The Tu-116 was built in 1957 and was designed for a long-distance carriage of the politicians in VIP conditions. The need of such aircraft appeared with the beginning of the “thaw” in East-West relations. Two Tu-95 production aircrafts were converted for the Tu-116, which were produced in 1956 and 1957. The first aircraft (?7801) passed the factory tests from 23rd April to 4th October 1957. The second one (?7802), produced in 3rd June 1957, passed the state tests in March. The Tu-116 made its maiden flight on 2nd March from the plant airdrome. When the state test were passed, both aircrafts were given into the service to the Air Force, where they were used since the beginning of the 1990’s.
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