Continuing with extracts and my commentary from an article as originally seen at the Hush-Kit Internet web site.
"The 11 worst Soviet aircraft"
2. Tu-22 Blinder. NOT to be confused with the Tu-22M3 Backfire.
"The Tu-22 medium bomber [supersonic], first flown in 1962, was a dangerous hot rod with a litany of design flaws. Its VD-7M engines were unreliable and caused a spate of lethal accidents. The aircraft was also very hard to handle, according to one pilot '..two flights with no autopilot drained all strength'. Tu-22 pilots had to be physically strong and keep both hands on the control yoke at all times. The landing speed was perhaps the worst of any operational aircraft: it was forbidden for pilots to go under 180 mph. The ejection seats ejected downward, a sobering prospect for low-level escapes. Pre-flight preparations took at least 3 hours, and other common procedures required 24 hours of maintenance. The high-mounted engines were exceptionally inconvenient for maintenance crew to reach. Its abysmal visibility from the cockpit resulted in one of its nicknames – Blind John"
Nice image of a Tu-22 Blinder in flight. Originally I had thought Blinder was being brought back into service, augmenting Russian long-range aviation assets. And even now dropping ordnance on Islamic State targets in Syria? I am incorrect! Is the Tu-22M3 Backfire restored to operational status. Backfire a considerably different warplane than Blinder?
Bark far worse than the bite? You the devoted reader to the blog decide for yourself!