TU-154M

Friday 28/05. After struggle with aircraft classification in Niederrhein for a Tupolev 154, Bexx Air landed at 14.45 Local in the afternoon with an Tu-154M from Hemus Air. Great aircraft on a great airport!

 All Pics by: Ron Kellenaers

Short finals for runway 27.  Taxiing via TWY Delta and Sierra to stand number 4 on the apron.  Impressive uhh?  Waiting for some Pax.

Tupolev's Tu-154 tri-jet remains the standard medium range airliner on domestic flights in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union and to a lesser extent in eastern Europe and Iran.

The Tu-154 was developed to replace the turbojet powered Tupolev Tu-104, plus the An-10 and Il-18 turboprops. Design criteria in replacing these three relatively diverse aircraft included the ability to operate from gravel or packed earth airfields, to be able to fly at high altitudes above most Soviet Union air traffic, and good field performance. To meet these aims the initial Tu-154 design featured three Kuznetsov (now KKBM) NK-8 turbofans (which also powered the larger, longer range Il-62) giving a relatively good thrust to weight ratio, triple bogie main undercarriage units which retract into wing pods and a rear engine T-tail configuration.

The Tu-154 first flew on October 4 1968. The first production example was delivered to Aeroflot in early 1971, although regular commercial service did not begin until February 1972.

Three Kuznetsov powered variants of the Tu-154 were built, the initial Tu-154, the improved Tu-154A with more powerful engines and a higher max takeoff weight, and the Tu-154B with a further increased max takeoff weight. Tu-154S is a freighter version of the Tu-154B.

Current production is of the Tu-154M, which first flew in 1982. The major change introduced on the M was the far more economical, quieter and reliable Soloviev (now Aviadvigatel) turbofans. Low rate production continues. Meanwhile the proposed Tu-154M-2 with two PS-90A turbofans remains unbuilt.

 After one hour the Tup154M went back to Sofia again.  The Tupolev is a very noisy aircraft so it went quickly in a right turn after take off to avoid flying over the town of Nieuw Bergen.  Gear up and back to Sofia...  Smoke trials....  The way it should be!!!

Special thanks to: Solid Handling / Airport Niederrhein.