Tupolev Tu-134

Tupolev Tu-134 -
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Type: Commercial

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Information on the Tu-134

The Tupolev Tu-134 is a Soviet twin-engined airliner, similar to the American Douglas DC-9.

One of the most used aircraft in the former Warsaw Pact countries, the number in active service is decreasing because of noise restrictions.


Following the introduction of engines mounted on pylons on rear fuselage by French Sud Aviation Caravelle, airliner manufacturers around the world rushed to adopt the new layout. Its advantages included clean wing airflow without disruption by nacelles or pylons and decreased cabin noise. At the same time, placing heavy engines that far back created challenges with the location of center of mass in relation to the center of lift which was at the wings. To make room for the engines, the tailplanes had to be relocated to the tail fin which had to be stronger and therefore heavier, further compounding the tail-heavy arrangement.

During a 1960 visit to France, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was so impressed by the quiet cabin of the Caravelle, that on 1960-08-01 the Tupolev OKB received an official directive to create Tu-124A with a similar engine arrangement. In 1961, Soviet state airline Aeroflot updated the requirements to include greater payload and passenger capacity.

The first Tu-124A prototype, CCCP-45075, flew on 1963-07-29. Then, on 1963-10-22, British BAC 1-11 with a similar layout crashed with loss of all crew. The aircraft stalled shortly after take off and entered pitch-up. The high-mounted tailplane became trapped in the turbulent wake produced by the engine nacelles which prevented recovery from the stall. Tupolev took notice and the tailplane on Tu-124A was enlarged by 30% for greater control authority. Since Aeroflot's requirements dictated a larger aircraft than initially planned, the Soloviev OKB developed more powerful D-30 low-bypass turbofan engines. On 1963-11-20, the new airliner was officially designated Tu-134.

In September 1967, Tu-134 made its first commercial flight from Moscow to Adler. Tu-134 was the first Soviet airliner to receive international certification from the International Civil Aviation Organization, which permitted it to be used on international routes.

Design curiosities of the Tu-134 included a sharp wing sweepback of 35 degrees, compared to 25-28 degrees in its Western analogues. Engines on early production Tu-134s lacked thrust reversers, which made the aircraft one of the few airliners to use a brake parachute for landing. The majority of onboard electronics operated on direct current. The lineage of early Soviet airliners could be traced directly to the Tupolev Tu-16 strategic bomber and Tu-134 carried over the glass nose for the navigator and the landing gear fitted with low-pressure tires to permit operation from unprepared airfields.

In 1968, Tupolev began work on an improved Tu-134 variant. The fuselage received a 2.1 meter (6 ft 10 in) plug for greater passenger capacity and an auxiliary power unit in the tail. The upgraded D-30 engines now featured thrust reversers which replaced the cumbersome parachute. The first Tu-134A, converted from a production Tu-134, flew on 1969-04-22. The first commercial flight was on 1970-11-09.

A total of 852 Tu-134s have been built and the type is still in widespread use in Russia and other ex-Soviet countries. It has also found a new life as a business jet with many having an expensive business interior. With introduction of new ICAO noise regulations, Tu-134s have been effectively banned from much of the European airspace due to the noisy D-30 engines dating back to the 1960s.


The glass nosed version. The first series could seat up to 64 passengers, and this was later increased to 72 passengers. The original designation was Tu-124A.
Second series, with uprated engines, improved avionics, seating up to 84 passengers. All A variants have been built with the distinct glass nose and chin radar dome, but some were modified to the B standard with the radar moved to the nose radome.
The glass nose was replaced.
Second series, powered by two uprated Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines.
Most recent version.
Second series, 80 seats, radar moved to the nose radome, eliminating the glazed nose. Some B models have long-range fuel tanks fitted under the fuselage; these are visible as a sizeable bulge.
Seating for up to 96 passengers.
Space shuttle work model.
Cosmonaut training version.
Tupolev Tu-160 aircrew trainer.
Navigation trainer with Tu-22M radar in the nose.
Crop survey version.

Civil operators (past and present)

Adjarian Airlines, Aeroflot, Aeroflot-Don, Aeroflot-Nord, Aeroflot-Plus, Aero Rent, Air Baltic, Air Koryo, Air Lithuania, Air Moldova, Air Ukraine, Alania, Albanian Airlines, Alrosa, Armavia, Armenian Airlines, Astrakan, Astral, Atlant Soyuz, Atyrau Airways, Aurela, Aviaprima, AVL Arkhangelsk, Azerbaijan Airlines, Aviogenex, Balkan Bulgarian, Bashkirian Airlines, Belair Belarussian, Belavia, Benin Gulf Air, Black Sea Airlines, Cheboksary, Chernomorskie Airlines, CSA, Dagestan Airlines, Donavia, Egyptair, Enkor, Estonian Air, Gazpromavia, Georgian National, Gomelavia, Harka Air, Hemus Air, Interflug, Iraqi Airways, Kaliningradavia, Karat, Kazair West, Kharkov Air, Kirov Air, KMV, Kolavia, Kolkov Air, Komi Avia, Kyrgyzstan Airlines, Lat Charter, Lithuanian Airlines, LOT, Malev, Marsland Aviation, Moscow Airways, NAPO, Orbi Georgian, Orenburg Airlines, Orient Avia, Perm Airlines, Polet, Progress, Pulkovo, Rossija, Rusline, Samara Airlines, Sibaviatrans, Syrianair, Tajikistan Airlines, Tatarstan Air, UM air, UT air, UTAGE, Vietnam Airlines, Volga Aviaexpress, Voronezh Avia, Yamal Airlines, Yukos Avia

Military operators

Angola, Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, Kazakstan, Moldova, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Ukraine.

Source: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tu-134".

Tu-134 Specifications

Crew: 3-4
Capacity: 72-84 passengers
Payload: 8,200 kg (18,075 lb)
Length: 37.10 m (121 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 29.00 m (95 ft 1 in)
Height: 9.02 m (29 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 127.3 m? (1,370.24 ft?)
Empty weight: 27,960 kg (61,640 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 47,600 kg (104,940 lb)
Powerplant: 2? Soloviev D-30-II turbofans, 66.68 kN (14,990 lbf) each
Fuselage diameter: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Fuel capacity: 13,200 L (3,485 US gal)
Maximum speed: 900 km/h (485 knots, 559 mph)
Cruise speed: 750 km/h (405 knots, 466 mph)
Range: 1,900 km (1,025 nm, 1,180 mi)
Ferry range: 3,500 km (1,890 nm, 2,175 mi)
Service ceiling: 11,900 m (39,040 ft)

Tu-134 Videos

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