Alexei Andreyevich Tupolev (Russian: Алексе́й Андре́евич Ту́полев; May 20, 1925 – May 12, 2001) was a Soviet aircraft designer who led the development of the first supersonic passenger jet, the Tupolev Tu-144. He also helped design the Buran space shuttle and the long-range heavy bomber Tu-2000, both of which were suspended for lack of funding.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Tupolev was the son of famed Soviet aircraft pioneer, Andrei Tupolev. He graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1949 and began working with his father at the Tupolev Design Bureau. During Soviet leader Khrushchev's visit to the U.S. in September 1959, he insisted on taking Tu-114 despite that its maiden long-distance flight only occurred in May. In order to guarantee the safety, Alexei Tupolev was sent by his father Tupolev, along as a sign of his confidence in the plane. Khrushchev later said, "We didn't publicize the fact that Tupolev's son was with us" for "to do so would have meant giving explanations, and these might have been damaging to our image". He became chief designer in 1963 and general designer in 1973.