Tu-154 - Three 93.2kN (20,950lb) Kuznetsov NK-82 turbofans.
Tu-154M - Three 103.6kN (23,380lb) Aviadvigatel (Soloviev) D-30KU-154-II turbofans.
Tu-154 - Max cruising speed 975km/h (527kt), economical cruising speed 900km/h (486kt), long range cruising speed 850km/h (460kt). Range with max payload and reserves 3460km (1870nm), range with max fuel and 13,650kg (31,100lb) payload 5280km (2850nm).
Tu-154M - Max cruising speed 950km/h (513kt). Range with max payload 3900km (2100nm), range with max fuel and 5450kg (12,015lb) payload 6600km (3563nm).
Flightcrew of three or four. Typical single class seating for 158 to 164 at six abreast, or 167 in a high density layout for Tu-154;
Tu-154M seats a maximum of 180 at six abreast and 75cm (29.5in) seat pitch.
Approximately 900 Tu-154s of all models have been built, including approximately 325 Tu-154Ms. Approx 580 were in service in late 1998.
Medium range airliner
Tupolev's Tu-154 tri-jet remains the standard medium range airliner on domestic flights in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union and to a lesser extent in eastern Europe and Iran.
The Tu-154 was developed to replace the turbojet powered Tupolev Tu-104, plus the An-10 and Il-18 turboprops. Design criteria in replacing these three relatively diverse aircraft included the ability to operate from gravel or packed earth airfields, to be able to fly at high altitudes above most Soviet Union air traffic, and good field performance. To meet these aims the initial Tu-154 design featured three Kuznetsov (now KKBM) NK-8 turbofans (which also powered the larger, longer range Il-62) giving a relatively good thrust to weight ratio, triple bogie main undercarriage units which retract into wing pods and a rear engine T-tail configuration.
The Tu-154 first flew on October 4 1968. The first production example was delivered to Aeroflot in early 1971, although regular commercial service did not begin until February 1972.
Three Kuznetsov powered variants of the Tu-154 were built, the initial Tu-154, the improved Tu-154A with more powerful engines and a higher max takeoff weight, and the Tu-154B with a further increased max takeoff weight. Tu-154S is a freighter version of the Tu-154B.
Current production is of the Tu-154M, which first flew in 1982. The major change introduced on the M was the far more economical, quieter and reliable Soloviev (now Aviadvigatel) turbofans. Low rate production continues. Meanwhile the proposed Tu-154M-2 with two PS-90A turbofans remains unbuilt.