Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (13 years 5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1300 times:
Structural integrity is probably better than most non-glazed noses. Those are made of plastic (well, fiberglass) usually, glass noses are have a sturdy metal frame.
Flying through heavy dust (sandstorm, volcanic ash clouds) I imagine the glass might suffer more than metal would. But such conditions are not all that common and can usually be avoided (plus a sandblasted nose doesn't impact safety).
Tu-134s are about as fast as or faster than DC-9s.
The RADAR is in the housing under the fuselage (if fitted, early models didn't have one).
The glass nose used to house a navigator who would double as a spy (many Aeroflot aircraft got 'lost' near NATO military installations...) and in times of war as a gunner (the front element can be replaced with another one with a machine gun in early models).