When Khrushchev met Nixon in 1959, he was typically belligerent. He told the future American president “Soon we will equal the US, and when we pass you, we will wave bye-bye.” The USSR pursued technological advancement with incredible tenacity, and one of the most visible displays of its technical achievements was its aerospace industry. From the brutally accelerated industrial revolution to the record-breaking flights of the Cold War, the Soviet Union built an enormous number of spectacular aeroplanes. Often the most agile, fastest or biggest, they were also among the toughest and cheapest, here’s a tribute to some of the engineering marvels of a dead Empire.
Or you can jump to see the top ten American aircraft here:
10. Tsybin RSR
9. Antonov An-225
8. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
7. Myasishchev M-50
6. Tupolev Tu-22
5. Beriev 200
4. Tupolev Tu-114
3. Sukhoi ‘Flanker’-series
2. Tupolev Tu-160
1. Polikarpov I-17
The judges were: Hush-Kit’s Joe Coles, Combat Aircraft‘s Thomas Newdick, the RAF Review‘s Paul Eden, The Aviation Historian’s Nick Stroud and the artist Ed Ward. If you enjoyed this, have a look at the top ten British, French, Swedish, Australian, Japanese and German aeroplanes.
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