Commercial Aircraft Directory: Part 2

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Boeing and Airbus keep the new airliner developments flowing as the Russian industry struggles due to lack of funding

Max Kingsley-Jones/LONDON

While Airbus Industrie has busied itself with the detailed definition of its new A3XX and launched production of the A340-500/600, Boeing has been quietly introducing major derivatives.

Although the A3XX continues to be Airbus' most high-profile programme, the consortium has been more preoccupied with immediate pressures as its production rates set new records. This year has seen the launch of a fourth A320 derivative - the A318 - and two important milestones have been passed - the handing over of the 1,000th A320 and the 2,000th Airbus.

Sales by the Toulouse-based company have held up well in the face of the Asian crisis, and 1998 was a record year. Already, 1999 has proved better than expected, with Airbus continuing to put pressure on its US rival.

The company has been forced to delay the launch of the A3XX again, but is confident it will be ready by the end of the year to begin a search for commitments to ensure the programme goes ahead in 2000. If it does, the first aircraft will be delivered in 2005.

Boeing's production rates have also been breaking records. This year will see an all-time high of over 600 deliveries. Even its projected slowdown for 2000 will represent one of the industry's highest-ever tallies. Last year, Boeing introduced three models - the 737-800 and 600 in April and September respectively, and the 777-300 in May. It also flew the stretched 757-300 last September - it entered service in March - and has just rolled out a larger, second generation 767 derivative, the -400ER. This model will enter service next year, when another 737 variant, the -900, will be rolled out in Seattle.

Boeing's normally rock solid product development strategy has been in an extended holding pattern on the 777. Despite a gestation period of almost four years for the model, the company is still seeking enough orders to launch the ultra-long-range -200/300X. The programme is nearer than ever to a go-ahead, with GE's GE90 selected as sole powerplant.

Meanwhile, some airlines are pursuing yield/frequency rather than capacity-driven strategies, a trend that has seen the popularity of the 400-seat 747 decline. British Airways has led the charge to lower fleet capacity and is cutting its 747 fleet in favour of the 777.

Another BA aircraft, Concorde, has recently been the centre of a transatlantic hushkit war. The USA threatened to ban the supersonic transport in a tit-for-tat move after Europe unveiled plans to limit operations of hushkitted aircraft. The threat ensured that Europe delayed a cut-off point for a year, but future clashes over hushkit operations seem likely.

The Russians have three key airliner programmes - the Tupolev Tu-204, Tu-334 and Ilyushin Il-96 - that have promised much but achieved little, mainly because of a lack of cash.

The Tu-204, offered with Russian and Western engines, has shown the most promise, but has not yet achieved success. Production of the widebodied Il-96 is almost at a standstill, while the Tu-334 short-haul twinjet faces a bleak future unless funding becomes available.

AEROSPATIALE/BAE New Filton House, Bristol, BS99 7AR, UK; tel: +44 (0) 117 936 4595, fax: +44 (117) 936 5448

Concorde

Thirteen of the 20 Concordes built remain in operation, and the 100-seat supersonic transport is expected to continue in service for at least another 10 more years.

The Mach 2 airliner was developed jointly by Aerospatiale and British Aerospace (formerly BAC) and made its first flight from Toulouse in March 1969. The Concorde entered service with Air France and British Airways in 1976. Aircraft were assembled on dual production lines in Filton and Toulouse. Of the 20 built, four were prototype/pre-production models and 16 were production examples, 14 of which were delivered to the two airlines.

A BA-led life-extension programme resulted in airframe life being increased to 8,500 reference flights (from the original 6,700) allowing BA's youngest aircraft to remain operational until around 2014 (based on utilisation of around 1,000h a year).

Delivered:14 In service:13

AIRBUS INDUSTRIE 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, Blagnac Cedex F-31707, France; tel: +33 (61) 93 33 33; fax: +33 (61) 93 37 92; telex: 530526 FAIRBU; Web: www.airbus.com

Airbus Industrie was formed in December 1970 as a 50:50 joint venture between Aerospatiale and Deutsche Airbus (now DaimlerChrysler Aerospace). Spain's CASA joined the consortium in 1971, followed by British Aerospace in 1979. Aerospatiale Matra and DaimlerChrysler each hold 37.9%, CASA 4.2% and BAe 20%.

A300

Based in Toulouse, France, Airbus was formed to manage the development and marketing of the 250-seat A300B, which had been launched in May 1969. The first flight, from Toulouse, took place in October 1972.

The first production A300 variant, the B2, entered service in May 1974. The B4 growth-weight version followed, and several F4 and C4 versions were completed with maindeck cargo doors. Two slightly smaller B1s were built, only one of which was delivered. Both GE- and P&W-powered A300s were produced.

An A300 derivative equipped with two-crew EFIS flightdeck, the -600, was launched in 1980 and entered service in March 1984. The A300-600 used the A310's rear fuselage and tail, boosting passenger and cargo capacity slightly. From the mid-1980s, the new version superseded the original A300B models, of which 250 were built.

The current production A300, the -600R, entered service in 1988. This version has increased fuel capacity, heavier weights and extended-range capability.

The A300-600F freighter was first flown in December 1993 following an order from FedEx, and most of the outstanding A300 orders are for this version. Last September, Airbus received an order from US package carrier UPS Airlines for 60 A300-600Fs, including 30 firm orders, ensuring that production of the aircraft will continue for some years.

BAe Aviation Services and Dasa Airbus offer freighter conversions of the A300. BAe's programme received its US supplemental type certificate in June 1997 and Dasa's approval followed in late 1997. The two companies have converted almost 50 aircraft, and the backlog takes orders beyond 100.

Dasa has subcontracted some conversions to Aerospatiale Matra subsidiary Sogerma. Aerospatiale Matra and Dasa Airbus are in talks with BAe to form a conversion and maintenance joint venture, which could be the first step towards establishing a "European Maintenance and Conversion Company" as a wholly owned subsidiary of the proposed Airbus single corporate entity (SCE).

Meanwhile, Airbus has developed an avionics retrofit for the A300B2/B4, to meet new navigation requirements, which involves the installation of two GPS navigation and landing units and two flat-panel navigation displays.

Production: Final assembly of the A300-600 is integrated with that of the A310, and is undertaken by Aerospatiale at Toulouse. Fourteen A300/A310s were delivered in 1998 and the combined production rate is running at about five a year (mostly A300s). Production is being undertaken on a build-to-order basis.

Ordered: 520 Delivered: 483

A310

Launched in July 1978 as a short-fuselage derivative of the A300B4, the 210-seat A310 has a smaller, more advanced wing and a two-crew flightdeck. The aircraft entered service with Lufthansa and Swissair in April 1983 in its basic -200 form. A longer-range version, the -300, was introduced in 1985, with increased weights and fuel capacity.

Airbus has indicated that future A310 developments could include optimising the aircraft for the 200-seat regional market, rather than the long-range sector for which it has been developed more recently. It sees demand returning when early A310s and Boeing 757s and 767s become due for replacement.

Airbus has been studying an A310 follow-on, under the project name P305, which has been offered to China among a series of possible collaborative proposals to replace the defunct AE31X. Proposed changes include a 10/12-frame fuselage stretch, making the aircraft about the same size as the A300, along with new-generation engines and fly-by-wire flight controls to provide commonality with the latest Airbus models. An alternative A300/A310 follow-on could be based on the A330 (see entry).

Dasa Airbus offers a cargo conversion for the A310 (similar to the A300B4), and has converted 44 A310s to date, primarily for FedEx.

Production: See A300

Ordered: 261 Delivered: 255

A318/A319/A320/A321

Airbus entered the single-aisle, sub-200 seat market in March 1984 with the launch of the 150-seat A320. The European consortium's family of single-aisle, fly-by-wire airliners has four models offering two-class seating capacity for 107 to 185 passengers.

The A320 - the world's first subsonic airliner to have a fly-by-wire flight control system and composite primary structures - had its first flight in February 1987 and entered service with Air France just over a year later. The first version was the A320-100, of which 21 were built. This was superseded by the A320-200, now the standard production version, which has increased fuel capacity and increased weights.

In 1989, Airbus launched a stretched derivative, the 185-seat A321-100, which entered service with Lufthansa in March 1994. An extended-range version, the A321-200, which has increased weights and fuel capacity, was introduced in 1997. Airbus is offering further increases in weight to up to 93t MTOW.

The first of two shorter-fuselage members, the 124-seat A319, was launched in June 1993 and entered service in May 1996 with Swissair. Deliveries begin later this year of the corporate jet (CJ) version of the A319 which, with up to seven auxiliary fuel tanks, can carry 10 passengers over distances up to 11,600km. Airbus aims to produce up to 10-12 A319CJs a year from 2002 and is looking at broadening the range to include the A320 and A321.

After first studying the development of an all-new 80/100-seat family with China and Singapore (the AE31X), Airbus decided to create a 100-seater based on the A320. Designated the A318, this aircraft received full launch approval in April, underwritten by 109 orders and commitments from six customers. The first flight is scheduled for the third quarter of 2001, with deliveries beginning about a year later.

The aircraft has a 4.5-frame shrink from the A319 and is offered with the P&W PW6000 and CFM56-5B. The fuselage reduction is achieved by removing 1.5 frames forward of the wing and three aft. To compensate for the shorter moment arm, the surface area of the vertical stabiliser had to be increased by extending the fin tip by about 0.8m.

Sextant Avionique is contracted to be sole supplier of flat-panel liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for all the production fly-by-wire Airbus types from mid-2000. Sextant will also supply LCDs for retrofit to the in-service A320 family.

Production: Final assembly of the Airbus narrowbodies is divided between the consortium's French and German partners. Aerospatiale builds the A320 at Toulouse, while Dasa Airbus has responsibility for the A319 and A321 and, from 2001, the A318, at its Hamburg plant. During 1998, 168 A320 family aircraft were delivered - 80 A320s and 88 A319/A321s. The single-aisle production rate is moving to 22 a month by the second quarter of 2000.

As part of the agreement for Dasa Airbus to build the A318, any A319 production overspill will be transferred from Hamburg to Toulouse from 2001, as an offset.

Ordered: 2,117 (30 A318s, 603 A319s, 1,220 A320s, 264 A321s) Delivered: 1,024 (145 A319s, 743 A320s, 136 A321s)

A330

The A330 twinjet and four-engined A340 were launched in June 1987 as a two-pronged, single aircraft programme, marking its entry into the medium/long-haul capacity market. The 335-seat (two-class) A330-300 was the first production variant, which was first flown in November 1992 and entered commercial service in January 1994 with French carrier Air Inter. A smaller, longer-range 253-seat (three class) version, the A330-200, was flown in August 1997 and entered service in April 1998 with launch operator Canada 3000.

The new model is 10 frames (5.33m) shorter than the -300, has increased weights (by using the strengthened wing of the high gross weight A340-300) and extra fuel capacity. It is designed to cross a distance of more than 12,000km.

Both versions of the A330 are offered with all of the major engine manufacturers' powerplants, including the GE CF6-80E1, P&W PW4164/4168 and R-R Trent 772.

Airbus has developed a high gross weight, longer range version of the A330-300 which uses the -200's strengthened wing and MTOW, but does not have the extra fuel capacity.

Airbus is studying a short fuselage A330 derivative, dubbed the "A330-100" (project name A330M19), as a potential 200-seat A300/A310 replacement. The aircraft would have a nine-frame fuselage shrink compared with the A330-200 and 19 compared with the -300. The principal design changes are a five-frame shortened forward fuselage and the removal of four frames aft of the main wing to shave about 4.8m off the overall 59m length of the A330-200.

The aircraft will require an engine in the 60,000lb-thrust range and competing manufacturers are already manoeuvring to be on the programme. Pratt & Whitney is believed to be looking at either a derated version of the A330's PW4168 or the proposed PW8160 geared turbofan. R-R and General Electric are likely to offer a derated Trent 700 and CF6-80E1, respectively.

Airbus has looked at developing an enlarged version of the A330, but these studies are on hold. The enlarged aircraft could be equipped with the bigger wing being developed for the A340-600.

Production: Aerospatiale performs final assembly of the A330 alongside the A340 at Toulouse. In 1998, Airbus delivered 47 A330/A340s, comprising 23 A330s and 24 A340s. The production rate is now about 5.5 a month, mostly the A330.

Ordered: 257 Delivered: 108

A340

The four-engined A340 was launched in parallel with the A330 in June 1987. Initially, two versions were offered - the 263-seat -200 (three-class) and 295-seat -300 - with both versions equipped with the CFM56-5C engine.

The first flight was in October 1991, and the A340-300 and -200 entered commercial service in March 1993 with Air France and Lufthansa, respectively.

Singapore Airlines was launch customer for a high gross weight, longer-range version of the -300, which entered service in April 1996. The new model has a strengthened wing structure and higher thrust engines. A very-long-range derivative of the smaller -200, dubbed the A340-8000 (14,800km range), was also developed. This derivative has increased weights and fuel capacity in the rear cargo hold, and just one example has been built, for a VIP operator.

In June 1997, Airbus announced the provisional launch of a major derivative A340 family, the R-R Trent 500-powered A340-500/600. The $2.5 billion aircraft programme received a full go-ahead in December 1997, by which time 100 commitments from seven customers had been secured.

The new family includes a 380-seat version, the -600 and an ultra-long-range model, the 313-seat -500. Key to the new family is the 20% larger wing, which incorporates a 1.6m wingbox insert to increase area and fuel capacity, along with 1.6m wingtip extensions. The MTOW will be increased to 365t, requiring a four-wheel centre main undercarriage unit to replace the existing two-wheel unit.

The R-R Trent 500 is rated at 53-56,000lb thrust, but a version with an increased thrust of 60,000lb is being studied for longer-range, increased-weight versions of the aircraft. The R-R engine was selected after Airbus initially studied a GE-powered version during 1996 but the US engine firm withdrew its offer. An offer from P&W was also studied, but R-R was awarded a contract which effectively makes it the exclusive supplier under an agreement that is not due to expire until 2006.

In mid-1999, P&W renewed efforts to power the A340-500/600, offering the PW8160 geared fan engine on the A340-500/600 as early as 2003.

Sextant Avionique has been awarded a contract to be sole supplier of flat-panel LCDs for the new A340-500/600. Sextant will also supply LCDs for the retrofit of in-service A330s and A340s.

The first A340-600 will be flown in January 2001, followed by the -500 in July 2001. Deliveries of the A340-600 will begin in early 2002, followed shortly by the A340-500.

Production: See A330

Ordered: 270 Delivered: 162

A3XX

Airbus intends to complete its product line-up with an all-new 480/660-seat family, dubbed the A3XX, which is scheduled to enter service in 2005. In April 1996, Airbus established its Large Aircraft division (AI/L), headed by Jurgen Thomas, to develop the new family of double-deck aircraft.

Before this, Airbus and its US rival Boeing had studied the joint development of a single, very large commercial transport, but this partnership dissolved in 1994 and the two companies are now set for a head-on fight.

The four-engined A3XX will be offered with a choice of powerplants in the 67,000-75,000lb thrust bracket, and the consortium has an MoU with R-R and the GE-P&W Engine Alliance for the Trent 900 and GP7200 respectively.

When the A3XX was first proposed, Airbus had targeted an in-service date of late 2003. In early 1998, it emerged that this target had slipped by at least nine months, to the third quarter of 2004, and the consortium is now aiming to deliver the first aircraft in mid-2005. Airbus is determined to offer direct operating costs 15-20% below those of the rival Boeing 747-400, and says the delays are partly due to the fact that it had not achieved this "engineering target".

Airbus aims to complete the baseline definition of the A3XX by the end of this year and to finalise the selection of the assembly location and production method. This will ensure the consortium is ready to begin taking commitments early next year in preparation for a launch decision by the end of 2000.

In early 1998, Airbus submitted an application to the European JAA for A3XX type certification. If all goes to the current plan, Airbus aims to launch the A3XX programme during the second half of next year, to ensure that the first flight takes place in 2004, but the consortium says it will launch the project in 2000 only if it takes the necessary commitments (about 50). The formal introduction of the freighter version into the A3XX market studies has boosted overall sales prospects by 25%. The first freighter will follow about two years behind the first passenger model.

The double-deck A3XX project includes the baseline 555-seat (three-class) -100, which has a range of about 14,200km. Airbus is also proposing a stretched derivative of the A3XX, the 656-seat -200, with an increased weight and a similar range. An extended-range -100R, with the higher MTOW of the -200, has also been proposed.

These three variants are the most clearly defined so far, but Airbus is examining other models, a reduced-capacity 480-seat version (-50/50R), a high-capacity/short-range version, and a combi (-100C) and freighter (-100F) variant. A 700-seat-plus (three-class) variant, the A3XX-300, has also been mentioned.

Meanwhile, the consortium is seeking partners to provide up to 40% of the estimated $11 billion needed to develop its first very-high-capacity aircraft. Alenia, Belairbus, Stork Aerospace, Aerostructures, Eurocopter, GKN Westland, Latecoere, Hurel-Dubois, Saab and Finavitec have already signed to participate in pre-launch development work.

In the 1999 long-range market forecast (1999-2018), Airbus has, for the second consecutive year, reduced the estimated size of the large passenger airliner market in which the A3XX will compete (to 1,208 from 1,295 in 1998 and 1,442 in 1997). The consortium, however, has increased its overall market projections for the A3XX class to 1,510 units by including large freighter demand.

Production: Five sites are competing for the A3XX final assembly line, with the existing sites Hamburg and Toulouse acknowledged as the strongest contenders. Two production methods are being examined, depending on the site chosen. New methods of transportation are being considered to bring A3XX components to the assembly line, including modified A300-600ST Belugas and a piggy-back method to transport the wings externally above the fuselage of an A340. Other options being considered to transport the large sections are hovercraft or ships.

Partners and suppliers are bidding for the various industrial production packages on the programme.

A3XX production is expected to stabilise at an initial rate of about four aircraft a month.

ANTONOV Aeronautical Scientific - Technical Complex, 1 Tupolev St, Kiev 252062, Ukraine; tel: +380 (44) 4425 7098; fax: +380 (44) 4495 9996; telex: 131048, 132792 OZON.

An-70T

The An-70T four-engined propfan-powered military airlifter (a commercial version is also planned) made its maiden flight in December 1994. The programme was thrown into turmoil, however, after the fatal crash of the single prototype on 10 February 1995, following a mid-air collision with an An-72 chase aircraft.

Antonov converted the second, static-test prototype to flight status and it was flown in April 1997. The Kiev Aviant plant in Ukraine has started to raise funds to finance a commercial version of the An-70. Aviant is collaborating with the Aviacor plant to prepare the An-70 for series production.

Antonov has investigated the development of a twin-engined variant, the An-70T-100, powered with the same Progress D-27 propfans, which would not have the standard An-70's short take-off capability but would be lighter and therefore less expensive. Production series production is planned to be undertaken by Aviacor in Samara, Russia.

An-124 Ruslan

The prototype An-124 Ruslan freighter was first flown in December 1982 and entered service in January 1986. Although conceived originally for use by the Russian military, the 150t payload An-124 has found a market niche with Western cargo operators because it can be used for very heavy, outsized loads.

In mid-1997, a hushkit was certificated for the An-124 which enables compliance with Stage3/Chapter 3 noise legislation. The hushkit was developed by the Progress Design Bureau, which designed the An-124's ZMKB Progress D-18T turbofan, in conjunction with Antonov.

With the designed 6,000 flight hour service life for the An-124 nearing expiry, a row is brewing. The Russian cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr has urged the Antonov design bureau to move ahead with work to extend the planned life of the carrier's seven An-124s. The airline believes the aircraft's life could be at least quadrupled to 35-40 years/30,000 hours, providing the necessary work is done by designers.

If the design life is not extended, Volga-Dnepr faces the prospect of having its fleet of An-124s grounded at some time. Volga-Dnepr has also studied a re-engining programme for its An-124s using Kuznetsov NK-93 ducted-propfan engines. Meanwhile, this year, An-124 leasing specialist Air Foyle and Antonov have proposed a Rolls-Royce-powered variant of the An-124, designated An-124-210, to meet a UK Royal Air Force requirement for a short-term strategic transport aircraft (STSA).

In the mid-1990s, Aviastar began studying the development of a "Westernised" An-124 at its Ulyanovsk factory. This is dubbed the -130 and would probably be equipped with GE CF6 engines and fitted with Western avionics.

Production: Aviastar builds the An-124 at its Ulyanovsk factory.

Delivered: c50

An-180

The An-180, envisaged as a 150/175-seat medium-range airliner with two rear-mounted propfan engines installed on the tips of the horizontal tail, was unveiled at the 1991 Paris air show. No firm timetable for the project has been published, but studies of the airliner continue.

An-218

Also announced at the 1991 Paris air show, the An-218 is similar to the Airbus A330, but development has been "deferred". The 290-seat twinjet would be powered by a pair of ZMKB Progress D-18TM engines, although, theoretically, later versions could be fitted with Western turbofans. The baseline version would have a range of 8,300km, with heavier, longer-range and stretched versions also proposed.

An-225 Myria

Only one example of the six-engined An-225 - the world's largest aircraft - has been built, and it was first flown in December 1988. Effectively a stretched, six-engined derivative of the An-124, equipped with an increased-span wing and redesigned tail, the An-225 can carry its 250,000kg payload internally or externally.

Since 1998, An-124 leasing specialist Air Foyle has been working with the Antonov design bureau on a programme which could lead to a fleet of up to three An-225s entering operation. The single An-225 that was flown has been in storage for more than two years and has been cannibalised, while the major components for a second are complete but disassembled at the Antonov plant in Kiev.

Delivered: 1

BOEING Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, PO Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207, USA; tel: +1 (206) 655 1131; fax: +1 (206) 655 7004; telex: 329430; Web: www.boeing.com

Boeing and McDonnell Douglas (MDC) were formally merged in August 1997. All the in-production MDC types were redesignated as Boeings, and are included in the Boeing section of the directory and data table. The 100-seater 717 (previously the MDC MD-95) was included in last week's regional aircraft directory.

707/720

Boeing launched its jet-powered airliner project, dubbed the 367-80, as a privately funded venture in 1952. The "Dash 80", which was effectively the 707 prototype, was flown in July 1954 and aimed at the expected huge market for such an aircraft for both civil and military applications. The first production 707-100 entered service with Pan American Airways in October 1958. Boeing also developed a military tanker/transport version, the model 717, designated the KC-135.

The -100 was superseded by the higher-powered -200. A larger, longer-range 707 derivative, the -320B/C, fitted with P&W JT3D turbofans, became the standard production version from the early 1960s. An R-R Conway-powered model, the 707-400, was also produced in limited numbers. Some 154 examples of the smaller, short-range model 720 were also produced between 1959 and 1967. The last civil 707 was delivered in 1979.

About 100 commercially operated 707s remain in service, the vast majority of which are -300 series freighters. Burbank Aeronautical II (BAC II) and Quiet Technology Venture (QTV formerly Quiet Nacelle) of the USA are offering hushkits that will allow the 707 to meet Stage 3 noise limits. The BAC II hushkit was flown for the first time in April 1997 and a US supplemental type certificate is due in November 1998. BAC has also developed composite winglets for the 707, which have a $400,000 sticker price. The company says the winglet modification has generated "substantial" fuel savings during preliminary tests. BAC II aims to obtain an FAA supplemental type certificate by September 1999.

San Antonio, Texas-based Seven Q Seven has completed initial test flights of a 707-320 equipped with one JT8D-219 and three JT3Ds, in preparation for more tests in November, when all four JT3Ds will be replaced by the newer engine. The most powerful (21,500lb thrust) -219 variant of JT8D-200 is being used, and will be derated on its civil conversions to 19,000lb thrust.

As well as bringing the 707 well within the Stage 3 noise limits, the modification will also provide a significant boost in performance. While the final figures will not be known until flight testing begins, the aircraft is expected to offer a 30% increase in range. Seven Q Seven says the JT8D-powered 707 will be able to carry a payload of 42t on 11h non-stop missions. The modification will cost about $16 million per aircraft.

The 7Q7 is expected to gain US FAA certification by the end of the second quarter of 2000. The programme will first be applied to Seven Q Seven partner Omega's own fleet of 12 707-300s, and the leasing company has identified a potential market for between 250 and 300 707 commercial and military aircraft which are suitable candidates for conversion.

Meanwhile, CFM International has submitted proposals to the US Air Force for the re-engining with CFM56-3s of its 15 military Boeing 707-320 E-8 joint surveillance and target attack radar system (JSTARS) ground surveillance radar aircraft.

Delivered: 1,009 (with military versions and 720) In service: 342 (including military versions)

717 (formerly MD-95) - see Part 1

727

Developed from the 707 airframe for short-haul missions, the tri-jet 727 was flown in February 1963. The first -100 version entered service in February 1964, and a stretched -200 entered service in December 1967. Boeing delivered the last 727, a-200F for FedEx, in September 1984, and almost 1,400 Boeing 727s remain in service.

BFGoodrich Aerospace relaunched the Valsan P&W JT8D-200 re-engining programme for the 727, dubbed the "Super 27", during 1996. The modification removes the existing JT8D-9/15 or -17R from number one and three (outboard) positions and replaces them with-217Cs or -219s. The original, tail-mounted, number two engine is retained, equipped with a new acoustic exhaust mixer.

The re-engining is claimed to yield a 6-7% reduction in fuel consumption (for the -200) and provide a 560km increase in range.

Dee Howard has re-engined UPS's fleet of 44 727-100s with R-R Tay 651-54 turbofans as the 727-QF, and this conversion is also offered for corporate 727s, with one aircraft having been completed to date.

FedEx Aviation Services (FEASI) is the only supplier of Stage 3 hushkits for the 727, and has taken orders and options for more than 800 shipsets. The company says it offers kits for "any 727 in the world at design take-off thrust". Prices range from around $2 million for the 727-100 to $3 million for the heaviest version of the -200.

Two US specialists, Raisbeck and DuganAir Technologies, have each developed Stage 3 solutions that rely heavily on reconfiguring flap and slat settings, using reduced thrust. These are relatively quick to install and at considerably lower cost.

Raisbeck's basic Phase 1 kit for the standard 727-100 and -200 was approved in December 1996. The Phase 2 kit became available in the second half of 1998, providing compliance at an MTOW of 75,820kg. The Phase 3 kit was cleared for higher gross weight -200s (84,615kg) in April 1999, with a Phase 4 kit for MTOWs of 93,800kg.

Raisbeck's kits cost between $700,000 and $1.8 million, although the company has offered "aggressive" introductory pricing on the heavy gross weight kit in a bid to secure customers before the December 1999 deadline for the phase-out of Stage 2 aircraft. The first 50 heavy gross weight kits have been offered at $1.3 million, a reduction of $500,000.

The FAA awarded an STC to DuganAir in April 1998 for its Quiet Wing System for the 727-100/200. The system combines winglet technology developed by Winglet Systems with modifications developed by DuganAir in one package, including a flap and aileron droop system, and requires the centre engine thrust reverser to be removed. A range increase of up to 13% is claimed because of the winglet. DuganAir says the modification enables Stage 3 compliance at MTOWs of up to 95.3t, which could be increased to a maximum weight of 98t. The kit costs $1.1-2.2 million, depending on weight.

BMW Rolls-Royce, in conjunction with Dee Howard of the USA, has proposed re-engining the 727 with its BR715 turbofan in the outboard engine positions with a smaller BR710, an R-R Tay, or a derated JT8D in the centre position. The re-engining package would cost $10-15 million per aircraft.

In 1998, the US FAA issued an AD affecting 727 freighters following concern that certain conversions were engineered without Boeing's load-path data. The AD, which affects 30 airlines operating 370 aircraft worldwide, requires operators to reduce payloads from 3,630kg per cargo position to 1,360kg, or adhere to operational limitations that allow higher payloads per position of up to 2,180kg. US specialist Kitty Hawk has received FAA approval for its alternative means of compliance for the AD on freighter conversions carried out by Pemco World Air Services and Aeronautical Engineers (AEI).

Delivered: 1,831 In service: 1,378

737-100/200

Boeing flew the original 737-100 in April 1967 and the first delivery took place eight months later, in December, to Lufthansa. The -100 was quickly superseded by the slightly larger -200, with United Airlines receiving the first example the same month.

Just 30 examples of the baseline 85-seat 737-100 were produced before production of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-powered twinjet standardised on the 102-seat -200. This model remained in production until 1988, by which time it had been superseded by the current-generation CFM56-powered 737 family.

Two US companies, Nordam and AvAero, have developed Stage 3 hushkits for the JT8D-powered 737, and more than 300 aircraft have been hushkitted to date.

Delivered: 1,144 In service: 935

737-300/400/500 (Classic)

In March 1981, Boeing announced the development of an updated, slightly larger version of the 737-200, with new generation CFM56-3 engines and dubbed the 737-300. Since then, the family has grown to encompass a larger (-400) and smaller (-500) model.

Other improvements include a modified wing, more advanced flightdeck and digital avionics.

The 737-300, which has a 2.6m fuselage stretch over the -200, can carry 128 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The first example was flown in February 1984 and deliveries began to launch customer US Airways and Southwest Airlines in November 1984.

The -400, which incorporates a further 3m stretch compared with the -300, typically seats 146 passengers (168 high density), and was first flown in January 1988. Piedmont Airlines (now US Airways) took delivery of the first aircraft in September 1988.

The 108-seat -500 is the smallest member of the second-generation 737 family, which is similar in size to the -200, and has the improvements of the -300. The first example was flown in June 1989, and Southwest Airlines received the first aircraft in February 1990.

With the introduction of the Next Generation (NG) 737 family in 1998, the earlier CFM56-powered models are now commonly referred to as the "Classic".

Production: Both Classic and 737NG models are built at Boeing's Renton plant near Seattle, Washington. Boeing delivered 281 737s in 1998, including 116 Classics and 165 NG models. Combined output has risen to a 27 a month peak in the second quarter of 1999 (three Classic and 24 NG 737s). With sales of the 737 Classic petering out in favour of the NG model, Boeing will cease production of the -300/400/500 with the delivery of the 1,988th example at the end of 1999.

Production: As production rates increased during 1997/98, Boeing considered setting up a new 737 assembly line at the former McDonnell Douglas plant in Long Beach to relieve pressure on Renton. This plan has been abandoned, but some 737 refurbishment has been moved to Long Beach.

Ordered: 1,988 (Classic) Delivered: 1,969 (Classic)

737-600/700/800/900 (Next Generation)

The Next Generation 737 family was launched into production in November 1993, and has spawned four basic variants seating 108-190 passengers.

Developed from the 737-300/400/500 family, the new family incorporates a new larger wing, new engines, higher cruising speeds and greater range capabilities. The -600 replaces the -500, the -700 takes over from the -300, and the -800 succeeds the -400. While the -600 and -700 are the same size as the models they replace, the -800's fuselage is some 2.79m longer than that of the -400, increasing two-class seating to 160 and the high-density one-class configuration to 189.

In November 1997, Alaska Airlines launched the 737-900, pitching the 737 into head-to-head competition with Airbus Industrie's 185-seat A321 for the first time. The 2.63m stretch over the -800 enables seating for 15 more passengers, allowing up to 177 to be carried in a two-class layout. Requirements for emergency exits mean that the aircraft's maximum seating cannot go beyond the 737-800's 189 seats.

The 737NG's new wing's overall span is increased by 5m, and chord by 0.5m, resulting in 25% more wing area and a 30% increase in fuel capacity. The Next Generation models are powered by the new -7 derivative of the CFMI CFM56. Although the new models have an all-new flightdeck with a 777-style six-screen LCD EFIS, cockpit commonality with current-generation 737s is retained because the LCDs are programmable.

Boeing flew the first 737NG, the -700, in February 1997, and deliveries of this model to launch customer Southwest Airlines began in December 1997. FAA certification was delayed by about two months by last-minute structural changes to the horizontal stabiliser. JAA certification was achieved in February 1998 as the European body evaluated the revised emergency exit design to meet its more stringent evacuation requirements. The new design incorporates an automatic, fast-opening hatch which is hinged along the upper edge and is being fitted as standard to all Next Generation models.

The first -800 was flown in July 1997 and delivered to Hapag-Lloyd in April 1998. Flight testing of the 737-600 began in January 1998, and Scandinavia's SAS took delivery of the first -600 in September 1998.

In February, Boeing finalised the design of the 737-900, which is due to enter service with Alaska Airlines in April 2001. The first fuselage will arrive at Renton in May 2000 and will be assembled in time for a planned first flight in August 2000. Certification is expected around March 2001.

Boeing has developed a version of the 737-700 equipped with a side cargo door to meet a US military requirement for a replacement for the DC-9/C-9 Nightingale transport. A civil version equipped with a cargo door could also be developed.

A dedicated business jet version of the NG737 family has also been developed. This incorporates the -700's fuselage with the strengthened wing and engines of the -800. A commercial version of this aircraft, dubbed the -700X, is being studied and would offer increased range.

Aviation Partners Boeing - a joint venture company formed by Boeing and Seattle-based winglet design specialist Aviation Partners - will provide winglets for in-service Boeing commercial aircraft. Building on the two companies' link to fit winglets on BBJs, the new joint venture will "design, develop, certificate, fabricate, market, sell and install winglets on in-service Boeing aircraft. The immediate focus for studies is expected to be the 737 and possibly the 747. Flight tests, initially conducted on a 737-800, revealed drag savings equal to a 5-7% increase in range, or roughly 550km (300nm) in the case of the BBJ.

Production: See 737 Classic

Ordered: 1,198 (NG) Delivered: 307 (NG)

747-100/SP/200/300 ("Classic")

The 747 programme was launched in July 1966 on the back of an order for 25 aircraft from Pan American Airways. It was first flown in February 1969, and Pan Am introduced the original P&W JT9D-powered 747-100 into revenue service between New York and London in January 1970.

A heavier, longer-range version, the -200 series, entered service in January 1971 and eventually became available with a choice of three powerplants: the P&W JT9D, GE CF6-50 and R-R RB211-524. Significant numbers of 747-200s were delivered as Combis and pure freighters.

Pan Am was the launch customer for the short-bodied 747SP (Special Performance), which was introduced in 1976, although only 45 were produced. The -300, the first derivative to have an extended upper deck, was put into operation by Swissair in early 1983. Many early 747s have been bought by cargo operators and converted into freighters. The last "Classic" 747 was manufactured by Boeing in 1991.

In 1997, the German civil aviation authority certificated a 747 Classic retrofitted with a digital cockpit. KLM/Canadian Marconi received an STC from the US FAA in May for the flightdeck upgrade of the Dutch airline's 13 747-200/300 Classics. The programme is designed to extend the life of the 747-200s and -300s beyond 2010 by upgrading the cockpits with communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) capability. KLM and Canadian Marconi are finalising details to offer the upgrade as a turnkey package to other 747 Classic operators.

In 1998, KLM also became the first operator of the freighter-converted version of the stretched-upper-deck (SUD) 747, which was one of two 747-200SUD Combis modified by Boeing Wichita division.

Meanwhile, the joint venture Aviation Partners Boeing is to develop winglets for in-service Boeing commercial aircraft, with the immediate focus for studies expected to be the 737 and possibly the 747 Classic, especially the 747-200F.

Delivered: 724 In service: 603

747-400

The -400 retains the fuselage dimensions of the -300, but has a two-crew EFIS flightdeck, numerous aerodynamic enhancements and upgraded engines. Boeing says the -400 consumes 8-13% less fuel per seat kilometre than the -300, and up to 17% less than the -200. The first 747-400 was flown in April 1988, and the first aircraft was delivered to Northwest Airlines in January 1989.

The -400 has a wing span 4.9m greater than that of the Classic, with winglets and redesigned wingbody fairings, engine pylons and nacelles. Extensive use of composite materials has also led to a significant reduction in empty weight. An optional fuel tank in the horizontal stabiliser is available for operators requiring very long ranges.

The -400 is also available in Combi and pure freighter configurations. The -400D was designed for short routes in the Japanese domestic market, and lacks the extra wingspan and winglets. The undercarriage, wing and fuselage are strengthened to accommodate a high number of flight cycles, but the -400D can be modified easily to -400 standard.

In January 1997, Boeing terminated plans to launch two major 747 derivatives, the -500X/600X. It says that it shelved these plans because the small size of the potential market meant it could not make a business case for the aircraft.

Boeing has a firm design configuration for the next version of the 747-400, the -400X (to be dubbed -400ER when launched), which will provide the structural platform for future growth steps, including stretches and wing root insert versions. The latest proposed configurations for the 747-400X studies were released in March 1999, with the long-range model having a 422,220kg gross weight and a range of 14,800km.

Using the structural upgrades required for the -400X as a platform, Boeing is studying a 470-seat stretch based around a new wing box and wing root inserts. The initial stretch was aimed at a 473,520kg model with a 14,430km range. But according to Boeing, good test data suggests the weight of this variant could be raised further to increase capacity. This could raise the gross weight of the root wing insert -400X stretch to 482,600kg. Modifications would involve adding 2.3m wing root inserts, along with 68,000lb-thrust engines. Powerplant candidates include existing engines as well as the GE-PW Engine Alliance GP7000 and an R-R Trent 600.

A simple 747-400X stretch, seating up to 70 more passengers, has been studied which would retain the -400ER wing but would require 65,200lb-thrust engines to offer a 12,950km range.

Production: Final assembly takes place at Boeing's Everett, Washington, plant. Some 53 aircraft were delivered in 1998, and production reached its five aircraft a month peak in the middle of that year. The rate has been slowing down during 1999 because of a drop in orders and some cancellations. The new level of two a month will be achieved during the fourth quarter of 1999, and a further cut to one a month is being considered if sales do not improve.

Ordered: 567 Delivered: 491

757

The 757-200 was launched into production in August 1978 on the back of orders from British Airways and Eastern Airlines. Conceived as the narrowbodied successor to the 727, the aircraft originally shared the same forward fuselage and T-tail design as its predecessor, but as the design was refined, a low set tail configuration was adopted, along with a new nose, enabling cockpit commonality with the widebodied 767.

The first 757 flew in February 1982, and Eastern Airlines introduced the type into revenue service in January 1983. The aircraft is available with either R-R RB211-535E4 or P&W PW2000 engines. Combi and full freighter versions of the aircraft have also been developed.

The stretched 757-300 was launched at the Farnborough air show in 1996, on the strength of a firm order for 12 aircraft from Lufthansa subsidiary Condor Flugdienst. Boeing says the seat operating costs of the new derivative are about 10% lower than those of the -200.

The -300 is 7.1m longer than the -200, boosting two-class accommodation to 243, and about 280 in high density layout. The higher payload capability of the -300 requires some strengthening of the wings, landing gear and certain parts of the fuselage, as well as upgraded wheels and brakes. The first -300 was flown in August 1998, and deliveries to Condor began in March 1999.

Boeing is studying an extended-range derivative of the 757-200, dubbed the -200X, which will incorporate the strengthened wing and components of the -300 and auxiliary fuel in the cargo hold. The airline is targeting US operators and charter airlines as potential clients, with the aircraft offering up to 650km in additional range.

Boeing is offering a 757 freighter conversion programme, with express parcels specialist DHL a prime candidate to provide the launch order. Boeing is offering conversions for $6.8 million per aircraft, and will require 12-18 months from programme launch to complete initial conversions and gain certification.

British Airways is in talks with DHL for the sale of a large number of its Boeing 757s, which would then be converted by Boeing. The 30-35t payload/14-pallet freighters would be used to replace the 30 Boeing 727 freighters that serve DHL's European network.

Production: Final assembly of the 757 is undertaken at Renton, near Seattle, Washington. Some 54 aircraft were delivered in 1998 and the production rate is running at five a month. No plans have been announced to alter production.

Ordered: 967 Delivered: 872

767

Boeing launched its first widebodied twinjet programme, the 767, in July 1978, and the first version, the 200/220 seat -200, was flown in September 1981. This model entered service with United Airlines in August 1982. Initial versions of the 767 were powered by the P&W JT9D and GE CF6, with some later models equipped with the PW4000 or R-R RB211.

The longer-range -200ER began revenue service with Ethiopian Airlines in May 1984, and the stretched -300, 6.4m longer, was certificated in September 1986. American Airlines was the first to operate the -300ER, in February 1988. UPS took delivery of the first 767-300 freighter in October 1995.

In early 1997, Boeing launched a further stretched model, the -400ER. The insertion of two plugs stretch the fuselage by a total of 6.4m and increase two-class seating capacity to 303, from 269 for the -300ER. MTOW is increased to 204,000kg. The wing has aerodynamic improvements, increased span and new longer landing gear, using 777 wheels and brakes and a new auxiliary power unit.

After first planning to introduce winglets, Boeing then decided to save weight by adopting a new wingtip design incorporating composite raked tip extensions supported on metal spars. In early 1998, the company completed firm design configuration of the 767-400ER, deciding to adopt an upgraded flightdeck with LCDs based on the deck of the NG737/777. Boeing plans eventually to incorporate the new flightdeck on the -300, but does not expect to undertake any retrofits.

Roll-out of the first 767-400 took place in August 1999 and the first flight is scheduled for late September/early October. Certification is due by April next year, with deliveries to Delta Air Lines beginning the following month.

In response to requests from charter operators, Boeing is studying an increased-range version of the 767-400ER with a 211,100kg MTOW, offering about 600km more range to 11,100km. To gain the extra range, Boeing is studying using the space in the horizontal tail as a fuel tank, which would provide an extra 7,580 litres capacity.

For some time, Boeing has been studying an increased-range version of the 767-300ER, dubbed the -300ERX, which would incorporate the improvements of the -400ER, such as the modified wing. In mid-1999, it emerged that Boeing was considering a possible shrink of the 767-400ER as an alternative to meeting the long-range requirement of the proposed 767-300ERX with discrete upgrades from the stretched twin-aisle development.

The -300ERX, as a shrink of the larger stretch, would include the extra fuel capacity being studied for the -400ERX, and more powerful engines. This comes from a fuel tank in the horizontal tail, and would help push range from 11,500km to around 12,000km. Boeing is also evaluating a slight speed increase for both models. Lufthansa is studying both longer-range versions of the 767, and has unofficially dubbed the -400ERX the -800.

Boeing has been negotiating with Emery Worldwide Airlines about becoming launch customer for the 767-200 freighter conversion programme. Boeing says that following a go-ahead, the first aircraft could be converted, certificated and delivered no earlier than 2001. Emery has an initial requirement for between 10 and 13 freighters with 20 container capacity for delivery.

Production: The 767 is assembled at Everett, Washington. Some 48 aircraft were delivered in 1998. Production is running at four aircraft a month.

Ordered: 872 Delivered: 754

777

The 777 became the world's largest twinjet to fly when the first example took to the air in June 1994. Two sizes of 777 are in production - the baseline 300/375-seat -200 and the stretched 370/450- seat -300. The twinjet was launched into production in October 1990, providing Boeing's challenge to the Airbus A330/A340 and Boeing MD-11.

The first version to fly was the -200, in June 1994, and United Airlines put the type into service in June 1995. Offered with all the "big three" engines, an intermediate-growth variant, the -200ER (originally dubbed the -200IGW), had its first flight in October 1996, and was put into service by British Airways in February 1997.

The stretched -300, which is 10m longer than the -200, was launched in June 1995 with the 747 Classic replacement market in mind. The first 777-300 was flown in October 1997, and deliveries to launch customer Cathay Pacific began in May 1998.

For several years, Boeing has been studying ultra-long-range 777 derivatives under the designations -200X and -300X. There were several false starts, including one version that incorporated a third, tail-mounted "auxiliary power and thrust unit" (APTU) to provide extra take-off thrust/climb thrust and standard APU functions. In July 1999, Boeing decided to adopt a plan to offer the 777X with a single-sourced powerplant, concluding an exclusivity deal with GE for a GE90-powered 777-200/300X.

Using the 115,000lb-thrust GE90-115B engine, the 777-200/300X will have an MTOW increased to 340.2t, and will be equipped with a larger wing of 64.9m span. Baseline fuel capacity is increased to 181,300 litres, which can be increased further by adding three body tanks to provide over 202,000 litres capacity.

The 777-200X with derated 110,000lb-thrust engine would offer a range of 16,095km, while the larger -300X, with a 115,000lb engine, will be able to fly 13,410km. Boeing has a launch target of late 1999 for the programme, and is in talks with a selected group of key potential launch customers, including airlines and leasing companies, with the aim of securing a minimum of 35 firm commitments. The year-end deadline is intended to ensure that the 777-300X is put into service as early as September 2003 and the -200X by January 2004.

The decision to adopt the GE90 for the 777X is not expected to rule out further weight/thrust increases of 777 versions equipped with the R-R Trent 800 or P&W PW4098.

Production: The 777 is built at Everett, Washington, and 74 aircraft were delivered in 1998. Production peaked at seven a month during 1998 and is dropping back to five a month from later in 1999.

Ordered: 429 Delivered: 223

Large Airplane Product Development (LAPD)

Boeing continues to study all-new large aircraft concepts under the project name Large Airplane Product Development (LAPD) in parallel with 747-based derivative proposals.

Since backing away from its New Large Airplane (NLA) activities in 1995, Boeing has publicly poured all its product development energies into 747 derivatives. LAPD studies are understood to include a variety of concepts and configurations, ranging from 747 "lookalikes", a 777-based quadjet and revised NLAs, to designs based on the former MDC MD-12 quad-jet and unconventional configurations like the Blended Wing Body.

Former McDonnell Douglas types (in production)

Following Boeing's merger with McDonnell Douglas (MDC), all of the latter company's current airliner models are marketed under the Douglas Products Division banner. In November 1997, Boeing announced its decision to terminate production of the MD-80/90, with assembly set to end by 2000. In January 1998, the MD-95 was redesignated the 717 to bring it into line with the Boeing nomenclature, and in June 1998 Boeing announced that MD-11 production would cease in 2000.

MD-80

Developed from the DC-9 twinjet, the MD-80 series began as the DC-9 Super 80, and the 155-seat one-class (135-seats, two-class) basic version, dubbed the DC-9-81 (since renamed the MD-81), entered service with Swissair in September 1980. A similarly sized "hot-and-high" version, the MD-82, entered service in August 1981, followed by the extended-range MD-83, which was certificated in October 1985. The short-fuselage 114-130-seat MD-87 entered service in late 1987, but production ceased in 1992 after 75 had been delivered.

The most recent derivative of the family is the MD-88, which is dimensionally identical to the MD-81/82/83 and was put into service by Delta Air Lines in January 1988. It has an upgraded cockpit, wider use of composite materials and a redesigned passenger cabin.

Production: Final assembly is undertaken at the former Douglas Aircraft plant in Long Beach, near Los Angeles, on a joint line shared with the MD-90. An assembly line was also set up in Shanghai (see SAIC).

Boeing delivered 42 MDC twinjets from the Long Beach line in 1998, including eight MD-80s and 34 MD-90s. Production is running at about three aircraft a month and is due to cease next year.

Ordered: 1,191 (MD-80) Delivered: 1,173 (MD-80)

MD-90

The MD-90 is a slightly stretched, re-engined development of the longbody MD-80, powered by IAE V2500-D5 engines. The aircraft also has an upgraded EFIS flightdeck, a redesigned passenger cabin and carbon brakes.

The MD-90 had its first flight in August 1993, and entered service with Delta in April 1995. Saudi Arabian Airlines became the first customer to take delivery of an MD-90 equipped with Honeywell's Pegasus advanced FMS, which was delivered on aircraft in late 1997.

An assembly line was also established in in Shanghai which was to produce the MD-90T TrunkLiner (see SAIC).

Production: See MD-80

Ordered: 134 (including 20 MD-90 TrunkLiners) Delivered: 104

MD-11

The MD-11 went into production in December 1986, becoming the first of the current generation of long-haul widebodies to go ahead. Essentially a stretched development of the DC-10 tri-jet equipped with new generation engines and a two-crew flightdeck, the first MD-11 was flown in January 1990, and Finnair introduced the type into revenue service in December the same year.

Both GE CF6-80- and P&W PW4000-powered versions have been delivered. An R-R Trent version was also planned but did not proceed.

Although the MD-11 gained several significant customers early on, sales quickly tailed off as the battle for the long-haul market intensified, with the all-new Airbus A340 and Boeing 777 entering the fray. The 295-seater initially struggled to meet its original performance targets, forcing MDC to introduce aerodynamic and structural changes. The last variant to be launched, the MD-11ER, exceeds the original specification by being able to carry its specification payload of 298 passengers more than 13,340km.

From the start of the programme, MDC offered a freighter version, which was introduced by FedEx in May 1991. Combi and convertible passenger/freighter versions have also been delivered. Boeing Aerospace offers an after-market cargo conversion, and a number of ex-passenger aircraft have been converted or are earmarked for conversion.

Despite the obvious conflict between the MD-11 and the 777 on Boeing's product line after the merger, serious consideration was given to continue MD-11 production as a freighter only. Boeing announced in June 1998, however, that assembly would be terminated in 2000 after the 200th aircraft had been completed.

In May 1999, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) concluded an arrangement with Boeing to become a freighter conversion and upgrade specialist on the MD-11. The deal between Boeing and the Tel Aviv-based Bedek division of IAI includes a subcontract to carry out 40 MD-11 freighter conversions at a rate of at least five a year.

The MD-11 agreement is the first result of an overall co-operation accord concluded between Boeing and IAI in October 1998.

Boeing plans to complete work by the end of the year on improvements to tackle long-standing operational problems on the MD-11. These include new coatings to prevent excessive erosion to the winglets, modifications to stop skin cracks and changes to system fittings and valves to prevent uncommanded shutdowns.

Production: MD-11 final assembly takes place in Long Beach, and 12 aircraft were delivered in 1998. Production will continue at about one aircraft a month until it ceases in early 2000.

Ordered: 200 Delivered: 189

MD-17 Commercial Globemaster

Boeing is offering a civil version of the C-17 military airlifter, dubbed the MD-17 Commercial Globemaster. The company had been hoping to launch before the end of 1998 to enable deliveries to begin in early 2000. This did not happen, and with the programme schedule slipping, Boeing is now not likely to be able to start deliveries until 2002/2003.

CAMMACORP

Cammacorp was set up in 1979 to oversee the CFMI CFM56 retrofit programme for the MDC DC-8 Series 60, but the company no longer exists. Other partners in the programme were MDC, CFMI and Grumman Aerospace, the latter being responsible for the manufacture of the engine pods, cowlings and pylons.

Between 1981 and 1986, 110 aircraft were retrofitted, with the modified aircraft dubbed the Series 70 (the variants were designated DC-8-71, -72, and -73). Most are now freighters.

The CFM56-2C5 engines provided the -70 with fuel consumption improvements of up to 23%. Take-off, climb, cruise-altitude and range performance were also improved significantly. See McDonnell Douglas entry for details.

ILYUSHIN Ilyushin Design Bureau, Leningradsky Prospekt 45G, Moscow 125190, Russia; tel: +7 (095) 943 8121; fax: +7 (095) 212 2132; telex: 411956 SOKOL.

Il-62M/MK

Three versions of the four-engined 170/195-seat Il-62 were built between 1963 and 1985, before it was superseded by the re-engined Il-62M. All versions were dimensionally identical, the main differences being in engine type, weight and performance.

While the initial production version was equipped with the Kuznetsov NK8 engines, the later Il-62M and MK were equipped with the Soloviev D-30KU.

Delivered: 285

Il-76

The Il-76 was conceived to meet the Soviet air force's requirement for a heavy transport aircraft. The first example of the four-engined, high-winged freighter was flown in March 1971, and the type entered service in 1974.

Different versions of the aircraft were produced for Aeroflot and the Soviet military, all powered by MKB (Soloviev) D-30KP engines. Many Il-76s are now flown on commercial freight charters.

A 6.6m-stretched version, the Il-76MF, powered by the Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofan, was flown for the first time in August 1995. The new model has a 1.5t increase in payload, and the new engines are claimed to offer a 12% reduction in fuel consumption, enabling range to be boosted by 20%.

CFMI revealed in August that it is close to agreement with Ilyushin and Tashkent manufacturing complex TAPO on the launch of an Il-76MF re-engining programme after the emergence of an undisclosed UK-based financial institution as potential customer for at least five aircraft. The project would involve installing the CFM56-5C on the stretched MF version.

Production: Final assembly of the Il-76 is undertaken by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Association (TAPO), in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Delivered: 850 plus

Il-86

The four-engined Kuznetsov NK-86-powered Il-86 was the first Russian widebody, and the initial example was flown in December 1976. It entered service with Aeroflot in December 1980. One hundred and four aircraft had been built and delivered when the production line was shut down in 1994.

The planned CFM56-5C2 re-engining programme for Aeroflot Russian International Airlines' Il-86s has been delayed indefinitely and, according to CFMI, foundered on the inability to arrange funding.

Delivered: 104

Il-96-300

The Il-96-300 is a short-fuselage, long-range, advanced-technology development of the Il-86, equipped with new engines (Perm PS-90A), but has a new wing, EFIS flightdeck and a fly-by-wire FCS.

The first prototype was flown in September 1988 and the aircraft was certificated in December 1992.

Production: Final assembly of the Il-96-300 is undertaken at the VASO Voronezh production plant in Russia.

Aircraft production is running at a trickle, with the recent delivery of an aircraft to Domodovo being the first in three years.

Delivered: 11

Il-96M and T

The Il-96M/T passenger/freighter widebody is a stretched development of the Il-96-300, with Western-built Pratt & Whitney PW2337 engines, and Rockwell Collins flightdeck avionics. The prototype Il-96M, created by modifying the prototype Il-96-300, was flown in April 1992, and the first production-standard aircraft (an Il-96T freighter) performed its first flight in May 1997.

Aeroflot Russian International Airlines (ARIA) holds orders for 20 Il-96Ms and 96Ts. The ARIA deal has received US Exim Bank financing to cover the US content of the aircraft.

Ilyushin obtained basic Russian type certification for the Il-96T in March 1998, but approval of the passenger M version has not been finalised, possibly because a production aircraft is not available for certification.

In June, the Il-96T became the first Russian commercial transport to receive US FAA certification. The approval enables the Il-96T to be registered in the USA and other countries that accept the US standard. Aeroflot deliveries had been held up by the delay in US certification because the aircraft are being financed by the US Exim Bank which requires them to be registered in a Western country to ensure the aircraft are easily accessible should the operator default on payments.

Deliveries to Aeroflot have also been hampered by a US-Russian wrangle over import duties on new Boeing aircraft for the Russian national carrier, which has prevented the Exim financing being released. Funds are expected to be available soon to enable deliveries to begin.

Ilyushin has commitments for 29 Il-96M/Ts from Aeroflot (17 Ms and three Ts), Transaero (five Ms), and Volga Dnepr (four Ts).

Production: See Il-96-300.

Ordered: 29 Delivered: 0

Il-98

The Il-98 is a proposed twin-engined version of the Il-96M which would be powered by P&W PW4000s, GE GE90s or R-R Trent 800s.

IPTN IPTN, PO Box 3752 JKT, 14th Floor, Bumi Daya Plaza Building, Jalan Imam Bonjol 61, Jakarta 10310, Indonesia; tel: +62 (21) 322 247; fax: +62 (21) 310 0081.

N2130

This Indonesian project emerged in 1995 as a regional jet family to follow on from the N250 turboprop, but development has now been suspended as IPTN struggles to fund its existing programmes. Last year, local shareholders in the $2 billion programme moved to liquidate their investment. IPTN has been planning to fly the first aircraft by 2002.

IPTN had been proposing a two-aircraft family with six-abreast seating for between 104 and 132 passengers. The baseline aircraft, tentatively designated the -100, would be able to accommodate 114 passengers in a single-class configuration or 104 in a two-class layout. The stretched -200 version would seat up to 132 passengers in a one-class configuration. Engine candidates included the BMW Rolls-Royce BR700, CFMI CFM56-9 and P&W PW6000.

LOCKHEED MARTIN 86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, Georgia 30063-0264, USA; tel: +1 (770) 494 4411; fax: +1 (770) 494 2529; telex: 542642.

L-100 Hercules

The L-100-30 is the civil version of the C-130 Hercules military transport. It has US certification to carry 97 passengers when appropriately modified or manufactured.

The passenger version has structural reinforcement, windows and additional doors, plus improved environmental conditioning and emergency lighting. Modification from the basic freighter adds 12,710kg to the MTOW.

US cargo specialist Southern Air Transport developed a passenger/cargo "combi" modification for the L-100 which enables the aircraft to carry up to 18 passengers and five main-deck pallets.

A commercial version of the new-generation military C-130J Hercules, intended initially to be a pure freighter and flown in April 1996, has been proposed. The aircraft will have a glass cockpit (with provision for head-up displays), Allison AE2100-D3 turboprops and Dowty R391 six-bladed propellers. Compared with earlier L100s, it should have a 61% payload-range improvement, 15% increase in block speed, 21% decrease in fuel consumption, 38% decrease in crew cost and 69% decrease in maintenance costs.

Delivered: 115 In service: 72

L-1011 TriStar

The L-1011 TriStar had its first flight in November 1970. A total of 249 were delivered between 1972 and 1983, when production ceased (the prototype was never sold), of which some 200 remain in existence. Production included 200 "longbody" TriStars (-1, -100 and -200) and 50 short-fuselage, extended-range, -500s. All were powered by the R-R RB211.

Lockheed developed several after-market upgrades for the longbody TriStar, which included various weight increases and additional fuel capacity, to provide better payload/range performance. An upgrade to -100 specification was available, as well as modification packages that created three new variants (never delivered new) - the -50, -150 and -250.

The latter was the most radical conversion developed, and combines the uprated R-R RB211-524B4I of the -500 with additional fuel capacity and higher MTOW (through structural strengthening) to give a range of 9,410km.

In May 1998, Lockheed Martin Aircraft & Logistics Center (LMALC) and AAR Airframe & Accessories Group formed an alliance to provide fleet support for the TriStar. LMALC revealed plans in July to establish a dedicated TriStar freighter conversion facility as part of a wider collaborative effort involving suppliers and operators, to give ageing TriStars a second lease of life.

An undisclosed leasing company has been secured as launch customer for the first 10 freighters. The aircraft will be modified at Lockheed's former Donaldson air base facility, where there is room for up to two conversion lines.

Depending on demand, it might also make use of the existing L-1011 freighter conversion capability of UK company Marshall Aerospace. Cambridge-based Marshall has agreed to allow LMALC to use its TriStar 200 supplemental type certificate, and will remain the design authority and provide engineering resources if adaptive engineering is needed.

Marshall Aerospace has delivered 12 -200 freighters, the first to American International Airways in August 1995.

Delivered: 249 In service: 189

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS Address - see Boeing.

Types are supported by Boeing Long Beach division, California.

DC-8

The DC-8 had its maiden flight in May 1958 and the type entered service in September 1959. Over 270 of the 556 DC-8s delivered, remain in commercial service, of which 110 have been re-engined with CFMI CFM56 turbofans. Most DC-8s are being operated as freighters.

In August 1997, Quiet Technology Venture (formerly Quiet Nacelle) achieved an FAA supplemental type certificate for its DC-8-50 P&W JT3D-3B engine. The company is working on an increased gross weight kit for the DC-8-61. Burbank Aeronautical II (BAC II), which is developing a Stage 3 hushkit for the Boeing 707, has formed Stage 3 Nacelle to developed a Stage 3 hushkit for the DC-8-50 and -61.

BAC II hopes to obtain an STC for its DC-8-50/61 Stage 3 hushkit at the end of 1999. There will be 75-80% commonality between the 707 and DC-8 hushkits. BAC II's 707 composite winglet will also be adapted for the DC-8.

In early 1998, the US FAA launched a review of third party DC-8 cargo conversions to determine whether safety concerns exist similar to those it believes affect some Boeing 727 freighter modifications. Between 70 and 80 cargo DC-8s are covered by the review.

Delivered: 556 In service: 274

DC-9

The first DC-9 was flown in February 1965 and the twinjet entered service with Delta Air Lines in December 1965. Produced in five main variants (-10, -20, -30, -40 and -50), with four different fuselage lengths, 976 aircraft were delivered before the aircraft was superseded by the MD-80.

About 80% of the DC-9s delivered remain operational. Consequently, many DC-9-30s and -40s have had ABS Partnership hushkits fitted to enable the type to meet Stage 3 noise regulations. ABS has also developed a kit for the DC-9-50 based on the company's -40 kit.

Delivered: 976 In service :806

DC-10

The initial short/medium-range DC-10-10 was first flown in August 1970 and entered service with American Airlines in August 1971. Longer-range derivatives, the GE CF6-powered -30 and P&W JT9D-powered -40, were introduced in November 1972 by Swissair and Northwest Airlines, respectively. The -15, a "hot-and-high" derivative of the -10, was developed for the Mexican carriers Aeromexico and Mexicana and entered service in June 1981. Sixty KC-10 Extender tankers were delivered to the US Air Force.

In 1996, MDC launched the MD-10 programme after an agreement with FedEx covering the conversion of about 60 former American Airlines and United Airlines DC-10-10s to cargo aircraft equipped with an MD-11-based two-crew cockpit. Following the MDC merger, Boeing is managing the MD-10 upgrade programme, which will eventually include 100 FedEx DC-10s, including existing -10/30Fs in service with the carrier.

The first phase began in early 1997 with the conversion of the ex-passenger aircraft to freighters. The freighter conversion involves structural strengthening to raise maximum take-off gross weight from 186t to 203t. Phase two of the programme began in 1998, with installation of the first Honeywell VIA 2000 advanced common flightdeck (ACF) into a FedEx DC-10-10. The ACF closely resembles the MD-11's EFIS cockpit, but has LCDs rather than CRTs. It also provides Category IIIb automatic landing capability.

The first DC-10-10 to be modified to MD-10 specification made its initial flight from Long Beach in April 1999 and certification is due in early 2000. Boeing is considering offering the conversion to operators of passenger DC-10s, such a Northwest Airlines. Zurich-based SR Technics, a division of SAirGroup, is contracted to carry out initial DC-10/MD-10 two-crew cockpit upgrades for FedEx, but Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is negotiating for a contract to undertake some of the carrier's later upgrades.

Six sites throughout the USA and Europe are involved in carrying out cargo conversions on DC-10/MD-11s. These include Boeing's sites in Wichita, Kansas, Long Beach, California, and the former Kelly AFB in Texas, as well as Mobile Aerospace in Alabama and the Aeronavali plants in Naples and Venice, Italy. IAI's Bedek division is also undertaking some MD-11 conversions under subcontract from Boeing, beginning later this year.

Delivered: 446 (including KC-10 tankers) In service: 410 (including KC-10 tankers) MD-80, MD-90, MD-11 - see Boeing.

MYASISHCHEV Myasishchev Design Bureau, Zhukovski, Moscow Region, 140160, Russia; tel: +7 (095) 2726041; fax: +7 (095) 556 5583.

GP-60

The Myasishchev Design Bureau has designed a passenger/cargo aircraft based on the high-altitude M-60 which it designed in the 1980s. The design features long unswept wings, a wide "lifting body" fuselage, and two high bypass ratio turbofans installed side by side above the rear part of the fuselage.

The M-60 was originally optimised for battlefield surveillance and airborne early warning and control, and was designed to cruise for 8h at an altitude of 65,500ft and a speed of Mach 0.7, although no examples were completed. Myasishchev is talking about a high-altitude transport aircraft based on the M-60 configuration, dubbed the GP-60 (gruzo-passazhirsky - cargo-passenger).

Powered by two Perm PS-90A turbofans adapted for high-altitude operation, the GP-60 is offered in various sizes, with capacity for up to 500 passengers and a range of 5,000-15,000km, depending on payload.

The aircraft's design incorporates a wide "lifting body" fuselage, which acts as a low aspect ratio wing, coupled with an unswept high aspect ratio supercritical wing and tailplanes with leading-edge extensions/vortex generators.

SHANGHAI AVIATION INDUSTRIAL (SAIC) Shanghai Aviation Industrial Group of China (SAIC), 2650 ZhongShan Bei Road, Shanghai 200436, China; tel: +86 (21) 257 3351; fax: +86 (21) 257 3350.

SAIC has been the prime Chinese contractor for the MD-80/MD-90 co-production programme with MDC, and more recently Boeing. Chinese industrial participation in the SAIC MD-90 programme involved three Chinese companies producing subassemblies - Xian Aircraft: wing and fuselage sections; Chengdu Aircraft: nose; and Shenyang Aircraft: empennage and electrical-power systems.

China concluded a licensed production deal with MDC in April 1985 which resulted in 35 MD-80s being assembled at Shanghai from kits supplied by MDC. The last aircraft was completed and delivered in October 1994. Thirty of the aircraft (MD-82s) were delivered to Chinese operators, with the remaining five (MD-83s) sold back to MDC for onward sale.

A follow-on agreement was signed for the assembly of 20 MD-90-30 TrunkLiners for the Chinese market in Shanghai, but the programme has become a casualty of the major shake-up of China's state-run aerospace industry. Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) has instructed Boeing's Long Beach plant to stop shipments of material beyond the initial three consignments already delivered to SAIC. Similarly, China National Aero Technology Import & Export asked the US manufacturer to terminate its TrunkLiner supplier contracts, such as avionics and engines.

Although SAIC had already taken delivery of enough substructures, components and systems to complete final assembly of three aircraft, the programme will be terminated after two aircraft have been built. Late last year, SAIC started manufacturing the first of the two MD-90-30Ts it plans to build. The first aircraft has been completed and should be flown by September, with the second scheduled to be completed early next year. Both twinjets have been allocated to Shenzhen Airlines.

AVIC, meanwhile, is said to be discussing becoming a second supplier to Boeing for the 717-200's wing, in a bid to fill the void. Fuller involvement in the 100-seat twinjet would be a virtual full circle for China, which had hoped to produce the aircraft, then the MD-95, as a follow-on to the TrunkLiner.

In early 1997, McDonnell Douglas (MDC) proposed an MD-80 cargo conversion plan to Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) as part of the supply of MD-90s to Chinese airlines, which would involve the trade-in of the existing fleet of 35 MD-80s for conversion by AVIC into freighters.

SATIC Special Aircraft Transport International, 9 rue Guynemer, Colombiers F31770, France. Tel: +33 (5 61) 193 9248; fax: 33 (5 61) 93 7333

SATIC A300-600ST "Beluga" Super Transporter

Development of an outsized version of the Airbus A300-600R to carry large aircraft subassemblies was initiated by Airbus Industrie, which needed a replacement for its ageing fleet of four Aero Spacelines Super Guppy turboprops used to ferry subassemblies between Airbus partner plants.

The Aerospatiale/Dasa 50:50 consortium Special Aircraft Transport International Company (SATIC) was selected for the project, with the work carried out at Toulouse. The type is based on new-build A300-600R airframes and has an upward-opening nose-section, 7.4m-diameter fuselage and a lowered flightdeck structure. An enlarged fin and horizontal-tail end-plates improve directional stability. The aircraft has 400m3 greater volume than that of the Super Guppy and 22.5t greater payload capacity.

The first A300-600ST "Beluga", powered by General Electric CF6-80C2 engines, was flown in September 1994. Certification was awarded in October 1995, after which the first of five aircraft was delivered to Airbus.

Beluga capacity is now being marketed to third parties by a recently created Airbus division - Airbus Transport International (ATI) - which operates the Beluga on commercial cargo charters, in between commitments to the Airbus production schedule. The division is targeting up to $15 million a year in revenue from the spare capacity on the fleet.

ATI was awarded its commercial operating licence in late 1996, and flew its first charter shortly after.

A fifth Beluga was ordered by Airbus in 1998 for delivery in 2001, enabling ATI effectively to dedicate one aircraft to the third party contract work. As well as commercial opportunities, the Beluga is also being considered by the military for outsized airlift roles.

SATIC is studying the Beluga concept on other airframe chassis, such as the A340, to provide even larger outsized-cargo capability.

Airbus has developed a novel on-board cargo lifter for the Beluga as part of its proposal to meet the Royal Air Force Short Term Strategic Airlifter (STSA) requirement. The cargo lifter allows freight to be loaded and unloaded without the need for ground support equipment.

Ordered: 5 Delivered: 4

SUKHOI Sukhoi Design Bureau, str Polikarpova 23A 125284, Moscow, Russia; tel: +7 (095) 945 6525; fax: +7 (095) 200 4243

KR-860

During the 1999 Paris air show, Sukhoi unveiled its design for a double-deck airliner bigger than the Airbus A3XX.

The Russian company displayed a 1/24th scale model of the 860/1,000-seat airliner proposal, dubbed the KR-860. The four-engined aircraft is equipped with two widebody cabins, the main deck having a 12-abreast triple-aisle configuration, while the upper deck has a nine-abreast layout with two aisles.

Entry is either through conventional fuselage doors or forward and aft ventral escalators. The wing design incorporates winglets and a fold outboard of the outer engine.

TUPOLEV Tupolev Joint Stock Company, 17 Akademika Tupoleva, Moscow 111250, Russia; tel: +7 (095) 261 2436; fax: +7 (095) 261 0868.

Tu-134

Around 852 examples of the the Tu-134 twinjet had been built when production ceased in 1985. The first example of this 72-seater was flown in July 1963 and the aircraft entered service in 1967. The basic Tu-134 was superseded by the stretched Tu-134A, powered by two Soloviev D-30 turbofans, and the Tu-134B, similar to the A, with improved engines and revised interior.

Russian and Ukrainian engine manufacturers are touting re-engining programmes for the large number of Tu-134s that remain in widespread service in the CIS. Ukrainian manufacturer Motor Sich is offering its D-36 turbofan, which powers the Antonov An-72 and Yakovlev Yak-42, to replace the Tu-134's Soloviev D-30. To get the programme off the ground, Motor Sich is seeking a deal with the Minsk Aircraft Repair Factory to undertake the re-engining. The powerplant manufacturer has offered the factory three D-36s free of charge if it supports the project.

Tupolev says significant tailplane modification and a certification programme would be needed for the programme to proceed.

Delivered: 852

Tu-154M

The Tu-154M is the current production version of the 160/180-seat Tu-154 tri-jet, which was first flown in October 1968. Initial versions (the Tu-154, -154A and -154B-2) were equipped with Kuznetsov NK-8 engines. The Tu-154M was announced in 1983, powered by Aviadvigatel D-30KU turbofans and with increased weights. The first Tu-154M was delivered to Aeroflot in late 1984, and about 400 have been built to date. All Tu-154s have the same fuselage length, with accommodation for 168-180 passengers, depending on layout. A cargo conversion, called the Tu-154S, with a large freight door on the forward fuselage, is also in service.

Tupolev is now offering an upgrade and modernisation programme for the Tu-154. Rybinsk Motors, which makes the D-30KU engine, has developed a modification which it claims reduces fuel consumption by 4-5%. The company is also developing a low-emission combustor and a Stage 3 hushkit for the engine. Although it acknowledges that the silencer equipment adds weight and makes it less economic, Rybinsk says the kit will enable maximum take-off weight and flap-setting limitations to be removed. Rybinsk has linked up with General Electric and is also working with Snecma to offer a CFM56 re-engining programme. A twin-engined version of the Tu-154 had been proposed, dubbed the Tu-154M2, which would have been equipped with Perm PS-90s and have a 2m stretch. The development of this aircraft is now thought to have been suspended.

Delivered: 1,000-plus

Tu-204/214

The twin-engined Tupolev Tu-204 was first flown in January 1989 and the type was certificated by the Russian authorities in January 1995. ARIA received its first Tu-204, a -204C freighter, in April 1995. The initial version (the Tu-204-100) is powered by Perm PS-90 engines, and a higher-weight model, equipped with the PS-90, has also been developed. Designated the Tu-214 (formerly the Tu-204-200), this aircraft had its first flight in March 1996, and has an increased MTOW of 110t.

A Westernised R-R RB211-535E4B-powered variant, dubbed the Tu-204-120, was flown in August 1992. This aircraft is being marketed by Sirocco Aerospace International, which has been formed by the Egyptian company Kato Aromatic, which ordered 30 Tu-204-120s and -120C cargo models for sale and lease in August 1996. A R-R-powered version of the Tu-204-200/214, dubbed the Tu-204-220, is also being developed.

The first five Sirocco Tu-204-120s have been completed with Russian avionics, but with a new interior developed by the UK's Diamonite. The "Phase II" version will have an AlliedSignal Engines auxiliary power unit and new navigation and communications equipment, while the definitive aircraft is being fitted with avionics supplied by AlliedSignal and Honeywell, including a system based on the latter's Versatile Integrated Avionics VIA2000 avionics suite.

Russian certification of the Tu-204-120 was given in July 1997. JAA approval is expected within two years. Egyptian carrier Air Cairo took delivery of the first RB211-535E4-powered Tu-204-120 in November 1998. Two aircraft were delivered to Air Cairo - one passenger model and one freighter - on seven-year leases from Sirocco Aerospace. Lufthansa Technik had been working with Sirocco to establish a worldwide support network for the Tupolev Tu-204-120, but these plans have been put on hold in the face of the Russian economic crisis. Meanwhile, Sirocco and Tupolev have accelerated plans to certificate a high-gross weight version of the RB211-powered Tu-204-120 freighter. Dubbed the Tu-204-220, the new version is now due to gain Russian certification in May 2000, with JAA certification following soon after.

The new variant has a strengthened floor, revamped cargo door and no passenger windows, raising payload capacity from the current 25t to 30t. The first aircraft is in production and is due to be rolled out in late 1999.

Production: The basic PS-90-powered Tu-204, R-R-powered Tu-204-120 and short-fuselage Tu-234 are built by Aviastar at its factory in Ulyanovsk. Aviastar is targeting a production rate of six aircraft a month by 2001.

A second assembly line at the Kazan Aircraft Production Factory in Kazan produces the heavier Tu-214.

Tupolev is also said to be holding talks with Iranian officials over manufacturing the Tu-204 and the Tu-334 in Iran.

Delivered: c20

Tu-234

In September 1995, Tupolev unveiled the Tu-234, a shortened version of the Tu-204. Formerly known as the Tu-204-300, the aircraft is powered by Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofans and seats 160 passengers. An R-R powered version is also planned.

The Tu-234 has a fuselage 6m shorter than that of the Tu-204, and the prototype, which was created by converting a Tu-204,was rolled out in August 1995.

This aircraft has not been flown, however, and the first production Tu-234 was completed by Aviastar in 1996. The timetable of the aircraft has been subject to many delays because of funding problems.

Production: See Tu-204.

Tu-304

Tupolev revealed details of its planned 300-400-seat Tu-304 long-range widebodied twinjet in August 1995, adding that it had signed a protocol with R-R to power the aircraft with the 90,000lb Trent 800 turbofan. Funding is being sought to enable construction of a prototype to begin. It will have a laminar-flow wing, allowing a Mach 0.85 cruise, a range with 400 passengers of 10,200km, and an MTOW of 245t.

Tu-330

The Tu-330 freighter, powered by two Perm PS-90A turbofans, was to have its first flight in 1997, but this has been delayed. The aircraft has a high wing and a cargo ramp, and is provided with loading and unloading equipment for autonomous operation. It is derived from the Tu-204, with which it shares the wing, pylons and tail section, as well as systems. Tupolev is pitching it at the An-12 replacement market.

Tu-334/354

Conceived for CIS service as a much-needed Tu-134 replacement, the twin-engined Tu-334 is designed to carry 102 passengers on routes of up to 3,000km. Equipped with two rear-mounted Progress D-436T turbofans, the Tu-334-100 prototype was rolled out in August 1995, and certification had been scheduled for 1997.

Like many Russian aircraft programmes, however, it has been hampered by funding problems, and the first aircraft was not flown until February 1999.

Tupolev says certification is targeted for 2001. While there have been no orders yet, letters of intent have been received for more than 100 aircraft.

Production lines have been established for the 102- seat -100 in Aviant's factory in Kiev, and for the 126-seat -200 (also designated the Tu-354) in Aviacor's Samara factory. A second -100 factory is also planned by Tavia at Taganrog. The company says it is also in talks with Iran for licensed production of the aircraft.

It emerged in August that Tupolev is forming a consortium with the Aviant production plant of Kiev, Ukraine and MAPO to produce the Tu-334. The three firms and Russia's aircraft industry research institutes have produced a programme business plan, which has received full approval of the Russian Government.

The Tu-334 is fitted with a Russian-made glass cockpit, which has a high degree of commonality with the Tu-204 cockpit. Tupolev aims to install Western avionics to boost export potential.

In May 1997, BMW R-R signed an agreement with Tupolev to power the Tu-334-100 with 14,800lb BR710-48 turbofans, which will be used to re-engine the first aircraft after it has flown with the Russian powerplants. This version, intended for export, will be dubbed the -120. The company says it is focusing on the stretched 120-seat model as its long-term prospect, to be powered by the larger BR715.

Production: See above.

YAKOVLEV Yakovlev Design Bureau, 68 Leningradsky Prospekt, Moscow, 125315, Russia; tel: +7 (095) 157 17 34; fax, +7 (095) 157 47 26

Yak-42

The 120-seat Yak-42 tri-jet was first flown in March 1975, and entered service with Aeroflot in 1980. The current production model is designated the Yak-42D.

A development of the current Yak-42D, dubbed the Yak-42A, entered production at Saratov in 1998. The new model has cabin improvements such as drop-down oxygen masks, additional galley equipment, improved seating and enclosed luggage racks, and a larger passenger door, as well as acoustic lining on the engines to reduce noise. The aircraft also has increased wing fuel tank capacity, and new Russian avionics to permit Category 2 automatic landings.

Yakovlev has introduced intermediate positions on the trailing-edge flaps to achieve better field performance in hot-and-high conditions.

At an MTOW of 57.5t, the Yak-42A can carry a typical all-economy load of 120 passengers over 2,790km.

The company is also examining a 6m-stretched derivative, which would accommodate 150 passengers. MTOW would be increased to 65t.

Yakovlev continues to work on a Yak-42D version equipped with a Western avionics suite. Dubbed the Yak-42D-100 (also dubbed the Yak-142), the aircraft will incorporate Western navigation, radio, TCAS II and EFIS, integrated with the Russian-made autopilot.

Production: Yak-42s are built by the Saratov aviation plant in Saratov.

Delivered: c180