Unsuccessful Tu-334: could Russia get an alternative to the Superjet?

The crash of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 has put the entire program on the brink of existence. However, is there an alternative to it?

Fly cannot be prohibited

Around the crash of the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the debate will settle down soon. Recall that as a result of the disaster in Sheremetyevo killed 41 people out of 78 on board the aircraft. The people sitting in the back of the fuselage did not survive. At the same time, the thesis that suitcases that someone tried to save prevented their survival, apparently, is incorrect. Apparently, passengers caught in a fiery trap would have died even if none of the people in front had taken carry-on baggage with them.

The investigation has not yet been completed: apparently, a complex of factors led to the tragedy. In general, we will try to ignore the incident a bit and look at the situation from the side.

There is no doubt that the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is one of the most iconic aircraft in the history of modern Russian aircraft manufacturing, if not the most iconic one. This is, recall, the first passenger airliner, fully developed in Russia after the collapse of the USSR. And one of the flagship projects of the entire Russian aircraft industry.

Oddly enough, the project is largely quite successful, by the standards of Russia. First you need to understand the conditions in which the "Superjet" was born: and this is not only in the dashing 90s, when the entire aircraft industry in Russia literally breathed in the air. Just before the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Russian aircraft manufacturers generally had no experience in creating truly modern winged vehicles.

To verify this, you can look in depth and honestly admit: the USSR could not produce passenger aircraft competitive in the Western market. Yes, with the combat aircraft of the Country of the Soviets, everything was more or less, however, this did not apply to passenger airliners. It is appropriate to recall the emergency first Soviet Tu-104 passenger jet: 200 out of 37 built vehicles crashed, and in total 1137 people died in accidents. The crown of the Soviet civil aircraft industry was the Tu-154, but its history is full of dark spots. Produced by a relatively modest by world standards series of 1026 cars, the plane got into serious accidents dozens of times: 71 cars were lost in total. One-year-old 154 - the American Boeing 737 - was not an example of a more perfect and reliable machine. Of the ten thousand aircraft built in accidents and disasters, 211 were lost. At first glance, it seems that this is a lot, but in percentage terms it is much less than the death of Tu-154 aircraft.

There is no faith in the late Soviet "miracle liners", which allegedly cut their wings. Four-engine wide-body IL-86/96 were not successful machines, which led to the actual abandonment of them. And the fact that they are now trying to revive the IL-96 in the “new wrapper” looks like a crime.

Tu-334: the future or a dead end

Finally, we came to the most important thing: could the Soviet / post-Soviet aircraft industry build a plane that would occupy the Superjet niche. Formally, there was such a plane. The short-range passenger Tu-334, the development of which the Tupolev Design Bureau began back in the 80s, some "experts" even now see as a worthy alternative to the Sukhoi Superjet. However, such an assessment is faced with a harsh reality, where the brainchild of the Tupolev design bureau is no longer in place.

Let's start with the good. As already mentioned, the Tu-334 is not just a paper project. In 1999, the machine completed its first flight and the main components and assemblies were created and tested long ago. The aircraft has a very different layout from the "Superjet". In technical terms, the aerodynamic design is a twin-engine low-wing with a rear turbojet engine, with an arrow-shaped wing and a T-tail. Externally, the Tu-334 looks like a greatly reduced and thickened Tu-154, which is not surprising when you consider that both machines were designed in the same design bureau.

The layout of the engines immediately attracts attention. Such a scheme provides several advantages, in particular, the placement of engines in the rear of the fuselage can improve the aerodynamic qualities of the wing and reduce noise in the cabin. This is where the major benefits end. But the drawbacks of the scheme used on the Tu-154/334, more than enough:

  • The proximity of the engines to each other increases the chances that the ignition of one will lead to the failure of the other;
  • A heavy T-shaped tail unit in total with the location of the engines shifts the center of gravity to the rear of the fuselage, making the aircraft prone to falling into a flat corkscrew;
  • The location of the engines under the wing allows you to speed up the service time of the aircraft. The scheme used on the Tu-334, respectively, on the contrary, makes it more time-consuming;
  • The location at the tail of the engines force the aircraft to be made longer, all else being equal.

As you can see, the purely conceptual superiority of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 over the Tu-334 is almost complete. And this we do not take into account the dangerous design of the chassis of the latter, an archaic cabin with three crew members, on-board electronics that are very outdated today, as well as an outdated cabin. We are also silent about the Ukrainian D-436T1 engines manufactured by the Motor Sich plant, the supply of which under current conditions could only have been dreaming, had the plane been born.

In principle, the fact that the Tu-334 in the serial version did not appear can be considered a great success for the country, which is far from normal with the civilian aircraft industry. What about the prospects of the "revival" of the 334th? In the spring of 2016, information appeared that aircraft manufacturers were planning to resume production of the aircraft, but upon closer examination it turned out that it was just a study of the possibility of using the Askon software product using some Tu-334 parts as an example.

That is, the project is “dead” for today, and there is no question of its revival in a new look.

Changing materials, on-board equipment, units, using new engines is like creating a completely new plane. Long, expensive. Even with deep modernization, the Tu-334 will not be able to compete with modern airliners

- recently said the executive director of the industry agency Aviaport Oleg Panteleev.

Combine "Hope"

The situation is similar with the An-148, which, we recall, could once become a competitor to the Sukhoi Superjet. And there is not much to talk about here, because the plane is Ukrainian. In the current political Under the circumstances, it would be absurd, frankly speaking, to hope for a restart of the Russian-Ukrainian program. Maybe later we will analyze the once promising aircraft in more detail, but it should be said right away that it can no longer be considered as a modern short-haul narrow-body aircraft.

In general, the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is correctly assessed not even as the "first Russian airliner", but as an attempt to create the first domestic passenger aircraft competitive on the world market, in general. Problems in this way could not be avoided, so the question can also be formulated in this way: is Russia ready to finance its aircraft industry? Or maybe it's worth buying all the planes abroad ...

Be that as it may, the cause of the recent tragedy was a set of factors showing the crisis of the entire Russian airline industry. And blame for all the troubles solely the creators of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is not worth it.
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  • Photos used: Rulexip / wikimedia.org
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  1. YUG64 Offline YUG64
    YUG64 (Yuri) 20 May 2019 08: 37
    You can kill any plane. You need to train the pilots properly, and pay them normal money - so that the best do not run away over the hill.
    1. NordUral Offline NordUral
      NordUral (Eugene) 21 May 2019 21: 23
      Here are our planes and killed. Only here are not the pilots.
      1. YUG64 Offline YUG64
        YUG64 (Yuri) 21 May 2019 21: 29
        Who prevented the pilots from flying to Murmansk in manual mode? To generate fuel? Go around after the first goat? Go around after the second goat? Do not goat at all?
        1. av58 Offline av58
          av58 (Andrei) 26 May 2019 19: 48
          The questions are generally correct, but specialists need to deal with them. It is necessary to wait for the results of the investigation, to speculate and wonder about this is silly.
      2. semsemch Offline semsemch
        semsemch 16 June 2019 16: 57
        Quote: NordUral
        Here are our planes and killed.

        You still visit the fate of the Muscovites and the Volga.
        But Soviet aircraft, these are precisely the Muscovites and the Volga. Only flying.
        Rubbish for short.
      3. DPN Offline DPN
        DPN (DPN) 23 August 2019 09: 25
        So they knew that they would fly on their own airplanes, and the country's natural resources for their age would be enough.
  2. YurOk Minaev Offline YurOk Minaev
    YurOk Minaev (YurOk Minaev) 20 May 2019 15: 56
    the author is clearly lobbying for the interests of the SSJ-100.
  3. senima56 Offline senima56
    senima56 (Nikolai) 20 May 2019 17: 25
    An-148 ...... as a modern short-range narrow-body aircraft, it can no longer be considered.

    Why is this so? Have you compared the AN-148 and SSZh flights in our airlines? That's it ... Of course, we are now in deep "contradictions" with Ukraine, but the AN-148 is a good plane, by the way, 70% of our components, in contrast to the SSZ, in which 20% is "our"!
  4. DrShvarce Offline DrShvarce
    DrShvarce (DrShvarce) 20 May 2019 21: 08
    Custom article with superficial judgment
    1. av58 Offline av58
      av58 (Andrei) 26 May 2019 19: 49
      The author is just extremely correct and accurate in his judgments; it can be slightly overdone in the part of IL-86/96.
      1. DrShvarce Offline DrShvarce
        DrShvarce (DrShvarce) 31 May 2019 23: 26
        Military Industrial Courier: https://vpk-news.ru/issues/50446
  5. Nikolay Malyugin (Nikolai Malyugin) 21 May 2019 07: 12
    The author is a little cunning, speaking of 90. In fact, we had to build a new aviation because in the new century we missed thousands of cars. Internal lines are our most painful problem. If before each city had several airfields, now companies complain that they are losing profits, having one at a time.
    1. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 01
      Quote: Nikolay Malyugin
      In fact, we had to build a new aircraft because in the new century we missed thousands of cars.

      And there was nothing to fill them with. Soviet junk was unprofitable. But they didn’t want used foreign cars.

      Quote: Nikolay Malyugin
      If before each city had several airfields, now companies complain that they are losing profits, having one at a time.

      Previously, airfields were built including for military use. Those. uncontrollably. And now they count money. And this is good.
  6. Igor Sedunov Offline Igor Sedunov
    Igor Sedunov (Igor Sedunov) 21 May 2019 16: 47
    The article is clearly biased, the facts presented in it about the shortcomings of the Tu 334 that are taking place are naive and ridiculous. In addition, the TU 334, presented in a negative light as an example of the continuation of the excellent Tu 154 airliner, speaks more about the continuity of a scientific school, and not about a design rabble collected in one design bureau.
    As for the flaws of the type; "flat corkscrew", clearly born from the word "flat feet", or the arrangement of engines located on opposite sides of the fuselage, which the author does not like and which causes failure of one engine after another, refers to dementia rather than to logic. For it is more logical to raise the motors on medium-haul airplanes and not press them in the lane, because such machines sometimes need to land on unpaved airfields, and not on concrete ...
    1. Legate Offline Legate
      Legate (Ilya) 22 May 2019 16: 41
      "it is more logical to raise the motors." Oh how! Then explain why Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and COMAC hardly do this on medium-haul routes now?

      However, you can not answer. Since the Tu-334 engines were located in the dense 70s. See the McDonnell Douglas passenger car range if you don't believe it.
    2. av58 Offline av58
      av58 (Andrei) 26 May 2019 19: 53
      Tu-334 flew, flew beautifully, low noise, good passenger compartment, but what's the point? Tu-334 was uncompetitive during the construction period. A crew of 3 people is not even archaism, it is a stone age.
      1. semsemch Offline semsemch
        semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 07
        Quote: av58
        Tu-334 was uncompetitive during the construction period. A crew of 3 people is not even archaism, it is a stone age.

    3. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 06
      Quote: Igor Sedunov
      the facts contained in it about the shortcomings of the Tu 334 are naive and absurd.

      In fact, everything is written correctly. UG this TU-334.

      Quote: Igor Sedunov
      as an example of the continuation of the excellent Tu 154 airliner

      Well, that UG was famous. Moreover, in all respects. For starters, it was dangerous to fly on it.

      Quote: Igor Sedunov
      it speaks more precisely about the succession of a scientific school

      This "school" was a penny.

      Quote: Igor Sedunov
      For it’s more logical to raise the motors on medium-haul aircraft and not to press their strip

      Those. on Boeing and Airbus suckers do it all wrong?
      And let's make a plane for landing in a swamp. A hybrid with a submarine. And we will use it. Crying with crocodile tears every day from the losses incurred.
      The simple idea that the runway can be swept up and removed from any muck never occurred to me?
  7. NordUral Offline NordUral
    NordUral (Eugene) 21 May 2019 21: 22
    The author, and you are not from the press center of this super?
  8. DrShvarce Offline DrShvarce
    DrShvarce (DrShvarce) 21 May 2019 21: 37
    Gentlemen, well, comparing everything in a heap, medium-, short- and long-haul aircraft, is tantamount to mixing a destroyer, a frigate and a corvette in the analysis. “Which is cooler -“ Karakurt ”or“ Arlie Burke. ”As K. Prutkov said:“ Look at the root. ”But in general (according to the author):“ The truncate is gone. Let's sit down with a mustache. "And if, without laughing ... balls - the author is either a troll, or simply PR.
  9. Warrior Offline Warrior
    Warrior 22 May 2019 07: 17
    The author is sick, because he did not present any evidence, but only doused the Soviet aircraft industry with shit ... therefore, he must be treated in the Madhouse
    1. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 09
      Quote: Warrior
      The author is sick

      Are you a doctor? I think not even next to him.

      Quote: Warrior
      and they just doused the Soviet aircraft industry with shit.

      And you don’t need to pour over it. It itself was doused.
  10. Red Offline Red
    Red (Red) 22 May 2019 10: 52
    The author is either an absolute dilettante, or a "sent Cossack". The advantage of the Tu-334 is much higher. Since it was calculated and designed by SPECIALISTS, and not by "highly effective managers", and not by Boeing templates, but by Soviet designers, taking into account the Russian (Soviet) features of basing and operation!
    1. Legate Offline Legate
      Legate (Ilya) 22 May 2019 16: 43
      Now no one is creating passenger aircraft for "Russian", "Brazilian" or "European" features. They are created taking into account the requirements of the world market and this is the only way to pay off the project in theory.
    2. av58 Offline av58
      av58 (Andrei) 26 May 2019 19: 56
      The Tu-334 was uncompetitive in economics, which became immediately clear. A crew of 3 is a stone age. Nobody needed the car; no airline was interested in them. Even Iran did not take the license for the production of Tu-334, which before that would buy a license for the An-140. That, in fact, is the whole story.
    3. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 11
      Quote: Red
      The advantage of the Tu-334 is an order of magnitude higher. Since it was calculated and designed by SPECIALISTS

      Not by specialists, but by "Soviet specialists".
      Those. companions Krivoruchko.

      Quote: Red
      and not according to the patterns of Boeing

      That's the trouble.

      Quote: Red
      and by Soviet designers

      Here. I say so. Comrades Krivoruchko.
  11. Jar.serge Offline Jar.serge
    Jar.serge (Reznik) 24 May 2019 19: 14
    The author is just like Captain Smollett from the Soviet cartoon "Treasure Island"

    - That's what, sir! I will speak frankly with you! I do not like this expedition! I do not like these sailors! And anyway ... what? !! Yes! Not! I don't like anything at all, sir!

    The author generally does not like all domestic planes. Not only Tu-334 but also Tu-134 and Tu-154 should not have listened to him at all .... Ilya Legat revealed such design flaws in them. How would it be more correct to say on whose side you are the author? Are you for Russia?
    1. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 15
      Quote: Jar.serge
      The author generally does not like all domestic planes.

      And what are those who like them?
      However, kerosene merchants probably like it. Already painfully mono guzzle him.

      Quote: Jar.serge
      but Tu-134 and Tu-154 were not supposed to fly at all ..

      In a good way, of course, they shouldn't. But they flew. After all, nothing else was offered.
      And as it began to be offered, so all this rubbish left for scrap.

      Quote: Jar.serge
      How would it be more correct to say on whose side you are the author? Are you for Russia?

      It is you who should be asked this question. Why do you want people to suffer and fight in Soviet old stuff? Do you think that if you are for this, then you are "for Russia"? I just think it's the other way around.
  12. Vladimir T Offline Vladimir T
    Vladimir T (Vladimir T) 25 May 2019 18: 00
    Without mistakes and mistakes, one who does nothing. But it is necessary to develop domestic aviation. There’s no getting around it.
    1. semsemch Offline semsemch
      semsemch 16 June 2019 17: 19
      Quote: Vladimir T
      It is necessary to develop domestic aviation. There’s no getting around it.

      There are doubts that there is something to develop. If the MS is about the same level as SSJ, then the topic can be closed. The second pancake of the same quality will not work.
      And this despite the fact that SSJ100 should not be considered a failure. He was just the first. And against the background of "Soviet liners" this is really a breakthrough. But, unfortunately, not very deep. And its depth may simply not be enough.
  13. General Gau Offline General Gau
    General Gau 26 May 2019 20: 10
    Have you dug up and raised from the coffin a dead project, "designed" by cutting off 60 meters from the Tu-204 aircraft and equipped with Ukrainian engines? Bazaar NIACHOM.
  14. semsemch Offline semsemch
    semsemch 16 June 2019 16: 56
    It is difficult to disagree with the author that the SSJ100 is the first attempt to make a civilian aircraft in Russia more or less consistent with world standards.
    This is not to say that she succeeded.
    But you can’t say that she didn’t succeed.
    The truth is somewhere in between. The attempt failed, but not completely.
    The SSJ100 is full of jambs. But above all, they are in the so-called. "product support". Well, immigrants from the USSR do not know how to do this. This is not their strong point.
    There are also "piloting features", which, as it turns out now, were forgotten to inform the pilots.
    But with all its jambs SSJ100, this is the best that has been done for civil aviation in the USSR / Russia. This is an indisputable fact.
  15. nemoXX Offline nemoXX
    nemoXX 28 November 2019 11: 14
    At one time, the Pravda newspaper wrote:

    Or guns, or oil!

    And that was the real truth. For some reason, the Soviet people decided that this only concerns the "imperialists", not knowing, and often not wanting to know, that the arms race, which ruined and ruined the USSR, would have a much stronger effect on it and the weaker economy.
    A factor that seriously aggravates the development of many industries is the inability and unwillingness to work in conditions of real competition and a market economy with constant attempts to replace them with "protection of domestic producers" ... that is, non-economic forcing buyers to purchase rubbish and marriage at a high price ...
    The history of the Superjet is only a special case of the general picture of the nomenclature pseudo-market economy, led by a fraction of the privatizers from the CPSU.
  16. tom44 Offline tom44
    tom44 (tom44) 28 November 2019 13: 04
    Unsuccessful Tu-334: could Russia get an alternative to the Superjet?

    Superjet, this is the maximum that the Russian (Soviet) aviation industry could create at an approximately world-wide level. And the wide import substitution as part of its components is not a whim of the developers, it is a statement of the fact that in Russia they did not produce anything like this and could not master production. Then at least.
    The rest of the "Soviet aviation" is simply rubbish that nobody needs, which had nothing to do with the world level of aircraft construction. Including the most perfect example of this stuff, the Tu-334.
    As for Superdet, he’s not that bad in principle. Not even bad, in general. And it is not the design that is killing him now, but the "Soviet service". It is the Superdet service that its lessors need to deal with.
    But it is so boring.
    And so troublesome.
    Which, it seems, will not be very good with the Superjet.
  17. prochor Offline prochor
    prochor (Vyacheslav Shpilyun) 25 May 2020 21: 37
    Superjet is an excellent aircraft for domestic airlines of huge Russia. If you do not count for air crashes due to the fault of the test pilot and pilot, who completely failed in moral quality to pilot a serviceable aircraft, then for 15 years of its flight practice there are no crashes for technical reasons.
    1. Alexey Sergeev Offline Alexey Sergeev
      Alexey Sergeev (Alexey Sergeev) 16 September 2020 18: 29
      Reliability issues. The arrangement of tanks and landing gears, easy to maintain, compared to competitors.
  18. Alexey Sergeev Offline Alexey Sergeev
    Alexey Sergeev (Alexey Sergeev) 16 September 2020 18: 28
    It was possible to redesign the location of the engines. Under the wings, or above them (by analogy with the Japanese short-haul routes).
    IMHO, the developers did not want to move away from the layout of the Tu-134.