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Tu-134
Tu-134 of Aviogenex in 1982
Role Airliner
Manufacturer Tupolev
First flight 29 July 1963
Introduced September 1967
Primary users Aeroflot
Soviet Air Force
Produced 1966-1984
Number built 852 (850 + 2 prototypes)
Developed from Tupolev Tu-124

The Tupolev Tu-134 (NATO codename: 'Crusty') is a Soviet twin-engined airliner, similar to the American Douglas DC-9. One of the most widely used aircraft in the former Warsaw Pact countries, its number in active service is decreasing because of noise restrictions. The model has seen long-term service with some 42 countries, with some European airlines having made very intense use of the 134 (as many as 12 takeoffs and landings per plane daily). In addition to regular passenger service, it has also been used in various airforce, army and navy support roles; for pilot and navigator training; and for aviation research and test projects. In recent years, a number of planes have been converted for use as VIP transportation. A total of 852 Tu-134s were built (of all versions, including research/test bed examples) with Aeroflot as the largest user: by 1995, the Tu-134 had carried 360 million passengers for that airline.

Contents

Design and development

Following the introduction of engines mounted on pylons on the rear fuselage by the French Sud Aviation Caravelle, airliner manufacturers around the world rushed to adopt the new layout. Its advantages included clean wing airflow without disruption by nacelles or pylons and decreased cabin noise. At the same time, placing heavy engines that far back created challenges with the location of the center of gravity in relation to the center of lift, which was at the wings. To make room for the engines, the tailplanes had to be relocated to the tail fin, which had to be stronger and therefore heavier, further compounding the tail-heavy arrangement.

Tu-134 SSSR-65600 (00-02)
Tu-134 SSSR-65600 (00-02)
Tu-134 SSSR-65600 (00-02)
The first tested Tu-134 prior to series SSSR-65600 (00-02) with 2 x D-20P-125 Soloviev engines (14 August 1965 Kharkov)

During a 1960 visit to France, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was so impressed by the quiet cabin of the Caravelle, that on 1 August 1960 the Tupolev OKB received an official directive to create the Tu-124A with a similar engine arrangement. In 1961, the Soviet state airline, Aeroflot, updated its requirement specifications to include greater payload and passenger capacity.

The first Tu-124A prototype, SSSR-45075, first flew on 29 July 1963. Then, on 22 October 1963, the British BAC One-Eleven, which had a similar layout, crashed with the loss of all crew. The aircraft had stalled shortly after takeoff and entered pitch-up: The high-mounted tailplane became trapped in the turbulent wake produced by the wings (see deep stall), which prevented recovery from the stall. Tupolev took notice and the tailplane on Tu-124A was enlarged by 30% for greater control authority. Since Aeroflot's requirements dictated a larger aircraft than initially planned, the Soloviev design bureau developed the more powerful D-30 low-bypass turbofan engines. On 20 November 1963, the new airliner was officially designated Tu-134.

Design curiosities of the Tu-134 included a sharp wing sweepback of 35 degrees, compared to 25-28 degrees in its counterparts. The engines on early production Tu-134s lacked thrust reversers, which made the aircraft one of the few airliners to use a brake parachute for landing. The majority of onboard electronics operated on direct current. The lineage of early Soviet airliners could be traced directly to the Tupolev Tu-16 strategic bomber, and the Tu-134 carried over the glass nose for the navigator and the landing gear fitted with low-pressure tires to permit operation from unpaved airfields.

In 1968, Tupolev began work on an improved Tu-134 variant. The fuselage received a 2.1 m (6 ft 10 in) plug for greater passenger capacity and an auxiliary power unit in the tail. The upgraded D-30 engines now featured thrust reversers, replacing the cumbersome parachute. The first Tu-134A, converted from a production Tu-134, flew on 22 April 1969. The first airline flight was on 9 November 1970.

Operational history

In September 1967, the Tu-134 made its first scheduled flight from Moscow to Adler. The Tu-134 was the first Soviet airliner to receive international certification from the International Civil Aviation Organization, which permitted it to be used on international routes.

The type is still in widespread use in Russia and other former Soviet countries, but high fuel and maintenance costs limit the number used today. 69 Tu-134 have been destroyed in accidents and wars, 35 of these were non-fatal incidents, and in one of the remaining 34 fatal incidents none inside the plane died. The Tu-134 has also found a new life as a business jet with many having an expensive business interior. With the introduction of new ICAO noise regulations, Tu-134s have been effectively banned from much of European airspace due to loud D-30 engines dating back to the 1960s.

The largest fleet of Tu-134 still exists in Russia (146 of about 230 planes of this model). In March 2007 the Russian Minister of transportation Igor Levitin claimed that Tu-134s (as well as Tu-154s) are old and obsolete and should be replaced by Sukhoi Superjet 100 or its foreign analogues within five years.

Variants

Tu-134
The glass nosed version. The first series could seat up to 64 passengers, and this was later increased to 72 passengers. The original designation was Tu-124A.
Tupolev Tu-134A with its radar and glass nose
Tu-134A
Second series, with upgraded engines, improved avionics, seating up to 84 passengers. All A variants have been built with the distinct glass nose and chin radar dome, but some were modified to the B standard with the radar moved to the nose radome.
Tu-134A-2
The glass nose was replaced.
Tu-134A-3
Second series, powered by two uprated Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines.
Tu-134A-5
Most recent version.
Tu-134B
Second series, 80 seats, radar moved to the nose radome, eliminating the glazed nose. Some B models have long-range fuel tanks fitted under the fuselage; these are visible as a sizeable bulge.
Tu-134BV
Space shuttle work model.
Tu-134LK
Cosmonaut training version.
Tupolev Tu-134 UBL
Tu-134UBL
Bomber aircrew training version.
Tu-134UBK
Naval version of Tu-134UBL. Only one was ever built.
Tu-134BSh
Navigation training version, fitted with a Tu-22M radar in the nose.
Tu-134SKh
Crop survey version.

Operators

Operators of the Tu-134 in red (countries without military operators in blue)
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Civil operators

As of 3 November 2009 a total of 114 Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft (all variants) remain in airline service. Major operators include:

 Armenia
 Kazakhstan
 Kyrgyzstan
 Moldova
 North Korea
 Russia
 Ukraine
 Syria

Former civil operators

 Soviet Union/ Russia
 Yugoslavia

Military operators

 Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Air Force
 Angola
People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola
 Belarus
Belarus Air Force
 Czech Republic
Czech Air Force. Retired.
 Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakian Air Force. Passed on successor states.
 Bulgaria
Bulgarian Air Force. Retired.
 Georgia
Georgian Air Force
 East Germany
East German Air Force
 Hungary
Hungarian Air Force
 Kazakhstan
 Moldova
Moldovan Air Force
 North Korea
North Korean Air Force
 Poland
Polish Air Force
 Russia
 Soviet Union
 Syria
Syrian Air Force
 Ukraine
Ukrainian Air Force

Accidents and incidents

  • 16 March 1978, a Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tupolev Tu-134 crashed on climb out from Sofia Airport near the village of Gabare, Bulgaria. All 73 on board died.
  • 11 August 1979, two Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 collided near Dneprodzerzhinsk. All 178 people on both planes were killed.
  • 10 January 1984, a Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Tupolev Tu-134 crashed on approach to Sofia Airport. All 50 people on board died.
  • 1 February 1985, airline: Aeroflot / Minsk, Belarus. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 58 out of 80 on board.
  • 2 July 1986, airline: Aeroflot / Syktyvar, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 54 out of 94 on board.
  • 19 October 1986. airline: Mozambican Presidential Jet, South Africa. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 34 out of 44 on board.
  • 20 October 1986. airline: Aeroflot / Kuybyshev, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 70 out of 94 on board.
  • 12 December 1986. airline: Aeroflot / Berlin, E. Germany. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 70 out of 82 on board.
  • 27 February 1988. airline: Aeroflot / Surgut, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 20 out of 51 on board.
  • 9 September 1988. airline: Vietnam Airlines (HKVN) / Bangkok, Thailand. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 76 out of 90 on board.
  • 13 January 1990. airline: Aeroflot / Pervouralsk, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 27 out of 71 on board.
  • 27 August 1992. airline: Aeroflot / Ivanovo, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 84 out of 84 on board.
  • 21 September 1993. airline: Transair Georgia / Sukhumi, Georgia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 27 out of 27 on board.
  • 5 December 1995. airline: Azerbaijan Airlines / Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan. Tupolev TU-134B, fatalities 44 out of 82 on board.
  • 3 September 1997. airline: Vietnam Airlines / Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tupolev TU-134, fatalities 65 out of 66 on board.
  • 24 August 2004. airline: Volga-Aviaexpress / Buchalki, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A-3, fatalities 43 out of 43 on board.
  • 17 March 2007. airline: UTair / Samara Kurumoch Airport, Russia. Tupolev TU-134A, fatalities 6 out of 57 on board.

Source: aircraft accident database[1]

Specifications (Tu-134A)

Data from OAO Tupolev[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3-4
  • Capacity: 72-84 passengers
  • Payload: 8,200 kg (18,075 lb)
  • Length: 37.10 m (121 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.00 m (95 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 9.02 m (29 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 127.3 m² (1,370.24 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 27,960 kg (61,640 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 47,600 kg (104,940 lb)
  • Powerplant:Soloviev D-30-II turbofans, 66.68 kN (14,990 lbf) each
  • Fuselage diameter: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Fuel capacity: 13,200 l (3,485 US gal)

Performance

See also

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

References

External links


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