Tu-214: Support for Flagships

Tu-214: Support for Flagships

Photo: United Aircraft Corporation

The Tu-214 is one of the planes included in the record-breaking renewal of the Russian aircraft fleet till 2030. The aircraft is manufactured at Kazan Aircraft Factory n.a. S.P.Gorbunov – PJSC Tupolev branch (incorporated in Rostec’s United Aircraft Corporation). We’ll discuss below how the Tu-214 will help the Russian airlines to wait for commercial output of the MC-21 and SSJ-NEW.

Every sanction has its silver lining

In order to ensure normal development, any sector needs the necessary amount of continuous orders among all other components – new technologies, modernization of production, new human resources, etc. This is particularly so when it comes to complex areas such as civil aircraft engineering where long supplier chains and hundreds of stakeholders are involved.

Photo: United Aircraft Corporation

Despite the negative impact of sanctions and broken aviation links, the current internal market situation is favourable for the growth of domestic aircraft industry. It should be reminded that due to the sanctions in 2022, large manufacturers Boeing and Airbus halted aircraft and components deliveries to Russia, maintenance and support of Russian airlines were terminated.

Russian aircraft are climbing

The first news on what is expected to be used as a replacement for foreign Boeing и Airbus aircraft appeared as early as in spring 2022. These are primarily the latest flagships МС-21, SSJ-NEW and Il-114. Moreover, at the meeting concerning air transportation and aircraft engineering with participation of the President of the Russian Federation, an ongoing promising program was presented – Tu-214. At the same time, capacity expansion and launching of 20 planes of this type were declared.

Photo: United Aircraft Corporation

And finally, in September 2022, it was announced that Aeroflot group would receive 339 domestically produced aircraft till 2030:  210 МС-21s, 89 SSJ-NEWs and 40 Tu-214s. The corresponding agreement between Aeroflot and United Aircraft Corporation was signed on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum. This will be the major domestic aircraft fleet renewal in the contemporary Russian history.

And while preparation for commercial manufacture of the MC-21 and import substituted Superjet is still underway, the Tu-214 is already manufactured in small quantities and has a good track record in operation.

Tu-214: from special-purpose to civil aircraft

The Tu-214 is a medium-range narrow-body aircraft designed for 210 passengers. The plane made its first flight in 1996. This is a fully domestically-produced high-performance aircraft, which meets all current air transport requirements. Compared with the baseline Tu-204, the maximum takeoff weight (up to 110.75t) and maximum payload (up to 25.2t) have increased. In addition, the flight range has also increased – depending on the layout and configuration, the Tu-214 can fly up to 8500km. 

Today, the Tu-214s are used by airlines, including Russia special flight squadron and government agency aviation. Programs aimed at creation of various special-purpose aircraft modifications are being implemented. For example, on the basis of Tu-214, Tupolev in cooperation with Vega concern developed the Tu-214ONs that took part in the Open Sky international program.

Photo:  Papas Dos / wikimedia.org

It is important that from the very beginning the Tu-214 has been equipped with domestically produced PS-90A aircraft engines which were developed and are manufactured by UEC-Perm Engines.  These are proven and reliable power units whose improvement is continuously underway.

As agreed, the first Tu-214s are to be supplied to Aeroflot as early as in 2024. Thanks to these orders, the civil aircraft industry in Russia receives such wide opportunities for development and application of priceless knowledge of the domestic design school. And as has happened before, aircraft engineering will also pull up other industrial areas, social sector, education, etc.