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Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss)


Airborne Early Warning Aircraft


Soviet Union | 1965



"The Tupolev Tu-126 Moss was a serviceable Airborne Early Warning and Control platform developed from a modified Tu-114 airliner."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/16/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Design of the Tupolev Tu-126 (NATO codename of "Moss") was conventional and followed much of what made up the large, propeller-driven Soviet bomber concepts throughout the Cold War. The aircraft's appearance was characterized by the circular radome installation atop the rear portion of the fuselage while its general characteristics were formed from the existing Tupolev Tu-114 turboprop airliner of 1961. The flight deck was fitted to the extreme forward end of the fuselage behind a short, glazed-over nose cone. The fuselage was largely tubular from nose to tail, tapering off to a point at the rear. Wings were monoplane assemblies, low-set ahead of amidships and each mounted two contra-rotating engines. The engines were fitted into streamlined nacelles hanging underneath the swept-back wings. The low-set nature of the wings, coupled with the leading edge nacelles, necessitated rather long landing gear legs for optimal clearance. The empennage was dominated by a single rear-swept large vertical tail fin. Swept horizontal tail planes were mid-set installations along the aft fuselage. A ventral strake was identifiable under the empennage with two underfuselage blisters just ahead. A dorsal blister could be seen at the forward fuselage, just aft of the flightdeck. A refueling probe was fitted to the nose.

The Tu-126 was typically crewed by twelve personnel which including two pilots. The aircraft was powered by 4 x Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprops driving contra-rotating propellers, each engine developing approximately 14,795 horsepower. This supplied the aircraft with a maximum speed of 490 miles per hour, an operational range of up to 4,350 miles and a service ceiling of 35,100 feet. Cruise speed was listed at 323 miles per hour.

The Tu-126 served solely with the Soviet Air Force and Soviet Anti-Air Defense branches in the Airborne Early Warning And Control (AEWAC or "AWACs") role beginning in 1965. The line was retired in 1984 with only twelve units being produced.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss) Airborne Early Warning Aircraft.
4 x Kuznetsov NK012MV turboprop engines driving contra-rotating propellers and delivering 14,795 horsepower each.
Propulsion
491 mph
790 kph | 427 kts
Max Speed
35,105 ft
10,700 m | 7 miles
Service Ceiling
4,350 miles
7,000 km | 3,780 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss) Airborne Early Warning Aircraft.
12
(MANNED)
Crew
180.4 ft
55.00 m
O/A Length
168.6 ft
(51.40 m)
O/A Width
50.9 ft
(15.50 m)
O/A Height
227,076 lb
(103,000 kg)
Empty Weight
376,990 lb
(171,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss) family line.
Tu-114 - Commercial Passenger Airliner to which the Tu0126 is based on.
Tu-126 ("Moss") - Developed for AEW service from the Tu-114 commercial passenger airliner.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 12 Units

Contractor(s): Tupolev OKB - USSR
National flag of India National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union; India ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (491mph).

Graph Average of 375 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
12
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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1 / 1
Image of the Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING
ELECTRONIC WARFARE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss) Airborne Early Warning Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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