SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supersonic flight. Interior of a Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner. The Tu-144, known to NATO as 'Charger', first flew on 31 December 1968, two months before the Anglo-French Concorde. However, the Tu-144 entered passenger service later than Concorde, on 1 November 1977. Progress was severely affected by the crash of one of the prototypes at the Paris Air Show in 1973. A total of 16 aircraft were built, but between them they only managed 55 passenger flights and a further 47 cargo flights before being withdrawn due to continued safety concerns. Photographed in 1969.
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