THE FIRST TUPOLEV Tu-204-200 to be produced at the Kazan Aircraft Production Factory had its maiden flight on 21 March. The Perm PS-90A-engined aircraft, to be redesignated by Kazan as the Tu-214, has an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 110t, up from the 98t of the Tu-204-100.

Although the original plan was to build the Perm-engined aircraft at Ulyanovsk and fit the Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan to the Kazan-produced aircraft, it now appears that both factories will fit either engine type as required by the customer.

The R-R-powered model is to be known as the Tu-204-220, or Tu-224, and the factories are also planning to offer a cargo variant of the higher-MTOW version, the Tu-204-200C with PS-90A engines, and the Tu-204-220C with R-R power plants.

Despite previous reports that the shortened Tu-234 version may be discontinued, the programme is now back on track, with its first flight scheduled to take place by June. Its design designation is the Tu-204-300 (PS-90A) and Tu-204-320 (RB211), and it will be available as a medium-range airliner with an MTOW of 84t, or a long-range model with a 103t MTOW.

Source: Flight International