The Tupolev Tu-204 is an aircraft designed primarily as a replacement for the very popular Tupolev Tu-154. While first flight took place on 2 January 1989, it did not enter service until 23 February 1996 with Aeroflot, mainly as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Seating up to 210 passengers, most versions have a range of around 4,100 to 4,300 kilometres. This aircraft was one of the first Russian aircraft to offer a Western engine option, with the Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4B being available in addition to the native Aviadvigatel PS-90A powerplant.
Tupolev Tu-204 Video
Following on from the last video about the Ilyushin IL-96, we stay in Soviet Union and Russia for a look at the Tupolev Tu-204. The video runs for about 14 minutes and is produced by Skyships Eng, who do some excellent videos about aircraft.
Everything is put into context in the video, such as discarded design concepts, why things took so long and the various variants. I was surprised to find out the plane has a three crew cockpit, when you’d normally expect two.
Due to the lack of cash in Russia, many airlines decided to keep operating older types. Once they were financially in a position to buy new jets, they went with Western options such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, rather than the indigenous Tupolev Tu-204.
There is plenty of great footage in the video, showing cabins, the cockpit and many shots of the plane flying around. It is well worth a look to see it in action.
Just 86 Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft were produced. You can still fly as a passenger on two airlines – North Korea’s Air Koryo and Cuba’s Cubana de Aviación. Otherwise the Russian government uses several, but I don’t think you’ll be able to get on one of those easily!
The failure of the Tu-204 is largely down to time. If it had been produced earlier and if the Soviet Union had not collapsed, it is likely it would have been in service in larger numbers. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
Have you ever been on board a Tupolev Tu-204? 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 Marina Lystseva on here via Wikimedia Commons.