Conceived as a follow-on development of the Tu-16 jet bomber, the Tu-134 is a regional jet airliner that has enjoyed a long and productive career. Alexander Mladenov and Krasimir Grozev report
Inspired by the French-made Sud Aviation Caravelle, the Tu-134 was developed because of an order by the Soviet Communist Party leader, Nikita Khrushchev. During a 1960 visit to France, Khrushchev was given a demonstration flight on the Caravelle and was particularly impressed by the smooth and comfortable ride thanks to the tail-mounted jet engines. This method of installing the engine meant much less noise in the cabin and virtually no vibration. Shortly after his return to the Soviet Union, Khrushchev met aircraft designer Andrey Tupolev and asked him to use the Caravelle design layout on his next passenger jet model.