Almost in the weeds!

Here’s a Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber making a very, very long takeoff run.  He only just got his wheels off the ground before the tarmac ran out.

You might say that’s a military analog to the (in)famous Ilyushin Il-76 long takeoff run in Australia, which we’ve seen in these pages before.

Both are nailbiters – or, as we used to say in the military, “you’d have to pull hard to get the seat cushion loose from your pants after that!”



  1. That bomber was struggling. I neither saw or heard any indication that it was accelerating at the end of the strip. That is why the pilot kept it rolling until he hit the dirt overlaying the pavement end. I suspect he hit the gear control at the same moment he pulled back on the stick/column. One desperate pilot.

  2. That Backfire was carrying something on the port wingroot station. Not sure what it was. I think the newer models can carry drop tanks on each side and even in the weapons bay in a ferry configuration. I'm not sure why you'd carry an asymmetric load out like that. Probably made take off kinda sketchy if it was full drop tank or an AS-4/kh-22. The kh-22 is a big mother. Weighs over 6 tons if I remember correctly. The Backfire can carry up to 3 of them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *