Tu-95: world’s only swept-wing turboprop

October 24, 2007 at 12:24 pm | Posted in military aeroplane | Leave a comment

The Tu-95 is the world’s only swept-wing turboprop ever to enter service. Its distinct engines, each with two counter-rotating propellers, also make the Bear the fastest propeller-driven airplane ever built. An interesting feature of the Tu-95/Tu-142 Bear is that it is actually a turboprop, not a piston engined aircraft, so technically it is a jet powered aircraft. The blades are very course and so it can fly about 100km/h faster than the western experts expected it to. It was the first swept wing propeller driven aircraft in the world and is also the fastest propeller driven aircraft in the world. The original Tu-95 was designed to carry two nuclear bombs to targets in the continental US. Later versions carried cruise missiles for long-ange stand-off missions. The Bear has also been used for reconnaissance, especially by the Soviet/Russian Navy which used the aircraft to locate US aircraft carrier task forces. A specialized variant of the Bear is the Tu-142 dedicated to maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. Over 300 Bears were built.

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