Sunday, January 16, 2011

Russia lifts ban on Tu-95 bomber flights

The Russian Air Force has lifted a ban on the flights of Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers imposed after an An-22 Cock transport plane was destroyed in a crash last December.

The plane crashed in the Tula Region on December 28, killing all 12 crew members.

The Air Force decided to ground all Tu-95s and An-22s because both aircraft types share the Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop, whose failure was suspected as the main cause of the crash.

The An-22 remains the largest turboprop-powered aircraft in the world. Around 45 remain in service with the Russian Air Force and most are over 40 years old.

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