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Bulgaria turns former dictator's jet into an artificial reef in the Black Sea

I flew on a Tu 154 during a reporting trip to Siberia in 1998. It was cramped and dark inside, but the plane was fast and sturdy. It felt a little like a Boeing 727.

The Tu 154 was designed and built by Tupelev in the mid-1960s as a medium-range airliner. It became the backbone of Soviet and Russian airlines for several decades. The jet serviced over a sixth of the world's landmass and carried about half of all passengers flown by Aeroflot. It remained the standard domestic airliner of Russia and former Soviet states until the mid-2000s.

The Tu 154 was one of the fastest civilian aircraft in operation and had a range of 3,280 miles. It was capable of operating on gravel airfields, and was widely used in the extreme Arctic conditions where other jets were unable to operate.