Russian president takes first flight in new Tu-214PU

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In the last days of October Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev flew the new governmental Tupolev Tu-214PU narrowbody twinjet for the first time on an official trip to Kazan, in the Tatarstan Republic. The Tu-214PU - registration RA-64517 - made its maiden flight on 12 May and was handed over to the special air detachment of the Russian government last month. The Tu-214PU is equipped in the "control post" configuration, with special radio relay equipment that enables the head of state and the supreme head of the armed forces to carry out their duties during the flight. A second Tu-214PU is on order and scheduled for delivery early next year.

This extended-range aircraft, dubbed the Dalnii version, feature improved onboard systems, larger fuel tanks and a range of up to 10,500km (5,680nm). The Russian government has placed an order for over a dozen Tu-214Ds tailored to specific missions. Russia's presidential fleet also consists of a four-engine Ilyushin Il-96 and a Dassault Falcon 7X.

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