On the 9th of February 2012 the Tu-154 aircraft celebrates its 40th maiden regular passenger flight anniversary. Tu-154 is the most popular passenger jet Russian aircraft.
While creating Tu-154 the designers took into account the needs of fast-developing civil aviation and wide possibilities of the aircraft updating. Tu-154 used all advanced theory and practice of Russian aircraft industry, met the requirements of innovative aircraft science and technology.
The powerful design, technology base and valuable experience were gained during the post-war period under designing, testing, developing and operating of the first passenger jet aircraft. In the mid-1960s all that made it possible for «Tupolev» specialists to build the aircraft exceeding several types of native passenger aircraft by its parameters and complex characteristics and capable to replace all of them in operation in the decades ahead.
The maiden Tu-154 regular passenger flight was carried out on February 9, 1972 on Moscow — Mineralnye Vodi route. The flight was made by captain E. I. Bagmut, first officer A.V. Alimov, navigator V.A. Samsonov and flight engineer S.S. Serdyuk. Two months later – on the 2nd of April 1972 the airplane was launched into operation on international airlines.
In the mid-1980s the substantial portion of passengers was carried by Tu-154. Tu-154 performed flights along the routes connecting practically all large cities of the USSR, during summer time the aircraft became the basic tourists and vacationers «carrier» to the southern cities of our country. Tu-154 aircraft performed flights into more than 80 cities of Europe, Asia and Africa and was repeatedly demonstrated at various exhibitions and air shows.
From the start of its operation Tu-154 aircraft fleet amounts to 25 million flight hours, 12 million landings and 1.5 billion passengers.
For the time being «Aviakor» JSC (Samara) manufactured more than 930 units of Tu-154, about 200 of them are exported to 15 different countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, German Democratic Republic (now FRG), Iran, China, KDPR, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and other countries.
The Tu-154M modification is the most successful version designed under A.S. Shengardt leading. Due to new more cost-efficient engines as well as the improvement of local aerodynamics and power plant, aircraft economic figures were considerably improved.
The long-term Tu-154 operational experience under various weather conditions at different maintenance levels confirmed its high operational reliability and good performance.
On the 9th of February 2012 at «Tupolev» JSC (Science and Technology Council hall) the solemn event in honor of the 40th anniversary of the maiden Tu-154 flight was held. The enterprise’s employees and veterans who participated directly in legendary passenger aircraft development were awarded during the ceremony.