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Official NASA Communication 94-143

Official NASA Communication 94-143

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 05, 2007
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Barbara SelbyHeadquarters, Washington, D.C.August 25, 1994 (Phone: 202/358-1983)RELEASE: 94-143NASA TO USE RUSSIAN SUPERSONIC AIRLINER FOR FLIGHT TESTSNASA, a team of U.S. aircraft and engine manufacturers andthe Russian aircraft firm, Tupolev Design Bureau, plan to use aRussian Tu-144 supersonic transport as a flying testbed forconducting flight research on high speed enabling technologies.As part of NASA's High-Speed Research Program, the U.S.industry team, which includes Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, RockwellInternational, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, signed acontract to work with Tupolev to modify its Tu-144 aircraft tomeet program research needs and to conduct up to 35 test flights.The flights will provide unique aerodynamic, structures andoperating environment data on supersonic passenger aircraft.Funding for the flight research program is being provided byNASA's Office of Aeronautics, Washington, D.C., through itsLangley Research Center, Hampton, Va., in a contract with Boeing.The Tupolev effort is budgeted for $8 million over a three-yearperiod.NASA first considered using the Tu-144 in September 1993 asa result of U.S.-Russian joint discussions on aeronautics.Subsequent studies by NASA, U.S. industry and Tupolev engineersconcluded that because of its size, performance characteristicsand availability, the aircraft would be an effective andeconomical flying testbed."Using the Tu-144 is a perfect fit between our needs andtheir capabilities. It's a model for cooperative technologyprograms with Russia," said NASA High-Speed Research ProgramDirector Louis J. Williams. "This effort will give us up-to-dateinformation on the 'real world' conditions that a supersonicairliner operates in -- data we wouldn't otherwise be able to

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