Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance is a national-conservative, right-wing populist political party in Hungary. Founded in 1988 as a liberal youth party opposing the ruling communist government, Fidesz has come to dominate Hungarian politics on the national and local level since its landslide victory in the 2010 national elections on a joint list with the Christian Democratic People's Party, securing it a parliamentary supermajority that it retained in 2014 and again in 2018. Fidesz enjoys majorities in the county legislatures all urban counties and in the Budapest city council. Viktor Orbán has been the leader of the party for most of its history; the party was founded in 1988, named Fidesz, growing out of an underground liberal student activist movement opposed to the ruling Communist Party. Fidesz was founded by young democrats students, who were persecuted by the communist party and had to meet in small, clandestine groups; the movement became a major force in many areas of modern Hungarian history.
The membership had an upper age limit of 35 years. In 1989, Fidesz won the Rafto Prize; the Hungarian youth opposition movement was represented by one of its leaders, Dr Péter Molnár, who became a Member of Parliament in Hungary. In 1992, Fidesz joined the Liberal International. At that time, it was a moderate liberal centrist party. After its disappointing result in the 1994 elections, Fidesz changed its political position from liberal to conservative. In 1995, it added "Hungarian Civic Party" to its shortened name; the conservative turn caused a severe split in the membership. Péter Molnár left the party, as well as Gábor Fodor and Klára Ungár, who joined the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats. Fidesz gained power in 1998 under leader and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who governed Hungary in coalition with the smaller Hungarian Democratic Forum and the Independent Smallholders' Party. In 2000, Fidesz joined the European People's Party and had its membership in the Liberal International terminated.
The first Orbán government constituted a "relatively conventional European conservative" rule. Fidesz narrowly lost the 2002 elections to the Hungarian Socialist Party, by 41.07% to the Socialists' 42.05%. Fidesz had 169 members of the Hungarian National Assembly, out of a total of 386. Following the defeat, the municipal elections in October saw huge Fidesz losses. After the election, a Fidesz spokesman accused opponents of electoral fraud. In the spring of 2003, Fidesz took its current name, "Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union", it was the most successful party in the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections: it won 47.4% of the vote and 12 of its candidates were elected as Members of the European Parliament, including Lívia Járóka, the second Romani MEP. The election of Dr. László Sólyom as the new President of Hungary as the most recent success of the party, he was endorsed by an NGO including people from the whole political spectrum. His activity does not overlap with the conservative ideals and he championed for elements of both political wings with a selective, but conscious choice of values.
In 2005, Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People's Party formed an alliance for the 2006 elections. Despite winning 42.0% of the list votes and 164 representatives out of 386 in National Assembly, they were beaten by the social-democratic and liberal coalition of Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats. On 1 October 2006 Fidesz won the municipal elections, which counterbalanced the MSZP-led government's power to some extent. Fidesz won 15 of 23 mayoralties in Hungary's largest cities—although its candidate narrowly lost the city of Budapest to a member of the Liberal Party—and majorities in 18 out of 20 regional assemblies. In the 2009 European Parliament election, Fidesz won a landslide victory, gaining 56.36% of the vote and 14 of Hungary's 22 seats. In a closed-door party meeting in 2009, Orbán called for a "central political forcefield" to govern Hungary for up to 20 years to achieve political stability; the strong and preeminent Fidesz has benefited from the fragmented and disjointed opposition that has proved inept at mounting a unified challenge to the ruling party in a country where a majority of parliamentary seats are allocated to the party that garners the plurality of votes in a constituency.
Government debt has fallen by 6% in the 8 years after Fidesz took power in 2010 while the country's credit ratings have improved. Economic growth had quadrupled with wages rising by over 10% and destitution decreasing by 50%. According to official figures, unemployment had fallen by nearly two thirds. However, as many as half of newly employed Hungarians had found work elsewhere in the EU. A public works program has been criticized by some economists for artificially and deceptively reducing unemployment numbers while engaging in and compensating people for unneeded or unnecessarily inefficient work. Hungary has been dependent on EU funds during Fidesz's rule. In a landslide victory in the 2010 parliamentary elections, the party won an outright majority in the first round on 11 April, with the Fidesz-KDNP alliance winning 206 seats, including 119 individual seats. In the final result, Fidesz 263 seats. Fidesz held 227 of these seats, giving it an outright majority in the National Assembly by itself.
Fidesz was seen as propelled to a sweeping victory in large
1975 Tân Sơn Nhứt C-5 accident
On 4 April 1975, a Lockheed C-5A Galaxy participating in Operation Babylift crashed on approach during an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. The cause was ascribed to loss of flight control due to explosive decompression and structural failure; the accident marked the second operational loss and first fatal crash for the C-5 Galaxy fleet, is the second deadliest accident involving a U. S. military aircraft after the 1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown. In early April 1975, with much of South Vietnam overrun by communist North Vietnamese forces, the administration of U. S. President Gerald Ford began instituting the evacuation of American citizens. To avoid alarming the host country, U. S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Graham Martin authorized Americans to be flown out under several conditions, one of, Operation Babylift, in which American caregivers were paired with South Vietnamese orphans. On the afternoon of Friday, 4 April 1975, C-5A, AF Ser. No. 68-0218, making the first flight of Operation Babylift, departed Tan Son Nhut Air Base for Clark Air Base in the Philippines.
This first group of orphans would transfer to charter flights and be welcomed by President Ford upon arriving in the United States at San Diego, California. At 4:15 p.m. the C-5A was over the South China Sea about 13 nautical miles off Vũng Tàu, South Vietnam, flying a heading of 136 degrees and climbing to an altitude of 23,000 ft. At that moment the locks on the rear loading ramp failed, causing the cargo door to open explosively; this caused explosive decompression, temporarily filling the cabin with a whirlwind of fog and debris. The blowout severed control cables to the tail, causing two of four hydraulic systems to fail, including those for the rudder and elevator, leaving the flight control with only the use of one aileron and power; the pilot, Captain Dennis "Bud" Traynor, copilot, Captain Tilford Harp, attempted to regain control of the airplane, to perform a 180 degree turn in order to return to Tan Son Nhut. The aircraft began to exhibit phugoid oscillations, but the crew countered them and maintained a controlled descent of about 250 to 260 knots.
They were able to bring the plane to 4,000 ft and begin the approach to Tan Son Nhut's runway 25L. While turning on final approach, the plane's descent rate began to increase rapidly; the crew increased power to the engines in an attempt to arrest the descent, but despite their efforts, the plane touched down at 4:45 p.m. in a rice paddy, skidded for a quarter of a mile, became airborne again for another half-mile, crossing the Saigon River hit a dike and broke up into four pieces. The fuel caught some of the wreckage was set ablaze. Survivors struggled to extricate themselves from the wreckage; the crash site was in a muddy rice paddy near one mile from the nearest road. Fire engines could not reach the site, helicopters had to set down some distance from the wreckage. About 100 South Vietnamese soldiers deployed around the site, near the site of an engagement with the Viet Cong the previous night. Out of 314 people on board, the death toll included 78 children, 35 Defence Attaché Office employees and 11 U.
S. Air Force personnel. All of the surviving orphans were flown to the United States; the dead orphans were cremated and were interred at the cemetery of the St. Nikolaus Catholic Church in Pattaya, Thailand; the accident would "stand as the single largest loss of life" in the Defense Intelligence Agency's history until the September 11 attacks because among the crash fatalities were five female DIA employees. Some members of the United States Congress called for a grounding of C-5s. In the end, the fleet was put under severe operational restrictions for several months while the cause was established; the U. S. Air Force Accident Investigation Board attributed the survival of any on board to Captain Traynor's unorthodox use of power and his decision to crash-land while the aircraft allowed some control. Captains Traynor and Harp, who both survived, were awarded the Air Force Cross for extraordinary valor. Thirty-seven medals were awarded to their next of kin. USAF Flight Nurse, 1st Lieutenant Regina Aune, received the Cheney Award for 1975.
Given the explosive manner in which the rear doors failed, sabotage was suspected. Many of the components were looted from the crash site. S. Air Force paid a bounty for parts from the wreckage to recover them from the local populace; the United States Navy amphibious cargo ship USS Durham, frigate USS Reasoner, command ship USS Blue Ridge were assigned to search for the flight data recorder in the South China Sea. The recorder was found, U. S. Navy ships and helicopters discovered wreckage from the doors in the South China Sea as well as the body of a C-5 crewmember; when the rear doors were recovered from the sea, investigation determined that some of the locks had not engaged properly. Maintenance records showed that locks had been cannibalized for spares subsequently improperly refitted so that not all the door locks were engaging correctly. Accounts indicated the initial maintenance inspection noticed 5 of the 7 locks were not operating and failed the aircraft for flight. With external organizational pressure to get the flight airborne, a second off-shift maintenance team was called in.
They subsequently missed the locks during inspection and the aircraft was cleared for flight. Furthermore, the flight crew confirmed that they had encountered difficulty closing the doors before take-off; as the air pressure differential increased with altitude, the few locks that were working were u
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. The first historical mention of Beirut is found in the Amarna letters from the New Kingdom of Egypt, which date to the 15th century BC. Beirut is Lebanon's seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with most banks and corporations based in its Central District, Rue Verdun, Ryad el Soloh street, Achrafieh. Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War, Beirut's cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction. Identified and graded for accountancy, banking/finance and law, Beirut is ranked as a Beta World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; the English name Beirut is an early transcription of the Arabic name Bayrūt.
The same name's transcription into French is Beyrouth, sometimes used during Lebanon's French occupation. The Arabic name derives from Phoenician Birut; this was a modification of the Canaanite and Phoenician word be'rot, meaning "the wells", in reference to the site's accessible water table. The etymology is shared by the biblical Beeroth which was, however, a different settlement somewhere near Jerusalem; the name is first attested in the 15th century BC, when it was mentioned in three Akkadian cuneiform tablets of the Amarna letters, letters sent by King Ammunira of "Biruta" to Amenhotep III or Amenhotep IV of Egypt. "Biruta" was mentioned in the Amarna letters from King Rib-Hadda of Byblos. The Greeks hellenized the name as Bērytós; when it attained the status of a Roman colony, it was notionally refounded and its official name was emended to Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus to include its imperial sponsors. Before, under the Seleucid Empire, the city had been refounded and known as Laodicea in honor of the mother of Seleucus the Great.
It was distinguished from several other places named in her honor by the longer names Laodicea in Phoenicia or Laodicea in Canaan. Beirut was settled more than 5,000 years ago and the area had been inhabited for far longer. Several prehistoric archaeological sites have been discovered within the urban area of Beirut, revealing flint tools of sequential periods dating from the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic through the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Beirut I was listed as "the town of Beirut" by Louis Burkhalter and said to be on the beach near the Orient and Bassoul hotels on the Avenue des Français in central Beirut; the site was discovered by Lortet in 1894 and discussed by Godefroy Zumoffen in 1900. The flint industry from the site was described as Mousterian and is held by the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Beirut II was suggested by Burkhalter to have been south of Tarik el Jedideh, where P. E. Gigues discovered a Copper Age flint industry at around 100 metres above sea level; the site had been built on and destroyed by 1948.
Beirut III, listed as Plateau Tabet, was suggested to have been located on the left bank of the Beirut River. Burkhalter suggested that it was west of the Damascus road, although this determination has been criticized by Lorraine Copeland. P. E. Gigues discovered a series of Neolithic flint tools on the surface along with the remains of a structure suggested to be a hut circle. Auguste Bergy discussed polished axes that were found at this site, which has now disappeared as a result of construction and urbanization of the area. Beirut IV was on the left bank of the river and on either side of the road leading eastwards from the Furn esh Shebbak police station towards the river that marked the city limits; the area was covered in red sand. The site was found by Jesuit Father Dillenseger and published by fellow Jesuits Godefroy Zumoffen, Raoul Describes and Auguste Bergy. Collections from the site were made by Bergy and another Jesuit, Paul Bovier-Lapierre. A large number of Middle Paleolithic flint tools were found on the surface and in side gullies that drain into the river.
They included around 50 varied bifaces accredited to the Acheulean period, some with a lustrous sheen, now held at the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. Henri Fleisch found an Emireh point amongst material from the site, which has now disappeared beneath buildings. Beirut V was discovered by Dillenseger and said to be in an orchard of mulberry trees on the left bank of the river, near the river mouth, to be close to the railway station and bridge to Tripoli. Levallois flints and bones and similar surface material were found amongst brecciated deposits; the area has now been built on. Beirut VI was a site discovered while building on the property of the Lebanese Evangelical School for Girls in the Patriarchate area of Beirut, it was notable for the discovery of a finely styled Canaanean blade javelin suggested to date to the early or middle Neolithic periods of Byblos and, held in the school library. Beirut VII, the Rivoli Cinema and Byblos Cinema sites near the Bourj in the Rue el Arz area, are two sites discovered by Lorraine Copeland and Peter Wescombe in 1964 and examined by Diana Kirkbride and Roger Saidah.
Eastern Air Lines Flight 66
Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 was a scheduled flight from New Orleans to New York City that crashed on June 24, 1975 while on approach to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing 113 of the 124 people on board; the crash was determined to be caused by wind shear caused by a microburst, but the airport and flight crew's failure to recognize the severe weather hazard were contributing factors. Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 was a scheduled passenger flight from New Orleans, Louisiana's Moisant Field to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York. On June 24, 1975, Flight 66 was operated using a Boeing 727 trijet, registration number N8845E; the flight departed from Moisant Field at 13:19 Eastern Daylight Time with 124 people on board, including 116 passengers and 8 crew. The flight operated from New Orleans to the New York City area without any reported difficulty; the flight crew consisted of the following: The captain was 54-year-old John W. Kleven, serving with Eastern Airlines for nearly 25 years, had been a 727 captain since July 10, 1968.
Kleven had a total of 17,381 flying hours, including 2,813 hours on the Boeing 727. The first officer was 34-year-old William Eberhart, with Eastern Airlines for nearly nine years, he had 5,063 flying hours, including 4,327 hours on the Boeing 727. The flight engineer was 31-year-old Gary M. Ceurin, with Eastern Airlines since 1968, he had 3,910 flying hours, including 3,123 hours on the Boeing 727. A second flight engineer, 31-year-old Peter J. McCullough, was on board undergoing training, with Ceurin monitoring his progress. McCullough had been with Eastern Airlines for four years and had 3,602 flying hours, including 676 hours on the Boeing 727. A severe thunderstorm arrived at JFK airport just as Flight 66 was approaching the New York City area. At 15:35, Flight 66 was told to contact the JFK approach controller for instructions, the approach controller sequenced Flight 66 into the approach pattern for JFK's runway 22L. At 15:52, the approach controller warned all incoming aircraft that the airport was experiencing "very light rain showers and haze" and zero visibility, all approaching aircraft would need to land using instrument flight rules.
At 15:53, Flight 66 was switched to another frequency for final approach to JFK's runway 22L. Controllers continued giving Flight 66 radar vectors to operate around the approaching thunderstorms and sequence into the landing pattern with other traffic. Due to the deteriorating weather, one of the crew members checked the weather at LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, the flight's alternate airport. At 15:59, the controller warned all aircraft of "a severe wind shift" on final approach, advised that more information would be reported shortly. Although communications on the frequency continued to report deteriorating weather, Flight 66 continued on its approach to runway 22L. At 16:02, Flight 66 was told to contact the JFK tower controller for landing clearance. At 16:05, while on its final approach to runway 22L, the aircraft entered a microburst or wind shear environment caused by the severe storms; the aircraft continued its descent until it began striking the approach lights 2,400 feet from the threshold of runway 22L.
After the initial impact, the aircraft banked to the left and continued to strike the approach lights until it burst into flames and scattered the wreckage along Rockaway Boulevard, which runs on the northeast perimeter of the airport. Of the 124 people on board, 107 passengers and 6 crew members died as a result of the crash; the other 11 people aboard the aircraft, including 9 passengers and 2 flight attendants, were injured but survived. At the time, it was the deadliest single plane crash in United States history; the victims included American Basketball Association player Wendell Ladner. Rev. Iveson B. Noland, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana; the accident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. As the investigation progressed, it was found that 10 minutes before Flight 66's crash, a Flying Tiger Line Douglas DC-8 cargo jet landing on runway 22L reported tremendous wind shear on the ground; the pilot warned the tower of the wind shear conditions. After the DC-8, an Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 landing on the same runway nearly crashed.
Two more aircraft landed before Flight 66. According to the conversation recorded by the Cockpit Voice Recorder, the captain of Flight 66 was aware of reports of severe windshear on the final approach path but decided to continue nonetheless; the NTSB published its final report on March 12, 1976. In its report, the NTSB determined the following probable cause for the accident: The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the aircraft's encounter with adverse winds associated with a strong thunderstorm located astride the ILS localizer course, which resulted in high descent rate into the non-frangible approach light towers; the flight crew's delayed recognition and correction of the high descent rate were associated with their reliance upon visual cues rather than on flight instrument reference. However, the adverse winds might have been too severe for a successful approach and landing had they relied upon and responded to the indications of the flight instruments.
The NTSB concluded that failure of either air traffic controllers or the flight crew to abort the landing, given the severe weather conditions contributed to the crash: Contributing to the accident was the continued use of runway 22L when it s
Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport
Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport Beirut International Airport, is located 9 kilometres from the city center in the southern suburbs of Beirut, is the only operational commercial airport in the country. It is the hub for Middle East Airlines, it is the hub for the Lebanese charter carrier Wings of Lebanon, was the hub for the Lebanese cargo carrier TMA cargo before its collapse. It is the main port of entry into the country along with the Port of Beirut; the airport is managed and operated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which operates within the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. The DGCA is responsible for operating the air traffic control at the airport as well as controlling Lebanon's airspace. DGCA duties include maintenance and general upkeep ranging from cleaning the terminal to de-rubberising the runways; the airport opened on 23 April 1954, replacing the much smaller Bir Hassan Airfield, located a short distance north. At the time of its opening, the terminal was modern and it featured an excellent spotters terrace with a café.
The airport consisted of two asphalt runways at the time. Runway 18/36 at 3,250 metres was used for landings from the 18 end while runway 03/21 at 3,180 metres was used for take-offs from the 21 end and from the Sami end; the airport grew to become a premier hub in the Middle East, thanks to limited competition from neighbours, with fast and steady growth by the country's four carriers at the time, Middle East Airlines, Air Liban, Trans Mediterranean Airways, Lebanese International Airways, numerous other foreign carriers. In response to an attack on El Al Flight 253 two days earlier in Athens, on the night of 28 December 1968, Israeli commandos mounted a surprise attack on the airport and destroyed 14 civilian aircraft operated by the Lebanese carriers, Middle East Airlines, Trans Mediterranean Airways, Lebanese International Airways; this caused serious devastation to the Lebanese aviation industry. Middle East Airlines managed to rebound but Lebanese International Airways went bankrupt and its employees were transferred to MEA.
The airport lost its status as one of the premier hubs of the Middle East with the start of the 15-year-long Lebanese Civil War in April 1975 and lost all of its airline services with the exception of two Lebanese carriers, Middle East Airlines and Trans Mediterranean Airways. Both airlines continued operating with the exception of certain periods of time when the airport itself was closed. Despite the conflict, the terminal was renovated in 1977, only to be badly damaged five years by Israeli shelling during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon; the airport was the site of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, in which 241 American servicemen were killed. The airport's runways were renovated in 1982 and 1984. By the time war came to an end in 1990, the airport needed to launch a massive reconstruction program. A ten-year reconstruction program was launched in 1994 which included the construction of another terminal, two runways, a fire station, a power plant, a general aviation terminal, an underground parking garage.
Many structures, like the radar building, were rehabilitated. In 1998 the first phase of the new terminal was completed, it was located adjacent to the east of the old terminal and consists of gates 1–12. After it was inaugurated, the old terminal was demolished and construction on the western half began and was completed in 2000, however it was not inaugurated until 2002; this consists of gates 13–23. The new terminal can handle 6 million passengers annually and is expected to be expanded to handle 16 million passengers by 2035, it was decided early on. A new landing runway, 17/35 was constructed protruding at an angle out into the sea, with a length of 3,395 metres; this seaward protrusion was built in order to move landing traffic away from the city in a bid to improve safety and reduce aircraft noise. A new take-off runway was constructed parallel to the old 03/21 at a length of 3,800 metres making it the longest runway in the airport; the old 03/21 was converted to a taxiway for accessing the new runway 03/21.
Unlike the old runways, the two new runways were constructed from concrete and feature more advanced lighting systems and instrument landing systems. In 2004, runway 17/35 was re-designated 16/34 and runway 18/36 was re-designated 17/35 after more accurate runway heading measurements were conducted. Despite being replaced by and adjacent to the new runway 16/34, runway 17/35 is still open, although it is used. On 17 June 2005, the General Aviation Terminal was opened, it is located on the northwestern corner of the airport. All fixed-base operators and VIP charter providers have moved their operations to this state-of-the-art terminal. In 2005, the airport was renamed from "Beirut International Airport" to "Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport" in honor of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, assasssinated earlier in the year. On 13 July 2006 at 6:00 a.m. local time, all three runways of the airport sustained significant damage from missile strikes directed at it by the Israeli Air Force as part of the 2006 Lebanon War.
The Israeli Air Force claimed that the airport was a military target because Hezbollah was receiving weapons shipments there. The runways were rendered inoperative and the Leba
The Tupolev Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner designed in the mid-1960s and manufactured by Tupolev. A workhorse of Soviet and Russian airlines for several decades, it carried half of all passengers flown by Aeroflot and its subsidiaries, remaining the standard domestic-route airliner of Russia and former Soviet states until the mid-2000s, it was exported to 17 non-Russian airlines and used as a head-of-state transport by the air forces of several countries. With a cruising speed of 850 kilometres per hour the Tu-154 is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in use and has a range of 5,280 kilometres. Capable of operating from unpaved and gravel airfields with only basic facilities, it was used in the extreme Arctic conditions of Russia's northern/eastern regions where other airliners were unable to operate. Designed for a 45,000 hour service life but capable of 80,000 hours with upgrades, it was expected to continue in service until 2016, although noise regulations have restricted flights to western Europe and other regions.
In January 2010 Russian flag carrier Aeroflot announced the retirement of its Tu-154 fleet after 40 years, with the last scheduled flight being Aeroflot Flight 736 from Ekaterinburg to Moscow on 31 December 2009. Since 1968 there have been 39 fatal incidents involving the Tu-154, most of which were caused either by factors unrelated to the aircraft, incorrect maintenance, or by its extensive use in demanding conditions. Few of the Tu-154 accidents appear to have involved technical failure; the Tu-154 was developed to meet Aeroflot's requirement to replace the jet-powered Tu-104 and the Antonov An-10 and Ilyushin Il-18 turboprops. The requirements called for either a payload capacity of 16–18 tonnes with a range of 2,850–4,000 kilometres while cruising at 900 km/h, or a payload of 5.8 tonnes with a range of 5,800–7,000 kilometres while cruising at 850 km/h. A takeoff distance of 2,600 metres at maximum takeoff weight was stipulated as a requirement. Conceptually similar to the British Hawker Siddeley Trident, which first flew in 1962, the American Boeing 727, which first flew in 1963, the medium-range Tu-154 was marketed by Tupolev at the same time as Ilyushin was marketing the long-range Ilyushin Il-62.
The Soviet Ministry of Aircraft Industry chose the Tu-154 as it incorporated the latest in Soviet aircraft design and best met Aeroflot's anticipated requirements for the 1970s and 1980s. The first project chief was Sergey Yeger. In 1975, the project lead role was turned over to Aleksandr S. Shengardt; the Tu-154 first flew on 4 October 1968. The first deliveries to Aeroflot were in 1970 with freight services beginning in May 1971 and passenger services in February 1972. There was still limited production of the 154M model as of January 2009 despite previous announcements of the end of production in 2006. 1025 Tu-154s have been built, 214 of which were still in service as of 14 December 2009. The last serial Tu-154 was delivered to the Russian Defense Ministry on 19 February 2013 from the Aviakor factory, equipped with upgraded avionics, a VIP interior and a communications suite; the factory has four unfinished hulls in its inventory which can be completed if new orders are received. The Tu-154 is powered by three rear-mounted low-bypass turbofan engines arranged to those of the Boeing 727, but it is larger than its American counterpart.
Both the 727 and the Tu-154 use an S-duct for the middle engine. The original model was equipped with Kuznetsov NK-8-2 engines, which were replaced with Soloviev D-30KU-154 in the Tu-154M. All Tu-154 aircraft models have a high thrust-to-weight-ratio which give excellent performance, at the expense of lower fuel efficiency; this became an important factor in decades as fuel costs grew. The flight deck is fitted with conventional dual yoke control columns. Flight control surfaces are hydraulically operated; the cabin of the Tu-154, although of the same six-abreast seating layout, gives the impression of an oval interior, with a lower ceiling than is common on Boeing and Airbus airliners. The passenger cabin accommodates 128 passengers in a two-class layout and 164 passengers in single-class layout, up to 180 passengers in high-density layout; the layout can be modified to what is called a winter version where some seats are taken out and a wardrobe is installed for passenger coats. The passenger doors are smaller than on its Airbus counterparts.
Luggage space in the overhead compartments is limited. Like the Tupolev Tu-134, the Tu-154 has a wing swept back at 35° at the quarter-chord line; the British Hawker Siddeley Trident has the same sweepback angle, while the Boeing 727 has a smaller sweepback angle of 32°. The wing has anhedral, a distinguishing feature of Russian low-wing airliners designed during this era. Most Western low-wing airliners such as the contemporary Boeing 727 have dihedral; the anhedral means that Russian airliners have poor lateral stability compared to their Western counterparts, but have weaker Dutch roll tendencies. Heavier than its predecessor Soviet-built airliner the Ilyushin Il-18, the Tu-154 was equipped with an oversized landing gear to reduce ground load, enabling it to operate from the same runways; the aircraft has two six-wheel main bogies fitted with large low-pressure tires that retract into pods extending from the trailing edges of the wings, plus a two-wheel noseg
Interflug Flight 1107
Interflug Flight 1107 was a flight operated by East German airline Interflug from Stuttgart in West Germany to Leipzig in East Germany. On 1 September 1975 a Tupolev Tu-134 operating on the route crashed during its approach to Leipzig, killing 27 of the 34 passengers and crew on board; the aircraft was descended with guidance from air traffic control using a precision approach radar. Despite this the crew allowed the aircraft to descend too and failed to check what was the decision height for Leipzig Airport; the Tu-134 struck a radio crashed. Three of the six crew and 24 of the 28 passengers were killed in the crash; the majority of the passengers were travelling to visit the Leipzig Trade Fair. The surviving crewmembers and the radar controller were all sentenced to prison terms as a result of the crash