Saturday, December 24, 2011

White Swan Bigger Better BOne-ski and Bear English Russia

Another awesome article from english russia I stumbled across. The TU-95 bear was the answer to the pusher prop B-36 and the B-52 when they couldn't come up with the technology to perfect a practical intercontinental jet bomber until...

the Blackjack, which is basically a Bigger Better B-1-ski, it's fully Mach 2 unlike the Bone which was dialed back to M1.something for stealth. The Russians are hurting for money, but they think these are cool enough to keep flying.  The nose thingy is a for the old probe-and-drogue system as the Russians never perfected the old boom system used by Strategic Air Command which is safer and faster, but costs more to design into planes.

The Bear is a cold war classic like the BUFF, whenever US pilots intercepted Russians probing continental airs space or carrier groups, it was always Bears they greeted with Playboy magazine or whatever they had to wave at the enemy. If the tail turret position looks familiar, it's an evolved version from the original Boeing B-29s they copied from. Get a load of the classic Russian painting affixed to the cabin ceiling, you wouldn't find THAT in any American bomber.... China never did build an intercontinental bomber, the TU-16 Badger has been updated which is roughly like the B-47, though there are rumours they are working on their copy of the B-2 flying wing.

This kind of Russian propoganda I appreciate much more than 9-11 truthers and Ron Paul supporters.

I only swiped about half of the pictures, see the original for the whole thing. I'm an American military buff that grew up partly in awe of the Soviet military, cool to see it up close in HD instead of crummy cold war pictures we saw in the 60s and 70s.

Russians Call It White Swan; Americans Call It Black Knave

Posted on  by ok4u2bu
It is warm, the sky is blue, soft rumbling is heard from the most powerful turboprop engines in the world… We are at the aribase in Engel’s.


This is the commander. He is also a pilot and makes practice flights on Ilyushin-78.

Tu-95MS is a turboprop bomber and rocket carrier, the fastest screw plane, one of the sybols of Cold War. It is the only turboprop bomber which had a serial production. It was designed for bombing important enemy’s targets with cruise missiles under any weather contitions and at any time of the day.

On July 30, 2010 these planes broke a record of non-stop flying, after they had covered 30 thousand kilometers, crossed three oceans and refueled four times!
Tu-95SM is a carries of X-55 cruise missiles.

A double-barrelled gun GSh-23 is located in the rear of the aircraft. A range of a 23×115 milimeters bullet is 2 kilometers.

Preparing the aircraft for a flight.
Inside of the cabin of Tu-95MS.
The crew consists of seven people. There are no ejection seats for them, so in case of emergency, they should leave the plane through the entrance ports.

Tu-95 has the most powerful engine in the world (15000 hp). Its propellers have a diameter of 5.6 meters which is more than a single track tunnel of Moscow Metro.

It is also one of the noisiest aircrafts in the world and can be spotted even by hydroacoustic systems of submarines, however it is not critical for making nuclear missile strikes.

At this airbase they make practice flights twice a weak minimum.

These aircrafts are practicing take-offs and landings, refuelling in the air and long flights over Russia.

The first to take off is a rocket carrier scout plane. It makes a circle of a 300-kilometer radius.

Tu-95MS is about to take off. The two lights imitate a predator to scare birds away.

Feelings of seeing such a big, heavy and powerful plane ascending are indescribable!

Ilyushin-78 is the only plane of the air forces of Russia which can refuel other planes in the air.
It’s amazing that such a gigantic thing can fly! Moreover, it can carry up to 90 tons of load!

And the highlight of the show is Tu-160! This is a supersonic bomber rocket carrier.

Maximum speed: 2230 km/h.
Cruising speed: 917 km/h.
Maximum flight range without refuelling: 13950 km.
Operational ceiling: 15000 kilometers.
Rate of climb: 4400 meters a minute.
The plane has 4 engines with a total 100000 hp!
Russian pilots call it ‘white swan’ for its beauty and gracefulness. Americans call it ‘black knave’ for its invulnerability.

Each piece costs 7.5 billion rubles (250 million dollars). They have produced 35 of them since 1984.
White swan!

Tu-160 is the the largest supersonic plane and variable geometry wing plane. It is the most powerfuland the heaviest  military aircraft in the world. It has the biggest take-off mass and weapons load.

The local cafeteria. Each lunch will cost you approximately 110 rubles (30 dollars).

Museum of Aviation.

Closer to the evening, first aircrafts become arriving at the base.
Its take-off mass is comparable to the mass of 9 trolleys 71-619KT!
Over 30 specialists of the technical crew work on preparation of the aircraft for another flight.

When these aircrafts fly in the neutral territory, they are accompanied by fighter interceptors of NATO. In case they come too close which happens sometimes, Russian swans gather up their supersonic speed and fly away, leaving NATO planes behind.

Tu-95MS landing.

These are two pictures of the air pageant in Moscow.
Location: Engel’s
This entry was posted in Photosrussian armyTechnology and tagged 

42 Responses to “Russians Call It White Swan; Americans Call It Black Knave”

  1. dave says:
    just a couple of points 110 roubles is not $30 it is more like $3 dollars The plane may gather is speed to outfly NATO planes but it cant outrun a rocket
  2. geoff says:
    35 Tu-160′s have cost the community 8,750 million dollars. My country has just spent billions on US fighter planes.
    Our schools have a Fete with a cake stall (they beg) to raise money !…..We will have air force but no body that can read or write. So its easy for our government to frighten and manipulate people.
    Sorry but this is how I feel, it is the communities money, it should be spent on the community. Leaders want to fight, let them go fight.
  3. Mr. Fox says:
    Last two pics are impressing.
  4. ayaa says:
    “When these aircrafts fly in the neutral territory, they are accompanied by fighter interceptors of NATO.” Does this make much sense to any of you guys?
    • geoff says:
      No sense. If any escort, you would expect it would be Russian fighters. Not NATO
      • Matlok says:
        What it means is that they are intercepted by NATO aircraft, so that they don’t fly into NATO airspace. Just like back in the cold war. The same would be true if NATO aircraft approached Federation airspace. Kind of like back in the Cold War. I Myself have seen Soviet TU 95′s flying at very low altitude off the coast of the U.S. back in the eighties. They were just “snooping and pooping” so to speak.
      • Brazilski says:
        Actually the Dutch Royal Airforce frequently escorts Russian Bears out of Dutch airspace. It’s an escort as in showing someone where the door is, not a protective duty.
        It is the Russians that are getting “too close”, entering foreign airspace without any request for authorisation. However, it is just a pretty harmless game and keeps both Russian and NATO airforces sharp.
      • yojimbo says:
        I think that is a mis translation they mean to say fly out in non neutral territory (NATO).In the old day during the Cold War if a TU-95 was near say Alaska some US Air Force aircraft would fly up to “escort” really it was a show that (Soviet) “we can fly our plane here” and (USA)”we can see that you are coming and intercept you”. Back in 2008 I think it was, Russia sent a Tu-160 to Venezuela and it did get “escorted” the entire flight(outside Russia) by various Swede, British,and American aircraft depending on its location.You can even find some film shoot by both the fighters and inside the Tu-160 on the internet.In the old day sometimes the crews would wave at each other sometimes they would extend the middle finger!Always they took pictures.
        Two things I find not very efficient one is with the Tu-95s they still have the 23mm cannon that is simply a waste of weight surely they have modern counter measures the guns are useless the B-52 for example had the tail cannon removed in the late 80′s.The second thing is the Ground power units in Russia they are part of a Ural bad idea if the Ural breaks down you loose the power unit and then you are going to need another specially modified Ural.In the US our ground power units are separate and self contained this way they can be towed by any truck also this allows us to have several power units just waiting for use it is more efficient.The Russian military should very seriously consider copying the US system of ground power unit employment from direct experience in this line of work I can see that the current Russian set up is not efficient.
    • YJ says:
      It’s neutral territory they shouldn’t escorted by anything out of their own will.
      • JJ Joseph says:
        Get real! The TU-95 is a cruise missile carrier. It will be followed wherever it goes. It’s just like driving an Abrams tank along the border of a neighboring country. You will be watched.
      • Hirsh says:
        Oh please… Escorts have every right to share the neutral airspace right alongside another nations weapon of war. It is as much their right as it is the Russians to fly their bombers in neutral airspace.
      • Hirsh says:
        lol, looks like Russians don’t feel it’s right for their airborne missile platforms to be escorted while menacing the border of another nations airspace. Too bad for them. :)
    • JJ Joseph says:
      Canada (flying for NORAD) follows (“escorts”?) Tu-95s when they track along the edge of Canadian airspace in the Arctic. Yes, they also wave farewell when the TU-95 moves along to the edge USA airspace. Canada was thrilled when the Russians pulled the Tu-95s out of storage and learned to fly them again. Canada’s air force hasn’t had so much fun in years!
  5. Alliance says:
    Air superiority fighter, resp. multirole combat aircraft(MRCA) Eurofighter, having a max. flight altitude of up to nearly 20,000 m and maximum speed of Mach 2,35, nearly 3,000 km/h.
    Can not shadow the Tu-160…? probably not. But pilots know how to avoid an incident with subsequent political banter, furthermore Cold War is over since the nineties.
    The Tu-144 as well is an amazing civil aircraft with its elegant appearance and the technological Know-How inside.
  6. George Johnson says:
    I can’t believe they still use those dual prop engines. US submarines can track them from hundreds of miles away, underwater. They just SO noisy.
    • Scrat says:
      Yeah right. I bet the submarine can do it while standing on its nose and stroking its torpedo too.
    • yojimbo says:
      That is a different version of the Tu-95 the Tu-142 is the maritime patrol version this is the Tu-95 in its role it is of no matter if a sub can hear its engines.Same basic air frame entirely different roles and to be honest the submarine is going to hear any aircraft anyway perhaps not an ASW heilo but any fixed wing it will and still it can hunt the sub.Just because the plane can be heard that does not make it a non threat.
  7. banditrider says:
    Tu-160 Operational ceiling: 15000 kilometers. Wow! That’s some ceiling! ;) Should be meters of course.
  8. Zonda says:
    “A double-barrelled gun GSh-23 is located in the rear of the aircraft.A range of a 23×115 milimeters bullet is 2 kilometers.” Very impressive… but for a plane from WWII maybe…
  9. Rembo says:
    Black Jack (Knave) is more like “Evil Knight” than something invulnerable.
    • Anthony says:
      Agreed. McCarthyism never went completely away. No one in the states would ever call anything in any foreign military invulnerable, even if close allied nation. Its why they’re more proud of the Abrams tank than the Harrier for example.
      Knave is at most a backhanded, begrudging compliment, or sign or envy.
  10. Uncledoh says:
    absolutely nothing to be proud of those retro flying junk. it is only a matter of a short time until we hear in the news one of those had crashed. And that will be pretty much regrettable for the human lives
    • yojimbo says:
      You know nothing about aviation clearly the Tu-95 is a very good design just like the B-52 they both have lasted for years a well made air frame can last for years with the correct maintenance and with avionics upgrades.This is not some hunk of junk Airbus.
    • Anthony says:
      If you think something from 1984 is retro junk, you might not want to get on that next 737 or 747 flight…
  11. Mister Dog says:
    Saw a few Bears during my time in the US Navy. They always had an escort of F-14s or F-18s.
    • critter says:
      Same with me back in the mid 80′s. They would sometimes get close enough that you could clearly see the pilots.
  12. popalumi says:
    Da. Impresionant.Da pentru cine si pentru ce?(cum intreba si d-l presedinte Ion Iliesc.)
  13. eneils says:
    I was in the United States Navy in the Sixties. I was in the Mediterrain Sea on a US Navy ship when the B-52 and KC-135 collided over Polarmares, Spain. Our ship escorted two sea-going tugs, pulling barges laden with the plane’s cutup fuselages to a point off Greenland in Feburary of 1966 to dump the wreckage. Every day we were overflown by at least one TU-95 at a very low attitude(about 100 metres) so the Russian Technicans could stand in a half door on the TU-95 and take pictures of us and the wreckage on the barges. The TU-95 was an impressive plane when viewed that closely. We could always hear it coming, it always came in from the stern on the starboard side. We always got a good view of it up on the open bridge. It was very, very noisy plane. That was over forty five years ago, I can still visualize the TU-95 over us.
    • Hirsh says:
      It’s Crazy to think we used to fly them loaded for bear like that. What a mess it must have been to clean that one up, both physically and politically. Thanks for serving!
  14. j pigden says:
    Translation error – NATO designation Blackjack NOT Black Jack! A blackjack (or sap) is a leather covered, weighted weapon for striking at close range. When used properly, can break bones or even kill. The TU160 is the Russian version of the B1, which was cancelled. Size, load, performance, etc. are very similar, but bigger than, the original B1. The B1 was resurrected under Reagan as the B1B; different job, different engines, high subsonic in normal operation, only Mach 1.25 @ altitude. Paradigm shift from speed to stealth.
  15. stolichnaya says:
    So during the Soviet years billions of rubles were spent on these planes … no wonder the average Soviet citizen had to line up for toilet paper! The government was going broke trying to keep up with the arms race!
  16. Paul says:
    Considering the US is shifting to drones and can produce many drones for what a fighter or bomber cost. Only takes one stealthy drone to down one of these bombers. Seems rather pointless.. The current generation drones are getting more maneuverable and more stealthy making them even more lethal and cost effective.
    • Anthony says:
      Drone’s that can perform complex last minute decision making (abort, change of target) for bombing runs aren’t here yet. And just because a bomber can’t be shot down doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be flown, or even built.
      Heck, India and Russia are developing a hypersonic cruise missile together. Supersonic drones are here, but hypersonic drones… oh dear.
      Those current drones seem rather pointless. Seems like money wasted. Even non lethal and cost ineffective.
      • Paul says:
        That is as far as you know that is the current technology… Drones will be the dominate air power within the next decade. The limiting factor right now is the pilot, aircraft like the F-22 are severely limited by the pilot’s biological factors. I can safely say that the US is developing significant next generation and beyond drones, human and auto flown drones. The US already has hypersonic missiles and recon aircraft, drones are probably on the list.

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