NATO name: "Charger'") was the first commercial supersonic transport aircraft (SST). It was one of only two SSTs to enter commercial service, the other being the Anglo-FrenchConcorde. The design, publicly unveiled in January 1962, was constructed in the Soviet Union under the direction of the Tupolev design bureau, headed by Alexei Tupolev.
The prototype first flew on 31 December 1968 near Moscow, two months before the first flight of Concorde. The Tu-144 first went supersonic on 5 June 1969, and on 26 May 1970 became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2. The frequent comparisons to Concorde led to the Tu-144 being known as "Concordski" in the West.