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Tupolev Tu-204

Narrow-Body Passenger Jet Airliner

Russia | 1995

"Introduced in 1995, numbers of the Tupolev Tu-204 airliner have continued to grow - albeit slowly."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/02/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Tu-204 is a narrow-body, twin-engine passenger airliner developed by Tupolev OKB of Russia at the tail-end of the Soviet Empire's reign and introduced in the period thereafter with air carrier Aeroflot. The type has mainly proven popular with former Soviet-aligned nations including China, Cuba, Egypt, and North Korea who have purchased the series in limited numbers when compared to Western counterparts of same class and role. Fewer than 100 airframes have been delivered despite a series introduction had in 1996 and no one year has resulted in more than ten airframes being completed.

Its prototype flew for the first time on January 2nd, 1989, some thirty-plus years ago. The aircraft is broadly comparable to the American Boeing Model 757 twin-engined airliner detailed elsewhere on this site.

The general arrangement of the Tu-204 aircraft is conventional: the cockpit/flight deck is positioned over and aft the short nosecone assembly. The fuselage is tubular and lined with oval vision ports while the tail incorporates a single rudder fin with low-mounted, all-moving horizontal planes. The mainplanes are low-mounted along the fuselage sides, swept-back for aerodynamic efficiency, and positioned near midships. Each member supports a single nacelle engine component which is slung under the wings. More modern incarnations of the aircraft also sport winglets for added stability and enhanced fuel economy. A retractable tricycle undercarriage is used for ground-running and is made up of double-bogied main legs and a single-bogied nose leg.

Internally, the typical cabin arrangement is of single-aisle with three seats to a fuselage side. As a multi-role airframe, however, the internals can be completely reworked to accept cargo loads for long-haul transport sorties. In the cockpit, the flight crew sits side-by-side with control columns and rudder pedals duplicated as expected. The throttle quadrant is on a shared center console and various controls are positioned in an overhead set up. More modern variants of the line naturally have more modern cockpits complete with color displays and a more minimal instrument panel arrangement as a whole.

The original production airliner was the "Tu-204" and the freighter version became the "Tu-204C" (to include the "Tu-240-100C" and the "Tu-240-120C" marks). The "Tu-204-100" of 1995 switched to the (Aviadvigatel) PS90 turbofan engine of 35,300lb thrust. Its longer-ranged counterpart became the "Tu-204-200". Today, the mark is produced under the "Tu-214" designation.

The "Tu-204-120", "Tu-204-220", "Tu-204-120C", and "Tu-204-220C" have all been offered with foreign avionics and engine fits in an effort to expand the product line in Western-leaning markets.

The "Tu-204-300" ("Tu-234") was given a shortened fuselage with enhanced operational ranges. The "Tu-204-500" is a dedicated short-ranged hauler that's faster with smaller-area mainplanes.

The "Tu-204SM" ("Tu-204CM") fulfills the medium-haul market requirement and is formed from the earlier Tu-204-100/300 series.

The "Tu-206" is a proposed private-venture testbed.

The related, heavier, and longer-ranged "Tu-214" was born from the Tu-204-200 and is manufactured outside of Tupolev facilities, primarily with Aviastar-SP and Kazan Aircraft Production Association. Various sub-marks of this model have been produced including special-mission governmental and military types.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Tupolev Tu-214 Narrow-Body Passenger Jet Airliner.
2 x Aviadvigatel PS-90A non-afterburning turbofan engines developing between 35,580lb of thrust.
559 mph
900 kph | 486 kts
Max Speed
419 mph
675 kph | 364 kts
Cruise Speed
39,698 ft
12,100 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
3,604 miles
5,800 km | 3,132 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Tupolev Tu-214 Narrow-Body Passenger Jet Airliner.
151.4 ft
46.15 m
O/A Length
137.1 ft
(41.80 m)
O/A Width
45.6 ft
(13.90 m)
O/A Height
244,162 lb
(110,750 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Tupolev Tu-204 family line.
Tu-204 - Base Series Designation; original production airliner.
Tu-204C - Freighter version of the Tu-204.
Tu-204-100C - Freighter variant.
Tu-204-120C - Freighter variant.
Tu-204-100 - Model of 1995; PS90 turbofan engines.
Tu-204-200 - Increased MTOW; enhanced range.
Tu-204-120 - Westernized offering; Western avionics and engines.
Tu-204-220 - Westernized offering.
Tu-204-120C - Westernized offering; freighter variant.
Tu-204-220C - Westernized offering; freighter variant.
Tu-204-300 - Shortened fuselage; long-endurance variant.
Tu-204-500 - Short-haul variant based in the Tu-204-300 model.
Tu-204SM (Tu-204CM) - Medium-haul variant based in the Tu-204-100/300 model.
Tu-206 - Proposed private venture testbed airframe.
Tu-214 - Model of 1996; based in the Tu-204-200 variant.
Tu-214ON - Airborne Observation Post variant.
Tu-214PU - Airborne Command Post variant; at least six built for Russian government.
Tu-214SR - Airborne Communications Relay variant.
Tu-214SUS - Airborne Communications Relay variant.
Tu-214R - ELINT special-mission variant.
Tu-214PU-SBUS - Special-mission onboard communications platform for Russian Ministry of Defense.
Tu-214LMK - Flying laboratory variant.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Tupolev Tu-204. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 82 Units

Contractor(s): Tupolev OKB - Russia
National flag of China National flag of Cuba National flag of Egypt National flag of modern Germany National flag of North Korea National flag of Russia

[ China; Cuba; Egypt; Germany; North Korea; Russia ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (559mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the Tupolev Tu-204
Image from official Tupolev marketing materials.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Tupolev Tu-204 Narrow-Body Passenger Jet Airliner appears in the following collections:
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