|First flight||29 December 1947|
|Primary user||Soviet Naval Aviation|
|Developed from||Tupolev Tu-72|
|Developed into||Tupolev Tu-14|
The Tupolev Tu-73 was a Soviet trijet medium bomber of the late 1940s. It lost out to the Ilyushin Il-28 'Beagle'.
The Tupolev Tu-73 had its genesis in 1947 after the Soviet Air Force had deep reservations about whether the Tupolev Design Bureau's proposed Tu-72 naval bomber would achieve sufficient performance with Rolls-Royce Nene jet engines. To address those concerns, Tupolev decided to develop a variant of the Tu-72, the Tu-73, with a Rolls-Royce Derwent jet engine buried in the rear fuselage.
The Tupolev Tu-73 conducted its first flight on December 29, 1947. Test results were stellar, with a top speed of 870km/h, a range of 2,800km, and a service ceiling of 11,500m. Consequently, the Soviet Air Force gave Tupolev the green light to develop a reconnaissance version of the Tu-73, the Tu-78, with Soviet-built Nene and Derwent engines. However, in early 1949, the Soviet Council of Ministers ordered Tupolev to cease further development of the Tu-73 and Tu-78.
- Tu-73: Initial prototype, powered by Rolls-Royce engines.
- Tu-78: Reconnaissance version, powered by Rolls-Royce engines.
- Tu-79: Tu-78 powered by Soviet-built Rolls-Royce engines. Originally designated Tu-73R.
- Tu-81: Twin-engined development of Tu-73.