Thursday, December 1, 2016

A rare abandoned Russian fighter jet

This rare abandoned Tu-128UT fighter jet was found in an aircraft repair plant in the Russian town of Rzhev by aviation photographer Marina Lystseva. Tupolev Tu-128UT (also known as Tu-28UT) is a training aircraft, based on the Tu-128 (also known as the Tu-28) interceptor. Only 10 of them have been built and this seems to be the only one remaining. 

Tupolev Tu-128 was developed in the late 1950's/early 1960's and introduced in 1964. The Soviets needed a new interceptor aircraft that could cover a large radius and combat NATO bombers like the American B-52, mainly during adverse weather conditions. TU-128, with a maximum weight of 43 tonnes, was the heaviest fighter to enter service. The Tu-128 was armed with four Bisnovat R-4 air-to-air missiles. A total of 198 aircraft had been built when production ended in 1970. It was finally retired in 1990. 

The Tu-128UT pictured below was a training variant of the Tu-128. Their main difference was that instead of a radar on the top, Tu-128UT featured a second cockpit, where the trainer would sit. Because of its shape, it was nicknamed 'the pelican' by the Soviets. 


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