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Germany crash: Details on the jets

The Boeing 757 was specially converted for its DHL role
The Boeing 757 was specially converted for its DHL role  

UEBERLINGEN, Germany -- The two aircraft that collided over southern Germany on Monday night -- a Boeing 757 cargo jet and a Tu-157 passenger plane -- have a long history of service around the world, but the Russian-built Tupelov has a poor safety record.

Boeing 757

The Boeing, carrying packages for the DHL company, had only a pilot and co-pilot on board as it flew from Bahrain to Brussels. Both crew were reported killed.

The 757 made its name as one of Boeing's most reliable passenger aircraft.

But a ground-breaking deal with international air freight carrier DHL in 2000 saw the company convert dozens of the passenger jets to carry cargo.

Wreckage from the crash is strewn over a wide area. CNN's Stephanie Halasz reports (July 2).

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The Boeing 757 began flying in 1982 and final assembly of the series -- the 757-200, 757-300 and the 757 Freighter -- is done in Renton, Washington.

In July 2000 Boeing Airplane Services began converting 44 757-200 jetliners to freighter configuration for DHL Worldwide Express.

Part of the conversion involved cutting into the fuselage and fitting a 20-by-22-foot cargo door, replacement of selected floor panels, strengthening of the main deck floor, and installation of a cargo handling system.

The converted 757 freighters are capable of carrying 60,000 pounds of cargo and have a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles.

Boeing generally has a good safety record.

However, in December 1995 an American Airlines Boeing 757, crashed near Cali, Colombia, killing 160 people.

One of the four aircraft hijacked in the United States on September 11, 2001, by terrorists -- United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania -- was a Boeing 757.

Tupelov 154

The Tupolev, registered in the name of Bashkirian Airlines, was thought to be carrying 69 people on a flight from Moscow to Barcelona, which included a stopover at Munich.

The three-engine Tupolev 154 is the aging workhorse of Russia's commercial fleet, carrying about half of all Russian air passengers.

It was designed as the Soviet counterpart to the Boeing 727 and the European-made Trident, but with the added ability to operate from short, rough runways. About 1,000 were produced.

A Tupleov-154: the aircraft has a poor safety record
A Tupleov-154: the aircraft has a poor safety record  

Although a popular aircraft, it has had a chequered history and has been involved in about 30 air disasters since it was created in 1968.

Most recently prior to Monday's crash, a Sibir Airlines Tupolev 154 en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk in Siberia exploded in midair and crashed into the Black Sea in October 2001, killing 78 passengers and crew.

And a few months earlier, in July 2001 a Russian Tupelov 154 en route from Yekaterinburg in the Ural mountains to the Russian port of Vladivostok crashed near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, killing 133 passengers and 10 crew. (Timeline of Russian crashes)

The former Soviet air fleet has been plagued by chronic safety problems since the 1991 collapse of the country.

Experts have blamed poor maintenance, safety violations and cost-cutting for a high accident rate.


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