Photo: United Aircraft Corporation
By the late 1980s, the Il-62 and Il-86 were replaced by more high-technology and fuel-saving IL-96-300. Its maiden flight was made on 28 September 1988, 35 years ago. It is one of the most reliable airliners in its class in the world: no major accidents have been recorded over its history.
This is the airliner that is used as the primary Russian presidential aircraft. Read below about the aircraft development history.
A matter of national importance
In the 1980s, when the domestic aviation was at the height of its capabilities, the passenger traffic within the country exceeded 1 million passengers per annum. The Il-62 designed in the early 1960s was obviously unable to meet the long-range traffic requirements any longer. A new, more comfortable and fuel-saving airliner was required to carry more passengers. This was the Il-96-300. The new aircraft made its maiden flight on 28 September 1988.
The latest domestic achievements in aerodynamics, strength, structural materials and avionics were realized in the new airliner. Research and engineering solutions protected by 145 Russian patents and by 167 inventor's certificates were implemented in its design.
The airliner was a great step forward compared with its predecessors. For example, compared with the Il-86, the flight range increased, while the maximum takeoff weight remained unchanged. The minimum fuel consumption rate per passenger-kilometer of the Il-96-300 appeared to be much lower than that of the Il-62M.
Air Force One
A special focus in the Il-96-300 was made on safety. The airliner uses multi-channel redundant systems with automatic cutoff or switching of failed channels. The data display system sends a failure alarm by itself, and the crew has to support the control system manually in just a few cases. Finally, one of the most reliable wide-body airliners in world was produced.
A fuel-saving and environment-friendly PS-90A engine designed by Pavel Soloviev Design Bureau is one of the key reliability-relevant components of the Il-96-300. The engine is manufactured by UEC-Perm Engines as part of Rostec’s United Engine Corporation.
It was the Il-96-300 that was chosen as the Air Force One. The fact that Il airliners are used by the President of Russia and other government officials implies traditionally high confidence in Ilyushin aircraft.
Il-96-400M: the new Ilyushin’s “hero”
Il-96-400M long-range passenger airliner is a next aircraft in the Il-96 wide-body aircraft family. It has been designed to expand the flight geography, ensure transport access to Russian regions and maintain technological self-sufficiency of Russia.
The airliner has an elongated fuselage, more powerful and low-consumption PS-90А1 turbofan engines, flight and navigation system and radio communication equipment meeting the current and future ICAO requirements.
In terms of reliability and flight safety, the aircraft is in line with its famous predecessors. This was achieved due to the aerodynamic configuration and system redundancy. The airliner interior, catering equipment, modern entertainment system and air conditioning ensure passenger comfort during a long-distance flight.
The aircraft may be used as the basis for cargo version to carry express goods in airfreight containers and on pallets enabling the aircraft to be fully involved in the global aerial delivery system. The airborne equipment and domestically produced materials fully meet the current requirements and are comparable with their foreign counterparts in terms of performance.