Tupolev Tu-154

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Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-154M RA-85643 Mishin-1.jpg
Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-154M in 2009
Role Narrow-body jet airliner
National origin Soviet Union and Russian Federation
Manufacturer Tupolev
Designer Tupolev Design Bureau
First flight4 October 1968;50 years ago (1968-10-04)
Introduction7 February 1972 with Aeroflot
StatusIn limited service
Primary users Russian Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
Air Koryo
Produced1968–2013 [1]
Number built1,026
Variants Tupolev Tu-155

The Tupolev Tu-154 (Russian : Tyполев Ту-154; NATO reporting name: "Careless") is a three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner designed in the mid-1960s and manufactured by Tupolev. A workhorse of Soviet and (subsequently) Russian airlines for several decades, it carried half of all passengers flown by Aeroflot and its subsidiaries (137.5 million/year or 243.8 billion passenger km in 1990), remaining the standard domestic-route airliner of Russia and former Soviet states until the mid-2000s. It was exported to 17 non-Russian airlines and used as a head-of-state transport by the air forces of several countries.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern Bloc. They provide unambiguous and easily understood English words in a uniform manner in place of the original designations, which either may have been unknown to the Western world at the time or easily confused codes. For example, the Russian bomber jet Tupolev Tu-160 is simply called "Blackjack".

Trijet aircraft propelled by three jet engines

A trijet is a jet aircraft powered by three jet engines. In general, passenger airline trijets are considered to be second-generation jet airliners, due to their innovative engine locations, in addition to the advancement of turbofan technology.


With a cruising speed of 850 kilometres per hour (530 mph) [2] the Tu-154 is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in use and has a range of 5,280 kilometres (3,280 mi). Capable of operating from unpaved and gravel airfields with only basic facilities, it was widely used in the extreme Arctic conditions of Russia's northern/eastern regions where other airliners were unable to operate. Originally designed for a 45,000 hour service life (18,000 cycles) but capable of 80,000 hours with upgrades, it was expected to continue in service until 2016, although noise regulations have restricted flights to western Europe and other regions.

Arctic polar region on the Earths northern hemisphere

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Northern Canada, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Land within the Arctic region has seasonally varying snow and ice cover, with predominantly treeless permafrost -containing tundra. Arctic seas contain seasonal sea ice in many places.

Noise regulation includes statutes or guidelines relating to sound transmission established by national, state or provincial and municipal levels of government. After the watershed passage of the United States Noise Control Act of 1972, other local and state governments passed further regulations.

In January 2010 Russian flag carrier Aeroflot announced the retirement of its Tu-154 fleet after 40 years, with the last scheduled flight being Aeroflot Flight 736 from Ekaterinburg to Moscow on 31 December 2009. [3]

A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given sovereign state, enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations. The term also refers to any carrier that is or was owned by a government, even long after their privatization when preferential rights or privileges continue.

PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, commonly known as Aeroflot, is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The carrier is an open joint stock company that operates domestic and international passenger and services, mainly from its hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Yekaterinburg City in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia

Yekaterinburg, alternatively romanised Ekaterinburg, is the fourth-largest city in Russia and the administrative centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast, located on the Iset River east of the Ural Mountains, in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the Asian side of the boundary between Asia and Europe. It is the main cultural and industrial centre of the oblast. In 2017, it had an estimated population of 1,488,791. Yekaterinburg has been dubbed the "third capital of Russia", as it is ranked third by the size of economy, culture, transportation and tourism. It is located about 1,420 kilometres (880 mi) to the east of Moscow.

Since 1968 there have been 39 fatal incidents involving the Tu-154, most of which were caused either by factors unrelated to the aircraft, incorrect maintenance, or by its extensive use in demanding conditions. Also, few of the Tu-154 accidents appear to have involved technical failure. [4] [5]


Tu-154 for Russian Ministry of Defence Manufacturing, 2009. One of several airframes built in the 1990s and left unsold Tu154-aviakor.jpg
Tu-154 for Russian Ministry of Defence Manufacturing, 2009. One of several airframes built in the 1990s and left unsold

The Tu-154 was developed to meet Aeroflot's requirement to replace the jet-powered Tu-104 and the Antonov An-10 and Ilyushin Il-18 turboprops. The requirements called for either a payload capacity of 16–18 tonnes (35,000–40,000 lb) with a range of 2,850–4,000 kilometres (1,770–2,490 mi) while cruising at 900 km/h (560 mph), or a payload of 5.8 tonnes (13,000 lb) with a range of 5,800–7,000 kilometres (3,600–4,300 mi) while cruising at 850 km/h (530 mph). A takeoff distance of 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) at maximum takeoff weight was also stipulated as a requirement. Conceptually similar to the British Hawker Siddeley Trident, which first flew in 1962, and the American Boeing 727, which first flew in 1963, the medium-range Tu-154 was marketed by Tupolev at the same time as Ilyushin was marketing the long-range Ilyushin Il-62. The Soviet Ministry of Aircraft Industry chose the Tu-154 as it incorporated the latest in Soviet aircraft design and best met Aeroflot's anticipated requirements for the 1970s and 1980s. [6]

Turbojet jet engine

The turbojet is an airbreathing jet engine, typically used in aircraft. It consists of a gas turbine with a propelling nozzle. The gas turbine has an air inlet, a compressor, a combustion chamber, and a turbine. The compressed air from the compressor is heated by the fuel in the combustion chamber and then allowed to expand through the turbine. The turbine exhaust is then expanded in the propelling nozzle where it is accelerated to high speed to provide thrust. Two engineers, Frank Whittle in the United Kingdom and Hans von Ohain in Germany, developed the concept independently into practical engines during the late 1930s.

Tupolev Tu-104 airliner

The Tupolev Tu-104 was a twinjet medium-range narrow-body turbojet-powered Soviet airliner. It was the second to enter in regular service, behind the British de Havilland Comet, and was the only jetliner operating in the world from 1956 to 1958, when the British jetliner was grounded due to safety matters.

Antonov An-10 four-engined turboprop airliner

The Antonov An-10 is a four-engined turboprop passenger transport aircraft designed in the Soviet Union.

The first project chief was Sergey Yeger; in 1964, Dmitryi S. Markov assumed that position. In 1975, the project lead role was turned over to Aleksandr S. Shengardt. [7]

The Tu-154 first flew on 4 October 1968. The first deliveries to Aeroflot were in 1970 with freight (mail) services beginning in May 1971 and passenger services in February 1972. There was still limited production of the 154M model as of January 2009 despite previous announcements of the end of production in 2006. [8] 1025 Tu-154s have been built, 214 of which were still in service as of 14 December 2009. [9] The last serial Tu-154 was delivered to the Russian Defense Ministry on 19 February 2013 [10] from the Aviakor factory, equipped with upgraded avionics, a VIP interior and a communications suite. The factory has four unfinished hulls in its inventory which can be completed if new orders are received. [11]


Tupolev Tu-154 Tupolev Tu-154.svg
Tupolev Tu-154

The Tu-154 is powered by three rear-mounted low-bypass turbofan engines arranged similarly to those of the Boeing 727, but it is slightly larger than its American counterpart. Both the 727 and the Tu-154 use an S-duct for the middle (Number 2) engine. The original model was equipped with Kuznetsov NK-8-2 engines, which were replaced with Soloviev D-30KU-154 in the Tu-154M. All Tu-154 aircraft models have a relatively high thrust-to-weight-ratio which give excellent performance, at the expense of lower fuel efficiency. This became an important factor in later decades as fuel costs grew.[ citation needed ]

The flight deck is fitted with conventional dual yoke control columns. Flight control surfaces are hydraulically operated.

The cabin of the Tu-154, although of the same six-abreast seating layout, gives the impression of an oval interior, with a lower ceiling than is common on Boeing and Airbus airliners. The passenger cabin accommodates 128 passengers in a two-class layout and 164 passengers in single-class layout, and up to 180 passengers in high-density layout. The layout can be modified to what is called a winter version where some seats are taken out and a wardrobe is installed for passenger coats. The passenger doors are smaller than on its Boeing and Airbus counterparts. Luggage space in the overhead compartments is very limited.

Like the Tupolev Tu-134, the Tu-154 has a wing swept back at 35° at the quarter-chord line. The British Hawker Siddeley Trident has the same sweepback angle, while the Boeing 727 has a slightly smaller sweepback angle of 32°. The wing also has anhedral (downward sweep) which is a distinguishing feature of Russian low-wing airliners designed during this era. Most Western low-wing airliners such as the contemporary Boeing 727 have dihedral (upward sweep). The anhedral means that Russian airliners have poor lateral stability compared to their Western counterparts, but also have weaker Dutch roll tendencies.

Considerably heavier than its predecessor Soviet-built airliner the Ilyushin Il-18, the Tu-154 was equipped with an oversized landing gear to reduce ground load, enabling it to operate from the same runways. The aircraft has two six-wheel main bogies fitted with large low-pressure tires that retract into pods extending from the trailing edges of the wings (a common Tupolev feature), plus a two-wheel nosegear unit. Soft oleo struts (shock absorbers) provide a much smoother ride on bumpy airfields than most airliners, which very rarely operate on such poor surfaces.

The original requirement was to have a three-person flight crewcaptain, first officer and flight engineer – as opposed to a four- or five-person crew, as on other Soviet airliners. It became evident that a fourth crew member, a navigator, was still needed, and a seat was added on production aircraft, although their workstation was compromised due to the limitations of the original design. Navigators are no longer trained and this profession is becoming obsolete with the retirement of the oldest Soviet-era planes.

The latest variant (Tu-154M-100, introduced 1998) includes an NVU-B3 Doppler navigation system, a triple autopilot, which provides an automatic ILS approach according to ICAO category II weather minima, an autothrottle, a Doppler drift and speed measure system (DISS), and a "Kurs-MP" radio navigation suite.[ citation needed ] A stability and control augmentation system improves handling characteristics during manual flight. Modern upgrades normally include modernised TCAS, GPS, and other systems (mostly American-made or EU-made).

Early versions of the Tu-154 cannot be modified to meet the current Stage III noise regulations and are no longer allowed to fly into airspace where such regulations are enforced, such as the European Union. However, the Tu-154M's D-30 engines can be fitted with hush kits, allowing them to meet noise regulations.


Aeroflot Tu-154A Aeroflot Tu-154A CCCP-85105 ZRH Jun 1977.png
Aeroflot Tu-154A
TAROM Tu-154B-1 Tupolev Tu-154B-1, Tarom AN0193531.jpg
TAROM Tu-154B-1
Chernomor-Avia Tu-154B-2 Chernomor-Avia Tupolev Tu-154B-2 Pashnin.jpg
Chernomor-Avia Tu-154B-2
Tu-154B-2 of Cubana Cubana Tupolev Tu-154B-2 Regis.jpg
Tu-154B-2 of Cubana
Uzbekistan Airways Tu-154M Tupolev Tu-154M, Uzbekistan Airways JP6144356.jpg
Uzbekistan Airways Tu-154M
Iran Air Tours Tu-154M Tupolev Tu-154M, Iran Air Tours JP6511800.jpg
Iran Air Tours Tu-154M

Many variants of this airliner have been built. Like its western counterpart, the 727, many of the Tu-154s in service have been hush-kitted, and some converted to freighters.

Tu-154 production started in 1970, and the first passenger flight was performed on 9 February 1972. Powered by Kuznetsov NK-8-2 turbofans, it carried 164 passengers. About 42 were built.
The first upgraded version of the original Tu-154, the A model, in production since 1974, added center-section fuel tanks and more emergency exits, while engines were upgraded to higher-thrust Kuznetsov NK-8-2U. Other upgrades include automatic flaps/slats and stabilizer controls and modified avionics. Max. takeoff weight – 94,000 kg (207,235 lb). There were 15 different interior layouts for the different domestic and international customers, seating between 144 and 152 passengers. To discern the A model from the base model note the spike at the junction of the fin and tail. This is a fat bullet on the A model, and a slender spike on the base model. [12]
As the original Tu-154 and Tu-154A suffered wing cracks after a few years in service, a version with a new, stronger wing, designated Tu-154B, went into production in 1975. It also had an additional fuselage fuel tank, additional emergency exits in the tail. Also, the maximum takeoff weight increased to 98,000 kg (216,053 lb). Important to Aeroflot was the increased passenger capacity, hence lower operating costs. With the NK-8-2U engines the only way to improve the economics of the airplane was to spread costs across more seats. [13] The autopilot was certified for ICAO Category II automatic approaches. Most previously built Tu-154 and Tu-154A were also modified into this variant, with the replacement of the wing. Maximum takeoff weight increased to 96,000 kg (211,644 lb). 111 were built.
Aeroflot wanted this version for increased revenue on domestic routes. It carried 160 passengers. This version also had some minor modifications to the fuel system, avionics, air conditioning, and landing gear. 64 were built from 1977 to 1978.
A minor modernization of Tu-154B-1. The airplane was designed to be converted from the 160 passenger version to a 180 passenger version by removing the galley. [14] The procedure took about 2 1/2 hours. Some of the earlier Tu-154Bs were modified to that standard. Maximum takeoff weight increased to 98,000 kg (216,053 lb), later to 100,000 kg (220,462 lb). Some 311 aircraft were built, including VIP versions. A few remain in service.
The Tu-154S is an all-cargo or freighter version of the Tu-154B, using a strengthened floor, and adding a forward cargo door on the port side of the fuselage. The aircraft could carry nine Soviet PAV-3 pallets. Maximum payload – 20,000 kg (44,092 lb). There were plans for 20 aircraft, but only nine were converted, two from Tu-154 models and seven from Tu-154B models. Trials were held in the early 1980s and the aircraft was authorized regular operations in 1984. By 1997 all had been retired. [15]
The Tu-154M and Tu-154M Lux are the most highly upgraded versions, which first flew in 1982 and entered mass production in 1984. It uses more fuel-efficient Soloviev D-30KU-154 turbofans. Together with significant aerodynamic refinement, this led to much lower fuel consumption hence longer range, as well as lower operating costs. The aircraft has new double-slotted (instead of triple-slotted) flaps, with an extra 36-degree position (in addition to existing 15, 28 and 45-degree positions on older versions), which allows reduction of noise on approach. It also has a relocated auxiliary power unit and numerous other improvements. Maximum takeoff weight increased first to 100,000 kg (220,462 lb), then to 102,000 kg (224,872 lb). Some aircraft are certified to 104,000 kg (229,281 lb). About 320 were manufactured. Mass production ended in 2006, though limited manufacturing continued as of January 2009. No new airframes have been built since the early 1990s, and production since then involved assembling aircraft from components on hand. [16] Chinese Tu-154MD electronic intelligence aircraft carry a large-size synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under their mainframe. [17]
Cosmonaut trainer. This was a salon VIP aircraft modified to train cosmonauts to fly the Buran reusable spacecraft, the Soviet equivalent of the US Space Shuttle. The Tu-154 was used because the Buran required a steep descent, which the Tu-154 was capable of replicating. The cabin featured trainee workstations, one of which was identical to the Buran's flightdeck. The forward baggage compartment was converted into a camera bay, as the aircraft was used to train cosmonauts in observation and photographic techniques. [18]
Tu-154M-ON monitoring aircraft
Germany modified one of the Tu-154s it inherited from the former East German Air Force into an observation airplane. This aircraft was involved with the Open Skies inspection flights. It was converted at the Elbe Aircraft Plant (Elbe Flugzeugwerke) in Dresden, and flew in 1996. After 24 monitoring missions, it was lost in a mid-air collision in 1997. [19]
The Russians also converted a Tu-154M to serve as an Open Skies monitoring aircraft. They used the Tu-154M-LK-1, and converted it to a Tu-154M-ON. When not flying over North America, it is used to ferry cosmonauts. China is believed [ according to whom? ] to have converted one Tu-154 to an electronic countermeasures aircraft. [20]
Design of this variant started in 1994, but the first aircraft were not delivered until 1998. It is an upgraded version with Western avionics, including the Flight Management Computer, GPS, EGPWS, TCAS, and other modern systems. The airplane could carry up to 157 passengers. The cabin featured an automatic oxygen system and larger overhead bins. Three were produced, as payment of debts owed by Russia to Slovakia. Three aircraft were delivered in 1998 to Slovak Airlines, and sold back to Russia in 2003. [21]
A Tu-154 converted into a testbed for alternative fuels. It first flew in 1988 and was used until the fall of the Soviet Union, when it was placed in storage.
Initial designation of the Tu-154M.
Proposed stretched version of Tu-154.
Proposed shortened version of Tu-154.


Current operators

Atlant-Soyuz Airlines Tu-154M Tupolev Tu-154 91A884, Gelendzhik RP28092.jpg
Atlant-Soyuz Airlines Tu-154M
Russian Air Force Tu-154B-2 Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M Naumenko.jpg
Russian Air Force Tu-154B-2
Slovak Government Flying Service Tu-154M OM-BYO Tu154 Slovak gvmt short final (8209917295).jpg
Slovak Government Flying Service Tu-154M
Azerbaijan Airlines Tu-154M AZAL Tupolev Tu-154M Osokin.jpg
Azerbaijan Airlines Tu-154M
Kyrgyzstan Government Tu-154M Kyrgyzstan Government Tupolev Tu-154M at Haneda Airport.jpg
Kyrgyzstan Government Tu-154M
Belavia Tu-154M Tupolev Tu-154M, Belavia AN0568807.jpg
Belavia Tu-154M
Bulgarian Air Charter Tu-154M Bulgarian Air Charter Tupolev Tu-154M JPTA.jpg
Bulgarian Air Charter Tu-154M
Stuttgart Airport Authority Tu-154B-2 Tupolev Tu-154B-2, Flughafen Stuttgart AN0691951.jpg
Stuttgart Airport Authority Tu-154B-2

As of August 2017, there are 44 [22] Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of all variants still in civil or military service. A 45th aircraft has been sighted flying with Air Kyrgyzstan in 2017, [23] but is not listed by the airline as part of its fleet. The remaining operators are: [24]

AirlineIn serviceNotes
Flag of North Korea.svg Air Koryo 2
Flag of Russia.svg ALROSA 1Last Russian passenger airline to operate this aircraft
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan 1
Flag of Russia.svg Federal Security Service 2
Flag of Russia.svg Gromov Flight Research Institute 1
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Liberation Army Air Force 12 [25] six of them are of ELINT versions with synthetic aperture radar [26] and six–eight of them are airliners
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Air Force 16
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs 4Operated for the government
Flag of Russia.svg Russian Navy 2
Flag of Russia.svg SibNIA named after S. A. Chaplygin1
Flag of Russia.svg Yuri A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center 1

In February 2011, all remaining Iranian Tu-154s were grounded after two incidents. [27] [28]

On 27 December 2016, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that it had grounded all of its Tu-154s until the end of the investigation into the December 2016 crash of a 1983 Tupolev Tu-154. [29] This was followed by the grounding of all Tu-154s in Russia. [30] The Tu-154 had crashed into the Black Sea just after takeoff from Sochi, Russia, on 25 December 2016 killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian Armed Forces. The Red Army Choir singers and dancers were en route to Syria to entertain Russian troops in the run-up to the New Year.

Former operators

Former civil operators

Flag of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  People's Republic of China
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia
Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Libya (1977-2011).svg  Libya
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  Macedonia
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
  • Government of Romania
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen

Former military operators

Polish military VIP transport Tu-154M Lux aircraft from the dissolved 36th Special Air Transport Regiment. This one crashed in heavy fog at Smolensk North Airport on April 10, 2010, killing all occupants, including the Polish President Republik of Poland Tu-154 101 (3182066383).jpg
Polish military VIP transport Tu-154M Lux aircraft from the dissolved 36th Special Air Transport Regiment. This one crashed in heavy fog at Smolensk North Airport on April 10, 2010, killing all occupants, including the Polish President
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Armenian Air Force
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Bulgarian Air Force One 154B retired 1988; one 154M retired April 2010, replaced by A319 CFM
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Cuban Air Force
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovak Air Force (passed on to successor states)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Czech Air Force (replaced by Airbus A319CJ)
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany
East German Air Force (passed on to FRG)
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
German Air Force (taken over from East Germany; one lost in mid-air collision, the other one sold)
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
Mongolian Air Force
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Polish Air Force – 1 Tu-154M was retired in 2011, 1 Tu-154M crashed in 2010.
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Soviet Air Force (passed on to successor states)
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
Military of Turkmenistan – two Tu-154B-2 retired
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Ukrainian Air Force
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Military of Uzbekistan

Incidents and accidents

Between 1970 and December 2016 there have been 110 serious incidents involving the Tu-154, [33] and 69 hull losses, 30 of which did not involve fatalities. [34] Of the fatal incidents, five resulted from terrorist or military terrorist action (two other wartime losses were non fatal), several from poor runway conditions in winter (including one in which the airplane struck snow plows on the runway), cargo overloading in the lapse of post-Soviet federal safety standards, and mid-air collisions due to faulty air traffic control. Other incidents resulted from mechanical problems (two cases prior to 2001), running out of fuel on unscheduled routes, pilot errors (including inadequate flight training for new crews), and cargo fires; several accidents remain unexplained.

The Tu-154 is described as having an average (or better than expected) safety record considering its length of service and heavy use in demanding conditions where other airliners are unable to operate. [5] On January 2, 2011, Russia's Federal Transport Oversight Agency advised airlines to stop using remaining examples of the Tu-154 (B variant) until the fatal fire incident in Surgut had been investigated. [35] Its operation in Iran ceased in February 2011 due to a number of crashes and incidents involving the type (almost 9% of all Tu-154 losses have occurred in Iran). This grounding compounded the effects of US embargo on civil aircraft parts, substantially decreasing the number of airworthy aircraft in the Iranian civil fleet. [36] In 2010 there were two fatal losses of the Tu-154 due to pilot error and/or weather conditions (a Polish presidential jet attempting a rural airfield landing in heavy fog, the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash, and a Russian-registered plane that suffered engine stall after a crew member accidentally de-activated a fuel transfer pump). Following these accidents, in March 2011 the Russian Federal Bureau of Aviation recommended a withdrawal of remaining Tu-154Ms from service. [37] In December 2010, Uzbekistan Airways also declared that it will cease to operate Tu-154s from 2011. [38]

On 27 December 2016, the Russian Defence Ministry grounded all Tu-154s in Russia pending investigation into the 25 December 2016 Tupolev Tu-154 crash which killed 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, an official Red Army Choir of the Russian Armed Forces. [29] [30]


DateTail numberAircraft typeLocationFatalitiesDescriptionRefs
19 February 1973CCCP-85023Tu-154 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Ruzyne International Airport 66/100 Aeroflot Flight 141 crashed 467 m (1,532 ft) short of the runway; the cause was not determined. [39]
7 May 1973CCCP-85030Tu-154 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Vnukovo Airport 0/6Force-landed during a training flight following loss of engine power and severe vibrations after the aircraft took off with the inner spoilers deployed. [40]
10 July 1974SU-AXBTu-154 Flag of Egypt.svg Cairo International Airport 6/6Stalled and crashed during a training flight. [41]
30 September 1975HA-LCITu-154A Flag of Lebanon.svg Beirut 60/60 Malév Flight 240 crashed in the sea on final approach in clear weather, allegedly shot down by one or two air-to-air missiles fired by either IDF or SDF forces. [42]
1 June 1976CCCP-85102Tu-154A Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg Bioko 46/46 Aeroflot Flight 418 crashed into a mountain on final approach; radar failure was blamed. [43]
1976CCCP-85020Tu-154 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Kiev 0Rough landing, written off. This aircraft is now in the Ukraine Government Museum of Aviation. [44]
2 December 1977LZ-BTNTu-154A Flag of Libya (1977-2011).svg near Benghazi 59/165 Crashed due to fuel exhaustion while searching for an alternate airport after diverting due to fog. The aircraft was leased from Balkan Bulgarian Airlines. [45]
23 March 1978LZ-BTBTu-154B Flag of Syria.svg near Damascus 4/4Crashed into high ground on final approach. [46]
19 May 1978CCCP-85169Tu-154B Flag of the Soviet Union.svg near Maksatikha 4/134Aeroflot Flight 6709 crashed in a field after all three engines failed after the flight engineer accidentally shut off the automatic transferring of fuel of the sump tank. [47]
30 June 1979P-551Tu-154B Flag of Hungary.svg Ferihegy International Airport 0A Choson Minhang charter flight stalled while landing due to pilot error. The right landing gear collapsed and the right wing hit the ground, sustaining damage to the wing structure. The aircraft was subsequently repaired and returned to service. [48]
1 March 1980CCCP-85103Tu-154A Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Orenburg Airport 0/161Landed hard and broke in two after the crew deviated from the glide path while on approach. [49]
8 July 1980CCCP-85355Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Alma-Ata 166/166 Aeroflot Flight 4225 stalled and crashed on climb out after entering a downdraft. This accident remains the worst in Kazakhstan. [50]
7 August 1980YR-TPHTu-154B-1 Flag of Mauritania.svg Nouadhibou Airport 1/168Ditched 300 m (980 ft) short of the runway. [51]
8 October 1980CCCP-85321Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Chita Airport 0/184Landed hard after coming in too high. [52] photo
13 June 1981CCCP-85029Tu-154 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Bratsk Airport 0Overran the runway on landing and broke in two. [53]
21 October 1981HA-LCFTu-154B Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Ruzyne Airport 0/81Malev Flight 641 crashed on the runway and broke in two after deploying the spoilers at low altitude following a too-high approach. [54]
16 November 1981CCCP-85480Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Norilsk Airport 99/167 Aeroflot Flight 3603 crashed 470 m short of runway due to overloading and crew error. [55]
11 October 1984CCCP-85243Tu-154B-1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Omsk Airport 4+174/179 Aeroflot Flight 3352 crashed after colliding with maintenance vehicles on the runway due to ATC error. ATC personnel received prison sentences of 12–15 years. This accident is the second deadliest in Soviet history and remains the deadliest on Russian soil. [56]
23 December 1984CCCP-85338Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Krasnoyarsk Airport 110/111 Aeroflot Flight 3519 crashed following double engine failure and in-flight fire. [57]
10 July 1985CCCP-85311Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Uchkuduk 200/200 Aeroflot Flight 7425 stalled and crashed due to crew errors and fatigue. This accident is the deadliest in Soviet history, the deadliest in Uzbekistan, and deadliest accident involving the Tu-154. [58]
21 May 1986CCCP-85327Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Domodedovo 0Deformation of fuselage due to crew errors during flight after the crew forgot to turn on the pitot heating system. [59]
18 January 1988CCCP-85254Tu-154B-1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Krasnovodsk Airport 11/143Broke in three following a heavy landing. [60]
8 March 1988CCCP-85413Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Veshchevo 9/84 Aeroflot Flight 3739 was hijacked by the Ovechkin family. [61]
24 September 1988CCCP-85479Tu-154B-2 Flag of Syria.svg Aleppo Airport 0/168Landed hard and left the runway after encountering light turbulence on approach. [62]
13 January 1989CCCP-85067Tu-154S Flag of Liberia.svg Roberts International Airport 0Overran runway and crashed following a rejected takeoff due to shifting cargo and overloading. [63]
9 February 1989YR-TPJTu-154B-2 Flag of Romania.svg Bucharest 5/5Crashed on takeoff due to engine failure during a training flight. [64]
20 October 1990CCCP-85268Tu-154B-2 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Kutaisi Airport 0/171Failed to takeoff and overran runway due to overloading and center of gravity problems; written off. [65]
17 November 1990CCCP-85664Tu-154M Flag of the Czech Republic.svg near Velichovky 0/6Force-landed following a fire in the cargo hold and broke apart on landing. [66]
23 May 1991CCCP-85097Tu-154B-1 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Pulkovo Airport 2+13/178Landed hard short of the runway, collapsing the right landing gear and broke apart after coming in too fast in rain. [67]
14 September 1991CU-T1227Tu-154B-2 Flag of Mexico.svg Benito Juarez International Airport 0/112Cubana Flight 464 landed too late and overran the runway due to pilot error and poor visibility. [68]
5 June 1992LZ-BTDTu-154B Flag of Bulgaria.svg Varna Airport 0/130Landed too late and overran the runway in bad weather. [69]
June 1992RA-85282Tu-154B-1 Flag of Russia.svg Bratsk Airport 0/0Burned out during refueling. A second Tu-154 (RA-85234) also burned out. [70] [71]
20 July 199285222Tu-154B Flag of Georgia.svg Tbilisi 4+24/24Failed to take off due to overloading and center of gravity problems, overran the runway, striking the localizer building, and ended up in a ravine. [72]
1 August 1992YA-TAPTu-154M Flag of Afghanistan.svg Kabul Airport 0/0Destroyed during a mortar attack. The aircraft had been parked at the airport for repairs following an incident three months earlier. [73]
5 September 1992CCCP-85269Tu-154B-1 Flag of Ukraine.svg Borispol Airport 0/147Emergency landing after the left main landing gear failed to extend. [74]
13 October 1992CCCP-85528Tu-154B-2 Flag of Russia.svg Vladivostok Airport 0/67Failed to take off and overran the runway due to overloading and center of gravity problems. [75]
5 December 1992CCCP-85105Tu-154A Flag of Armenia.svg Yerevan Airport 0/154Veered off the runway on landing after the pilot mistook the runway edge lights for the centerline lights. [76]
9 January 199385533Tu-154B-2 Flag of India.svg Indira Gandhi International Airport 0/165Indian Airlines Flight 840 crashed on landing after striking some installations next to the runway; the tail and right wing later separated and the aircraft came to rest upside down. The aircraft was leased from Uzbekistan Airways due to a pilot strike at Indian Airlines. [77]
8 February 1993EP-ITDTu-154M Flag of Iran.svg near Tehran 2+131/131 Mid-air collision. [78]
Unknown Su-24
22 September 199385163Tu-154B Flag of Georgia.svg Babusheri Airport 108/132 Shot down and crashed on the runway. The accident remains the worst in Georgia. [79]
23 September 199385359Tu-154B-2 Flag of Georgia.svg Babusheri AirportUnknownWritten off after suffering damage from mortar or artillery fire. [80]
25 December 1993RA-85296Tu-154B-2 Flag of Russia.svg Grozny Airport 0/172Nosegear collapsed after landing in bad weather. [81]
3 January 1994RA-85656Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg near Mamony 1+124/124 Baikal Airlines Flight 130 crashed after an in-flight fire that started in the number two engine, caused by a starter failure. [82]
6 June 1994B-2610Tu-154M Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Xian 160/160 China Northwest Airlines Flight 2303 broke apart in mid-air and crashed shortly after takeoff due to a maintenance error. The crash remains the worst in China. [83]
21 January 1995UN-85455Tu-154B-2 Flag of Pakistan.svg Karachi 0/117Failed to take off and overran the runway due to overloading. [84]
7 December 1995RA-85164Tu-154B Flag of Russia.svg near Khabarovsk 98/98 Khabarovsk United Air Group Flight 3949 crashed into a mountain following a loss of control after fuel was selected from the left wing tanks to counter a left wing-low attitude. [85]
29 August 1996RA-85621Tu-154M Flag of Norway.svg Operafjellet 141/141 Vnukovo Airlines Flight 2801 crashed into a mountain on final approach due to navigation errors. This accident remains the worst in Norway. [86]
13 September 199711+02Tu-154M Flag of Namibia.svg off Namibia 33/33 German Air Force Flight 074 collided in mid-air with a USAF C-141 due to pilot and ATC errors. [87] [88]
65-9405 C-141
15 December 1997EY-85281Tu-154B-1 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Sharjah 85/86 Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 crashed in the desert due to pilot error and crew fatigue. [89]
29 August 1998CU-T1264Tu-154M Flag of Ecuador.svg Quito 10+70/91 Cubana de Aviación Flight 389 failed to take off and overran the runway, crashing into a soccer field. Following problems before takeoff, the crew had forgotten to select the switches for the hydraulic valves of the control system. [90]
24 February 1999B-2622Tu-154M Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Ruian 61/61 China Southwest Airlines Flight 4509 lost control and crashed after incorrect nuts in the elevator control system fell off, due to improper maintenance. China removed the Tu-154 from service following this accident. [91]
4 July 2000HA-LCRTu-154B-2 Flag of Greece.svg Thessaloniki 0/76 Malév Flight 262 touched down wheels-up while landing and skidded on runway, but was able to take off and land normally after a go-around. [92]
4 July 2001RA-85845Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg Burdakovka 145/145 Vladivostok Air Flight 352 stalled and crashed on final approach due to pilot error. [93]
4 October 2001RA-85693Tu-154M Black Sea off Sochi78/78 Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 was accidentally shot down by an errant Ukrainian S-200 surface-to-air missile. [94]
12 February 2002EP-MBSTu-154M Flag of Iran.svg near Sarab-e Do Rah 119/119 Iran Air Tours Flight 956 struck a mountain on approach. [95]
20 February 2002EP-LBXTu-154M Flag of Iran.svg Mashhad International Airport 0Landed hard, suffering substantial damage. The aircraft was ferried to Vnukovo for repairs where the nose gear collapsed while the aircraft was being towed. The aircraft was written off and used for spare parts. [96]
1 July 2002RA-85816Tu-154M Flag of Germany.svg over Überlingen 2+69/69 Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 collided in mid-air with DHL Flight 611 due to errors of communication between instruction from ATC and Traffic collision avoidance system. [97] [98]
24 August 2004RA-85556Tu-154B-2 Flag of Russia.svg near Gluboki 46/46 Sibir Airlines Flight 1047 crashed after it was bombed in mid-air by a suicide bomber, along with a Tu-134 on the same day. [99]
22 August 2006RA-85185Tu-154M Flag of Ukraine.svg near Donetsk 170/170 Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612 stalled and crashed after the crew attempted to fly over a storm front. The aircraft entered turbulence and later stalled. The aircraft entered a flat spin and then struck the ground. [100]
1 September 2006EP-MCFTu-154M Flag of Iran.svg Mashhad International Airport28/148 Iran Air Tours Flight 945 suffered a mishap while landing, possibly due to a blown nosegear tire. The aircraft swerved off the runway. [101]
30 June 2008RA-85667Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg Pulkovo Airport 0/112The number one engine suffered an uncontained failure during takeoff and takeoff was aborted. The aircraft was parked at Pulkovo Airport after the incident and was broken up in August 2009. [102]
15 July 2009EP-CPGTu-154M Flag of Iran.svg near Qazvin 168/168 Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 lost control and crashed following an engine fire. [103]
24 January 2010RA-85787Tu-154M Flag of Iran.svg Mashhad International Airport0/170 Taban Air Flight 6437 crashed on landing after the captain declared a medical emergency due to a seriously ill passenger on board. The aircraft was leased from Kolavia. [104]
10 April 2010101Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg near Smolensk 96/96 Crashed on final approach in thick fog on an airfield without ILS. Polish President Lech Kaczyński and other high-ranking officials were on board and died in the crash. [105]
7 September 2010RA-85684Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg Izhma Airport 0/81 Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise Flight 514 made an emergency landing at a remote airfield after general electrical failure at 34,800 ft, overran the small runway and sustained minor damage with no injuries. In March 2011 it was flown back to Samara for structural inspection and rehabilitation. [106] [107]
4 December 2010RA-85744Tu-154M Flag of Russia.svg Domodedovo Airport 2/170 Dagestan Airlines Flight 372 made an emergency landing after two engines failed shortly after takeoff; full of fuel. Overran the runway and broke up into three. The accident investigation revealed that a crew member had mistakenly switched off a fuel transfer pump thereby causing fuel-starvation and subsequent engine flameout. [108]
1 January 2011RA-85588Tu-154B-2 Flag of Russia.svg Surgut International Airport 3/124 Kolavia Flight 348 caught fire while taxiing for takeoff. [109]
25 December 2016RA-85572Tu-154B-2 Flag of Russia.svg Black Sea, just off Sochi 92/92 Russian Defence Ministry flight crashed en route to Khmeimim, Syria, killing all 92 people (84 passengers and 8 crew members) on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian Armed Forces [110] [111]

Aircraft on display

CCCP-85020 at the Ukraine State Aviation Museum Kiev ukraine 1076 state aviation museum zhulyany (25) (5869577851).jpg
CCCP-85020 at the Ukraine State Aviation Museum
HA-LCR next to the airport fire station at Thessaloniki International Airport, in April 2018 Tupolev Tu-154 HA-LCR at Thessaloniki - 2018-04-30 - Andy Mabbett - 01 (cropped).jpg
HA-LCR next to the airport fire station at Thessaloniki International Airport, in April 2018


[ citation needed ]

Cockpit crew5(Tu-154B)-3(Tu-154M) [112]
Seating capacity114–180
Length48.0 metres (157 ft 6 in)
Wingspan37.55 metres (123 ft 2 in)
Wing area201.5 square metres (2,169 sq ft)
Height11.4 metres (37 ft 5 in)
Cabin width3.58 metres (11 ft 9 in) [113]
Maximum take-off weight98,000 kilograms (216,000 lb)100,000 kilograms (220,000 lb)102,000 kilograms (225,000 lb)104,000 kilograms (229,000 lb)
Empty weight50,700 kilograms (111,800 lb)55,300 kilograms (121,900 lb)
Maximum speed913 km/h (M 0,86) [114]
Range fully loaded2,500 km (1,300 nmi; 1,600 mi)5,280 km (2,850 nmi; 3,280 mi)
Range with max fuel3,900 km (2,100 nmi; 2,400 mi)6,600 km (3,600 nmi; 4,100 mi)
Service ceiling12,100 metres (39,700 ft)
Engine (x 3) Kuznetsov NK-8-2U Soloviev D-30KU-154
Max. thrust (x 3)90 kN (20,000 lbf) each [115] 103 kN (23,148 lbf) each [115]
Max. fuel capacity47,000 litres (10,000 imp gal; 12,000 US gal)49,700 litres (10,900 imp gal; 13,100 US gal)

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

Related Research Articles

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