The unusual but ill-fated Blinder was to be the replacement for the subsonic Tu-16 Badger. Capable of Mach 1.5, the plane was typical of the times, with a slender, wasp-waisted fuselage designed around the area rule, and steeply swept-back wings. The aircraft was hastily designed, and had very high takeoff and landing speeds, poor low-speed handling, and a bad cockpit layout with limited visibility. It did have very good transonic performance for the time, and its two 36,000-lb thrust engines provided respectable speed for a bomber of that era. In the event, the plane just did not live up to expectations and had a short service life, being replaced by the much more modern and effective Tu-22M Backfire. No examples of the Blinder remain flyable today, according to all credible reports. Still and all, the plane has its place in history and no collection of USSR bombers is complete without it.
** FS2004 and FSX only **
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