How the Soviets One Upped The West: The TU-114 Story

How the Soviets One Upped The West: The TU-114 Story


This video was made possible by Skillshare,
home to over twenty thousand classes that’ll teach you just about anything. In the fall of 1959, an enormous Soviet aircraft
races across the Atlantic. This plane is unlike anything in the west. It’s the largest airliner the world has
ever seen. And it’s driven by four of the most powerful
turboprop engines ever built.They can push the plane to nearly 900 km/h, which is faster
than some jets. This Soviet airliner is about to make a big
impression, because it’s headed straight for United States. In the mid-1950’s, the Soviet Union got
a new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, and he’s unlike his predecessors. For one, he’s more open to engaging with
the West. [Khrushchev] You’re a lawyer of Capitalism,
I’m a lawyer for Communism. Let’s kiss. [Nixon] All that I can say, from the way
you talk, and the way you dominate the conversation you would have made a good lawyer yourself. Nearly everyone agrees, Khrushchev is a showman,
ready to jump at any opportunity to prove Soviet superiority. And in 1955, the new leader gets a chance
to make an impression. Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland for a Cold
War summit are the most powerful western nations, and the Soviet Union. As world leaders descend onto Geneva Airport,
crowds are watching and cameras are rolling. U.S. President Eisenhower lands in a four
engined Super Constellation. A large, state-of-the-art American airliner. And Khrushchev lands in this. A plane half the size of Eisenhower’s. And he’s mortified by the optics because
the Soviet Union and America are supposed to stand toe-to-toe. But small short-range airliners like the IL-14
are really the only type the Soviet Union produces in the early 1950’s. And that means that flying across the country’s
vast territory can take over 24 hours, with multiple stops for refueling, making for a
grueling journey. But, there is a Soviet plane available that
can already fly these distances direct and in half the time. It’s just not an airliner. It’s a plane meant to be loaded with bombs,
not luggage. But converting this intercontinental bomber
into a civil transport will be fastest way get the Soviet Union a new long range airliner. Because the country desperately needs one,
and Khrushchev’s plans for world visits are expanding by the day Just weeks after the Geneva Summit, the Tupolev
Design Bureau is given a directive to convert the TU-95 bomber into a VIP transport. Engineers will remove bombing and protective
equipment and shoehorn two small passenger compartments into its narrow fuselage. Khrushchev would access his VIP compartment
via a ramp at rear. Lucky, this frankliner wasn’t the only plane
in the works. Because a second parallel project aimed to
turn the bomber into a proper airliner. And to do it, engineers would keep the plane’s
powerful engines and swept wings, but they’d mount them lower to accommodate a wider fully pressurized fuselage. The airliner would also receive new stabilizers,
larger flaps and an entirely new nose gear. And the first prototype was ready in just
a little over 2 years. Turns out, starting with a TU-95 strategic
bomber, made for a pretty remarkable airliner. The TU-114 holds the distinction of being
the fastest propeller driven airliner ever. It could reach an incredible 870 km/h.These
jet-like speeds puzzled western observers. The 114’s turboprop engines are the most
powerful ever to enter service, and they drove the plane’s enormous contra-rotating propellers
so fast, their tips could reach supersonic. Also jet-like was the airliner’s 35 degree
wing sweep and a service ceiling of nearly 40,000 feet. And in 1958, this was also the largest airliner,
with seating for up to 224 passengers. Not until the Boeing 747 would larger plane
take to the skies. But while the 114 was still undergoing testing,
Khrushchev got an invitation to visit to the United States. And it would be the first ever by a Soviet
Head of State. The Tu-116 converted bomber was ready to make
the trip. But touching down in the United States In
what was quite obviously still a bomber was one thing. Khrushchev would also have to crawl out the
rear-end on a ramp. So he demanded taking the 114. But the airliner wasn’t ready. Not only was the 144 still undergoing testing,
there were serious flaws like hairline cracks which had formed around the engines. Still, Khrushchev was dead-set on making a
grand entrance. On September 15, 1959, Khrushchev’s 114 took
off from Moscow to begin it’s nearly 8,000 km journey to the United States. Most of the trip would take the airliner over
the frigid North Atlantic. So precarious was the situation, engineers
even tested a mockup of the airliner in a swimming pool just to see how it might float
in the Atlantic. Along the way, nearly every available Soviet
Navy vessel was put on high alert for any sign of distress. And onboard, a team of engineers holed up
inside the 114’s lower deck used special monitoring equipment to spot any sign of trouble But despite having to battle 160 km/h head
winds over the Atlantic, the 114 performed admirably. [Reporter] An interesting and historic arrival and
Andrews Airfield near Washington. The huge TU-114 airliner bringing Mr. Khrushchev
on his first visit to the United States. President Eisenhower was there to meet the
Soviet Premier. The last time they met was in Geneva, four
years ago. Khrushchev got his grand entrance, and the
enormous airliner grabbed headlines around the world. By 1961 the 114’s development was complete
and the plane entered service with Aeroflot. Early versions were equipped with some pretty
opulent and rather un-Soviet features. Divided into three-classes ranging from economy,
to deluxe, there were large tables, private sleeping cabins and a dining lounge. Early 144’s even had a full size kitchen
in the lower deck with a dedicated chief. The 114’s impressive range opened up Moscow
to far flung destinations like Havana, Montreal and Tokyo. But while the plane’s maximum speed was
comparable to modern jet airliners, the 144’s cruising speed was usually more modest to
save fuel and increase range. And then there was the noise. This was one of loudest planes ever produced. Its four enormous turboprops would have made
jet engines sound like a symphony. And the vibration could cause dinnerware to
migrate right off the end of tables. But the 114 stood out for it’s reliability
and relative efficiency. And it would go on to carry over six million
passengers without a single design-related accident, making it quite possibly the safest
Soviet airliner ever built. But by the mid-1960’s, airports in the west
were filled with long range jets, not props. And the Soviet Union’s only long range airliner
looked dated in comparison. In 1967, a new long range jet-powered soviet
airliner entered service. And that meant that the 114 was quickly removed
from most international routes and was kept flying mainly within Soviet borders. In total, 32 of these speedy turboprops were
built, and they’d serve with Aeroflot for 16 years, until they were finally retired
from civilian service in 1977. 3D modelling is a powerful tool. Because with it, you can create just about
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100 Comments on "How the Soviets One Upped The West: The TU-114 Story"


  1. I believe this ,the bomber version, was pretty much a design by the Germans but stolen and improved design who also help develope the huge turboprop that is still used today .Exactly how much and what role the Captured Germans helped in Russia I would love to know. You must know their space program was also helped by the Germans.

    Reply

  2. Tupolev needed to balance speed and performance with range. Jet engines at the time would given a long-range strategic bomber the needed speed, but guzzled fuel, limiting range. Although Tupolev was already a highly successful designer, he tasked a group of German and Austrian aircraft engineers that had been captured after World War II with the design. They designed the most powerful turboprop engine ever made, the venerable KN-12.

    Using two sets of contra-rotating propellers, the KN-12 is still used on the Tu-95 today. (same engine as TU-114) Although the engines are extremely powerful, the are also incredibly loud. Still, when mission requirements are massive payload rather than stealthiness, the Bear can do the job.

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  3. The intro in this episode between the music, visuals, and commentary always gives me goosebumps. Great episode, Thank You!

    Reply

  4. That noice ❤️
    Well it's nice when you want to hear it but when you live near a airport with such a plane you go crazy

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  5. Yeah, yeah it's a hundred miles an hour slower than a B-52 and it's so loud you'll soon be deaf. Polish this thing all you want it's still a turd!

    Reply

  6. Wow! 1min 40 sec into this video. In plain sight, a photographer with a rifle mounted camera is there to take pics of three world leaders. Crazy!

    Reply

  7. So they one upped the west, huh? Yeah those are pretty nice propellers, pushing the Tu-114 to 580 mph. Meanwhile, the US was producing the B52 Stratofortress, whose jet engines pushed it to 650 mph. Tell me again how they "one upped" the West? And oh by the way…the B52 began production in 1952, whereas the Tu-114 didn't begin production until 1961. So it took the Russians almost a decade to introduce an aircraft that wasn't as advanced as the one the US had been producing for 9 years already.

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  8. I think it's fair to call this aircraft a victory for the Soviets. Funny origin story though, has all the hallmarks of predestined failure, but much credit to the engineers and factories that actually pulled it off.
    Someone should see what's possible for a twin engine design today. Turboprops can use a lot less fuel per seat.

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  9. LOL. Putler is still using them, even though they keep falling out of the sky. Snoopy flying his doghouse could shoot these flying dinosaurs out of the air.

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  10. The Soviets one up'ed the US? What is this , propaganda for the old USSR? The B-52 Stratofortress entered service with the US Air Force in 1955. The Soviets technologically was backwards and could not compete with adequate jet bombers of the United States of America.

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  11. This looks like something that can be made in ksp with the Airplane Plus mod. Welp I love making replicas of planes in ksp so off I go

    Reply

  12. The giant B36 was the biggest airliner in the world at this time. Yes a passenger version was produced. Somewhat longer but only 5 percent as loud and without the four jets so a little slower. The Braberzon was bigger too. Don't say the tu114 went into regular service.

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  13. Интересное видео. Какого хуя Хрущев позволяет тыкать в себя пальцем американцу и ложить руку на плече? 1.18, 1.27 дальше смотреть не буду

    Reply

  14. An amazing aircraft. I recall that that the USA's sonis system designed primarily to listen for Soviet submarine''s could clearly hear them as they were so loud .

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  15. But to be honest the Russian invaded Afghanistan first and the world was invited to boycott the Olympic Games!
    The west is ‘so responseble’

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  16. What the hell's wit the kilometers dude. Are you ashamed of speaking like an American. What do you say"He went to hospital" also.

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  17. I'd love to see modern Russia have a large passenger jet to rival Boeing. They really need something to spark their creativity again, they were the first people in space after all!!!

    Reply

  18. I like the aero clips but hate the obnoxious ads you throw at us viewers/subscribers –> my /thumbsdown

    Reply

  19. The TU-114 is also a looker, much like the old DC-3 and the DeHavilland Comet 4.
    Clearly modern transport is better in every conceivable way, but designers have lost their way over the years.

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  20. Russian airliners and their engines are garbage. Abysmal maintenance records and poor performance. No thank you

    Reply

  21. 1:40 waouh LSGG Airport :O fun fact : here in geneva , we'v got the largest airport in the world with only one runway 😉

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  22. Have seen the Bears up close but not the TU-114. It really looks awesome as an airliner and no doubt flies beautifully. It probably guzzles fuel like crazy. I remember those two very well – Khrushchev and Nixon.

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  23. 01:10 Haha, funny english subtitles. In fact Nikita Khrushchev said "Let's compete" ("Давайте посоревнуемся"), not "Let's kiss" (Давайте поцелуемся"). The translator is deaf and ignorant: Krushchev isn't Brezhnev 🙂

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  24. I like how the representation of mph is a little US flag, while the representation of km/h is an entire globe

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  25. Amazing what Russian engineers could design and develop with a smaller and less technically advanced industrial base. One wonders why a nation with today's GDP of South Korea is still seen as an existential threat to the West LOL. Better to obsess over China if if the elite class wants to obsess. Great video BTW

    Reply

  26. Upped the u.s…? Maybe if they build more than just a few. Russia do build nice things. Like the su57…"we build betta stealth fighter than America " Putin said almost a decade ago. 9 years later they don't even have a dozen of them. Without a doubt the next t-50 will never be fully operational. The 30 billion put towards development is already gone. Taken slice by slice at every corrupt brass level till nothing's left to actually build the jet.

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  27. These videos are so well done. I'm amazed you have less than a half-million subscribers. Great work!

    Reply

  28. Russia has never desighned an original jeltliner. either converted cold war bomber of copy of western examples

    Reply

  29. I live in Saratov and there is the Engels military airbase across the Volga river. Sometimes I can hear this amazing prop-bomber sound!

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  30. Request: Do a concept rendering of “what if” the team at Lockheed, got the Army Air corps to help them obtain the hardware and test the P-38 with the Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffon engines instead of the Allison engines. What would such a variant have looked like?

    Reply

  31. How the Soviets One Upped The West. So that is USSR 1 | USA 52,854. Congrats loser ! Every fool gets lucky once !

    Reply

  32. Ok, I get it…Skillshare…a wonderful and amazing place to go for everyone looking to expand their horizon, in almost any topic whatsoever Skillshare is your best friend… Fine, I will use Skillshare and see where it leads. If Skillshare can teach me more about making better videos and faster, taking photographs, 3D modelling and so on, I will indeed use it as Im in need of educational sites but usually…real knowledge costs real money. That said, thanks for the up. Very interesting and informative, I liked it, except for hearing more than once about Skillshare, top-notch.

    Reply

  33. Yeah, so where’s the part where Russia one-upped the West? Because that never happened. The West was rolling out full jet transports when Russia came with this, so…

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  34. So much respect for the Soviets …. Arrogant PIGS the Americans have claimed so much for themself including going to the moon. Without the Soviet engineers this could NEVER have been accomplished. FK the USA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  35. The Tu-114 was very loud like the Tu-144 but it is more faster than the Convair 990 Cornado, so…Andrei Tupolev and Nikita Khrushchev is so good doing aircraft like this. Great job, USSR!!!!!🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺

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  36. Good job, never knew this plane existed. I knew about the TU-95 “Bear”, but not this sister plane. Cool!

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  37. How the west could have should have annihilated Russia in November of 1948. We had 7-9 atomic bombs before Russia had 1. Eliminated this most bothersome and useless country.

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  38. This Aircraft is one of the most beautiful propeller driven Airliner ever! Huge and Stylish at the same time! Also the fastest propeller driven Airliner ever!😎

    Reply

  39. Damn thing was so loud- easy to detect, our underwater submarine listening system could pick them up through 100s of feet of sea water.

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  40. THAT IL-14 LOOKS LIKE JUST A RE-VAMPED TRICYCLE LANDING GEAR DC-3.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-14

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  41. Well done and impressive documentary. Clear detailed graphics and narration nicely providing relevant facts and history.

    Reply

  42. I absolutely love the first song (galactic symphonies – Big Bang) but I can only purchase it by license (or something), any idea if I can just find it on Spotify or iTunes or something? Happy to pay for it, just, not $70.

    Reply

  43. Adelantar que? quizas si fue el turbohelice mas veloz, pero en un momento en que el 707 entraba en en servicio y los turbohelices daban paso a los reactores puros, con mejores prestaciones y comodidades para el transporte de pasajeros.

    Reply

  44. What an incredible plane. Never seen anything like this. ❤ It takes my breath away looking at it. It's a missile and a palace.

    Reply

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