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50 posters

    Tu-160 "White Swan" #2

    GarryB
    GarryB


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    Post  GarryB Thu Feb 29, 2024 5:58 am

    Normal flight range is about 12K km and flight range with a full weapon load is about 10K km without refuelling.

    The figures I have seen suggest a 4-5K km flight range at subsonic speed with a supersonic 2,000km round trip to the launch position and back, and the 4-5K km back to base at subsonic speeds... so takeoff and fly for 4-5 thousand kms at subsonic speeds then accelerate to supersonic speed to 1,000km and launch your missiles and turn back and fly at supersonic speed 1,000km away from your launch area and then fly the remaining 4-5 thousand kms back to base.

    In actual fact it could probably take off and fly 3-4 thousand kms and then inflight refuel and then complete the mission with a fuel reserve.

    Why didn't the Russians optimize this bomber for long-duration cruising supersonic speeds? Like the Tu-144, which can fly 2M for almost the entire flight

    Because the thrust needed for sustained supersonic flight requires two or three times more fuel to be carried and the benefit of flying mach 2 all the way simply isn't there.

    The American Hustler bomber was a failure and the American equivalent of the Tu-160 failed and was rejected as an aircraft idea simply because they didn't have an engine like the NK-32 engines... which is also why there was no US equivalent to the Concord or Tu-144 that made it into use.

    The Valkyrie was a dead end too... because the faster you go the more any decent payload counts against you and as the payload gets smaller it becomes less and less worth while going strategic distances.

    About now I would say the next gen cruise missiles for Russia will be hypersonic scramjet powered missiles that will have strategic range on their own, and would cover that distance much faster than any current aircraft type could manage.

    In the case of a strategic bomber, are there any significant technical limitations to maintain such a speed for a significant part of the flight? Is it just not worth it? Most Tu-160 flights remain in safe Russian airspace anyway. However, the long supersonic cruising speed allows for faster missile strikes on targets, etc.

    Faster isn't important... they can't fly fast enough to beat ICBMs and SLBMs, so it is not like they are going to be some fantastic new first strike capacity.

    The cost of mach 2 all the way to the target would be reducing the flight range to something like the flight range of the Tu-22M except with a smaller payload to carry all that extra fuel... and for what... so your missiles can arrive a few hours earlier?

    Big deal.

    The targets they will be hitting wont care about an hour or three.

    Save the high speed flight to the bit where you are closest to enemy forces and it makes sense but burn a little extra fuel.

    But really the Bear is probably ideal.... cheap, very long range.

    The PAK DA should be very low drag with very efficient flight characteristics with very long flight range and difficult to spot visually and with radar so it can stay high where it can fly faster with a lower engine power setting and get a bit more warning regarding any missiles coming up to take it on.

    ahmedfire and Eugenio Argentina like this post

    Gomig-21
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    Post  Gomig-21 Wed Jun 05, 2024 10:21 pm

    Engines couldn't be more in tune and dialed in. Love the forward chin light illuminating quite a bit with the glare of the afterburners. russia

    GarryB, Big_Gazza, PapaDragon, mnztr, Hole and TMA1 like this post

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Thu Jun 06, 2024 3:20 am

    It is interesting that the Tu-160s engines are a similar size and weight and generation and power to the engines in the Tu-22M3 and are made by the same engine company and the aircraft are made by the same aircraft company but the engines are different enough to not be compatible and the Tu-22M3 engine burns blue while the engines of the Blackjack burn white.

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    Gomig-21
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    Post  Gomig-21 Fri Jun 07, 2024 7:07 pm

    GarryB wrote:It is interesting that the Tu-160s engines are a similar size and weight and generation and power to the engines in the Tu-22M3 and are made by the same engine company and the aircraft are made by the same aircraft company but the engines are different enough to not be compatible and the Tu-22M3 engine burns blue while the engines of the Blackjack burn white.

    Interesting. Well, jet fuel is basically glorified kerosene, and if you ever notice how kerosene burns, it's fully blue because of its vapors which have a high flashpoint of 100F degrees and essentially burns very rich. In the case of the Tu-22M3, the engines most likely have a high fuel-to-air mixture content which allows it to fully burn off most, if not all the injected fuel giving it that blue color.

    Also when they mix jet fuel, they clear out a lot of the impurities making it a richer, more purified form of that same kerosene-based fuel.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Jun 08, 2024 3:29 am

    My understanding is that the colour difference is based on temperature... assuming there are no additives to change the flame colour on purpose... the temperatures are red then orange and then white and then blue... the difference being the temperature that the fuel is burning at.

    This would suggest that the Tu-22M3s engines burn hotter than the Blackjacks engines, despite using the same type of fuel with the same level of thrust.

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