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Tu-160 with fully swept wings...


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I have always believed that a parked Tu-160 cannot be displayed with the wings fully swept. In fact all the photos of parked Tu-160 show the wing fully forward and most sources say that it simply cannot sweep the wings on the ground or it would tip over.

 

Well, trying to save some shelf space (the bird is huge!) I figured out it there was a way to display the plane on the ground with the wing swept anyway... maybe with a support under the tail during maintenance? Then I came across this video. Look after minute 4:30. The plane is pushed into an hangar with the wings fully swept. Looks like a "flyable" Tu-160 being taken inside for maintenance, (i.e. not lacking any heavy equipment such as engines or something else). As the tail and wings host some huge fuel tanks, I suppose an unfueled Tu-160 can sweep its wings without tipping over...

 

Tu-160 video on youtube

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I think your assessment is correct.

 

Tu-160's on an active ramp are seen with the wings fully forward - unless there is a tail support/jack in place.

 

The White Swan in the video with it's wings fully swept is probably de-fueled - AND it is attached to a tow tractor - which would keep the nose wheel down.

 

If you want to display your model fully swept, I guess you would have to fit a tow tractor - or put a jack under its tail.

 

I took this photo on the ramp at Engels in 2007.........

 

day04_005.jpg

 

(More photos here... http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/mos2007_day04.html

 

This one was taken at MAKS - from a hot air balloon..... (note how everything is 'drooped')

 

Real_28.jpg

 

I made my Trumpeter Tu-160 with detachable wings - so it was easier to transport to model show....

 

Here :- http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_tu-160-trump.html

 

Have fun with your modellll

 

Ken

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Pure speculation here, but I would imagine they keep the wings forward on the Tu-160 the same reason they do on the B-1. with the wings forward you can do a proper preflight inspection and see and inspect stuff on the flap wells etc.

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Posted (edited)

Well, with Takom having an 1/72 MAZ-537 it would be an interesting diorama... 

 

Answering to Craig, I don't think it's for preflight inspection, as the similar Tu-22M Backfire is usually parked with the wings fully swept to save ramp space, so there must be a different reason to park the Tu-160 that way. As I said it's probably a matter of center of gravity that would make the plane unbalanced with the wings fully swept

Edited by Yuri
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The footage is from Kazan aviation plant where they are refurbishing, modernizing and built Tu-160's. (Now building Tu-160M2 and PAK-DA)

 

The frame is likely completely emptied for fuel and it does have a support jack below the tail, although probably as an extra precaution rather than a necessity per say;

YYk2wWN.jpg

 

Oe7Icin.jpg

 

W9sFzdz.jpg

 

There is nothing at the front wheel holding it down per say. At different posts it has wings fully extended, for the reasons boom175 is speculating on. So generally speaking it is possible to see an operational frame like this, but unlikely. I think displaying it with wings fully swept is unproblematic in terms of "accuracy".

 

Edited by Berkut
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As a complete aside.... a friend who worked on Concorde at BAC Filton told me the following story.

 

They were doing some tests on the fin fuel tanks and decided to fill the fin tank - by bypassing the other tanks in the fuselage/wings.

 

As they filled the fin tank, the nose slowly tipped up and the tail tipped down - damaging the exhaust buckets on all four engines.

 

They had neglected to support the rear end as they filled it up !!

 

Luckily the aircraft was in the Brabazon hangar - which was high enough to take height of the upturned nose without it hitting the roof!!

 

I don't know how true the tale is - but why let facts get in the way of a good story!!

 

Ken

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I hadn't heard that one Jabba29 - do you have more info ?

 

I know that the Soviet equivalent - the Ilyushin Il-62 - had a long retractable tailwheel that was deployed when parked to stop it tipping onto its tail....

 

Taken at Domodedovo in 2004....

 

day03_28.jpg

 

Sorry for the thread creep Yuri......

 

Ken

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16 hours ago, Flankerman said:

I hadn't heard that one Jabba29 - do you have more info ?

 

I know that the Soviet equivalent - the Ilyushin Il-62 - had a long retractable tailwheel that was deployed when parked to stop it tipping onto its tail....

 

Taken at Domodedovo in 2004....

 

day03_28.jpg

 

Sorry for the thread creep Yuri......

 

Ken

yep. the -62 used water tanks as ballast depending on fuel loads and the water could be dumped in flight to ensure proper CoG. The tail wheel was there to ensure they could fill whatever thanks whenever they wanted without worrying of it tipping over, I remember putting a few thousand liters of water into when we had one here before!

 

Sean

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23 hours ago, Flankerman said:

I hadn't heard that one Jabba29 - do you have more info ?

 

Ken

Happened at RAF Brize Norton when somehow the ground crew refueled the tail end first or something went wrong with how the aircraft distributed the fuel. I know someone who was actually on the aircraft and felt the aircraft nose move upwards and hastily when for the front door and made his escape.

 

VC-10 that was refueled wrong and sat on its tail - Google Search

 

Vickers VC10 Refuelling accident - Aviation - HMVF - Historic Military Vehicles Forum

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