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Long Range Soviet Airliner Tu-114

The Tupolev Tu-114 Rossiya (Russian: Tyполев Тy-114 Poccия) (NATO reporting name Cleat) is a turboprop powered long-range airliner designed by the Tupolev design bureau and built in the USSR from May 1955.The plane was the largest passenger plane of its era and fastest turboprop passenger plane of its era, and also had the longest range (10,900 km). Due to its wing and powerplant design, the Tu-114 was able to travel at speeds typical of modern jetliners (880 km/h). Able to accommodate 224 passengers, a more usual number was 170 provided with sleeping berths and a dining lounge. In 14 years of civilian service, the plane was noted for its high level of safety and reliability, and carried over six million passengers before being replaced by the jet-powered Il-62.


In response to a directive No.1561-868 from the Council of Ministers and Ministry of Aircraft Production order No.571, issued in August 1955, the Tupolev Design Bureau was to create an airliner that had a range of 8,000 km (4,971 mi), based on the Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber, powered by 4 powerful Kuznetsov NK-12 engines driving massive contra-rotating propellers.


The Tu-114 used the basic wing, empennage, landing gear, and powerplants of the Tu-95 bomber, mated to a totally new pressurized fuselage of much larger diameter. To cope with the increased weight, increased landing flap surface area was required, and the flap chord was increased compared to the bomber's flaps. The wing was mounted low on the fuselage, giving the Tu-114 a much higher stance on its landing gear than the bomber. As a result a new nose landing gear strut was required, although the main landing gear remained unchanged.


The Tu-114 was able to reach speeds typical of modern jetliners (880 km/h), carrying up to 224 passengers if required, although a more usual number was 170, with sleeping berths and a dining lounge for the upper class cabin.


This airliner has several unique technological features for its time such as:-


Wings swept back at 35 degrees – the same angle as for the Boeing 707 and several other jet airliners

Powerful Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprops, the most powerful turboprop engines ever produced, each driving two AV-60H contra-rotating four-bladed reversible-pitch propellers.

Lower deck galleys.

Lower deck aircrew rest area.

Long landing gear (the nose gear is 3 m high) due to its large propeller diameter (during a test flight to Washington prior to Nikita Khrushchev's first visit to the United States, the destination airport did not have steps tall enough to reach the Tu-114's cabin door because of this feature). The same problem befell London and Paris when the plane first arrived at those airports.

Operational history

The Tu-114 had a fairly short commercial service life compared to other Soviet airliners, being operated on regular flights from 1962 to 1976. Whilst in service the plane was known for its reliability, speed and fuel economy, as it used less fuel than the Ilyushin Il-62 that replaced it.


In regular service with Aeroflot, the plane was first used for flights to international destinations like Copenhagen, Havana, Montreal, New Delhi, Paris, Belgrade and Tokyo (in co-operation with JAL). After being replaced by the Il-62 on these routes, the Tu-114 was frequently used on long range domestic flights. The end of the commercial use was set at around 14 thousand flying hours.


The Tu-114 had an excellent safety record (there was only one incident involving fatalities but the plane was not airborne at the time) and was only withdrawn from service after the introduction of the Il-62 jet, carrying over six million passengers with Aeroflot and Japan Airlines during its service life. After the end of commercial service, it was used by the Soviet Army and Air Force until 1991.


The prototype Tu-114, CCCP-л5611, ferried Nikita Khrushchev to the United States on his first visit in 1959. When it arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, the ground crew found that the aircraft's landing gear was so high that they had no passenger steps tall enough to reach the forward hatch. The end result was that Khrushchev and his party were obliged to use the aircraft's own emergency escape ladder.

JAL service

For operating the Moscow - Tokyo route, Japan Air Lines made an agreement with Aeroflot to use the Tu-114 on that route. For these flights, the flight crew included one JAL member, and the cabin crew consisted of five each from Aeroflot and JAL. The seating arrangement was changed to a two-class layout with 105 seats, and the aircraft livery included a small JAL logo and lettering on the forward fuselage. In 1969 the Moscow - Tokyo Tu-114 flights were stopped, and the four involved planes converted back to the 200 seat domestic layout.

World Records

In June 1959 the Aviation Sports committee of the Central Air Club named after Valeriy P. Chkalov approached the Tupolev OKB suggesting that various aviation records could be taken by Tupolev designed aircraft. The Tupolev OKB prepared a detailed plan for record attempts on the Tu-16, Tu-104, Tu-104B, Tu-95M and Tu-114. The second pre-production Tu-114 (CCCP-76459) was prepared and clearance obtained to fly with the 60 tonne payload required for some of the record attempts. In a series of flight beginning on 24 March 1960 the Tu-114 achieved the following records in Sub-class : C-1 (Landplanes) Group 2 : turboprop :-


24 March 1960

Maximum speed on a 1,000 km (620 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 to 25,000 kg (0 to 55,000 lb)

Pilot : Ivan Soukhomline (USSR)

Captain : B. Timochok + 4 other crew

Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)

871.38 km/h (541.45 mph)

1 April 1960

Maximum speed on a 2,000 km (1,200 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 to 25,000 kg (0 to 55,000 lb)

Pilot : Ivan Soukhomline (USSR)

2nd pilot : N. Kharitonov + 3 other crew

Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)

Tu-114 '76459'

857.277 km/h (532.687 mph)

9 April 1960

Maximum speed on a 5,000 km (3,100 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 to 25,000 kg (0 to 55,000 lb)

Pilot : Ivan Soukhomline (USSR)

2nd pilot : Konstantin Sapielkine (2nd pilot)

Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)

Tu-114 '76459'

857.212 km/h (532.647 mph)

12 July 1961

Altitude with payloads of 25,000 to 30,000 kg (55,000 to 66,000 lb)

Pilot : Ivan Soukhomline (USSR)

2nd pilot : Piotr Soldatov

Course/place : Vnoukovo (USSR)

12,073 m (39,610 ft)

21 April 1962

Maximum speed on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi) with payload of 1,000 to 10,000 kg (2,200 to 22,000 lb)

Pilot : Ivan Soukhomline (USSR)

2nd pilot : P. Soldatov

Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)

Tu-114 '76467'

737.352 km/h (458.169 mph)

All these records stand but the category was discontinued when the category was split into take-off weight sub groups. Similar records have been set in the new sub-groups by Tu-95 and Tu-142 aircraft at faster speeds.

General characteristics


Crew: 5

Capacity: 120-220 passengers

Payload: :*Normal: 15,000 kg (30,070 lb)

Maximum: 30,000 kg (66,140 lb)

Length: 54.10 m (177 ft 4 in)

Wingspan: 51.1 m (167 ft 7.75 in)

Height: 15.44 m (50 ft 8 in)

Wing area: 311.1 m² (3,349 ft²)

Empty weight: 91,000-93,000 kg (200,621-205,030 lb)

Loaded weight: 131,000 kg (289,000 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 175,000 kg (385,809 lb)

Powerplant: 4× Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprops driving contra-rotating props, 11,000 kW (14,800 hp) each



Maximum speed: 870 km/h (470 kn, 541 mph)

Cruise speed: 770 km/h (415 kn, 478 mph)

Range: 6,200 km (3,300 nmi, 3,900 mi)

Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)

Wing loading: 421 kg/m² (86.2 lb/ft²)

Power/mass: 168 W/kg (0.102 hp/lb)

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Taken on August 14, 2010