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27

First, the Russian airplane industry is organized differently from its Western counterpart. While both have research organizations and aircraft manufacturers, in Russia and Ukraine design offices are between both. In Russia, TsAGI does most basic research and develops aerodynamic designs which are then put into fully developed aircraft by the design offices (...


4

Last year (!), at least per Wikipedia: On 17 November 2015, Tu-95s had their combat debut, being employed for the first time in long range airstrikes as part of the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War. This seems to have been using the Tu-95 as a missile platform: The aircraft launched a total of 34 airborne cruise missiles ...


4

Nobody knows why except Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev, and he is dead. Andrei Tupolev was known to insist on the fast and adequate at the expense of the theoretically correct, leading to widespread technical debt in his designs. He may have raised the nose cone for no more profound reason than to get the refueling probe in line with the pilot's vision. Once ...


3

The Tu-22M3's nose houses a Leninets PN-AD radar and a NK-45 navigation and attack system. The NK-45 provides improved low-altitude flight, compared to earlier models. Several Tu-22M3's were converted to Tu-22M3R who carry a Shompol side looking airborne radar and other Electronic signals intelligence equipment. All this equipement is stored in the nose of ...


3

Tu-154 has three rear-mounted engines and triple-axle, six wheel landing gear. Tu-204 is perhaps the only slightly difficult one in your list. Short stubby nose and rather long engine cowlings. Mostly operated by non-western carriers. Tu-334 is cancelled.


3

Not that anyone knows of. A couple of Bears have crashed within Russia's borders. They usually fly over international waters only, so if one did go down there would be a chance it would sink without a trace.


3

As said in the comments, in a distance record aircraft you want to keep the drag and mass of your aircraft as low as possible. The previous and next record were flown in single engines too and risk assessment was a bit different back then. Using a single engine for such long distances wasn't the only ANT-25 characteristic you wouldn't see in a normal ...


1

Fuel efficiency. One engine can run more efficiently than two, even if the two have the same power output combined than the one. Friction losses, inertia losses, etc... The same thing can be seen in commercial airliners today. Now that gas turbines have reached a very reliable state, and the regulations for overwater flight recognize this, we are seeing ...


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