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Tu-154 Careless - Development

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Tupolev organization introduced a new generation of strategic bombers, among them the Tu-22, the Tu-22M (both known by NATO as "Backfire"), and the Tu-160. These were in addition to several civilian passenger aircraft such as the 160-passenger Tu-154. Similar to the Boeing 727, the Tu-154, a multi-engine jet aircraft with a range of approximately 2,500 miles, was originally designed as a medium range passenger aircraft and has been in service since the late 1960s.

At the beginning of the 1960s gas-turbine airliners Il-18, Tu-104, and An-10 excluded piston-engined aircraft from the trunk lines of Aeroflot. The speed of aviation travel grew considerably (at that time the slogan was "twenty-four hours train, hour by aircraft"). However, the presence of three different aircraft of one class caused complexities with operations. Aeroflot required an airliner capable of replacing all three machines. It had to connect their merits, but not have their deficiencies. Taking into account an increase in the volume of transportation, the capacity of the new machine had to increase to 140-160 passengers.

These requirements were feasible, because of the appearance of successful bypass jet engines. At the beginning of the 1960's, the Soviet Union began to develop turbofan engines for civilian use. The first generation (1960-1970) included the D-20P (used on Tu-124), D-30 (used on Tu-134), and NK-8-2U (used on Tu-154). The second generation (1970-1980) included the- D-30KU (used in Il-62M and Tu-154M) and NK-86 (used in I1-86).

Direct task for the creation of this aircraft it was not, but on the future medium-haul aircraft was declared the competition, in which, besides OKB AN Tupolev, participated the associations of OKB S.V.Ilyushina, A.S. Yakovlev and O.K Antonov. Il'yushin's OKB-240 proposed the design of three-engine aircraft with three D-30 engines (projects Il-72 and Il-74) on the basis of the Il-62. Tupolev's OKB-156 first attempted to finish Tu-104, then presented completely new project Tu-154. The schematics of machines both KB resembled the previously flown HS-121 Trident and Boeing 727. Between them they were characterized by engines, Tupolev's project was calculated under the NK-8-2, Il'yushin under D-30. There is an opinion that the Il'yushin project was better, but Tupolev inclined the customer to his side. Others said the Tu-154 most fully satisfied the requirements of the newest achievements of aviation science and technology and satisfied the requirements of operation for the 1970s and 1980s.

However that may be, the realization of the Tu-154 project was accepted by decision of the USSR #647-240 dated August 24, 1965, on which OKB charged to design and to construct medium-haul passenger aircraft Tu-154 with three turbofan bypass engines of the type NK-8-2 with the takeoff thrust 9500 kG. The series production of aircraft was intended to develop at the Moscow plant #30, but into the consequence a series was transmitted to the plant #18 KuAZ in Kuybyshev. Model commission for aircraft in December 1965 took place. All coordination interdepartmental questions thus far were solved, in the experimental production the production of the first experiment aircraft began.

The TU-154 became the first project of passenger airliner produced by the Tupolev Design Bureau, in which basis no military prototype was laid. As is known, the first Tupolev's passenger aircraft with the gas turbine engines Tu-104 and Tu-114 were created on the base of constructive solutions of jet combat aircraft Tu-16 and Tu-95. All this was good for the second-half of the 50th years and with the large assumption for the first half of the 60's. In the 60's increasingly more persistent to the newly projected passenger aircraft, including by our, began to be advanced ever more and more stringent requirements on the economy of passenger transportation. To satisfy new requirements, relying on the development and the technical solutions, placed in the construction ten - fifteen years ago, were already heavy. Therefore in OKB they approached the design of new passenger aircraft, using all the experience, accumulated by firm in the past years in the course of designing the previous jet liners of OKB. In contrast to them the program of the creation of the new medium-haul passenger aircraft, which received designation Tu-154, became for the association of [tupolevtsev] the program of the creation of the first passenger aircraft, even the distantly not had military prototype.

Development was led by D.S. Markov and S.M. Jager. Work on the project began in 1963 substantially simultaneously with TU-144. Efforts were focused on reaching maximal efficiency of the aircraft. Aircraft Tu-154 was projected with the preliminary study of the assumed needs for a similar aircraft from the side of domestic and foreign to the next 15-20 years. Originally in the design of aircraft it was intended to introduce the large number of technical innovations, which made it possible to construct the aircraft, which substantially exceeds the existed passenger of the aircraft of this class, from many parameters, including on the economic effectiveness. It was assumed that Tu-154 it must replace by the lines the immediately three main aircraft: Tu-104, Il-18 and An-10. Simultaneously was posed the problem of creating the aircraft, which is not inferior from its parameters to that building in the USA Boeing 727 - aircraft to close one in the concept and the designation to Tu-154.

Building prototype and aircraft for the static tests was conducted from 1967 at the experimental plant #156 (from the second-half of the 1960s Machine Building Plant "Experience"). In the experimental production were in 1968 built two first aircraft Tu-154: one for the flight tests, the second for the static tests. The first flight of experimental aircraft Tu-154 aircraft (USSR-85000) took place on October 3, 1968. Machine raised into the air the craft commander Yu.V.Sukhov, copilot N.N.Kharitonov, and flight engineer V.I.Evdokimov. After a short stage of plant tests, the aircraft was transmitted to joint testing.

Simultaneously since the beginning of the tests Tu-154 occurred preparation and development of the series production of aircraft in Kuybyshev the aircraft factory #18. Assembly of the Tu-154 was projected according to the Tu-134 pattern. Pre-series copies appeared in 1968, series into 1970. The first series machines began to fly in 1970, after becoming the practically pre-series aircraft, which participated in the joint testing. In spite of serious difficulties, KuAZ within a comparatively short time worked it in accordance with the results of joint and running tests. In year began the running tests of pre-series aircraft on "Aeroflot's lines". The retraining of crews to the new type of passenger aircraft began simultaneously. Running tests were conducted already on six production aircraft. At the end of plant tests, the aircraft was transmitted into the Vnukovo aircraft enterprise for official tests. New main aircraft Tu-154 entered into Vnukovo at the end 1970.

On May 15, 1971 began the technical flights from Vnukovo for transportation of mail - to Simferopol', Sochi, Mineral'nye Vody, Tbilisi. The first serial machine took-off in 1970. On February 5, 1972 the minister of civil aviation B.P. Bugaev gave out permission to the transportation of passengers. To "Aeroflot's routes" the liner left at the beginning of 1972. The first regular flight with passengers on board a TU-154 was made from Moscow to Mineral'nye Vody on 9 February, 1972.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:23:46 ZULU