming that Buran was created from "stolen blueprints". It wasn't. Its shape and tongue-in-cheek color selection were the only similarity to the Shuttles.

I'm not out to question your, presumingly extensive knowledge on the subject.

However, being a grandson of highly ranked pilot of the Soviet Air Force my grandfather told me a thing or two about this subject. It is common knowledge that most of the Soviet military (and non-military for that matter) advancements came from a well-organized campaign that was set out to legally and illegally acquire Western technology.

The only part of the cold war where the Soviets were ahead is possibly scale, achieved mostly by enslavement of it's own population, not so much advancements in technology and science.

The Tu-144 was more of a real ripoff than Buran; while Buran used a very similar profile to the space shuttle (to save on costs relating to aerodynamic validation, essentially; early designs were quite a different shape) it was very different in detail (kerosene boosters rather than solid, external main engine, largely automated).

> Passengers seated next to each other could have a conversation only with difficulty, and those seated two seats apart could not hear each other even when screaming and had to pass hand-written notes instead.

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