ALONGSIDE ITS NEW Tu-334, Tupolev unveiled a shortened, trunk-route, version of its Tu-204 medium-range airliner - the Tu-234.

Formerly known as the Tu-204-300, the Aviadvigatel PS-90A-powered prototype Tu-234 was rolled out at MosAero on 25 August. The new 160-seater has a fuselage 6m shorter than its 214-seat stable mate and will be offered in a short-range version with an 84.8t maximum take-off weight, and medium- and long-range versions with a boosted (103t) take-off weight.

The short- and medium-range versions will carry 166 passengers over ranges, with design payloads, of 3,400km (1,830nm) and 7,550km respectively; the long-range version will have a reduced passenger capacity of 99-160, with a design-payload range of 9,250km.

The first prototype Tu-234 was modified from the first Tu-204 prototype, which was first flown in 1989.o

Two 3m sections of fuselage were removed from the aircraft and the fuselage was refastened with the original wiring looped and fixed in place inside the shorter fuselage.

Tupolev deputy general director July Kashtanov says that the Russian State Register has agreed to accept earlier static and fatigue tests on the Tu-204 as counting towards certification of the new version. The Tu-234, is scheduled to be certificated within a year, says Kashtanov.

According to Tupolev, later versions of the Tu-234 will be powered by the up-rated, 158.3kN thrust PS-90P.

Source: Flight International