Russian-made narrow-body aircraft Tupolev Tu-204-300 has been awarded the ETOPS-120 rating, which means an approval to continue flight with one failed engine for the duration of 120 minutes. According to the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) the appropriate amendment was issued by the Aviation Register of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) in June 2016.
The aircraft underwent certification tests in Ulyanovsk, and completed them sucessfully in March last year. The aircraft’s designer, Tupolev, confirmed at the point, that expansion to Tu-204’s operational capabilities will pave way to similar approval for its larger sibling, the Tu-214.
The ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) were developed for twin-engine aircraft exclusively. The number in the rating stands for the maximum duration of flight to the nearest alternate airport from any point en route. Thus, higher rating enables aircraft operators to align flightpaths and fly direct routes to destinations. According to Russian regulations, an ETOPS rating is awarded not only to the type in general, but to a particular operator. Without the ETOPS approval the duration of flight with one engine to the nearest airport may not exceed one hour.
Tu-204-300 is a shortened version of the base Tu-204 model. With the maximum capacity of 162 seats the aircraft is capable of flying 9,250 km. The type is powered by two PS-90A turbofan engines.
According to data from open sources, there are only two operators of Tu-204-300 in Russia: Rossiya’s specialized flight department and Business Aero. Six aircraft of the type formerly operated by Vladivostok Avia (acquired by Aeroflot’s subsidiary Aurora) are currently not in service. One Tu-204-300 is operated by a North Korean carrier, Air Koryo.
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