TUPOLEV Tu-44

TYPE: Light utility twin-prop transport.

PROGRAMME: Announced at Moscow, August 2003; joint venture by Tupolev (design) and SKB ATIC (programme management); production jigs by ATIC and Composite-Avia. Four flying prototypes, plus two static/fatigue test airframes, planned for completion in 2004; certification targeted for third quarter of 2005. Twin-float version also planned.

CUSTOMERS: First two aircraft reportedly ordered by unidentified Russian customer by January 2004.

COSTS: Development costs estimated at approximately US$3 million (2003).

DESIGN FEATURES: Robust passenger and cargo transport suitable for operation from semi-prepared airstrips. Adaptable for paramilitary support, with provision for light armament or weapons on two underwing pylons. High wing braced by single strut each side; taper on trailing-edges. Sweptback fin with fillet; tapered tailplane. Engines attached below inboard wing.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Flight-adjustable trim tabs in rudder, each elevator and each aileron. Rudder and elevators horn-balanced. Three-section flaps each side, two inboard components divided by engine nacelle.

STRUCTURE: Metal fuselage main framework; up to 90 per cent of remainder in "modern composite materials" by SKB ATIC; final assembly by VASO at Voronezh.

LANDING GEAR: Tricycle type; fixed. Wide-track cantilever mainwheel legs. Floats for future seaplane version already wind-tunnel tested at CAHI (TsAGI).

POWER PLANT: Two LOM M337C piston engines, each 184 KW (247 hp) and each driving a two-blade propeller. Normal fuel capacity 350 litres (92.5 US gallons; 77.0 Imp gallons). Optional underwing auxiliary tanks for additional 120 litres (31.7 US gallons; 26.4 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot plus up to seven passengers. Cargo door port side, behind wing trailing-edge; emergency exits opposite, and above flight deck. Baggage compartment behind cabin.

 

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