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Aviogenex Tupolevs

Old 27th May 2022, 08:45
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Originally Posted by NineEighteen
I distinctly remember some serious braking after touchdown. Felt like mechanical braking. It was so extreme that some of the passenger seats backs tipped all the way forward.
Standard on Soviet types, the seat backs were designed to tip forward, to make it easy to get in and out of the window seats. Doesn't impact on the crash resistance of them at all - think about the mechanics of it, both with and without a passenger in them. In fact, it makes an emergency evacuation easier.
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Old 27th May 2022, 11:03
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Many moons ago I took a ride on a TAROM AN24 from Constanta to Bucharest. The seat backs tipped forward on this jalopy when we braked hard to avoid a stray dog on the taxiway.
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Old 27th May 2022, 16:25
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I know it always used to be fashionable to decry Soviet designs, which I always found competent (if just different), workmanlike and up for it - likewise the crews. Let us not forget which was the only nation who designed and built widebodies which never, ever, killed a passenger ...
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Old 27th May 2022, 17:44
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Rockets and people

Boris Chertok..shows how advanced the Russians were before the war.
There was a program 20? Years ago which started with one of NASAs heads thinking it was an April fools prank but ended up with the Russians re starting a production facility and providing Rocket motors which worked at higher pressures and efficientcy than the west could build.
Watched the Sukoi doing the Cobra at Farnborough one year which was out of the rest of the world's capablities.
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Old 28th May 2022, 10:11
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Evidently the TU134 was quite a colourful aeroplane. Aviogenex must have been satisfied for the company to have flown them for so many years. Eventually they were supplanted by Boeings - I wonder which types the pilots preferred ?
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Old 28th May 2022, 10:49
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest
Evidently the TU134 was quite a colourful aeroplane.
The only airliner I've ever flown on with a skylight in the loo.
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Old 28th May 2022, 11:51
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The Tu-134 must have been the noisiest airliner ever - beyond Concorde.
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Old 28th May 2022, 11:59
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I think the TU-144 possibly took that accolade? Especially as she apparently had to stay in reheat to cruise supersonic!
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Old 28th May 2022, 17:30
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest
Evidently the TU134 was quite a colourful aeroplane.
Used to use them regularly between Moscow (VKO, an airport I very rarely use) and Kaliningrad with KD Avia. I had always assumed the cabin would be spacious (given the window size) but was soon put in my place. Extremely cramped interior. Absolutely loved the 154 and was rather upset when Aeroflot started retiring them years ago now. Now that was an airplane.
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Old 29th May 2022, 11:18
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Originally Posted by WHBM
The flight engineer had the job of substituting the replacement chute, in the hold, for the original one. Engineers back at base packed them.

Aviogenex worked through two generations of Tu134, for 1969 they got three of the original spec Tu134 "no suffix" aircraft. These went back to Tupolev in early 1971 (ending up inevitably at Aeroflot), and were replaced by eventually nine Tu134A over the following several years. It was one of these latter ones, only weeks old, that was lost at Rijeka in early season 1971 with British holidaymakers, overturning on touchdown. The 134 had a notably swept wing, which may have been a handful on low speed touchdown.

Must have been an August Saturday morning in 1980 I saw three of them lined up on a remote stand facing Manchester airport terminal, with the uniformed crews (notably without ties) out on the tarmac in discussions with one another. I don't know if they were sufficiently into western aviation that they could get fuel on normal credit terms, rather than the senior captain having to come with a bagful of US Dollars.

As WHBM clearly says -
Aviogenex (JJ) in 1969 and 1970 got 3 original 72 seat (2-2) TU-134's, Zagreb Beograd and Skopje;
The first 2 had glazed noses, but YU-AHS delivered in 1970 did not, and had a solid grey one.
These 3 went back in 1971 replaced by 4 new 80 seat TU-134A-3's.
Twelve new TU-134 and 134A were eventually flown; Zagreb Beograd and Skopje; plus those same names were applied on the next new three, with Skopje, Titograd, Mostar, Pristina, and Novi Sad.

YUGOTOURS was their main customer for summer IT contracts to the UK, Ireland and Europe and Aviogenex, along with Inex Adria were members of the IACA International charter airlines association based in Belgium.

They flew to most UK major and to many small regional airports. To see 3 JJ's on the deck at the same time was a common sight at LGW NCL and MAN.

On 23 May 1971, one of the brand new TU-134A's YU-AHZ Skopje crashed, overturning and burned on landing after an unstable final approach in bad weather conditions to the new Rijeka Airport located on the island of Krk.
78 people were killed, with five survivors. Among the victims was the Croatian poet Josip Pupačić with his wife and daughter.
72 of the passengers were UK holidaymakers on a YUGOTOURS package flight from Gatwick.
All 4 Flight Deck crew survived as the cockpit section had broken away.
Almost all passengers had survived the landing uninjured but were now trapped upside down in their seats many with their seat belts stuck.
The 3 Stewardesses vainly tried to open the forward doors but these were jammed due to the fuselage distortion.
The 4 over wing exits were blocked by both the fire and by the bent over wing root.
The AFS were unable to open any doors or smash any windows from the outside, and the fuel fire took 90 minutes to contain.
The only passenger to survive was a young teenage lad who was sat right at the back and escaped through the main deck rear baggage hold.
He was son of the Yugoslavia UK Ambassador IIRC, going back to Yugoslavia after his studies in London.

JJ130 crash
49 years ago last week.

Besides the Rijeka crash, JJ lost another almost new one at Libreville, flying on one of their regular African freight contracts.
On 2 April 1977, YU-AJS Mostar, less than a year old, crashed on approach to Libreville Airport located in Gabon. It was a cargo flight from Belgrade, the crew failed to realize their altitude was too low when the airplane struck the ground in a Storm, and crashed in flames short of runway killing all 6 crew and 2 passengers (Loadmasters)
After fuel stops at Djerba and Kano the crew of the TU-134 flew on to Libreville Airport at first with good visibility.
Shortly before the first attempt at landing, the pilots noticed that the runway on which they wanted to land was occupied so they had to GA and hold, and that a vicious African thunderstorm had now appeared over the airfield.
A TAP 707 had made 3 attempts to land and then the Boeing 707 had backtracked down the runway.
As it turned out later, the Boeing crew had initially landed on the taxiway.
Since there was no way to turn around the 707, it was decided to change its route and so to now use the runway.
The air traffic controller did not warn the JJ crew that the runway was now occupied.
The captain of the TU-134 initiated a last moment go-around at low altitude. Under the difficult and stormy conditions due to the continuous rain pounding on the windshield, the tension and tiredness of the crew after the long flight from Europe and due to the unexpectedly necessary second approach, the captain now made unstable manual control yoke inputs and as a result of which the aircraft dropped and dipped and clipped a 60m high Baobab tree that had grown along the runway approach line and due to its enormous height was even recorded on the Libreville approach charts. The aircraft then crashed, killing all eight occupants.
A combination of crew fatigue, an unexpected missed approach, unexpected bad weather, ILS out of use, low fuel and lack of alternates.
The Flight Recorders were unable to be sent to the USSR by the Gabon/Yugoslavian Crash Investigation Team due to lack of obtaining Visas, so the FDR has never been listened to.
The Captain's son, Dragan Ostojic went on to fly as a pilot for Aviogenex, and has been a Ryanair Captain at Glasgow PIK since 1999 and lives in Ayr.

Aviogenex was founded to augment operations of state owned export and import company Generalexport.
Its original name Genex Airlines was later changed to Aviogenex and traditionally flew charter flights for tour operators to boost Yugoslavia's booming tourism, and also served as Cargo operator.
They eventually operated 12 TU-134s, and in 1983 the 2 ex Yugoslav Air force Boeing 727-200ADV's were obtained, Zagreb and Belgrade. A third 727 was named Pula.

For 1987 and 1988 their first 2 new 737-200ADV were delivered, Tivat and Zadar.

The Airline peaked in 1990 when it handled over 633,000 passed, and the Boeing fleet was now with 10 aircraft (5 Boeing 727 and 5 Boeing 737)
The last TU-134's were retired in the early 1990s.

During 1992 Aviogenex went into decline as Military conflict in all of FRY forced the airline to stop flight operations there for most of the 1990s.
Aviogenex has had to start the leasing of aircraft and its crews and now operated on charters and ACMI in Europe, Africa, the Middle and Far East, and South America, but was never able to regain its former status.
At the end of 2008 Aviogenex operated only one Boeing 737, having lost one in an another accident in Nigeria in 1998 YU-ANU Tivat.
In 2010, they restarted flights under their own name using their last sole owned Boeing 737-200ADV YU-ANP Zadar.
In February 2015, it was announced that Aviogenex will cease operations to be liquidated as all had failed to attract investors for the airline.

The first major upgrade to the baseline TU-134 model, was the Tu-134A, that incorporated a 2.1m stretch, most of which was used to expand the rear main deck baggage area (which had proved too small). It also added a single row of passenger seating to enable 80 passengers.
The early TU-134 could be slowed down after landing with the help of a braking parachute, which then had to be released – dropping onto the runway and retrieved by the ground or airlines crew.
Upgraded Soloviev D-30 engines on the Tu-134A had reverse thrust, eliminating the issue. Both pilots had separate sets of throttles but only the captain’s included the reverse thrust function. More upgrades followed, including the Tu-134A-3 – basically a Tu-134A-1 with uprated D-30 engines (D-30-IIIs)
The engines on the first Tu-134 had to be started by using electrical power from the battery, whereas the Tu-134A had low-pressure air starters using the new auxiliary power unit installed in the bay previously occupied by the braking chute.
This also helped passenger comfort on the ground during very hot or cold days by providing climate control in the cabin.

Other modifications included removing the under body ventral spoiler on early 134 and 134A models that would extend downwards from under the wing box to enable a descent profile of up to 9.
But with the increasing use of ILS landing systems, which standardised on an approach path of 3, it was eliminated on both of the newer later build TU-134A and TU-134A-3 of JJ's.

Early 134's including A models, had a glass nose for a navigator and a blister fairing under the nose.
But, at the behest of foreign operators, the Tupolev OKB created a three-man cockpit with the new weather radar installed in the nose, which was now a solid radome.

Yugoslav-charter airline Aviogenex played a leading role in the development of the Tu-134A-1, which had the radar housed in the nose.
The prototype of the new configuration, registered as YU-AHX, became the first as ordered by Aviogenex and was delivered after flight trials in March 1971.
Because of the airline’s role in its development, the radar-nosed Tu-134As were often known in the Eastern Bloc as ‘the Yugoslav version’, and more correctly as the Tu-134A-1.
The JJ fleet also had larger rear over wing emergency exits fitted to satisfy British CAA Civil Airworthiness Requirements, after the Rijeka crash, which insisted on the change as Aviogenex frequently flew to and from the UK.

The Belgrade leisure airline's impressive array of coverage emanated out of the Croatian coast, with the largest bases at Pula in Istria, and Split and Dubrovnik in Dalmatia. Other outstations were at Zadar, Zagreb and Ljubljana and Titograd (today Podgorica, Montenegro)
They also flew charters to Krk and Tivat.

In 1978 due to new night restrictions on more noisy (which undoubtedly for its size the TU-134 was) aircraft at Manchester, YUGOTOURS re-routed a whole season of Dubrovnik Inclusive Tour charter flights through Liverpool.
All 6 aircraft then in the Aviogenex fleet called at Liverpool, in order of first visit YU-AJW (20/5), YU-AJD (27/5), YU-AHX (17/6), YU-AHY (8/7), YU-AJV (22/7) and YU-AJA (19/9)

For 1979 following the success of the previous season, the Yugotours/Aviogenex combination began a successful relationship with the airport, linking Liverpool and now also Pula each summer. Flight JJ109/110 used the same 6 Aviogenex aircraft during the season. Also some of the TU-134s of Aviogenex diverted into Liverpool during the long strike closures of Manchester in September.
Aviogenex TU-134's continued for many years at Liverpool until for the 1987 Pula season (now renumbered JJ187/8 ), the TU-134A were used at the start and end of the summer, with the high season flights operated by Boeing 727s. YU-AHY, YU-AJA and YU-AJD were used into Liverpool.

1988 was to prove the final year that Aviogenex brought its TU-134As into Liverpool.
On the Pula I/T flight JJ187/8 just YU-AHX, YU-AJA and AJD. Final visit was by YU-AHX on 15th October 1988.


Last edited by rog747; 29th May 2022 at 12:07. Reason: added route info
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Old 29th May 2022, 11:26
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I well remember coming back from Budapest in a TU134 with Mr. & Mrs.Grubby (ex of these columns) , when Clint was asked up to the flight deck. He didn't return until after landing at Heathrow. Said landing was enlivened by the fiercest braking that I've ever experienced. All the seats tipped forward. I remarked to my wife that it was probably the crew showing Clint how quickly the aircraft could be brought to a stop (she being a nervous flyer). As we left the runway, I looked down the rest of it, to see a Lufthansa A300 still firmly in the middle of it (we were off the runway before it began its vacating turn). A "Land After" not quite complying with the parameters. It turned out that Clint had been summoned by the crew as they had received a message from LATCC to let him know which car park his car was in !
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Old 29th May 2022, 12:26
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Originally Posted by rog747
The Captain's son, D O [redacted just in case] went on to fly as a pilot for Aviogenex, and has been a Ryanair Captain at Glasgow PIK since 1999 and lives in Ayr.
If that's who I think it is, I recall him from when I was a regular on the Ryanair 737-200s on Prestwick to Stansted. Very informed on the PA, the FA's once made a comment that he was a Yugoslav. Once flew me a VOR hold, wholly in cloud, on the approach to Stansted, in a 737-200, which had very little automation, so precisely that he came back round 2 minutes later through his own wake. Impressive .
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Old 29th May 2022, 13:00
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Originally Posted by WHBM
If that's who I think it is, I recall him from when I was a regular on the Ryanair 737-200s on Prestwick to Stansted. Very informed on the PA, the FA's once made a comment that he was a Yugoslav. Once flew me a VOR hold, wholly in cloud, on the approach to Stansted, in a 737-200, which had very little automation, so precisely that he came back round 2 minutes later through his own wake. Impressive .
His Dad, the Aviogenex Libreville crash skipper that died was one of former Yugoslavia's top eminent pilots, very decorated.
Sadly he was killed in that TU-134.
He was not PIC for the landing - There was a 'heavy' crew for that long flight, so the 2 other Capt's were at the controls.

His son Dragan, was present at the 40th memorial of the Libreville crash and that's where I got a lot of the Info from their pages.
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Old 29th May 2022, 13:40
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The majority of Yugoslavian airline flight crews were presumably ex-Yugoslav Air Force.

They had a substantial MiG fleet there, so presumably they would make a more straightforward transition to the 134, Soviet-style instruments etc, than to western types. Having the 134 would also prevent trained crews getting picked off by mainstream western carriers.
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