The giant supersonic strategic bomber with variable-sweep wings is the biggest and heaviest in its class in the world. It is capable of flying 12,300 km without mid-air refueling.
Russian TV Channel Zvezda published captivating footage of mid-air refueling of a 110 ton Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) supersonic jet nicknamed “White Swan” for its white color and incredibly large variable-sweep wings, with their span measuring 55.7 meters. Although the titanic bomber jet is capable of covering thousands of kilometers, its nine-hour flight from the Russian city of Saratov to Anadyr, the easternmost town in Russia, via the north pole required some refueling.
After successfully finishing the lengthy flight, which included a combat task as a fraction of the military drills, the pilot commented on a journalist’s question about how hard it is to spend nine hours in a flight jump-suit. According to the veteran pilot, it isn’t entirely comfortable but noted that it is an acceptable tradeoff for the protection the suit provides — it not only protects from hypothermia but also has built-in floating balloons, designed to save the pilot from drowning in the cold waters of a sea or an ocean.