Tupolev Tu-128UT: Tzar-Sized.

The Tu-128 was a gargantuan Soviet long-range interceptor that entered service in the 1960s. Derived from a failed bomber design (the Tu-98), it was conceived as a air-to-air missile launch vector, mainly to fill the huge defensive gap of the USSR northern regions. Curiously, the Tu-128 didn’t use a fighter/interceptors number -in USSR/Russia odd numbers were/are assigned to fighters. They sure knew it was not made for dogfights…. Anyway, a no-nonsense design well worth Tupolev OKB name in both shape and usefulness.

The design of superbly bizarre training variants was Soviet speciality, the Tu-128 doesn’t disappoint. To improve the view of the instructor his (only “his” then) cockpit was placed in this dropped nose. This peculiar configuration soon earned, for obvious reasons, the sobriquet “pelikan” in service.


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