L.1011
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Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:46 am


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I've heard a great deal about these aircraft, and it all seems to point to these as underrated, neglected diamonds in the rough. The specifications found across the internet seem to point to them as quite capable as well. I haven't had the good fortune of visiting the part of the world where these aircraft are common, so I have several questions for those who have.

Is the Tu-214 similar in capability to a 757? Does it have true transatlantic range? Hot and high performance?

Is the Tu-234 a bloated, inefficient shrink like a 736 or a 318? Or is it successful like a 332?

How are they operating cost-wise? Do they match their Western contemporaries?

How do they stack up reliability-wise?

Is passenger comfort up to Western standards?

Is the PS-90 up to the standards of a GE, PW, or RR engine? How do the PS-90 and RB211 engined versions compare?

How does take off and other performance compare to a 757?

Is there a reason it hasn't succeeded other than lack of cash in the CIS and old Soviet sphere and prejudice in the rest of the world?

Are there any other positive or negative traits of note?

All of your assistance is greatly appreciated.
 
tu204
Posts: 1409
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:36 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:29 pm

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):
Is the Tu-214 similar in capability to a 757? Does it have true transatlantic range? Hot and high performance?

The 214 has transatlantic range. It has has a range of 6,700km vs. the 6,450km of the 753. The 204 has a little less at about 6,500km. It has pretty good hot and high performance, the Iranians are impressed.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):

Is the Tu-234 a bloated, inefficient shrink like a 736 or a 318? Or is it successful like a 332?

It was made specifically for the Far Eastern airlines of Russia for long and thin routes. Only 4 have been produced (all with Vladivostok) and they just ordered two more for delivery in 2008-9. It is basically a replacement for the IL-62, but it consumes about two times less fuel and has a few less seats.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):
How are they operating cost-wise? Do they match their Western contemporaries?

Well if we look at the consumption of the PS-90A vs. the RB, it is about the same. Afterall, the range on the aircraft only has a 43km difference.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):

How do they stack up reliability-wise?

I have not heard any major complaints about the Tu-214, except that GTK Rossiya was having problems with its autostart on the left engine (it would always start on the second or third attempt) on one of their ships, but after a C check, the problem mysteriously disappeared. Sibir was very dissapointed with their Tu-204's that they were unreliable and costly to maintain, but I can explain that easily - they only had two aircraft which are unique in their fleet. They only has some common components with the IL-96 and they did not have it either. Ofcourse their operating costs would be higher! They have to have a maintanence division for two aircraft. And they had two extra engines lying around for the two aircraft.
Personally, I prefer anything made in Kazan over anything made in Ulyanovsk so I prefer the 214 over the 204.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):
Is the PS-90 up to the standards of a GE, PW, or RR engine? How do the PS-90 and RB211 engined versions compare?

Not really, the time between overhauls is shorter. Consumption wise with the RB211 it is nearly the same. But keep in mind that Perm has come up with an upgrade of the PS-90A, the PS-90A2. This engine has an increased time between overhauls by 40% which puts it at the same level as new western engines. But keep in mind, the cost of the engine goes up by about 30-50% in comparisson to the PS-90A due to more expensive materials and alloys being used in the core, which also puts it near the price of a western engine.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):
How does take off and other performance compare to a 757?

It is a little smaller, the TO range is practically the same. Don't pay much attention to the fact that the climb rate is sometimes shallower or that it uses more runway, the aircraft uses a computer program similar to that on an A320, and it tells them what to put the throttle setting to. I was onboard a test flight of a Tu-204-120CE a while back and we were climbing at maximum power at commercial payload (in this case, water containers simulating cargo) and I kid you not that was the steepest takeoff I had ever experienced in my life.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):
Is there a reason it hasn't succeeded other than lack of cash in the CIS and old Soviet sphere and prejudice in the rest of the world?

The main problem would be the lack of brains at Tupolev and Aviastar (the Ulyanovsk factory). Tupolev does not know how to market it's product, the capacity of Aviastar and the Gorbunov plant in Kazan is was too small and it takes them way too long to complete an aircraft (not as much with Gorbunov as with Aviastar). Lack of financing available for airlines wanting leases is also a problem. It also wouldn't hurt if Aviastar would built a plane on-time for a change. Basically if you want ot buy something from Aviastar, immediately add 8 months to the expected delivery date, if ordering from Kazan, add half a year. Look at how long it is taking them to deliver the Tu-214 for Transaero.
Another problem is that for all maintanence more than a B check the aircraft has to come to Kazan, Ulyanovsk or Moscow. Quite a pain if the airline has to haul the (empty) aircraft half way around the world for a C check. Or say you have a breakdown say in Miami, you will have to ship the part from Kazan, Ulyanovsk or Moscow along with the mechanics liscensed to install it. This means that your plane is going to be down for a couple days while all this goes on. Your airline has to rebook several flights, and it loses quite a sum right there.

Quoting L.1011 (Thread starter):

Are there any other positive or negative traits of note?

Awesome flight deck. Roomy, great smart controls, comfortable yoke. Good price in comparisson to the same class of Boeing or A321.
I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:52 pm

Thanks for all the info.

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 1):
It has has a range of 6,700km vs. the 6,450km of the 753.

753 does not have effective transatlantic range. Only the 752 with the HGW options really does.

From Boeing:
"High-gross-weight versions of the aircraft can fly 4,500 statute miles (7,240 kilometers) nonstop with full passenger payload. These system attributes contribute to the 757's versatility, allowing it to serve more markets."
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
cobra27
Posts: 939
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:57 pm

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:52 pm

I like the 214 most, quite a big plane. Kind surprised it didn't succed. But then again also the 757 and A321 didn't sell so well compared to the 737 or A320
 
L.1011
Topic Author
Posts: 2163
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 7:46 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:08 am

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 1):
the capacity of Aviastar and the Gorbunov plant in Kazan is was too small and it takes them way too long to complete an aircraft (not as much with Gorbunov as with Aviastar).

Say a major Western airline ordered 50 or 100 planes and asked for a Boeing or Airbus-like delivery schedule. Could it be done?

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 1):
Another problem is that for all maintanence more than a B check the aircraft has to come to Kazan, Ulyanovsk or Moscow. Quite a pain if the airline has to haul the (empty) aircraft half way around the world for a C check. Or say you have a breakdown say in Miami, you will have to ship the part from Kazan, Ulyanovsk or Moscow along with the mechanics liscensed to install it. This means that your plane is going to be down for a couple days while all this goes on. Your airline has to rebook several flights, and it loses quite a sum right there.

Is this again a function of no one having a big enough fleet to make a full maintenance department worth it? Or are there other factors at play?

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 1):
Good price in comparisson to the same class of Boeing or A321.

A 752 listed at about $75 million, so what are talking for one of these, $50 million?

Thanks to everyone for their help.
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1484
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:53 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:43 am

I find the production facilities of former USSR aircraft mystifying. The lack of integration between design bureau and production facilities has been very damaging. Imagine if Boeing designed the 757, then let Lockheed build a few 200s, Raytheon a few 200ERs and Grumman the 300!

Having said that, the TU204 suffered from the meltdown of the former USSR. If the 'old' Aeroflot had ordered and put into service 50-100 planes, it would have had a much better chance of developing some momentum and getting more export orders
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
DukeOfSkies
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:21 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:02 am

Are they approved by FAA/JAA? How about other Russian airliners, like IL-96, do they have the FAA/JAA certificates?
 
tu204
Posts: 1409
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:36 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:11 pm

Quoting L.1011 (Reply 4):

Say a major Western airline ordered 50 or 100 planes and asked for a Boeing or Airbus-like delivery schedule. Could it be done?

Highly unlikely. Unless the order was of a mix of Tu-214/Tu-204's, then it would be possible as you would have two seperate factories working on one order.

Quoting L.1011 (Reply 4):
Is this again a function of no one having a big enough fleet to make a full maintenance department worth it? Or are there other factors at play?

You hit the nail on the head. Again, if someone ordered 10+ planes it would become worthwile.

Quoting L.1011 (Reply 4):
A 752 listed at about $75 million, so what are talking for one of these, $50 million?

About 47 million for a 204 with PS-90A engines and about 49 for a 214 with PS-90A engines. In 2003 the 204 went for about $39 million.

Quoting DukeOfSkies (Reply 6):
Are they approved by FAA/JAA?

The Tu-204-120C, Tu-204-120CE, Tu-204-120 is JAA. (With RR engines)
I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
 
An225
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 6:37 pm

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:37 pm

Thanks for the info!
IIRC the Tu-204 was exported to an Egyptian cargo company - Cairo Aviation. This one had an RB211-535 engines. Is it still in service?
Also, I think that TNT Air Cargo operates/operated them. Can someone comment on this?


Thanks,

An225
 
Aviastar
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Reflections: Tu-204, Tu-214, And Tu-234

Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:37 pm

Quoting Tu204 (Reply 1):
Personally, I prefer anything made in Kazan over anything made in Ulyanovsk so I prefer the 214 over the 204.

For what reasons?

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