Tupolev Tu-104

Tupolev Tu-104

After the creation of the long-range Tu-16, which is a missile-carrying bomber, Tupolev's design bureau received a task to build a reactive passenger liner Tu-104 (1953 year). Engineers from the OKB did not waste time designing the new fuselage, but simply began to create it based on the bomber already done. Already in 1954, a sketch variant was created, and in June the Council of Ministers of the country sent a resolution to the Design Bureau for the design of the first ever Tu-104 passenger jet. It was planned to install two engines produced by Mikulin Design Bureau - AM-3M-500. According to the technical data, the aircraft must have at least 50 passenger seats, the cargo being transported - 1250 kg, the maximum speed of the flight is up to 1000 km / h, and the flight distance is not less than 3500 km.

Tupolev Tu-104

Of the military prototype, the new project did not borrow all the layouts. In particular, the crew cabin, engine nacelles, chassis and tail unit, wing and flight-navigation equipment without military lotions were copied. A whole new way to create a fuselage (has become more capacious due to re-equipment) and an air intake of engines. At the design of the KB threw the best professionals, the pace of the robots was very fast. Thanks to this, in December of 54 the state commission approved a model. The following year, in March, the first experimental car was built at KhAZ (Kharkov Aviation Plant). Since 17 June on 12 October factory tests have been conducted, after which immediately passed to the state.

1956 year was very significant for the Tu-104. In May, he enrolled at the disposal of civil aviation and the aircraft first took to the sky as the shuttle in September 15. 1-th flight - Moscow - Omsk - Irkutsk. The period of time spent on the plane from the creation to the first flight of the trip, was 3 years. This fast paced asked not only because of the need for such a unit, but also due to held the "cold war."

The Tu-104 was less than forty meters in length, less than 12 in height. The wingspan was larger than that of a jet bomber — 34,5 m, cruising speed — 800 km / h, and the range exceeded 2700 km. At the same time the maximum ceiling reached 12 thousands of meters. The aircraft is unique: if the empty weight is 41 600 kg, then the maximum loading with the presence of a full tank, filled passenger seats and a full luggage compartment - 76 000 kg.

Tupolev Tu-104

There were also negative sides. The comfort of the flight for passengers was not the best. At high altitude (10 000 m) the pressure was equal to 0,45 atm. Therefore, for the safety of the passengers themselves, an airtight partition was installed between the cabin and the flight deck. Also used individual instruments oxygen supply. After additional testing, the engineers and the ad hoc commission also identified larger problems. For example, when the aircraft was loaded with a weight of more than 71 500 kg, it could not fly further in the event of a failure of one of the engines.

The air vehicle was rather critical in relation to the longitudinal stability of a wide range of flight speed and altitude. Some flight regimes carried out a negative impact on piloting, which naturally reduced the level of tactical and technical indications given by the Air Force. And at altitudes from 10 000 to 11 000 m, regardless of fast or average flight speed, control was very sensitive and led to the enormous complexity of piloting.

A considerable number of disasters and emergencies led to a certain limitation with a maximum ceiling in 10 000 m. Made some changes in the design. In particular, they reduced the angle of the stabilizer, which affected the expansion of the range of the steering deflection. Bomber horizon replaced by one that is used in fighter aircraft, it is more sensitive and soft. An additional repair operation was troubleshooting related to the random fallout of the landing gear, which was performed during high overloads. After many upgrades and fine-tuning the aircraft increased the duration of its use. In the entire history, the 29 Tu-104 was released, after which it was time for modifications.

This air machine, since 1956 years, has become a major "Aeroflot" mainline aircraft. The main route was: Moscow - Tashkent Moscow - Khabarovsk, Moscow - Tbilisi. In September, after a year of Tu-104 made its first flight to New York.

Tupolev Tu-104 Aeroflot

In 1957 year was planned Tu-104A on 70 seats. His trial ended in November. Aircraft dimensions have not changed, but the old power plant was replaced by a more powerful RD-3M. Changed fuel tank. If the base model it is mounted in the rear of the plane, in a modified version of its console installed in the wings. We replaced some navigation elements. For a more comfortable trip installed automatic temperature control in the passenger compartment.

Less than a year later, the 40-meter 100-seat Tu-104B appeared. A huge difference from the previous models was the presence of a kitchen in the front cabin. It should also be noted that the increased take-off weight influenced the replacement of engines and the installation of larger area flaps. The new RD-3М-500 engine was characterized by the presence of the afterburner, in 6 minutes it could develop thrust to 10 500 kgf.

As a result of the success of large aircraft machine series for the aircraft has been increased to 95 Tu-104B. From enhancing modifications, the engineers at each of them spent on the year. But Tu-104B did not last in this family. After it went all new versions of the main jet aircraft. The next plane was not successful. Tu-104V planned as a more economical version of the base model, but it was very unstable in air. The project was closed.

Tupolev Tu-104

The next modifications were Tu-104G and Tu-104. They were designed on the basis of the first Tu-104 and Tu-104B, and they were intended for high ranks and higher party representatives. This resulted in high comfort of aircraft. The next Tu-104E was distinguished by mounted engines RD-3P with increased take-off thrust and installation of additional fuel caisson tanks. The plane was able to fly to a distance of 3800 km without refueling. The length of the take-off run during take-off and the landing run decreased. Only 2 copies were released, as mass redevelopment of aircraft factories across the country began for new types of aircraft. There was also a military purpose model - Tu-107. It is a military transport version with a leaky passenger compartment. It was planned to transport equipment and airborne troops, but because of two shortcomings (too high landing speed and possible absence of necessary good airfields in combat conditions) only one was built. The project was closed.

Subsequent modifications:

  • Tu-110 has uprated flight safety;
  • Tu-144 was used as a training unit and astronauts to perform sanitary and transportation problems.

Tu-104 Specifications:

Modification Tu-104
Wingspan, m 34.54
Aircraft Length m 38.85
Height, m 11.90
Wing area, m2 174.40
Weight, kg
empty aircraft 42800
maximum take-off 75500
Fuel 26500
engine's type 2 TRD Mikulin AM-3
Thrust, kgf X 2 8750
Maximum speed km / h 950
Cruising speed, km / h 850
Practical range, km 2750
Practical ceiling, m 11500
Crew 5
Payload: up to 50 passengers or 5200 kg of cargo


For cosmonaut training, not Tu-144, but Tu-104AK