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Andrei Tupolev

Number of employees
3,524 (2011)


22 October 1922

Aircraft designed
Xian H-6

Tupolev 8themescomwpcontentuploads201602logotupol

Key people
Nikolai Savitskikh, Alexei Tupolev

Commercial airlinersMilitary aircraft

Parent organization

Tupolev (Russian: Ту́полев, [ˈtupəlʲɪf]) is a Russian aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Basmanny District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. Known officially as Joint Stock Company Tupolev, it is the successor of the Tupolev OKB or Tupolev Design Bureau (OKB-156, design office prefix Tu) headed by the Soviet aerospace engineer A.N. Tupolev. The company celebrated its 90th anniversary on October 22, 2012. The Russian government merged Tupolev with Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Sukhoi, and Yakovlev as a new company named United Aircraft Corporation.


The capabilities of PSC Tupolev include development, manufacturing and overhaul for both civil and military aerospace products such as aircraft and weapons systems. It is also active with missile and naval aviation technologies. More than 18,000 Tupolev aircraft were produced for the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.


Tupolev OKB was founded by Andrei Tupolev in 1922. Its facilities are tailored for aeronautics research and aircraft design only, manufacturing is handled by other firms. It researched all-metal airplanes during the 1920s, based directly on the pioneering work already done by Hugo Junkers during World War I.

The first successful all-metal airplane was built with sheet electrical steel by the German engineer Hugo Junkers in 1915. With the never-completed Junkers J 3 of 1916, used strictly as a design study, Junkers shifted to lighter construction using corrugated duralumin. In the aftermath of World War I and to evade the terms of the Versailles Treaty that prevented German companies from building warplanes Junkers founded a clandestine aircraft factory in the Moscow suburb of Fili in 1922. This factory was turned over to Tupolev in 1925. Russian sources usually refrain from making the link between Junkers and Tupolev. Tupolev was an able designer, but his first generation aircraft were heavily influenced by his early connection to Junkers. Among the notable results during Tupolev's early period were two significant all-metal heavy bombers with corrugated duralumin skins, the ANT-4 twin-engined bomber which first flew in 1925 and the four-engined ANT-6 of 1932, from which such airplanes as the ANT-20 were derived (see Yefim Gordon & Vladimir Rigmant, OKB Tupolev. Hinckley, UK: Midland, 2005. pp. 22–28 & 30-34). Tupolev's design approach in these two airplanes defined for many years the trends of heavy aircraft development, civil and military.

During World War II, the twin-engined, all-metal Tu-2 was one of the best front-line bombers of the Soviets. Several variants of it were produced in large numbers from 1942. During the war it used wooden rear fuselages due to a shortage of metal.

This was succeeded by the development of the jet-powered Tu-16 bomber, which used a sweptback wing for good subsonic performance.

As turbojets were not fuel efficient enough to provide truly intercontinental range, the Soviets elected to design a new bomber, the Tu-20, more commonly referred to as the Tu-95. It, too, was based on the fuselage and structural design of the Tu-4, but with four colossal Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop engines providing a unique combination of jet-like speed and long range. It became the definitive Soviet intercontinental bomber, with intercontinental range and jet-like performance. In many respects the Soviet equivalent of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, it served as a strategic bomber and in many alternate roles, including reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare.

The Tu-16 was developed into the civil Tu-104. The Tu-95 became the basis of the unique Tu-114 medium-to-long-range airliner, the fastest turboprop aircraft ever. One common feature found in many large subsonic Tupolev jet aircraft is large pods extending rearward from the trailing edge of the wings, holding the aircraft's landing gear. These allow the aircraft to have landing gears made up of many large low-pressure tires, which are invaluable for use on the poor quality runways that were common in the Soviet Union at the time. For example, the Tu-154 airliner, the Soviet equivalent of the Boeing 727, has 14 tyres, the same number as Boeing's far larger 777–200.

Even before the first flights of the Tu-16 and Tu-20/Tu-95, Tupolev was working on supersonic bombers, culminating in the unsuccessful Tu-98. Although that aircraft never entered service, it became the basis for the prototype Tu-102 (later developed into the Tu-28 interceptor) and the Tu-105, which evolved into the supersonic Tu-22 bomber in the mid-1960s. Intended as a counterpart to the Convair B-58 Hustler, the Tu-22 proved rather less capable, although it remained in service much longer than the American aircraft. Meanwhile, the "K" Department was formed in the Design Bureau, with the task of designing unmanned aircraft such as the Tu-139 and the Tu-143 unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.

In the 1960s A. N. Tupolev's son, A. A. Tupolev, became active with management of the agency. His role included the development of the world's first supersonic airliner, the Tu-144, the popular Tu-154 airliner and the Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber. All these developments enabled the Soviet Union to achieve strategic military and civil aviation parity with the West.

In the 1970s, Tupolev concentrated its efforts on improving the performance of the Tu-22M bombers, whose variants included maritime versions. It is the presence of these bombers in quantity that brought about the SALT I and SALT II treaties. Also the efficiency and performance of the Tu-154 was improved, culminating in the efficient Tu-154M.

In the 1980s the design bureau developed the supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber. Features include variable-geometry wings.

Post-Soviet Era

With the end of the Cold War, research work was concentrated on subsonic civil aircraft, mainly on operating economics and alternative fuels. The developments include fly-by-wire, use of efficient high-bypass turbofans and advanced aerodynamic layouts for the 21st century transport aircraft such as the Tu-204/Tu-214, Tu-330 and Tu-334.

Among current Tupolev projects:

  • further development of Tu-204/214 and TU-334 aircraft family
  • development of cargo aircraft Tu-330, regional and executive Tu-324 aircraft
  • research on practical aspects of aircraft operation using alternative fuels
  • modernization of Russian Naval Aviation and Air Force
  • On 19 August 2009, Tupolev announced that it had a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry to develop a new-generation strategic bomber which "will be a conceptually new plane based on the most advanced technologies".


  • Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev was a leading designer at the Moscow-based Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) from 1929 until his death in 1972. This design bureau produced mostly bombers and airliners.
  • Alexei Andreyevich Tupolev, son of Andrei Tupolev, was also a famous aircraft designer. His most famous design was the supersonic airliner Tupolev Tu-144. He managed Tupolev until his death in 2001.
  • Early aircraft

  • ANT-1: The first aircraft by A.N.T. and the first Soviet-built aircraft. Mixed materials design. The work started in 1921. Assembly began in 1922. The tests were cancelled due to engine malfunction.
  • ANT-2: Two passenger aircraft. The first Soviet all-metal aircraft, 1924.
  • ANT-3/R-3/PS-3: All-metal two-seats recce biplane, 1925. About 100 were built.
  • ANT-4/TB-1: All-metal twin-engined (M-17B) monoplane heavy bomber, 1925. There were 212 aircraft built. There was a G-1 cargo version.
  • ANT-5/I-4: Prototype of I-4 fighter. The first aircraft designed by Pavel Sukhoi, 1927. 369 were built. I-4 was in service in 1928–1933.
  • ANT-6/TB-3: Four-engine development of TB-1, 1930. There was a G-2 cargo version.
  • ANT-7/R-6/KR-6/MR-6: Development of TB-1 as reconnaissance (R-6), "cruiser" (escort fighter, KR-6), and maritime patrol/torpedo bomber (MR-6), 1931.
  • ANT-8/MDR-2: Maritime long-range recce flying boat, 1931.
  • ANT-9/PS-9: Three-engined passenger airliner, 1929.
  • ANT-10/R-7: Reconnaissance/light bomber aircraft prototype, 1930.
  • ANT-11/MTBT: Twin-hulled flying boat project, 1929.
  • ANT-12/I-5: Biplane fighter prototype, 1930. Later built as Polikarpov I-5.
  • ANT-13/I-8: Fighter/interceptor prototype, developed from ANT-12, 1930.
  • ANT-14 Pravda: Large five-engined propaganda monoplane developed from the ANT-9, 1931.
  • ANT-15/DI-3: Two-seat fighter project, 1930.
  • ANT-16/TB-4: Six-engine version of TB-3, predecessor of ANT-20, 1933.
  • ANT-17/TShB: Prototype ground attack aircraft, 1930.
  • ANT-18/TSh-2: Twin-engine biplane ground attack aircraft, development of ANT-7, 1930.
  • ANT-19: Passenger airliner project.
  • ANT-20 Maxim Gorky: Eight-engine huge cargo/propaganda aircraft, 1934.
  • ANT-21/MI-3: Multiseat fighter. Development of R-6, 1933.
  • ANT-22/MK-1: Armoured six-engine recce flying boat, development of ANT-11, 1934.
  • ANT-23/I-12: Experimental twin-engined fighter equipped with two recoilless 75mm cannons, 1931.
  • ANT-24/TB-4: Four-engined heavy bomber prototype developed from ANT-16, precursor of ANT-26, 1931.
  • ANT-25: Single-engine monoplane long-range bomber. Designed by Pavel Sukhoi. ANT-25RD (RD for "Rekord Dalnosty", i.e. "Range Record") was used in a record flight from Moscow to San Jacinto, California, USA over the North Pole—10,148 km, 1933 (one was built in 1989).
  • ANT-26/TB-6: 12-engined heavy-bomber aircraft project, 1932.
  • ANT-27/MDR-4/MTB-1: Patrol flying-boat for the Soviet Navy, 1934.
  • ANT-28: Cargo version of TB-6.
  • ANT-29/DIP-1: Twin-engined fighter. Development of ANT-21, 1935.
  • ANT-29 (II): Passenger version of MTB-1.
  • ANT-30/SK-1: Twin-engine escort fighter/high-speed bomber aircraft, developed from the R-6 and MI-3, 1933.
  • ANT-31/I-14: All metal monoplane fighter, 1933.
  • ANT-32/I-13: Single-seat fighter project, 1934.
  • ANT-33: Passenger airliner project, 1932.
  • ANT-34/MI-4: Multi-seat fighter project.
  • ANT-35/PS-35: Twin-engined passenger airliner developed from the SB, 1936.
  • ANT-36/DB-1: Long-range bomber developed from the ANT-25, 1936.
  • ANT-37/DB-2: Long-range bomber based on the DB-1, 1935.
  • ANT-38/VSB-1: High-altitude high-speed bomber project, prototype of SB.
  • ANT-39: Prototype for SB.
  • ANT-40/SB/PS-40/PS-41: Medium bomber, also erroneously known as SB-2, 1934.
  • ANT-41/T-1/LK-1: Twin-engine high speed multirole aircraft, 1934.
  • ANT-42/TB-7: Four-engined heavy bomber prototype, 1934. Later built as Petlyakov Pe-8.
  • ANT-43: Six-seat airliner project, 1936.
  • ANT-44/MTB-2 Chaika: Heavy-bomber flying-boat, 1937.
  • ANT-45/DIP: Two-seat cannon armed fighter project, 1936.
  • ANT-46/DI-8: Three-seat fighter prototype, developed from the SB, 1935.
  • ANT-47/I-20: Fighter project.
  • ANT-48/SS: High speed sport aircraft project developed from the SB, 1935.
  • ANT-49: Reconnaissance aircraft project, developed from the SB.
  • ANT-50: Proposed twin-engined high-speed airliner developed from the ANT-43, 1937.
  • ANT-51: Short-range bomber prototype, 1937. Later built as Sukhoi Su-2.
  • ANT-52:
  • ANT-53: Proposed four-engined airliner, 1936.
  • ANT-54:
  • ANT-55:
  • ANT-56/SRB: High-speed reconnaissance/bomber project.
  • ANT-57/PB: High-altitude heavy dive bomber project, 1939.
  • ANT-58: First prototype of the Tu-2, 1941.
  • ANT-59: Second prototype of the Tu-2, 1941.
  • ANT-60: Third prototype of the Tu-2.
  • ANT-64: Long-range four-engine bomber project, prototype of Tu-4.
  • ANT-66: Airliner variant of ANT-64.
  • Tu-2 "Bat": 3-seat medium bomber, 1941.
  • Tu-4 "Bull": copied from several seized Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Initial name is B-4 (A.N.T. did not want to give his name to an aircraft designed outside his bureau), 1947.
  • Experimental aircraft

  • Tu-1 (ANT-63P): prototype night-fighter variant of the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-6: prototype reconnaissance variant of the Tu-2
  • Tu-8 (ANT-69): prototype long-range bomber variant of the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-10 "Frosty" (ANT-68): prototype high-speed bomber, developed from the Tu-2, 1943
  • Tu-12 (also known as Tu-77): medium jet bomber prototype, developed from the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-18 (also known as Tu-72): jet-powered version of the Tu-8, 1947
  • Tu-20 (also known as Tu-73): jet-powered short-range bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-22: high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-24: high-altitude bomber project developed from the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-26: original designation of Tu-22M
  • Tu-28 (also known as Tu-76): bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-30: four-engined bomber project, 1947
  • Tu-54: prototype agricultural aircraft, 1992
  • Tu-64: light multipurpose aircraft project
  • Tu-70 "Cart": prototype airliner variant of the Tu-4, 1946
  • Tu-71: prototype short-range bomber developed from the Tu-2, 1946
  • Tu-72: Medium bomber project, 1940s
  • Tu-73: three-engined development of the Tu-18, 1947
  • Tu-74 (also known as Tu-73R): proposed high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Tu-73
  • Tu-75: prototype cargo/transport variant of the Tu-4, 1950
  • Tu-76 (I): radial/jet engined torpedo bomber project developed from the Tu-2, 1947
  • Tu-76 (II) (also known as Tu-4D): military transport variant of the Tu-4
  • Tu-78: as Tu-73 bomber variant but powered by Soviet engines, 1948
  • Tu-79 (I): as Tu-4 but powered by M-49TK engines
  • Tu-79 (II): as Tu-74 but powered by Soviet engines, 1949
  • Tu-80: prototype long-range bomber variant of the Tu-4, predecessor of Tu-85, 1949
  • Tu-81 (I): twin-engined medium bomber project developed from the Tu-73, 1949
  • Tu-81 (II): initial prototype of the Tu-14
  • Tu-82 "Butcher" (also known as Tu-22): experimental swept-wing jet bomber, 1949
  • Tu-83: bomber project developed from the Tu-82, 1949
  • Tu-84: prototype reconnaissance aircraft, 1948
  • Tu-85 "Barge": prototype long-range heavy bomber variant of the Tu-4, 1951
  • Tu-86: long-range jet bomber project, 1949
  • Tu-87: Tu-86 converted into an engine test bed, 1951
  • Tu-88: initial prototype of the Tu-16, 1952
  • Tu-89 (also known as Tu-14R): prototype reconnaissance variant of the Tu-14, 1951
  • Tu-90: prototype turboprop-powered variant of the Tu-16, 1954
  • Tu-91 "Boot": prototype naval attack aircraft, 1954
  • Tu-92: initial prototype of the Tu-16R, 1955
  • Tu-93: initial prototype of the Tu-14T, 1952
  • Tu-94: prototype turboprop-powered variant of the Tu-4, 1950
  • Tu-95LAL: prototype nuclear-powered aircraft based on the Tu-95M, 1961
  • Tu-96: prototype long-range intercontinental high-altitude strategic bomber variant of the Tu-95, 1956
  • Tu-97: long-range bomber project developed from the Tu-16
  • Tu-98 "Backfin" (also known as Tu-24): prototype swept-wing jet bomber, 1956
  • Tu-99: prototype turbojet version of the Tu-96
  • Tu-100: proposed parasite fighter, 1953
  • Tu-101: assault transport project, 1952
  • Tu-102: airliner project based on the Tu-101, 1952
  • Tu-102: initial designation of the Tu-28
  • Tu-103: supersonic bomber developed from the Tu-97
  • Tu-105: initial prototype of the Tu-22, 1954
  • Tu-106: a re-engined Tu-22, 1954
  • Tu-107: prototype military transport variant of the Tu-104, 1958
  • Tu-108: proposed long-range carrier aircraft, 1952
  • Tu-109: a re-engined Tu-108
  • Tu-110 "Cooker": prototype long-range airliner developed from the Tu-104, 1957
  • Tu-111: 24-seat airliner project, 1954
  • Tu-112: proposed supersonic tactical bomber, 1955
  • Tu-114: prototype airliner variant of the Tu-95, entered production
  • Tu-115 (also known as Tu-114VTA): proposed military transport variant of the Tu-114
  • Tu-117: proposed military transport version of the Tu-110
  • Tu-118: proposed turboprop version of Tu-104
  • Tu-119: prototype nuclear and kerosene powered version of the Tu-95LAL
  • Tu-120: proposed nuclear-powered supersonic bomber
  • Tu-122: supersonic bomber project based on Tu-98, 1957
  • Tu-124: low-altitude bomber project, 1957
  • Tu-125: proposed medium-range supersonic bomber, 1958
  • Tu-127 (I): proposed supersonic tactical bomber, 1958
  • Tu-127 (II): proposed military cargo version of Tu-124
  • Tu-129: supersonic bomber project, 1959
  • Tu-130: unmanned glider project, 1959
  • Tu-132: proposed low-altitude transonic bomber, 1958
  • Tu-134: SST project developed from the Tu-106, 1960
  • Tu-135 (I): supersonic strategic bomber project, 1958
  • Tu-135 (II): supersonic bomber
  • Tu-136 Zvezda: proposed spaceplane
  • Tu-136 (II): VTOL fighter project, 1963
  • Tu-136 (III): airliner/freighter project
  • Tu-137 Sputnik: unmanned spaceplane project developed from the Tu-136 Zvezda
  • Tu-137 (II): supersonic strategic bomber project
  • Tu-138: proposed long-range supersonic interceptor of the Tu-28
  • Tu-139: hypersonic aircraft project (similar to the X-15)
  • Tu-148: proposed long-range patrol interceptor of the Tu-28
  • Tu-155: a Tu-154 converted into a testbed for alternative fuels, 1988
  • Tu-156 (I): a re-engined Tu-155
  • Tu-156 (II): prototype early warning aircraft based on the Tu-126, 1970
  • Tu-161: strategic bomber project developed from the Tu-160
  • Tu-164: initial designation of the Tu-154M, 1980
  • Tu-170: conventional version of Tu-160
  • Tu-174: proposed lengthened variant of the Tu-154
  • Tu-184: short-haul airliner concept
  • Tu-194 (I): proposed shortened variant of the Tu-154, 1973
  • Tu-194 (II): three-engined variant of Tu-184
  • Tu-202: anti-submarine aircraft project
  • Tu-206: a Tu-204 converted into a testbed for alternative fuels
  • Tu-216: a Tu-204 converted into a testbed for cryogenic fuel
  • Tu-244: SST concept developed from the Tu-144, 1979
  • Tu-334: a short haul jet airliner concept, 1999
  • Tu-2000: proposed long-range heavy bomber, 1986
  • Bombers and other military types

  • Tu-14 "Bosun" (also known as the Tu-81) torpedo bomber
  • Tu-16 "Badger" strategic bomber
  • Tu-20/Tu-95 "Bear" long-range strategic bomber and modifications
  • Tu-142 "Bear F/Bear J", anti-submarine/reconnaissance
  • Tu-22 "Blinder" supersonic medium bomber
  • Tu-22M/Tu-26 "Backfire" supersonic swing-wing long-range/maritime strike bomber
  • Tu-126 "Moss" airborne early warning (AEW) and control aircraft variant of the Tu-114
  • Tu-160 "Blackjack" supersonic swing-wing bomber
  • Interceptors

  • Tu-28/Tu-128 "Fiddler"
  • Airliners/transport

  • Tu-104 "Camel" medium-range airliner developed from the Tu-16
  • Tu-114 Rossiya "Cleat" long-range airliner developed from the Tu-95
  • Tu-116 two Tu-95 bombers fitted with passenger cabins
  • Tu-124 "Cookpot" a short-haul jet airliner developed from the Tu-104
  • Tu-134 "Crusty" a rear-engine evolution of the Tu-124
  • Tu-144 "Charger" a supersonic airliner similar to Concorde
  • Tu-154 "Careless" a medium-range narrow-body jet airliner
  • Tu-204 a medium-range narrow-body jet airliner
  • Tu-214 Tu-204-200's built at a different factory
  • Tu-224 Tu-214 powered by two Rolls-Royce RB211 engines
  • Tu-234 internal designation for the Tu-204-300
  • Unmanned aircraft

  • Tu-113 proposed unmanned flying bomb, 1955
  • Tu-121 unmanned aerial vehicle prototype, 1959
  • Tu-123 Yastreb-1, 1961
  • Tu-139 Yastreb-2, reusable version of the Tu-123, 1968
  • Tu-141 Yastreb-P, prototype manned version of the Tu-123
  • Tu-141 Strizh
  • Tu-143 Reis
  • Tu-243 Reis-D, improved version of the Tu-143
  • Tu-300 Korshun, modernized version of the Tu-143, 1995
  • Planned aircraft

  • Frigate Ecojet: wide body civil airliner project
  • PAK DA: next generation strategic bomber
  • Tu-324: a regional airliner concept
  • Tu-330: medium transport aircraft based on the Tu-204/Tu-214
  • Tu-338: internal designation for the Tu-330K
  • Tu-344: a supersonic business jet concept based on the Tu-22M3
  • Tu-404: a long-range extra large flying-wing airliner concept
  • Tu-414: a stretched Tu-324
  • Tu-444: a supersonic business jet concept
  • Boats

  • ANT-1, speedboat, 1922.
  • ANT-2, the first all-metal boat, 1923.
  • GANT-3 Pervenets, torpedo boat, 1928.
  • ANT-4/Sh-4 Tupolev, 1927.
  • ANT-5/G-5, 1933.
  • Aerosledge

  • Tupolev A-3 Aerosledge
  • References

    Tupolev Wikipedia

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