Tu-154 Tupolev’s Trijet Airliner

The Tupolev Tu-154 trijet was a workhorse of Aeroflot in the 1970s and 1980s. In the years after the fall of the Iron Curtain the type remained in widespread commercial service worldwide. Alexander Mladenov and Krassimir Grozev tell the story of the popular Soviet-era jet airliner.

One of the most colourful schemes worn by the Tu-154 was that of S7 Airlines. Tu-154M RA-85829 flew with the carrier from 2005-2008.
AirTeamImages.com/Artoym Anikeev

The Tupolev Tu-154 was conceived in the late 1960s, when Aeroflot operated three dif erent airliner types to serve its mid-range routes of 540nm to 1,620nm (1,000km to 3,000km). These comprised the Tu-104 jet in addition to the Antonov An-10 and Ilyushin Il-18 turboprops. The airline’s new concept called for a single jet-powered type to replace all these aircraft, transporting up to 140 passengers over 1,620nm (3,000km).

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