The Tupolev-154 is a Russian aircraft which was designed towards the end of the 1960’s. It has been one of the most widely used planes by the former Eastern Block countries. The three-engined plane was originally designed as a civilian aircraft before it was used for military purposes.
The Tu-154 is 47,90 m long and 11,40m high, and can carry between 155 and 180 passengers at a cruising speed of 850 kilometers per hour.
“The Tupolev 154 was the workhorse of civil aviation and military transport during the time of the Soviet Union and for several years after the end of the Iron Curtain,” explains our aviation correspondent Giovanni Magi. “It has been involved in many accidents and each time the cause has been attributed to human error or the over intensive use of the aircraft. The grounding of the aircraft which is still in use by the Ministry of Defence is an understandably prudent measure, but I hardly think they will find any defects in a model which has been flying for 48 years.”
There have been 39 fatal incidents involving the Tupolev-154, which was first flown in 1968.
The production of this aircraft, which is similar in size and performance to a Boeing 737, has consistently decreased from the mid nineteen-nineties until 2013, when the last aircraft was delivered to the Russian Defence.