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Tu-104 Camel Variants / Tu-107 Camel

Early versions of the TU-104 were, apparently, somewhat primitive, and suffered from various systems reliability problems (among which included occasional painful pressurization issues) as well as a very short time between the overhaul of most engine components. But the aircraft improved considerably with the development of later TU-104-A and -B versions some of which remained in service well into the 1980's.

During the batch production, Tu-104 was repeatedly modified and modernized: AM-3 engines were replaced with more powerful and reliable RD-3, RD-3M and RD-3M-500 engines; modifications with an increased passenger capacity were prepared for production; the equipment, mainly flight and navigation as well as radio and communication, was constantly updated. All this made it possible to maintain the fleet of Tu-104 at the modern level throughout the life cycle of the aircraft.

A total of 202 TU-104 aircraft were built in 50, 75 and 100 passenger versions. The aircraft was successfully operated until the 1980s when it was finally replaced by more advanced machines. TU-104 prototype performed its maiden flight in June 1955 and in autumn next year the TU-104 aircraft was operated on regular routes leaving behind its west analogs by 1.5 to 2 years. The TU-104 became beyond all questions a success of native aircraft industry, a success of Tupolev design Bureau. Operation of this aircraft by the Civil Air Fleet was finished in the late 1970s, in Defense Ministry structures - in the 1980s. Besides the USSR the aircraft was supplied to Czechoslovakia. 26 world records were established with TU-104 a/c.

Tu-104 The first serial 50-seat version of the aircraft was produced from 1955 to 1957, 29 aircraft were built.

Tu-104A. 70-seat modification of the aircraft, produced from 1957 to 1959, 80 aircraft were built, six aircraft of this modification were delivered to Czechoslovakia, where they were operated for several years. The tests of improved aircraft were completed in 1957. Now Tu-104 could take 70 passengers on board. Together with reworked layout of cabin several changes were made to fuel system, navigation and flight instruments.

Tu-104 2NK-8 In the 1960s, the project of re-equipment of the Tu-104 fleet (simultaneously with Tu-16) was considered for NK-8 engines.

Tu-104AK Flying laboratory for training astronauts in conditions of short-term exposure to weightlessness. Two airplanes were converted - airborne vehicles No. 46 and No. 47 were red, based at the Chkalovsky airfield.

Tu-104A-TS The conversion of serial machines into transport and sanitation (conversion into the ranks was envisaged in the design of base aircraft). There are two aircraft known: CCCP-42360 (Khabarovsk detachment GA) and VVS-ovsky side 48 (red) (air Chkalovsky). The latter was used for a short time as a truck and was adapted for training cosmonauts of the type Tu-104AK.

Tu-104B. In 1958 Tu-104's cabin layout was redesigned once again. Several different layouts gave the liner capacity of 100-115 passengers, maximum commercial load was substantially increased. Due to greater takeoff weight engines got emergency thrust setting and the area of flaps were enlarged. The 100-seat modification of the aircraft with an extended fuselage and unchanged mechanization of the wing, were produced from 1958 to 1960, 95 aircraft were built, during operation they were converted into Tu-104B-115 for 115 passenger seats and for new navigation and aerobatic and radio equipment. On 15 March 1959 Northern Aviation Authority's passenger flight under No. 42419 by a Tu-104b jet made history, signifying the start of regular jet flights. From then on, the aircraft fleet would be quickly augmented with new plane makes and navigation equipment.

Tu-104B-TS The conversion of serial machines into transport and sanitation (conversion into the ranks was envisaged in the design of base aircraft). Six machines: CCCP-L5412, CCCP-42468, CCCP-42479, CCCP-42482, CCCP-42494, CCCP-42496, were all based in Tolmachev .

Tu-104V, E. Later bureau attempts further development of Tu-104B to increase payload and takeoff characteristics, but a series of accidents and probably a lack of production capacities prevented new versions from entering service after completion of tests.

Tu-104Sh. A few airframes were converted to carry radar and weapon control systems of Tu-16 and Tu-22 bombers. These machines were used as flying school-desk for bomber crews. Additionally several test programms were undertaken with the use of Tu-104Sh.

Tu-104V Unrealized serial project for 117 passengers.

Tu-104V Part of the Tu-104A aircraft, converted by GVF forces into 100-105-local aircraft.

Tu-104B-115 Redesign of Tu-104B for 115 places.

Tu-104G and Tu-104D Salon options for the aircraft.

Tu-104D-85 Converting the Tu-104A to 85 seats.

Tu-104D 3NK-8 One of the first projects of the Design Bureau for the Tu-154, which was based on the design of the Tu-104, adapted for a new power plant.

Tu-104E Experimental modification of the aircraft for more economical engines RD-16-15 (thrust of 11,300 kg) and with changes in the design of the airframe and aircraft systems. Two aircraft were built.

Tu-104LL Tu-104 CCCP-42326, converted into a flying laboratory for the MiG design bureau, for the development of the Zaslon complex, air-to-air missiles, and others. It was operated until 1977, and then transferred to the radio test site of the Flight Research Institute. Gromova (Zhukovsky / Ramenskoye ). Tu-104Sh The conversion of two serial Tu-104s into a navigational training airplane for the preparation of navigators for Tu-16 missile carriers. Tu-104Sh 05K was operated in the 43rd pulp-and-paper plant and DA plc in Ryazan. Tu-104 SH CCCP-42330 belonged to the Pacific Fleet. The aircraft featured a long nose radome antenna radar "EN" from Tu-16K-10.

Tu-104SH-2 The conversion of two serial Tu-104s into a navigational training aircraft for the preparation of navigators for Tu-22M-Tu-104Sh-2 CCCP-42347 and Tu-104Sh-2 CCCP-42342. Externally, they were distinguished by a long nose cone from the EH radar, but the PNA radar was installed, the 015-T optico-television bomb sight, the navigation complex NK-45 with the Orbita BCMM, the winged missile supports. The aircraft were re-equipped at the 20th ARZ in Pushkin.

Tu-104 "repeater" Used for testing Tu-144.

Tu-107 Camel

The Tu-107 was an experimental military transport version of the Tu-104. Tu-107 was a cargo transport version built in 1958. It was able to carry light artillery, armored vehicles or up to 70 paratroopers. The passenger cabin was replaced with an unpressurized cargo bay heated by hot air from the engines. A cargo door was installed beneath the tail part of fuselage. Only one Tu-107 was built. In 1965 it carried paratroopers to the height of 14,400 meters to set a world record.

The second half of the 1950s was the era of Khrushchev's acceleration. The Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, the course to meet the growing needs of working people, etc. Such were the aspirations and the general mood of the people. Aviation, especially civil, as an integral part of the national economy, certainly did not stand aside.

The Congress determined to increase passenger transportation by 3.8 times and, of course, as always, in the shortest possible time. And the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1955 entrusted the main design bureau, traditionally engaged in the creation of large aircraft (Ilyushin, Tupolev), as well as Antonov Design Bureau, to develop large trunk liners equipped with gas turbine engines. This was actual, because it became clear that existing aircraft with piston engines could no longer cope with the growing freight and passenger traffic.

And on the part of the top management, it sounded the idea that it would be nice to make a universal airplane for the national economy , which can be used both in passenger and cargo versions (primarily as a military transport aircraft). Universality would save a lot of money that could be used to develop other sectors of the national economy.

But, as for universality, then there were problems, quite, in general, natural. A.N. Tupolev as a transport offered a modification of the 104th - the Tu-107. However, according to its characteristics, it was still far from fulfilling the specific tasks of transporting goods (including large-size cargoes), landing troops, etc. Therefore, the case further than the construction of the prototype in 1958 did not go.

As for S.V. Ilyushin, he refused to create a universal aircraft, commenting on his refusal (according to some sources) with the following specific words: "A universal airplane is like a duck. She knows how to walk, swim, fly, and everything is bad. I will not do such a plane."




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