Air Transport World

Tu-334 makes first flight.

A great cheer arose as Igor Kalygin was picked up arid thrown three times into the air, then caught and lowered to the ground. It was a good day at Tupolev's flight-rest center at Zhukovski Aerodrome near Moscow--Feb. 8, 1999, marked the first flight of the new 102-seat Tu-334 designed by Kalygin and his team. It was the first maiden flight for a new Tupolev jetliner in more than 10 years. And for the first time in years, morale in the leading Russian aircraft company was sky high.

In the early 1980s, 120 to 150 Tupolev airliners were being delivered annually. In 1997, only four were delivered, a figure that rose to nine in 1998. The financial problems of Russia have taken a heavy toll on the country's major industries. …

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