SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supersonic Soviet Tu-144 aircraft, in flight over Russia on 20th April 1973. This aircraft, the Tupolev Tu-144, was the world's first supersonic passenger jet. It made a successful test flight on 31st December 1968, two months before Concorde, and first broke the sound barrier on 5th June 1969. Passenger services commenced in 1977, but a series of crashes and problems led to flights being discontinued, with the last official flight taking place in 1978.
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