Russian Concorde knockoff dubbed ‘Concordski’ that Soviets ‘copied’ off West

The apparent Russian knockoff version of the Concorde, dubbed ‘Concordski’, lays rotting in the back yard of a military base.

Russia introduced the world to its own version of the British and French designed Concorde, the TU-144, at the 1973 Paris Air Show, before a mid-air mix up saw it hurtle into a small village, killing 14 people.

Russia’s last supersonic airliner was in service for just six years from 1977 to 1983 before it was axed due to rising costs and safety fears.

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The Tu-144 only made 55 scheduled passenger flights, and now resides in the backyard of a military base in Kazan, with its distinctive downward nose poking over the fence.

The inside of the model lays in a wretched state, with the once luxurious seats getting lost to time.

Dinky Russian cars are even parked beneath the aircraft, whilst the barracks themselves look abandonned and unkempt.

The plane was created off the back of rivalry between the Soviet Union and the West.

"Development started in the midst of a rivalry between two political systems," Ilya Grinberg, a Soviet aviation expert, told CNN.

And the Concordski, as the press dubbed it, was actually unveiled a few months before the Concorde, in 1968.

The two models looked strikingly similar, leading to speculation that the Russians had nabbed the designs from the West.

But British test pilot John Farley, who witnessed the Paris Airs Show crash, told the BBC in 2016 that this wasn't the case.

"It's jolly interesting to say they must of copied it, they must have pinched our drawings, they must have spies in our company, this is what sells newspapers…but I don't think there was much reality to it," he said.

He did say that there was "undoubtedly competition to see who could put on the best flying display" at the fateful air show in 1973.

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"I'm sure that there's an awful lot of people today that don't even know that the Russians even had a go at doing a supersonic airliner," he said.

John explained that the TU-144 "climbed steeply" before the nose "suddenly" went down "very violently". He explained that the plane "pulled out" of the dive and "broke up" in mid-air.

The official line from Russia is that a photographer fell in the cockpit, causing the crash. However, John and others think that the pilots of Cocordski were forced into changing their route sharply by a reconnaissance plane flying above.

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