What's Faster Than A Jet... And Twice As Loud? | Summary and Q&A

December 28, 2018
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What's Faster Than A Jet... And Twice As Loud?


The Tu-114 was a converted bomber turned propeller-driven airliner that became the fastest and most powerful in the world, serving as the Soviet Union's long-range VIP transport.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the Soviet Union convert a bomber into a long-range airliner?

The Soviet Union converted the TU-95 bomber by removing its bombing and protective equipment and adding two small passenger compartments. This allowed the plane to serve as a long-range airliner, albeit with limited seating capacity.

Q: What features made the TU-114 unique and impressive?

The TU-114 was the fastest propeller-driven airliner ever built, with speeds reaching 870 km/h. It also featured luxurious amenities for VIPs, including three classes, large tables, private cabins, and even a full-size kitchen.

Q: Why did the TU-114 eventually fall out of use?

By the mid-1960s, jet-powered airliners had become more popular and efficient. The introduction of a long-range jet-powered Soviet airliner in 1967 led to the TU-114 being retired from most international routes and used mainly within the Soviet Union.

Q: How safe was the TU-114 during its years in service?

The TU-114 had a remarkable safety record, with over six million passengers flown without a single design-related accident. This makes it one of the safest Soviet airliners ever built.

Q: What role did Khrushchev play in the development and use of the TU-114?

Khrushchev was instrumental in the development of the TU-114, as he desired a long-range airliner for his expanding world visits. He also insisted on using the TU-114 for his visit to the United States, despite it still being in testing and having flaws such as hairline cracks around the engines.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • In the fall of 1959, the Soviet Union sought to prove their superiority by converting a bomber, the TU-95, into a long-range airliner, the TU-114.

  • The TU-114 became the fastest propeller-driven airliner ever, reaching speeds of 870 km/h, and featured luxurious accommodations for VIPs.

  • Despite its success, the TU-114 was eventually overshadowed by jet-powered airliners and was retired from international routes by 1967.

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