From a distance the Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack may be mistaken for the smaller, slower and shorter ranged United States supersonic bomber.
The Tu-160 is the the world's fastest and heaviest bomber. Its four engines are capable of propelling the aircraft to Mach 2 speeds. Producing 55,100 lbs of thrust each,
they are the most powerful engines found on any military aircraft in the world.
The Tu-160 set numerous world speed and distance records. Its wings are designed to sweep back from 20 to 65 degrees depending upon the speed of the aircraft, giving it a wide flight envelope.
We are told that the Tupolev Tu-160 has the maneuverability of a fighter plane. In fact,
the pilots control the aircraft with sticks similar to jet fighters instead of the typical steering wheel controls found on most large aircraft.
Much of the interior fuselage and wing spaces are devoted to carrying a total of about 38,000 gallons of fuel. This gives the
aircraft intercontinental range. Its range is further enhanced by in-flight refueling capability.
The Tu-160 carries its ordnance internally, in addition to having under wing carrying
capabilities. Typical ordnance loads may consist of nuclear or conventional free fall bombs, guided bombs and missiles.
In conjunction with low flight level performance, the Tu-160 has a sophisticated ground-following avionics array. This includes electronic
counter measure, electronic warfare, and electronic bomb delivery technology.
Since the deployment of the aircraft in 1987, Russia has not designed any new model strategic bombers.
Production of additional Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft for the Russian Air Force has again commenced. New aircraft are being manufactured at the rate of about one every 18 months.
The existing fleet of Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft is being modified with new technologies including GPS navigation, more efficient engines, and updated conventional weapons delivery systems.
There are eleven Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers currently in service of a total of 35 built.
Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack
Pictured above and below is the Tupolev Tu-160 scratch built by Bob Hilgton. Bob's Tu-160 has a wingspan of 95" and a length
of 58". Power for the rc airplane is by a pair of Pegasus Turbines.
The next picture below is of the Tupolev Tu-160 slope soarer scale model built by Sergio Vergara. It
has a wingspan of 76" and uses aileron, elevator, and rudder controls.
The Tupolev Tu-160 should make a good flying radio control airplane, especially with the wings open. It is surprising we haven't seen more slope soarers of it.