For several years I've been looking for a chance to ride on a Tupolev 154, but living in Australia there aren't so many opportunities. Therefore, on our recent trip to Russia I took care to chose specific Aeroflot flights between Moscow and St. Petersburg to ensure a ride. While both our flights were originally booked on Tu-154s, an equipment change meant that our SVO-LED fligth was on one of Aeroflot's new A320s. Fortunately the return flight was on a Tupolev Tu-154M (reg: RA-85765).
The entire Tu-154 experience was like going back in time about 30 years. This included the sights, sounds and smells of air travel. The Tu-154's three Soloviev D-30 turbofans make an incredible sound and the first two videos capture the sound nicely. The landing video also has the sound of the incredible racket that the thing makes on the ground. This is mostly from the poorly secured internal furnishings. It's also interesting to note that one of the over-wing exits is sealed shut. From the exterior it looks quite dodgy, but if you look at the safety instruction card, it's a documented feature.
To jump straight to the pictures, click here to access the slideshow.
To see the in-flight video, click on this YouTube link.
To see the landing video, click on this YouTube link.
To see the ground equipment, click on this YouTube link.
I have to say that both of our Aeroflot flights were comfortable and on-time with a full meal and drinks on the short hop. This is in contrast to what I've now become accustomed to on the low-cost-carriers I take for similar short hops (SYD-MEL, SYD-BNE, BOS-RIC).
For further reading about the Tupolev 154 series, there is a great article here.