The Tu-154, announced Spring 1966, was intended to replace the Tu-104, IL-18 and An-10 on medium/long stage lengths of up to 6,000km with 128/158-passenger. With a high lift wing and six-wheel bogie undercarriage it is able to operate from airfields with a class B surface, including packed earth and gravel 7,000 ft runways. Normal flight can be maintained after shutdown of any one engine. Single-engine flight is possible at a lower altitude.
The Tu-154 is a three-crew, three-engined jet, designed for medium to long-range operation up to 3700 statute miles, with a load capacity of 16-18 tons over 1800-3000 mile stage lengths. Its design is claimed to conform with ICAO, CAB and ARB, as well as Soviet, requirements. Its first test flight is expected in 1968, with entry into service in 1970.
The three NK-8-2 bypass engines, each of 21000 lb thrust give a cruising speed of 420-490 kt; reverse thrust is to be fitted. Cruise consumption at 36,000 ft is of the order of 0.58 1b/1b thrust. Engine TBO was expected to be 2 000-3 000 hours.
The cabin has a working pressure of 9 lb/sq.in. Cabin rate of change is regulated so as not to exceed 0.018 mmHg/sec (equivalent to 400 fpm at sea level). Hot or cold air can he fed to the cabin while on the ground. This is done by a small gas turbine which is also used for starting purposes and drives an alternator (40kVA) and a 1.2kW dynamo.
There were to be four versions of the aircraft. The first is the basic tourist variant with 49 seats in the front cabin and 104 in the rear; the second is the economy variant to take 164 passengers; a mixed version to take 24 tourist and 104 economy class passengers; and the freighter to take 20-25 tons (later 30 tons). The freight hold capacity will be 1596 cu.ft. The aircraft could also take the load in 13 containers, each of 64cu.ft capacity.
The seat layout will be: first-class, four seats per row, pitch 41 in; tourist-class, four seats per row, pitch 32 in; economy class, six seats per row, pitch 29.5 in (gangway 157 in).
The cabin height will be 82.7 in; the passenger entry doors measure 65 by 31.5 in and the freight doors 47 by 51 in.
The wing has 35 degrees sweepback, measured at 0.25 chord. It is fitted with slots over 80 percent of the span. There are triple slotted high efficiency flaps, and three spoilers on each side; the inner pair serve as air brakes and lift dumpers; the middle ones can be used in flight as air brakes and the outer ones can be used to decrease exposed aileron area. The slots can be controlled independently or be used in conjunction with the flaps. De-icing is by hot air bled from the engines for leading edge, fin and tailplane. The slots are electrically heated.
The main undercarriage legs each carry six wheels mounted in three consecutive pairs. The twin nose wheel is steerable up to 55 degrees either side.
The a.c. system is three-phase 3 by 200/115V. The source is three alternators of 3 by 40 kVA engine driven by means of a constant-speed hydraulic drive and with a constant frequency of 400 cycles ± 2 cycles. From this main source 28 V is also obtained. For the operation of the main gyro instruments there is an additional auxiliary circuit operated by two transformers of 115 V.
The instrumentation and navigational equipment of the aircraft will, in the first phase (1970) permit approach and landing with cloud base of 100 ft and 1300 ft visibility; in the second phase there will be full automatic landing facilities under nil visibility.
The hydraulic system is used for undercarriage operation and for the flying controls; there are three independent servo-mechanisms with automatic change-over. Each servo-mechanism has two hydraulic pumps giving a working pressure of 3 000 lb/sq.in.
The first of six prototype and preproduction models flew for the first time on 4 October 1968. The seventh Tu-154 was delivered to Aeroflot for initial route proving and crew training early 1971 between Moscow and Tbilisi. Mail and cargo flights began in May.
Regular services began 9 February 1972, over the 1,300km route between Moscow and Mineralnye Vody, in the North Caucasus. International services began with a proving flight between Moscow and Prague 1 August 1972.
Balkan Bulgarian took delivery of the first export Tu-154 in 1972, and went on to build up a mixed fleet of 25 B- and M-models by 1990. CSA Ceskoslovenske Aerolinie took delivery of seven Tu-154Ms between 1987 and 1990. The Czech Government bought six Tu-154B/Ms for VIP services.
The Tu-154M is a completely upgraded version, originally designated the Tu-164.
A freighter version has also been produced from earlier Tu-154 and Tu-154A airframes.
It quickly became the standard medium range equipment for most of the socialist countries, with over 850 in service by 1992; this number included about 750 with Aeroflot.
Empty weight, 86 420 lb
APS weight, 89 300 lb
Max fuel, 48 500 lb
Max. take-off weight, 173,000 lb (Later 187,500 lb)
Max. landing weight, 147,700 lb
Cruise, 477 kt
Mean operating Mach No., 0.9
Approach speed 119-125 kt
Range 173,000 lb, 477 kt., 36 000 ft. 1 hr res, 2 100 st. miles
Range 187,500 lb, 3,730 st. miles
Take-off distance 173,000 lb MSA, 4 400 ft
Landing distance (ICAO) at 60 tons, 4,760 ft
Landing distance (ICAO) at 66 tom 5,100 ft
Engines: 3 x Kuznetsov NK-8-2U turbofans, 102.9kN
Max take-off weight: 94000 kg / 207236 lb
Empty weight: 50775 kg / 111940 lb
Wingspan: 37.55 m / 123 ft 2 in
Length: 47.9 m / 157 ft 2 in
Height: 8.2 m / 27 ft 11 in
Wing area: 201.5 sq.m / 2168.93 sq ft
Cruise speed: 900 km/h / 559 mph
Range w/max.payload: 2750 km / 1709 miles
Engines: 3 x Rybinsk D-30KU-154II turbofans, 24,000 lb