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My flight with the Tupolew Tu-154M - a report

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  • My flight with the Tupolew Tu-154M - a report

    Hey @ all,
    I'm quite new to this forum so I don't know if you ever had a flight-report of a Tu-154M. As I saw a lot users here are from the USA, so maybe it is quite interesting for some of you to read something about the Tu-154.
    It was June the 5th, the day has finally come. For me and a another spotter-friend it was time to go to Düsseldorf-Airport, from where our flight to Varna/Bulgaria goes.
    We come a little bit later than we planned, so there were quite a lot people in front of our check-in counters, we waited about 25min before we have passed the check-in for our Flight VIM 732 to VAR, I got seat 19F, window-seat in the rear part of the cabin.
    About one an hour later, we already passed the passport and security-control, we were in the Bus bringing us to our aircraft. It was quite funny, when most of the other tourists in the Bus noticed that this "strange, old looking aircraft" would be that one flying us to Bulgaria, I'm sure some poeple got a bit afraid!

    Here is our plane pictured 2 days later in Varna by my friend:

    The cabin of the Tu-154 looks older than those of the modern western aircraft, although out aircraft was build 1990 and so it is one of the youngest Tu-154M. Here's a pic of teh cabin:

    My seat was direct behind the emergency-exit, so the seat in front of my was missing, this lucky circumstances was for my like an upgrade in the first class, space, space and again space for my legs! The seat was quite confortable, again a little bit old and used, but still confortable. The People sitting not behind an emergency exit had not so much luck with the space, besides I thing they put as much seats as they could in the aircraft, so not really much space left.
    Than the engine start-up, fantastic! For those who have never heard the sound of the Tu-154M, in my opinion this is the best engine-sound in the world, and here in Europe a lot of poeple saying this, these russian engine are really singing! I had the feeling that the engine-sound came through the emergency exit inside the cabin (on the flight back I had a seat few lines behind so more closer to the engines and the sound was not so loud there).
    And this wonderful sound I had in my ears the hole time we taxied to the runway. The weather was quite bad this day, so I expected a few turbolences during the take-off, I had a lot of flights before with B737 and A319/320 and every time with such a weather it shacked after take off.
    We lined up and waited for about 1 minute on the runway for the take-off clearance, and then the engines tuned up, what a sound again!
    The Tu-154M speeded up really well, we really felt the power of the enignes, rotate and the Tupolew speeded in the grey sky, the climb-rate was really well and suprise, no shacking! Nothing! I must say I read before that the Tu-154 should fly more stabel through bad weather, but I couldn't really believe it, up to now.The reason for this is quite simple, the Tu-154 is compared to a B737/A320 much heavyer, so not so susceptible against turbolences.
    The flight was very normal, nothing other as if you would sit inside an A320, the only thing I didn't like was the air conditioning, this could have been better it was quite warm in the cabin. The flight time was 2 hours and 20min, so after about 2 hours flight we began our descend to Varna.
    Compared to an A320/B737 you feel it more when you are loosing high, but this could also be a reason of the quite high singing-rate the pilot was flying, nose down and here we go, so it didn't took so lang we were deep enough to see first details of the bulgarian landscape, few curves and we were already on final approach. The approach of the Tu-154 looks mostly like an CRJ-approach, nose down and here we go again. During the final approach my friend was looking for some possible spotting-points for the next day, while I was taking pictures!

    The touch-down was really very very soft, and here it was again, the sound!

    And here is a detail-shot of the emergancy-exit:

    And the tail of our aircraft:

    On our return flight the pilot gave us a demonstarion how small curves the Tu-154M can also fly, it was really great flying with this great russian aircraft and I would ever do it again if I get the chance.

    The second reason we went to Bulgaria (the first one we wanted to fly with a Tu-154 ) was pane-spotting, we both are big fans of russian aircraft and there in Bulgaria you can get quite a lot you can't get in Europe, the pictures you can find here:

    Some other pics from the Trip you also find here:

    I hope you liked my flight-report and please forgive me my english-mistakes I'm now 2 years out of pratice!

  • #2
    Sweet deal dude! I love the Tu-154M


    • #3
      You bet I liked it, and well supported byu pictures. Got the idea I definitely must fly there too !!!
      OK now, some observations
      - the cabin looks not so old, its could be the one of either a 707, 727 and early 737s and the overhead racks look pretty similar to 707-321Bs N732Q and CC-CYB's ones.
      - I entirely agree for the music, the engines are the same Soloviev which power the IL62M.
      Thanks for visiting
      *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


      • #4
        Great Report. Always wanted to fly one of those Russian classics.
        - The baby will be back -


        • #5
          Nice report and great pictures.

          I've never flown on a Russian aircraft.

          Originally posted by DanielDTM
          we both are big fans of russian aircraft and there in Bulgaria you can get quite a lot you can't get in Europe
          I believe you mean Western Europe. Bulgaria is in Europe.

          TAP - Transportes Aéreos Portugueses

          Voe mais alto. Fly higher.


          • #6
            Originally posted by TAP-A343
            I believe you mean Western Europe. Bulgaria is in Europe.
            Bulgaria is not in the EU, so it isn't in Europe either .

            Great trip report, love the assembly of Russian jets you can catch at Varna. Don't get too many of those in Western Europe anymore (damn noise restrictions ).


            • #7
              Thanks you all for your compliments, now I'm in good spirits writing more reports here in the future.

              Of course I meant Western Europe, but here it is so commen saying just Europe when you mean the EU, I will write it more clearly in the future!

              I sadly don't have the comparison with many other older cabin-layouts, I never flew on a B707 or B737-200, the only "old" cabin I have seen this year was the cabin of the Syrianair B727-200 I flew with in Mai, this cabin had a really nostalgic flair for me I've never seen before, even better than the cabin of the Tu-154.
              Here are some pics from the Syrianair-flight:


              Years ago I have also flown on a United B727, but I can't remember details of the cabin anymore, all my other flight were with more modern B737, A320-family and so on