By Bad Seed
The Tupolev Tu-144 (NATO name: Charger) was the first supersonic transport aircraft (SST), constructed under the direction of the Soviet Tupolev design bureau headed by Alexei Tupolev.
A prototype first flew on 31 December 1968 near Moscow, two months before Concorde. The Tu-144 first broke the sound barrier on 5 June 1969, and on 15 July 1969 it became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2, and was at the time the fastest commercial airliner.
The aircraft had two major crashes, and never sold commercially outside Russia. Additionally it was unsuccessful at finding a market within the Soviet Union.
The aircraft was part of the development of supersonic aircraft within Tupolev, other supersonic aircraft such as the Tu-160 bomber were more successful.