Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|First Flight||October 3 1968|
|Entered Service||February 9 1972|
|Length||47.9 m||157 ft 2 in|
|Wingspan||37.55 m||123 ft 3 in|
|Height||11.40 m||37 ft 5 in|
|Wing area||201.5 m²||2,168.4 ft²|
|Empty||55,300 kg||121,915 lb|
|Loaded||18,000 kg||39,680 lb|
|Maximum takeoff||90,000 kg||198,415 lb|
|Engines||3x Kuznetsov NK-8-2 turbofans|
|Thrust||279.6 kN||62,850 lbf|
|Maximum speed||975 km/h||609 mph|
|Range||5,280 km||3,300 miles|
|Service ceiling||12,100 m||39,700 ft|
|Rate of climb||m/min||ft/min|
The Tupolev Tu-154 is a Russian medium-range trijet airliner. It remains the standard airliner for domestic routes in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union and to a lesser extent in eastern Europe and Iran.
The Tu-154 was developed fom the twin-engined Tupolev Tu-134 to replace the jet-powered Tupolev Tu-104, plus the Antonov An-10 and Ilyushin Il-18 turboprops. It is sometimes called the "Tu-134 with everything thrice." It is designed to operate from austere gravel airfields, to be able to fly at high altitudes above most Soviet Union air traffic, and for takeoff performance.
Its construction is sturdy, with 14 big low-pressure tyres enabling it to land on snow-covered unpaved runways without sustaining serious damage. Initially it had three rear-mounted Kuznetsov NK-8-2 jet engines, arranged like the engines on the Boeing 727, giving it a relatively good thrust-to-weight ratio. The Tu-154 has the distinction of being the fastest airliner in service. It has triple bogie main undercarriage units which retract into wing pods, and a T-tail empennage. These features make Tu-154 a reliable and economical workhorse. Close to 1000 have been built with requests even today for resumption of production.
Statistically, the Tu-154 has one of the poorest safety records. However, Tupolev 154's chequered safety record owes more to errors than technical problems.
An Aeroflot Tu154 between Moscow and Ekaterinburg in 2005 was arranged with 3x3 seating, with even less legroom than the most tightly packed budget US airlines. In order to stand upright, it was necessary to fold down the next seat forward.
The underseat space was dominated by a large round bar, making it impractical to place much of anything under the seat in front of you. The overhead bin was too small for much other than coats and purses. One should plan luggage carefully, bearing these facts in mind.
Many variants of this versatile airliner have been built. Apart from the normal differences between weights and powerplants, the Tu-154 even has a couple of completely esoterically fuelled versions! Like its western counterpart, the Boeing 727, many of the Tu-154s in service have been hush-kitted, and some converted to freighters.
Tu-154 / Tu-154A / Tu-154B
The Tu-154 entered service with Aeroflot in 1972. Three variants, all powered by Kuznetsov, have been built. The initial Tu-154, the heavier Tu-154A with more powerful engines, and the Tu-154B with a further increase in maximum takeoff weight. Tu-154S is a freighter version of the Tu-154B.
Tu-155 / Tu-156
One of the more radical projects based on this aircraft is the methane-powered Tu-155 and Tu-156. The Tu-155 prototype uses methane fuel for its central engine, while in the Tu-156 all three engines are adapted for methane burning.
Currently, the Tu-154M is the production standard which first flew in 1982. It uses more efficient Aviadvigatel turbofans. It is far more economical, quiet, and reliable than previous versions. Aeroflot consistently achieves dispatch reliability above 99 % with the Tu-154M, which compares favorably with current western airliners.
|Russian Civil Transport Aircraft|
|Design Bureau||Antonov - Beriev - Ilyushin - Kamov - MiG- Mil - Lavochkin - Sukhoi - Tupolev - Yakovlev|
|Type Designation||Tupolev Tu-154|
|Related Variants (civil)||Tu-155 - Tu-156|
|Primary Designation Series|
|Comparable/Similar Aircraft||Boeing 727 - BAC Trident - Hawker-Siddeley Trident|
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