Russian/Soviet aircraft design has always intrigued me, and even more so when coming across this photo of the Tupolev Tu-134UBL with its pointy nosecone.

Having looked up the performance characteristics of the aircraft, it "only" seems to fly at sub to trans-sonic speeds (max. speed 890km/h or Mach 0.72 at sea level).

Based on my limited knowledge reinforced by this great post, it only makes sense to use a pointy nose cone when the aircraft travels at supersonic speeds.

Therefore, would the reason for the nosecone design be for some other function rather than just aerodynamics? Radar? Tupolev Tu-134UBL


According to Wikipedia, the UBL variant of the TU-134 was designed/used to train TU-160 crew, and is using its nose-cone.

As to why, I think we can only assume. I think that a fair assumption would be that it contains the radar from the TU-160 (or a stripped-down version of it), and/or so the crew will have a similar visibility as they would on a TU-160.

The overall performance differences between the TU-134 and 160 are too far apart (the -134 being a subsonic airliner and the -160 being a supersonic bomber) for the shape of the nose cone alone to make any sort of a significant difference.


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