Tupolev Tu-73

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Role Medium bomber
Manufacturer Tupolev
Designer Sergei Yeger
First flight 29 December 1947
Status Cancelled
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 with a Rolls-Royce Derwent jet engine buried in the rear fuselage, the Tu-73.[1]

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 with Soviet-built Nene and Derwent engines, the Tu-78. However, in early 1949, the Soviet Council of Ministers ordered Tupolev to cease further development of the Tu-73 and Tu-78.[2]


  • 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.


  1. ^ Duffy, Paul; A. I. Kandalov. Tupolev: the man and his aircraft. SAE.
  2. ^ Gordon, Yefim; Rigamant, Vladimir (2005). OKB Tupolev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-214-4.