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Тu-334 At Last Comes to Change Oldie – with 5 Years’ Delay

Тu-334 At Last Comes to Change Oldie – with 5 Years’ Delay

The state will purchase six planes: four Tu-334-100 with VIP-interiors and two for the Federal Protective Service in configuration with special assies and governmental communication. Unexpectedly the offer on manufacture of Tu-334 gained the field. Formally advantage of Tu-334 is in spare parts, the majority of which for SuperJet 100 are imported (that is natural as the plane has been created in cooperation with "Boeing"). Project An-148 also participated in competition but it as well as the Ukrainian plane didn't pass on the same parameters.


Capacity of turbojet plane Tu-334 makes 102 passengers. Range of flight - up to 3150 km at calculated commercial loading. Its first flight took place in February, 1999. By present time two skilled samples of Tu-334 are produced. Catalogue cost of the plane will make $25 million including VAT.


- Destiny of Tu-334 was rather dramatic and the drama was played out in front of my eyes, - political scientist Anatoly Baranov informed FORUM.msk. - It was planned for replacement of medium-magistral machines according to the decision of Primakov's government. Serial assembly should be carried out on RAC "MiG" which actually under that conversion project was headed by N.Nikitin and I was defined to him as director on public relations. The project was thought out as commercial, it was planned to offer it on external market. Actually, it should be the "locomotive" project for all domestic aviation industry - there were even ideas, in case of success, to create incorporated aviabuilding corporation on the basis of "MiG". According to the governmental order №1200, the plane should become serial already in 2002. Total modernization of manufacture on Lukhovitsky machine-building factory was carried out for it, the new big assembly building was built, the first deputy general designer of RAC "MiG" J.Tsjupko was even transferred out as general director to the factory, technical school for preparation of local staff for the growing industry was established in Lukhovitsy. However at the end it didn't played out...


"Next time I came across that project already on a post of the deputy vice-premier of the government of Russia on industry, - Anatoly Baranov continued. - Special exit meeting with participation of members of the government, militarians and large business was carried out directly in assembly shop in Lukhovitsy. It was in summer of 2003 when the plan on start of Tu-334 in series was finally broken. It was too late for its offer on external market - similar machines of leaders went to series. It was possible to speak only about domestic market and, maybe, about some markets of the countries of "the third world" like Iran or Bangladesh. However the producer couldn't guarantee the declared net price of 15-16 million dollars, figures in 22 and more millions were named. It categorically did not suit the government as such machine, obviously, couldn't be paid off and it was impossible to talk about foreign market even for Iran. Besides nobody could answer really, when the machine would be ready to be become serial - so, the project was frozen, financing stopped. However later not once I, already as independent journalist, returned to the project of Tu-334 as finally there was nothing to replace become hopelessly outdated Tu-134 and Tu-154 by the domestic avia industry. Project SuperJet 100 is meanwhile in general nothing, it does not fly yet and it is not known when it will fly and how. There is nothing at all - An-148 is the Ukrainian plane. As to Tu-334 everything, in general is in condition close to readiness: there is a certificated, flying machine, already mentioned in aeroshows. There is the whole pocket of project documentation. There is a factory specially, it is possible to say, under this plane in readiness for more than 95%. And the main thing is that unlike in 2003 there is no place to invest money in the budget, that is a question of profitability of Tu-334, especially if it will be a question of internal lines, is no longer a key one. In general, all these years "aviation public" with great skepticism treated my reminders of that project and I think today I can amuse my vanity - I was right to all 100%! ".


The first stage of realization of the project which costs 1,5 billion roubles will be financed from budgets of Tatarstan and Investment fund of Russia. In 2008-2009 production of three units of Tu-334 is planned. Batch production of the plane is planned to start in Kazan.


For today on the Kazan aviation production association (KAPA) which is according to the governmental decision the head in Russia on the development and batch production of Tu-334 there are all basic units for completion of Tu-334. However it is necessary to carry out corresponding technological preparation of manufacture and to buy metal, accessories, finished articles to develop batch production of Tu-334 on KAPA.


It's a little surprise for me, - Anatoly Baranov finished. - КАPA in relation to Tu-334 is approximately in the same position as RAC "MiG" in 2001. That is it's necessary to begin all over again there. At the same time Lukhovitsky Machine-Building Factory where technological preparation of manufacture was carried out under that project about three years ago remained, actually, deserted. In the beginning of this year vice-premier S.Ivanov with delight spoke that in assembly shop for Tu-334 they would re-equip some European oldies. I think that they in the government simply can't find a potty to waste extra money into, just so...

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