Do you know what’s common between Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen? They all have a fully-functioning fighter aircraft in their personal collection, and in case you want to join the league and own a military-grade aircraft, a soviet-era bomber has gone up for sale on eBay. A de-militarized Tupolev TU-95MS, known among NATO nations as the ‘Bear’, owned by Ukrainian Air Force was put up on eBay a couple of days back with a starting bid of only $3 million until it was mysteriously pulled off. The bomber was commissioned in 1987 and remains undamaged due to few flying hours (454), but it’s not ready to fly just yet and needs a routine technical service to become airworthy.
The TU-95 (Bear) entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and became one of the iconic symbols of the Cold War as the bomber could carry a nuclear warhead and was a common site in the skies over the pacific in that era. Pitched against the United States’ B-52 Stratofortress, the Bear had a unique tubular fuselage and swept-wing design as opposed to the straight wings of the early variants of B-52. It’s also one of the loudest aircrafts in the world as the four turbo-prop engines on the Bear could be heard long before it visually appeared. 55 of the TU-95 (including the naval version) are still in service with Russia, but other countries including Ukraine and India have grounded their fleet.
[Via – Mirror]