Tupolev TU-154

Tu-154 is a medium-range jet passenger liner developed in the USSR in the 1960s. The most massive Soviet passenger plane, which was the main workhorse for civil transportation until the end of the first decade of the 21st century.


The obvious obsolescence of Tu-104, An-10 and Il-18 aircraft, especially against the backdrop of the appearance of new airliners from foreign countries, gave impetus to the development of a new aircraft for medium-haul flights. The development of the liner began at the Tupolev Design Bureau in 1963.

In 1968, the prototype made its first flight, and a year later was demonstrated at the Le Bourget air show. In 1970, in Kuibyshev (now Samara), serial production began at the aircraft factory number 18 (now Aviakor). Transportation began in 1971.

The initial operation showed that the aircraft requires further modernization, therefore, after two years, the Tu-154A modification was ready for production.

In the period from 1975 to 1981, the plane went through another wave of modernization. The changes affected the airframe, wing, avionics, and cabin capacity. The new modification was named Tu-154B.

In 1984, the Tu-154M modification entered mass production. On this machine for the first time more economical D-30 engines were installed.

In the period from 1970 to 1998, 918 family aircraft were built. Since the mid-2000s, airlines began the gradual withdrawal of the Tu-154, unable to compete with more economical aircraft manufactured by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 (the fuel consumption of the D-30 was almost double that of the main engine of Western cars – CFM56).

On February 19, 2013, the serial production of the Tu-154 was discontinued – the Aviakor plant officially transferred the last aircraft to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Tu-154 is built according to the aerodynamic design of the free-bearing low-wing with swept wing and T-tail. Three engines are located at the rear of the fuselage: two on the pylons and one inside the fuselage with the S-shaped duct leading up. A similar scheme, which was very popular at that time in aviation, provided a significant increase in comfort and reduced noise inside the cabin, but it was not without the main disease of the scheme – shadowing of the wing engines at high angles of attack, which increased the risk of a sharp loss of thrust and falling into a tailspin.

The landing gear is three-post. The wing of the caisson construction is equipped with all the basic elements of mechanization: slats, flaps, spoilers, and ailerons. In the back of the fuselage, the APU is also located to provide power when the engines are stopped.


  • Tu-154: The first generation of Tu-154, produced in the period 1968-1969. Equipped with NK-8-2 engines. The passenger cabin accommodated 164 people. 49 units were manufactured.
  • Tu-154A: On the Tu-154A modification, additional fuel tanks were installed in the center section, emergency exits were added. The engines were modernized. Also, the aerodynamic properties of the wing were improved, take-off weight increased to 94 tons. A total of 63 aircraft were manufactured.
  • Tu-154B: In 1975, a version with a reinforced wing structure – Tu-154B – went into production. An additional fuel tank was installed in the fuselage of the aircraft, emergency exits in the tail were also added. Take-off weight was 98 tons. A total of 105 units were manufactured. Later versions of B-1 and B-2 appeared.
  • Tu-154M: Deep modernization of the Tu-154B-2. Commercial operation began in 1984. On the Tu-154M were installed more economical engines D-30. Together with the improvement of the aerodynamic properties of the wing and fuselage, this gave a significant increase in fuel efficiency and allowed to increase the flight range. The maximum take-off weight increased to 104 tons. This modification, in the end, was made until 2012.


  • Type medium-range passenger aircraft
  • Power plant three double-circuit turbojet engines D-20KU-154 of 11000 kgs each
  • Maximum number of passengers 180 people
  • Practical ceiling 12 100 m
  • Flight range 3,500 km
  • Maximum take-off weight 104 t
  • Cruising speed 900 km / h
  • Wingspan 37.55 m
  • The wing area is 202 square meters. m
  • Length 47.9 m
  • Height 11.4 m
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.