It flies and fights: what are the prospects for the Tu-214 medium-haul airliner

It became known about the start of serial production at the Kazan Aircraft Building Plant of the Tu-214 medium-haul airliner. In the domestic press, this decision is usually called a temporary measure, but there is every reason to believe that the Soviet aircraft will still fly and fight in the literal and figurative sense.

Let's fly again

When in previous, pre-sanction years we raised question about the need for parallel production of MS-21 and Tu-204/214, this caused almost hysteria among a certain audience. The Soviet liner was declared completely obsolete and terribly inefficient against the backdrop of the promising modern MS-21. However, in actual fact, everything turned out to be not so obvious and unambiguous.

Yes, the MS-21 is indeed fully competitive with its Western counterparts in terms of its characteristics, and even surpasses them in some ways. But it was designed with the expectation of broad international cooperation, so there are at least half of foreign components in it. We are threatening to promptly replace them with imports, but often the deadlines for the implementation of high-tech projects in our country tend to shift to the right. Undoubtedly, sooner or later, the MS-21 will be brought to mind and put on the conveyor, but rather later. It is required to replace about 700 foreign-made liners in the next one or two decades.

What is good in comparison with the Tu-204/214? The fact that the Soviet liner is assembled entirely from domestic components. Today, in the context of sectoral Western sanctions, this moment is of fundamental importance from the point of view of national security. It should be noted that foreign competitors have already planted a Tu-204/214 pig with their unscrupulous methods.

Thus, the American company Pratt & Whitney got into the work of Perm Motors by purchasing a blocking stake. At first, competitors wanted to show through merciless tests that our engine was not good enough, but they did not achieve the desired result. Then, under a plausible pretext to improve the PS-90 gas generator, they allowed their patented Technology, and then began to prevent the improved PS-90A engine from entering the market. Only in 2011, the Americans were squeezed out of Perm, and the shares of the manufacturing company went to the United Aircraft Corporation. However, the litigation continued, and time was lost. After the tragic events near Yaroslavl in 2011, the Russian sky was opened to Western manufacturers, and it was almost completely filled, divided among themselves, by Boeing and Airbus.

Detractors argue that the Tu-204/214 is uncompetitive in front of them due to lower fuel efficiency and the presence of three crew members versus two on modern aircraft. But there are nuances. For comparison: the Airbus A-321 consumes aviation kerosene less than the domestic airliner, by as much as 3,9%, while it costs from 87 to 93 million dollars, depending on the modification, against 30 million for the Tu-204/214. The need to pay a salary also to a flight engineer is unlikely to ruin the air carriers, but objectively makes the operation of a passenger aircraft over long distances safer. This is some fun math.

As for the prospects for internal competition between the MS-21 and Tu-204/214, it will not actually exist. From a recent statement by the head of the UAC, Yuri Slyusar shouldthat the Soviet liner will have two new versions that will fill important market niches:

We are making a cargo and shortened version for flights to the Far East. We will increase gradually.

In a shortened version, the Tu-214 will be able to cover up to 9 km, this liner will be based on its half-brother Tu-204-300, also known as the Tu-234 with an increased flight range. Its passenger capacity is 166 people, and the cabin was originally designed for two crew members, which is what air carriers require. The cargo version of the Tu-214, apparently, will be built on the basis of one of the modifications of the Tu-200S, probably the Tu-204-120CE.

Let's fight again

It is equally important that in our turbulent times, the Soviet liner will be able to find application in military affairs. It is no secret that several modifications have already been created on the basis of the Tu-204/214 specifically for law enforcement agencies: two Tu-214R integrated reconnaissance aircraft, two Tu-214ON reconnaissance aircraft built for observation flights under the Open Skies international treaty, as well as Tu- 214 in the variants of the control center, repeater and communication center for the special flight squad "Russia".

Tu-204/214 back in 2020 attracted the attention of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation as a platform for a new anti-submarine aviation complex (PLAK) to replace the few aging Il-38 and Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft. The medium-haul airliner is close in its tactical and technical characteristics to the Boeing 737-800, on the basis of which the American P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft were created. It can also serve as a platform for building an AWACS aircraft.

Thus, the idea of ​​the Tu-204/214 as some kind of temporary solution does not correspond to reality.
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  1. bsk_una Offline bsk_una
    bsk_una (Nick) April 7 2023 16: 44
    How many words were said about their aircraft. Alas! Khristenki, Manturovs and the like have not gone away, but there is no one to drive them out, so we will wait.
  2. Nelton Online Nelton
    Nelton (Oleg) April 7 2023 17: 47
    Over the past 2 months, the 2nd article on the civil aviation industry in general and the Tu-214 in particular, why such a frequency? Moreover, the news of the last 2 months is not covered in any way.

    And they were...
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) April 7 2023 18: 21
    The title is about prospects.
    In the text - detached reasoning. About business plans, orders for the allocation of money by the Kremlin, contracts .... zero.

    And real prospects, write, fig.

    Tk. neither money nor capacities are allocated for technical specifications. Maybe they don't exist anymore. Maybe - they don’t want to, they say, these are galoshes from the USSR. maybe - clan obligations for kickbacks.
    They write - the rate, money, resources are still on the MS and SSJ.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Wooh Offline Wooh
      Wooh (Barmaley) April 8 2023 08: 54
      Quote: Sergey Latyshev
      Maybe - they don’t want to, they say, these are galoshes from the USSR.

      Regarding galoshes. In Soviet times, I developed r / electronics for the Soviet Navy. If any worthwhile invention appeared, it was not introduced into industry, but the grandfather from the 1st department came, stamped it "Secret" or "Soviet secret" and sent this invention to the chest of Kashchei the immortal. So a lot of delicious galoshes can be removed from this chest. In the 90s, the Polish company in which I worked collaborated with the electrolytic chromium department Tulachermet. So there they told me that their developments were 30 years ahead of the Western ones. As proof, they showed me a cast product made of beryllium alloy for the MIG-29, similar to the clutch basket of a car. Beryllium is generally considered a non-cast metal. By the way, Russian was head and shoulders ahead of the world's best brands, and was sold for pennies of our Western company. In Warsaw, the barrels were painted, sculpted with inscriptions and sold further at a decent price.
  4. vlad127490 Online vlad127490
    vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) April 7 2023 20: 06
    Production of one or two aircraft per year. Where is the prospect to solve the problem of the lack of domestic aviation ??? Officials are waiting for when it will again be possible to take planes in the west for kickbacks.
  5. Alex Offline Alex
    Alex (Alexander) April 8 2023 09: 50
    Uh-huh, expensive, wasteful, with three pilots instead of two. This still needs to be calculated. But for some reason, no one takes into account that it costs 30 million. dollars, and for an analogue from Airbus and Boeing, it will be 70-80, which will be used to pay for components and labor of workers of NATO fighting against us.
  6. Yuri Bryanskiy Offline Yuri Bryanskiy
    Yuri Bryanskiy (Yuri Bryansky) April 11 2023 06: 21
    All problems in the control system. Under Stalin there was a controlled vertical. On the threat of nuclear war, he instructed to prepare 100!!! long-range aviation divisions. Fortunately, in August 1949 they tested nuclear weapons and did not need such a number of aircraft. But they could do it!
  7. Dmitry Volkov Offline Dmitry Volkov
    Dmitry Volkov (Dmitry Volkov) April 14 2023 20: 22
    If Russia does not cost its planes and launch vehicles, satellites, machine tools, cars, ships and ships, then we will be a khan, and a complete one ...