The successful experience of Tu-104 airliner eploitation made it available to think about creation of short range jet liner. The work on the draft of new smaller version of Tu-104 began in 1958 under leadership of S.M. Yeger, D.M. Markov, L.L. Kerber, K.V. Minker, B.M. Kondorsky, I.B. Babin. The dimensions of the plane were to be 1/4 less that Tu-104 while twice reduced weight.
The reduction of dimensions permitted the use of the Solovjov D-20P turbojet engine. Starting in early 1950s the Company headed by Pavel Alexandrovich Soloviev (Mr.Shvetsov's successor) engaged in development of new gas turbine engines. Every individual engine of that time can be referred to as the first and the best. The D-20P engine which was installed on the Tu-124 aircraft in 1960 was the first Russian bypass turbojet.
The Tu-124 was originally designed in the late 1950's as a replacement for the prop-driven 11-18. Designed for operation from small fields, the Tu-124 had double-slotted trailing-edge flaps, upper surface spoilers, and a large air brake beneath the center section to steepen the glide path. The decision of the Council Minister No786-378 about creaation of new plane was issued on 18 July 1958. The double turbofan Soloviev D-20P, installed on these aircraft, were actually the first in the world like equip aircraft engines for small and medium-range. The Tu-124 appeared to be the first work on which the scale strength calculations method of A.M. Cheremukhin were applied. This reduced the development time significantly.
The trial planes were built in Moscow.The production was organized in Kharkov. The first plane was completed in 1960. Factory trials began 24 March 1960, and on 29 March 1960 the plane performed it's first flight. TU-124 had room for 44 passengers and was put into operation Aeroflot October 2, 1962. When the Tu-124 first appeared in Aeroflot service on November 10, 1962 it was the first short range transport to use a turbojet engine, preceding the first western short range turbojet by more than two years. In 1962 the Tu-124 was introduced on selected medium-range routes, which proved successful and economical. But the main production version was the 56-seat TU-124V. Among the options were Tupolev Tu-124K and-124K2 with passenger seats luxury for 36 and 22 respectively.
The plane was used up to the 1970s, when it began to be replaced by the Tu-134. One source reports that there were manufactured 110 civil liners and 55 planes for the Air Force. In military aircraft used for research and testing. The Tupolev website reports that the tootal output of TU-124 aircraft was 165 units, of which about 100 of which were given to civil aviation. The Tupolev website reports that the total output was 165 machines in TU-124 version intended for 44 passengers, TU-124B - for 56 persons, TU-124Sh - in version of attack trainer for Air Force, in "salon" versions. It says that 13 machines were exported (West Germany, Czechoslovakia, China, India, Iraq) mainly in "salon" version. The Tu-124 served with the fleets of Aeroflot, Interflug and CeskoslovenskÚ Aerolinie. The TU-124 aircraft was in operation up to the 1980s.
Based on the famous passenger aircraft Tu-124 Tupolev Design Bureau in a project designed to lift SVVP [vertical takeoff and landing] RD-36-35 engines. Lifting engines were to be placed in special gondola wing, tail and bow parts of the fuselage. The emergence of such an exotic project - the result of passions in the 1960's for the idea of passenger and military SVVP. However, poor economic and flight data SVVP, coupled with a huge risk in the operation, ruled out the creation of large passenger and transport SVVP.
- Tu-124 - serial variant with 44 seats
- Tu-124 - project for 48 or 52 seats
- Tu-124 - for 60 seats
- Tu-124V - serial variant for 56 seats
- Tu-124B - version with D-20P-125 engines
- Tu-124K - saloon version
- Tu-124 - VSTOL version
- Tu-127 - military transport
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