Description: Conversions of Tu-134B airliners (NATO 'Crusty') for training pilots and navigators of RFAS strategic aviation.
The Tupolev Tu-134 (NATO codename: 'Crusty') is a Soviet twin-engined airliner, similar to the American Douglas DC-9. One of the most widely used aircraft in the former Warsaw Pact countries, its number in active service is decreasing because of noise restrictions. The model has seen long-term service with some 42 countries, with some European airlines having made very intense use of the 134 (as many as 12 takeoffs and landings per plane daily). In addition to regular passenger service, it has also been used in various airforce, army and navy support roles; for pilot and navigator training; and for aviation research and test projects. In recent years, a number of planes have been converted for use as VIP transportation. A total of 852 Tu-134s were built (of all versions, including research/test bed examples) with Aeroflot as the largest user: by 1995, the Tu-134 had carried 360 million passengers for that airline.