Tupolev Jet Airliner Spotting Guide
Tupolev is a large, Russian-based company involved in the development, manufacturing, and overhaul of both civil and military aerospace products such as aircraft and weapons systems. It is also engaged in the fields of missile and naval aviation technologies.
It developed the U.S.S.R.’s first commercial jetliner and the world’s first supersonic passenger jet. Headquartered in Moscow, it employs about 10,000 people. Tupolev consists of the main design bureau and an experimental plant in Moscow, a branch in Tomilino, a flight-testing station in Zhukovsky, several design affiliates throughout Russia, and a department in Ukraine.
More than 18,000 Tupolev aircraft have been produced over the years, including the B-29 clone Tu-4, and the Tu-95 "Bear" bomber.
A number of commercial aircraft have been included in the Tupolev product line, such as the Tu-134, Tu-154, Tu-204, Tu-214 and many others.
Tupolev Tu-134 Jetliner
The Tu-134 was a narrow-body, twin-engine airliner produced by Tupolev from 1966 to 1989. When production ended, a total of 854 Tu-134 aircraft had been built.
The Tu-134 experienced long-term service within 42 countries, with some European airlines scheduling as many as 12 daily takeoffs and landings per plane.
Typical passenger configurations included 72 - 84 seats. In addition to regular passenger service, it has been used in various air force, army and navy support roles.
During the 1960s Tupolev undertook the design and construction of a delta-wing supersonic transport, the Tu-144, similar in overall design to the British and French Concorde. In June of 1969 the Tu-144 became the first passenger jet to fly faster than the speed of sound.
Tupolev Tu-144 SuperSonic Transport
Tupolev Tu-154 Medium-Range, Narrow-body Airliner
Landing gear on the Tupolev Tu-154
The design of the Tu-154 features a T-Tail, three-engine configuration in the tail. On each side of the fuselage, there are three cabin doors along with two over-the-wing emergency exit doors.
It has two six-wheel main landing gear arrangements (photo to the right) similar to the Boeing 777 and Airbus A350-1000.
Capable of operating from unpaved and gravel airfields with only basic facilities, the Tu-154 was widely used in the extreme Arctic conditions of Russia's northern/eastern regions where other airliners were unable to operate.
Seating capacity ranges from 164 - 180 passengers.
In total, 930 Tu-154 aircraft were built.
|Tupolev Tu-154 Trijet Airliner|
|Tupolev Tu-154 Trijet Airliner|
Tupolev Tu-204 twin-engine, narrow body airliner
The Tu-204 family of airliners was designed as a replacement for the Tu-154. The Tu-204 made full use of cutting-edge technology, including CAD modeling, extensive use of composite materials and titanium alloys, digital displays, and improved sound insulation.
The Tu-204SM / Tu-204CM is an advanced medium-range passenger aircraft designed by Tupolev JSC. It is a latest member of the Tu-204 aircraft family, and can carry up to 194 passengers for a maximum range of 4,800km.
The Tu-204 bears a strong resemblance to the Boeing 757.
|Aviastar Cargo Tu-204, Registration RA-64021, at Châteauroux-Centre "Marcel Dassault" Airport in 2011 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Tupelov Tu-204cm, Registration 64150 (Photo courtesy of Tupolev)
Tupolev Tu-214 narrow body airliner
The Tu-214 is a variant of the Tu-204, technically a Tu-204-200, one of the differences being that it is built by a different factory. Planes designated Tu-204 are produced in Ulyanovsk by Aviastar-SP; Tu-214 are built in Kazan by the Kazan Aircraft Production Association.