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Tu-204 / Tu-214

In 1974, when the IL-86 widebody project was becamlmed, the Soviet Union decided to buy 30 L1011s from Lockheed, and wanted to build up to 100 per year. The deal was vetoed by various parts of the US government for various reasons. The Soviets were by this time already in possession of actual Lockheed L1011 documentation, and decided to go ahead with their own version of the plane. Tupolev, Antonov, Yakovlev, TANKT Beriev, and even Myashishchev were invited to prepare proposals for the project.

Tupolev's L1011 clone widebody passenger aircraft was to be called the Tu-204. This Tu-204 would use high-bypass turbofan engines from Lotarev, and seat between 350 and 400 people. It included some fairly distinctive Tupolev passenger aircraft features. If the engines had matched their prospective performance targets (these engines eventually became the Ivchenko-Progress D-18Ts used on the AN-124) the aircraft would have had a range similar to that of the L1011-500. Tupolev believed that the aircrafat would enter service with Aeroflot in the late 1980s, but it did not, and the unused designation was re-cycled.

TU-204 is a mid-range aircraft for 210 passengers; it was designed as the whole aircraft family incorporating passenger, cargo, cargo-passenger and quick-change aircraft. It complies completely with Russian and European Airworthiness standards, characterized by low operational cost, state-of - the - art interior, low noise level, low fuel consumption. The aircraft is powered by PS-90A and RB211-535E4 engines. High aerodynamic efficiency of airframe combined with efficient wing extendible devices ensures efficient and safe cruising flight and landing at low speeds. Serial production is arranged at the largest Russian Aircraft Manufacturing Corporations in Ulianovsk and Kazan.

Tourist class and business class compartments are provided with passenger seats of improved design according to layout 3+3, 2+2. First class compartments are provided with comfortable seats according to layout 2+2 with seat pitch equal to 810 mm. Passenger cabin can be divided into compartments according to class with removable bulkheads and curtains. Compartments are illuminated by reflected light. Hidden luminescence lights located over and under overhead bins along sides create uniform and comfortable illumination. Overhead bins for passenger baggage and coats are of closed type. Volume of baggage overhead bins per one passenger makes 0.052 m3.

In 1994 certificate for TU-204 aircraft with PS-90A engines was issued. Each next certification is intended for extension of estimated operational conditions and improvement of aircraft Type Design. That's why in each certification only differences are certified.

The first lot of five TU-204-200 (TU-214) aircraft was put in a serial production in second half of 1994. The TU-204-200 is supplied with equipment, similar to the equipment used on base model of TU-204. It is possible to install the system of satellite radio communication SAT-906 and planes collision alarm system (TCAS).

The Kazan aircraft manufacturing plant (KAPO) in Tatarstan, a republic within the Russian Federation, formerly produced the Tu-22, Tu-160 and Il-62. According to a 1996 resolution adopted by the Russian government, KAPO carried out the maiden flight of a long-range (7,000km) 212-passenger version of the Tu-204-200 airliner (designated the Tu-214 by KAPO). Thanks to this program, several thousand workers that were laid off or sent on leave without pay after the ending of Tu-160 production would go back to work.

The following aircraft were in serial production:

  • TU-214 (KAPO named after S.P.Gorbunov)
  • TU-204-100 ("Aviastar-SP")
  • TU-204-120 ("Aviastar-SP")
  • TU-204-300 ("Aviastar-SP")

Everything is available in single units, therefore the production cost is very high, and the end products often do not meet the specifications. Mass production of a long-haul airliner Tu-204-300 that went through all the tests and has been certified had never commenced as of 2013.

In mid-2009 the newly created United Aircraft (UAC) decided which programs to advance and which to drop. The struggling Tu-204 was continued, but would be withdrawn as the MS-21 came to market. Perhaps the most sensitive issue was spare parts. The absence of intra-industry competition enables manufacturers to dictate terms that leads to a simple aircraft and entails an increase in the cost of maintaining their airworthiness. "Rapid wear of equipment" summarizes the topic. This leads to greater demand for spares and repair parts. However, the poor quality and long-term component manufacture leads to a shortage of a number of positions. Delivery of separate parts, such as valves, three months after receipt of advance payment, leaving the impression that its production begins with the extraction of ore.

TU-204 Variants

The baseline variant is a 210 passengers layout. Combined layout variant (including first class and tourist class compartment; business-class and tourist class; first class, business class and tourist class) designed for 164-193 passengers as per customer request. AP-25 Russian Airworthiness Rules are harmonised with JAR-25 and FAR-25 Requirements. All aircraft of TU-204/214 family meet existing requirements of Chapter 3 ICAO noise and emission standards, and will meet Chapter 4 ICAO standards after the effective date.

  • TU-204 is a basic version with 210 tourist-class seat layout. The aircraft is powered by PS-90A engines. It was certified in 1994.
  • TU-204C is a certified TU-204 cargo version with a big cargo ramp and 27t cargo capacity.
  • TU-204P is a military ASW version. In 1995 the Defense Ministry made a decision about freezing the scientific research and experimental design work on the Beriev A-40 Albatros and beginning the development of new antisubmarine aircraft on the base of the already transmitted into the series production passenger Tu-204. It was assumed that Tu-204P it will be maximally standardized with the base all-passenger layout (which it was planned to let out by a large series), which will substantially lower operating costs. It seemed that the history A-40 on this ended. In subsequent five years only a few Tu-204 were produced, and the Tu-204P project was frozen. In 2005 funding was discontinued for programs to create machines Tu-204P and A-40 "Albatros" (the latter in the development of Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex Berieva, started back in 1983).
  • TU-204-100 is a TU-204 aircraft version with a flight range extended up to 7000km. It is certified against Russian Airworthiness Standards. TU-204-100 aircraft was certified to Russian standards NLGS-3 and completely meets ICAO noise and emission requirements.
  • TU-204-120 is a TU-204 aircraft version powered by RB211-535 Rolls-Royce engines. The aircraft was certified in 1997.
  • TU-204-120C is a TU-204-120 cargo version certified in 1998.
  • TU-204-120CE is a TU-204-120 cargo version. In 2004 it was certified against AP-25 Russian Airworthiness Rules. It is scheduled to deliver five TU-204-120CE aircraft to China operators and to certify them to JAR-25 in 2005-2006.
  • TU-204-300 is a TU-204-100 aircraft version designated to carry 162 passengers in tourist class over 9000km range. TU-204-300 aircraft is characterised by high fuel efficiency, range and profitability. It was scheduled to complete the aircraft certification against AP-25 Russian Airworthiness Rules in 2004. Within the certification test program, in October 2004 TU-204-300 aircraft performed non-stop flight on route Moscow-Vladivostok-Moscow and showed compliance with all declared specifications. TU-204-300 with PS-90A engines is a mid-range passenger aircraft is intended to carry passengers, luggage and cargo on domestic and international trunk routes of 500 to 8500 km long. The airliner was built on the basis of TU-204-100 aircraft and represents the continuation of TU-204/214 aircraft family. TU-204-300 aircraft performed its maiden flight 18 August, 2003. The aircraft is produced in series at ":Aviastar-SP" Closed Stock Company in Ulianovsk. Opposite to TU-204-100 the TU-204-300 aircraft has a shortened fuselage (by 6 m) and increased fuel reserve. Set of equipment was updated. Improved comfort level of the cabin helps the passengers to withstand long flights. Maximal payload is cut down to 18000 kg at increased flight range. Baseline layout of passenger cabin - three-cabin configuration is offered in three versions: 157 passenger economy class seats version; 155 passenger economy class seats version; two-class version for 142 passenger seats. Mixed version of 142 passenger seats cabin provides 8 business-class sets (seat pitch is 1050 mm) and 134 passenger seats in economy class (seat pitch is 810 mm).

The Tu-224 (alternatively Tu-204-320) and Tu-234 (alternatively Tu-204-300) were announced 1994 as trunk route versions of the Tu-204 with shorter fuselage. Short-range and mid-range models seat 166 passengers, long-range model for 99 to 160 passengers. The Tu-224 had Rolls Royce RB211-535E4 engines and the Tu-234 had Russian PS-90P 158.3 kN (35,580 lb st) engines.

Prototype Tu-234 (rebuild of original Tu-204 prototype RA-64001) rolled out on 24 August 1995 at Moscow Air Show, but had not flown by mid-2000. First production aircraft (RA-64026, built by Aviastar at Ulyanovsk) rolled out, minus engines, in mid-1996; fitted with PS-90s in early 2000 and first flew 8 July 2000 (ahead of prototype). Tu-234C cargo version planned. First Tu-224 was RA-64503.

Such airplanes as the Il-96, Tu-204 and Tu-214 were developed in the Soviet era, but fifteen years after the Soviet Union's breakup they were being produced in tiny numbers. The only exception is the version of the Tu-204-120 with a Rolls Royce engine and Honeywell onboard equipment.




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