Tupolev Tu-114
The Tupolev
Tupolev is a Russian aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Basmanny District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. Known officially as Public Stock Company Tupolev, it is the successor of the Tupolev OKB or Tupolev Design Bureau headed by the Soviet aerospace engineer A.N. Tupolev...

 Tu-114 Rossiya
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

(NATO reporting name
NATO reporting name
NATO reporting names are classified code names for military equipment of the Eastern Bloc...

 Cleat) is a turboprop
A turboprop engine is a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear.The gas turbine is designed specifically for this application, with almost all of its output being used to drive the propeller...

-powered long-range airliner designed by the Tupolev design bureau and built in the USSR from May 1955.
The aircraft was the largest and fastest passenger plane at that time and also had the longest range (10900 km (6,773 mi)). It continues to hold the official title of fastest propeller-driven aircraft
Fastest propeller-driven aircraft
A number of aircraft have claimed to be the fastest propeller-driven aircraft. This article presents the current record holders for several sub-classes of propeller-driven aircraft that hold recognized, documented speed records. Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records are the basis for this...

 since 1960.

Due to its swept wing and powerplant design, the Tu-114 was able to travel at speeds typical of modern jetliners (880 km/h (546.8 mph)). Able to accommodate 224 passengers, a more usual number in Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 service was 170 provided with sleeping berths and a dining lounge. In 14 years of civilian service, the Tu-114 was noted for its very high level of safety and reliability, and it carried over six million passengers before being replaced by the jet-powered Ilyushin Il-62
Ilyushin Il-62
The Ilyushin Il-62 is a Soviet long-range jet airliner conceived in 1960 by Ilyushin. As successor to the popular turbo-prop Il-18 and with capacity for almost 200 passengers, the Il-62 was the largest jet airliner when it first flew in 1963. It entered Aeroflot service on 15 September 1967 with...

. Some 32 aircraft were built at the Kuibyshev aviation plant (№18)
OJSC Aviakor is an aviation plant located in Samara. It is part of the Russian machines holding under control of the financial industrial group Basic Element owned by Oleg Deripaska. In USSR Kuibyshev aviation plant was one of the five largest plants in the aviation industry. For more than half...

 in the early 1960s.


In response to a directive No.1561-868 from the Council of Ministers and Ministry of Aircraft Production order No.571, issued in August 1955, the Tupolev Design Bureau was to create an airliner that had a range of 8,000 km (4,971 mi), based on the Tupolev Tu-95
Tupolev Tu-95
The Tupolev Tu-95 is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the former Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040...

 strategic bomber, powered by 4 powerful Kuznetsov NK-12
Kuznetsov NK-12
-See also:-External links:*...

 engines driving massive contra-rotating propellers
Contra-rotating propellers
Aircraft equipped with contra-rotating propellers, also referred to as coaxial contra-rotating propellers, apply the maximum power of usually a single piston or turboprop engine to drive two propellers in contra-rotation...


The Tu-114 used the basic wing, empennage, landing gear, and powerplants of the Tu-95 bomber, mated to a totally new pressurized
Cabin pressurization
Cabin pressurization is the pumping of compressed air into an aircraft cabin to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for crew and passengers when flying at altitude.-Need for cabin pressurization:...

The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

 of much larger diameter. To cope with the increased weight, increased landing flap
Flap (aircraft)
Flaps are normally hinged surfaces mounted on the trailing edges of the wings of a fixed-wing aircraft to reduce the speed an aircraft can be safely flown at and to increase the angle of descent for landing without increasing air speed. They shorten takeoff and landing distances as well as...

 surface area was required, and the flap chord was increased compared to the bomber's flaps. The wing was mounted low on the fuselage, giving the Tu-114 a much higher stance on its landing gear
The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land...

 than the bomber. As a result a new nose landing gear strut was required, although the main landing gear remained unchanged.

The Tu-114 was able to reach speeds typical of modern jetliners (880 km/h), carrying up to 224 passengers in maximum carriage configuration, although a more usual number for long-distance transcontinental flights was 170 passengers who were provided with the luxuries of sleeping berths and a dining lounge for the upper class cabin.


The Tu-114 had several unique technological features for its time such as:-
  • Wings swept back
    Swept wing
    A swept wing is a wing planform favored for high subsonic jet speeds first investigated by Germany during the Second World War. Since the introduction of the MiG-15 and North American F-86 which demonstrated a decisive superiority over the slower first generation of straight-wing jet fighters...

     at 35 degrees – the same angle as for the Boeing 707
    Boeing 707
    The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

     and several other jet airliners
  • Powerful Kuznetsov
    Kuznetsov (aircraft engines)
    The Kuznetsov Design Bureau was a Soviet design bureau for aircraft engines, administrated by Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov. It was created for developing German WW2 jet engine technology headed by a group of deported Junkers engineers under Ferdinand Brandner.The Kuznetzov Bureau first became...

    Kuznetsov NK-12
    -See also:-External links:*...

    MV turboprops, the most powerful turboprop engines ever produced, each driving two AV-60H contra-rotating
    Contra-rotating propellers
    Aircraft equipped with contra-rotating propellers, also referred to as coaxial contra-rotating propellers, apply the maximum power of usually a single piston or turboprop engine to drive two propellers in contra-rotation...

     four-bladed reversible-pitch propellers.
  • Lower deck galley
    Galley (kitchen)
    The galley is the compartment of a ship, train or aircraft where food is cooked and prepared. It can also refer to a land based kitchen on a naval base or a particular formed household kitchen.-Ship's kitchen:...

    s. A lift for the service of meals connected the galley to the upper deck; originally a member of the crew was a cook.
  • Lower deck aircrew
    Aircrew are the personnel who operate an aircraft while in flight. The composition of the crew depends on the type of aircraft as well as the purpose of the flight.-Civilian:*Aviator** Pilot-in-command** First officer** Second officer** Third officer...

     rest area.
  • Long landing gear
    Landing Gear
    Landing Gear is Devin the Dude's fifth studio album. It was released on October 7, 2008. It was his first studio album since signing with the label Razor & Tie. It features a high-profile guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. As of October 30, 2008, the album has sold 18,906 copies.-Track...

     (the nose gear is 3 m high) due to its large propeller diameter. Many destination airports did not have steps tall enough to reach the Tu-114's cabin door because of this feature.

Early Tu-114s were also unique within Aeroflot for their three class layout, differing in comfort: economy, first and deluxe. In the front economy cabin were set 41 (3x3) seats, the middle first-class cabin had 48 seats with tables and table lamps, followed by four compartments for 24 day or 12 beds and the third cabin located 54 passenger seats in a 3x3 arrangement. Later, these compartments were dismantled and replaced with the usual passenger seats.
However, the design was not without its shortcomings. Passengers on the Tu-114 suffered from high noise levels (108-112 dB) and vibration from the engines.

Operational history

The first Tu-114, registration CCCP-л5611 was first shown to the West in 1958 at the Brussels World Exhibition. It later carried Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 on his first trip to the United States, and the first visit to the United States by any Soviet leader. When it arrived at Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Joint Base Andrews is a United States military facility located in Prince George's County, Maryland. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 11th Wing, Air Force District of Washington ....

, the ground crew found that the aircraft's landing gear was so high that they had no passenger steps tall enough to reach the forward hatch. The end result was that Khrushchev and his party were obliged to use the aircraft's own emergency escape ladder. The last flight of this particular plane was in 1968, and it is now on display at the Central Air Force Museum
Central Air Force Museum
The Central Air Force Museum in Monino at the site of Monino Airfield 40km east of Moscow, Russia, is one of the world's largest aviation museums, and the largest for Russian aircraft...

 at Monino
Monino is an urban locality in Shchyolkovsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia, situated east of Moscow. Population:...

, outside of Moscow. Similar problems occurred when the plane landed at London and Paris airports, neither of which had access steps to service such a tall plane.

The Tu-114 entered regular Aeroflot service on flights from Vnukovo Airport in Moscow to Khabarovsk on 24 April 1961. It was subsequently used for Aeroflot flights to international destinations including Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

 and Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 (in co-operation with JAL
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...


Flights to Havana via Conakry
Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Conakry is a port city on the Atlantic Ocean and serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea with a 2009 population of 1,548,500...

 in Guinea
Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

 began 10 July 1962. After the United States government placed political pressure on Guinea, landing rights were denied after four flights, and the Tu-114 service had to be routed through Dakar
Dakar is the capital city and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland...

, Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 instead. Further American pressure to isolate Cuba resulted in denial of landing rights after three flights, and the route was changed to Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 instead. Even so, after three more flights, Algiers was also closed to the Tu-114. To overcome this, the Tu-114 was specially modified into the long-range Tu-114D variant, with seating reduced from 170 to 60, and 15 extra fuel tanks added. These aircraft operated from Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

, in the far north of the Soviet Union, and then entirely across the ocean to Havana. In most cases, this fuel load was enough, but in case of strong headwinds, an emergency refueling stop in Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 , 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas...

 in the Bahamas was necessary (ironically at an American military field). All planes operating this route were converted back to the normal specifications after the Ilyushin Il-62 began flying the Moscow - Havana route.

With the increasing use of the Ilyushin Il-62, the Tu-114s were shifted to long range domestic flights from Domodedovo to Alma-Ata, Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan and of the Tashkent Province. The officially registered population of the city in 2008 was about 2.2 million. Unofficial sources estimate the actual population may be as much as 4.45 million.-Early Islamic History:...

, Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...

 and Khabarovsk. Tu-114s were also used for charter operations for senior officials of the USSR and various official delegations.

The Tu-114 had a fairly short commercial service life compared to other Soviet airliners, being operated on regular flights from 1962
1962 in aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1962:- Events :* Early 1962 – In Operation High Jump, the United States Navy McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II fighter sets a number of world climb-to altitude records: 34.523 seconds to 3,000 meters , 48.787 seconds to 6,000 meters , 61.629 seconds to...

 to 1976
1976 in aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1976:-January:*January 1 - Middle East Airlines Flight 438, a Boeing 720, aircraft over Saudi Arabia when bomb exploded in the forward baggage compartment, aircraft destroyed killing 81.-March:...

. The fatigue life of the airframe was set at 14,000 flying hours. Most of the aircraft passed this point in 1976, by the summer of 1977, Aeroflot decided to scrap 21 aircraft at the same time. A few continued to be used by the Soviet Air Force until 1991.

Whilst in service the plane was known for its reliability, speed and fuel economy. The Tu-114 had an excellent safety record rarely matched by any other airliner (there was only one incident involving fatalities but the plane was not airborne at the time) and was only withdrawn from service after the introduction of the Il-62 jet, carrying over six million passengers with Aeroflot and Japan Airlines.

JAL service

For operating the Moscow – Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 route, Japan Air Lines made an agreement with Aeroflot to use the Tu-114 on that route. For these flights, the flight crew included one JAL member, and the cabin crew consisted of five each from Aeroflot and JAL. The seating arrangement was changed to a two-class layout with 105 seats, and the aircraft livery included a small JAL logo and lettering on the forward fuselage. The first flight was made on April 17, 1967. In 1969 the Moscow - Tokyo Tu-114 flights were stopped, and the four involved planes converted back to the 200 seat domestic layout.

World Records

The Tu-114 holds a number of aviation records. In June 1959 the Aviation Sports committee of the Central Air Club named after Valeriy P. Chkalov approached the Tupolev OKB suggesting that various aviation records could be taken by Tupolev designed aircraft. The Tupolev OKB prepared a detailed plan for record attempts on the Tu-16, Tu-104, Tu-104B, Tu-95M and Tu-114. The second pre-production Tu-114 (CCCP-76459) was prepared and clearance obtained to fly with the 60 tonne payload required for some of the record attempts. In a series of flight beginning on 24 March 1960 the Tu-114 achieved the following records in Sub-class : C-1 (Landplanes) Group 2 : turboprop :-

24 March 1960
Maximum speed on a 1000 km (621.4 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 kilogram
Pilot : Ivan Sukhomlin (USSR)
Captain : B. Timochuk + 4 other crew
Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)

1 April 1960
Maximum speed on a 2000 km (1,242.7 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 kilogram
Pilot : Ivan Sukhomlin (USSR)
2nd pilot : N. Kharitonov + 3 other crew
Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)
Tu-114 '76459'

9 April 1960
Maximum speed on a 5000 km (3,106.9 mi) closed circuit with payloads of 0 kilogram
Pilot : Ivan Sukhomlin (USSR)
2nd pilot : Konstantin Sapelkin (2nd pilot)
Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)
Tu-114 '76459'

12 July 1961
Altitude with payloads of 25000 kilogram
Pilot : Ivan Sukhomlin (USSR)
2nd pilot : Piotr Soldatov
Course/place : Vnukovo (USSR)

21 April 1962
Maximum speed on a 10000 km (6,213.7 mi) with payload of 1000 kilogram
Pilot : Ivan Sukhomlin (USSR)
2nd pilot : P. Soldatov
Course/place : Sternberg-Point Observatory (USSR)
Tu-114 '76467'

All these records stand but the category was discontinued when the category was split into take-off weight sub groups. Similar records have been set in the new sub-groups by Tu-95 and Tu-142 aircraft at faster speeds.


  • Tu-114 – initial production version
  • Tu-114A – projected upgraded version designed in 1962-1963, with 98-102 passengers on long-range routes; never entered production
  • Tu-114-200 – upgrade to original Tu-114, with layout for 200 passengers. Almost all aircraft were converted.
  • Tu-114D long-range version for flights to Cuba, with fewer passengers and increased take-off weight to 182 000 kg. Not to be confused with the Tu-116 (Tu-114D).
  • Tu-114 6NK-8 – projected long-range version six NK-8 turbofan engines seen as an alternative to the Il-62M; never reached production
  • Tu-115 – projected military transport version; never reached production
  • Tu-114T and Tu-114TS – retrofit into air ambulances
  • Tu-114PLO – projected maritime strike variant armed with anti-ship missiles and naval radar, and powered by a nuclear power plant.


The Tu-126 (NATO reporting name Moss) was used by the Soviet Air Force in the AEW role until being replaced by the Beriev A-50
Beriev A-50
|-See also:Related development:Ilyushin Il-76, KJ-2000Comparable aircraft:E-3 Sentry-External links:* * * * * *...


Accidents and incidents

During its service life the Tu-114 gained an enviable safety record, with only one fatal operational (non-airborne) accident. On 17 February 1966, a pilot attempted to take off from Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow at night in bad weather, with snow not properly cleared from the full width of the runway. The plane's wing struck a large snow mound on the side of the runway (takeoff had already been delayed several times due to deteriorating weather). The propellers from the No.3 and 4 engines impacted with the runway, and the aircraft veered off course and burned. Soviet sources said 48 of 70 persons on board were killed, including the pilot. The aircraft was bound for Brazzaville
-Transport:The city is home to Maya-Maya Airport and a railway station on the Congo-Ocean Railway. It is also an important river port, with ferries sailing to Kinshasa and to Bangui via Impfondo...

, Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

 with a number of Africans and a Soviet trade delegation on board. Later reports give the fatalities as 21 of 48 on board.

Another non-operational example was written off with fuselage damage in August 1962 at Vnukovo Airport after an undercarriage nose gear collapsed during servicing.

Specifications (Tu-114)

See also

External links

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