In the mid-1980s, the operation of the new Tu-154 variant, equipped with more efficient engines, began. Received the designation Tu-154M, this aircraft was sold to many countries until the end of the Cold War, after which liners with even better fuel efficiency became available to airlines.
In 1982, the Tu-154C cargo plane was demonstrated – this option was obtained by reworking the already built Tu-154 and Tu-154A, a total of nine vehicles were modified. The main differences were the cargo door (2.80 m* 1.90 m) on the left side of the bow of the fuselage, dismantled trim, and the installation of a special cargo floor with live rolls. In the resulting cargo compartment with a volume of 72 m3, the aircraft could carry up to 20 tons.
The new Tupolev Design Bureau liner was announced in the early 1980s under the designation Tu-164, which was later replaced by the Tu-154M. By that time, about 600 Tu-154 early modifications had already been ordered, 500 of which were received by Aeroflot.
Therefore, such a serious modernization of the three-engine airliner already seemed somewhat belated, especially since the OKB was already considering options for creating a new aircraft, which later turned into the Tu-204. Although the new version was similar in appearance to its predecessor, except the large fairing in front of the horizontal tail, it was considered impractical to bring the already built cars to the Tu-154M standard.
Until the end of 2001, 320 Tu-154Ms were produced, and a total of 928 aircraft of all modifications were built. Options for the Tu-154M, which appeared in the 1990s, included the Tu-154-100 with an Aviacor interior (Iranian Air ordered 12 cars, which later refused to purchase), Tu-154M-LK1 (one aircraft for training astronauts) and Tu -154M-OH with side-view radar for observation flights under the Open Skies program. The release of the aircraft continued in the early years of the 21st century, although later some new aircraft with removed engines and other equipment were put into storage pending buyers. Tu-154 on the assembly line was gradually replaced by Tu-204. Various Tu-154 variants were delivered to airlines of USSR-friendly countries, including Balkan, Cubana, Malev, Tarom, LOT, CSA, Syrian air, CAAC, and Nicaraguan Aeronica. Among the latest operators, Iranian companies Iran Air Tours and Kish Air, constantly using the Tu-154 leased from Russian companies, can be mentioned.
All-metal low wing with swept wing and T-plumage, three twin-circuit engines in the rear.
Fuselage – all-metal using duralumin alloys, alloy steels, titanium. The inner surface of the casing, the elements of the frame, and the lower part of the fuselage are protected by anti-corrosion enamels, and places especially exposed to corrosion are protected by sealants.
On the port side there are three doors and three emergency exits, on the starboard side there is one door and two emergency exits. Doors open outwards. Two cargo hatches opening inwards. In the bow compartment of the equipment. Next crew cabin for 5 people. Then the passenger compartment. The layout depends on the modification and the operating airline, the number of seats is from 128 to 180. In each row there are 4 – 6 seats located three (or two) on the sides, between them there is a passage. Under the passenger compartment floor, luggage spaces, access to which is possible through hatches in the bow and middle of the fuselage.
The wing is an all-metal swept in terms of shape. The wing consists of a center section and two consoles. Power set in the form of a caisson – three spars, upper and lower panels between them and end ribs. Caissons are tight, are used as fuel tanks. Ailerons, slats, flaps, and spoilers are installed on the wing.
The engine – three turbojet dual-circuit engines Solovyov D-30KU-154-series 2 – 10,500 kgs in the rear. Central – inside the fuselage, the rest on the pylons on the sides of it. The central engine has an air intake with an S-channel. The fuel tanks in the wing caissons are three in the center section, two in the consoles, and the fuel supply is 39,750 kg.
Plumage – single-keel, swept T-shaped.
Chassis – tricycle, with a nose strut, retracted upstream. The nose rack retracts into a niche in the front of the fuselage, the main – in the gondola on the wing center section. There are two wheels on the bow rack, six on the main wheels, mounted on a trolley swinging in a vertical plane.
Management – irreversible steering hydraulic actuators connected by rigid wiring with pilots’ columns, pedals, and helms, as well as with servos of the ABSU-154 onboard control system.
Systems and equipment – three independent hydraulic systems with a working pressure of 210 kg / s, an alternating current power supply system. Air-thermal de-icers on the toes of the wing, keel and stabilizer, engine air intakes. Electrothermal de-icers on slats, cockpit lanterns. The NPK-154 navigation and flight complex with automatic driving along the tracks and approach in the first ICAO category .. On the Tu-154M, manufactured since the late 1980s, the Jasmine navigation and flight complex with the I-21 inertial system complete with ABSU-154-3 (approach by category 3A ICAO).
- Modification Tu-154M
- Wingspan, m 37.55
- Length, m 47.90
- Height, m 11.40
- Wing Area, m2 202.00
- Weight, kg empty airplane 54800; maximum take-off 100,000
- Internal fuel, l 47000
- Engine type 3 TRDD D-30KU-154
- Thrust, kgs 3 x 10500
- Cruising speed, km / h 900-950
- Range, km 5200
- Flight range with commercial load, km 3900
- Practical ceiling, m 10900
- Required runway length, m 2500
- Crew 3
- Payload: 158/180 passengers or 18,000 kg of cargo.