Out of the Paris sky June 19 skimmed the world's biggest airliner - the TU 114.
Out of the Paris sky June 19 skimmed the world's biggest airliner - the TU 114. Its name: Russia. By any standards it is gigantic. The Russia zoomed onto the runway at Le Bourget and parked with the planes of other nations exhibiting at the annual air show - it dwarfed them.
The Russia, completed in 1957, made its first appearance in the West only a few weeks ago. It belongs to Aerofloat - the Soviet Union's State airline - and is a version of a four-engine Russian atom bomber. A prop-jet, it has contro-rotating airscrews - to make it to further, it is claimed, than any Western airliner and faster than any Western prop-jet.
Tupolev, its designer, took photographs of it on the airfield, told reporters his giant has a kitchen with service lifts, 48 seats in the restaurant, a total of 170 seats including four private cabins.
Ordinary air-liner steps only reached to within ten feet of the door. The crew had to let down an extra pair to meet them. The Russia's wings span 180 feet. She is 150 feet long, compared with the 134 feet of America's giant Boeing 707. She dwarfed Britain's latest airliner, the Vickers Vanguard, parked next to her.