The most successful jet airliner produced by the Soviet Union is the Tupolev Tu-154. Powered initially by three Kuznetsov NK-8-2U Turbofans, it first flew on 4 October 1968. Aeroflot put the aircraft into service on 7 February 1972.
With the engines at the rear, it resembles both the Hawker Siddeley Trident and the Boeing 727. Seating as many as 180 passengers in a six abreast arrangement, the aircraft can fly up to 5,280 kilometres.
Tupolev Tu-154 Video
Following on from the video last week about the Douglas DC-3, this time we have a look at the Tupolev Tu-154. Running for around 17 minutes, it is put together by Skyships, who have produced many airliner profile videos.
Featuring film showing the testing of the aircraft, plus air to air, interior and ground based shots, it provides a pretty decent look at this popular jet. Initial versions suffered from wing cracks in service, so a stronger wing was introduced from 1975.
Real improvements came with the Tupolev Tu-154M, first flying in 1982 and entering service in 1984. With aerodynamic improvements and far more efficient Soloviev D-30KU-154 engines, this became the most produced version of the aircraft.
With 1,026 aircraft built, it is the most successful Soviet passenger jet. Today you can still fly on board one – if you head over to North Korea and fly with Air Koryo!
During its service history, the Tupolev Tu-154 has operated for many airlines, not just those in Eastern Europe, but also the Middle East, Africa, Central America and Asia. It was a familiar sight at airports around the world well into the 21st century, being retired by Russia’s Aeroflot at the end of 2009.
Have you ever flown on board the Tupolev Tu-154? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by YK – Aviation Images via Facebook.