Russian air companies have ceased regular passenger flights of the Tu-134. However, the aircraft is still in operation for cargo transportation and as a business jet. On 20 May 2019, the Soviet narrow-body airliner Tu-134 made its last regular passenger flight in Russia. Alrosa was the last air company in the country to operate two of these jet airliners on passenger routes in Siberia in recent years. Syria, Sudan and North Korea remained the only Tu-134 operators with regular passenger flights worldwide. In 2002 the airliner was banned from international traffic. According to the new ICAO noise standards, the Tu-134 was deemed too noisy.
The Tu-134 is a short-haul passenger liner that was first flown in 1963. TU-134 was born thanks to the first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Nikita Khrushchev. During a trip to France, he was interested in the Caravelle aircraft, which, compared to Soviet liners, had a low noise level in the cabin. Returning to his homeland, Khrushchev met with Tupolev and shared his observations. Passenger jetliner Tu-134 turned to be one of the most successful projects in the passenger aircraft engineering. It left its mark in the history as the most widespread aircraft which performed the vast majority of passenger short-haul transportations.
The salon is equipped with large round portholes and 3 toilets. Chairs are arranged according to the 2 + 2 scheme. TU-134 can take on board from 80 to 96 passengers and carry them over a distance of 2,100 km.
With 854 planes built, the Tu-134 was one of the most mass-produced airliners in the USSR. It was widely exported to the Warsaw Pact countries. The initial Tu-134 design was based fairly closely on the Tu-124, and for a time was designated the Tu-124A. It has been designed and first built to replace the regional airplane called Tu-124. And the first take-off the new jet has made in 1963 under the name Tu-124A. In 1965 the plane was renamed as Tu-134, and one year later its serial production has been started at Kharkov Aviation Plant. Tupolev decided to reconfigure the aircraft to feature rear fuselage mounted engines and a T-tail, resulting in the new designation. This aircraft was developed from the previous Tu-104 and Tu-124 models, the most important difference were the two jet engines mounted at the back of the aircraft and the "T" shaped tail.
The Tu-134 was the first Soviet airliner to be certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which permitted it to be used on international routes. For many years the Tupolev Tu-134 was the standard short haul jet airliner in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. The TU134 was the first Soviet passenger airliner which was certified to Western standards of airworthiness. TU134 aircraft entered history of Russian civil aviation as the most popular aircraft. The shortrange jet aircraft TU134 became one of the most successful projects in passenger aircraft building. The aircraft proved its reliability, acceptance of any operational conditions and long track of accident free operations with Aeroflot and many other airliners in Russia and foreign countries. Tu-134 can fly almost into any airport in Russia and CIS country.
From the moment of its commissioning it had been used by the Aeroflot almost on all commercial directions in Eastern and Western Europe, except Madrid and Lisbon. Tu-134, piloted by the crew under command of A. S. Gavrilov, has made its first international flight from Moscow, Sheremetyevo airport, to Stockholm on September 12, 1967.
This airplane operated on internal airlines of Russia, in CIS countries, in Northern Africa, Middle East and Couth-Eastern Asia. The JSC "Aeroflot - Russian Airlines" has been using this plane primarily for the flights toSt.-Petersburg, Volgograd, Perm, Kiev, Kaliningrad, Astrakhan, Minvody, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Dnepropetrovsk, Riga, Samara, Sochi, Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-na-Donu, Krasnodar, Tyumen, Kazan, Minsk, Simferopol. Such a huge popularity and wide industrial use of this plane have been based on its simplicity in operation, ease of piloting and sufficient comfort for passengers. East German "Interflug" airline (1968) and later the "LOT" (Polish airlines) were the first foreign airlines to acquire the Tu-134. Upon adoption of the Chapter 3 of the Appendix 16 of the ICAO, which has toughened noise and other emissions related requirements to the aircraft, the door to Europe for the Tu-134 has been closed.
The first serial Tu-134 powered by the D-30 engines flew into the sky in 1966. In September of 1967, the first flight with passengers on board was performed en-route Moscow-Adler. Since that time, the active use of this outstanding winged machine started. With regard to the noise and vibration level in the passenger cabin, Tu-134 remained the most comfortable liner for many years. As most Russian aircraft of that time, the Tu-134 could not compete against western models because of the inefficiant engines. As of 2005 several hundred of TU134 aircraft were still in operation in Russia and abroad. This model is still used by several Eastern European and Russian airlines in small numbers, but the days of this aircraft are coming to its end even there. Tupolev is busy with upgrading of the aircraft, extending service life, providing with advanced airborne equipment and avionics. VIPclass modernization is very popular.
For the entire history of the Aeroflot the company operated the fleet of over 600 Tu-134 vehicles. The average volume of passenger traffic by Tu-134 airplanes from total amount of all passengers served by Aeroflot, was 7-9%. For the period from 1995 through 2007 the Tu-134 airplanes have delivered to their destinations by charter and regular flights more than 6.3 million passengers, almost 18 thousand tones of cargo. According to some estimates, for the entire period of their operation these airplanes have carried over 10 million passengers and more than 30 thousand tones of post and cargo.
The Tu-134 was always praised for its reliability and outstanding technical characteristics. Unlike many modern jets, it can take off and land safely in a strong crosswind of 20 m/s and headwind of 30 m/s. Tu-134 airplanes maintenance and ensuring of their compliance with flight safety standards, as well as regular technical servicing, have been made by the ATC ATK of Aeroflot. And within the entire time of these airplanes operation they have been subjected to constant modernizations, including enhancing of in-flight resources, installation of new on-board equipment and avionics. Customized airplane of this type with VIP passenger cabin was extremely popular.
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