Il-112 Transport Aircraft
The situation in the development and production of military transport aircraft developed in a completely unsatisfactory manner. After a whole decade of painful attempts at the Ilyushin design bureau, the project of a medium transport aircraft remained completely virtual. There was practically no progress in the development of the Il-112V light military transport aircraft prior to 2010, the production schedule of which was permanently shifted to the right.
The first flight of the Ilyushin Il-112V aircraft on 30 March 2019 was successfu. "An Il-112V light military transport aircraft performed its maiden flight successfully," the press service of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex said. The flight wasperformed on the eve of the 125th birth anniversary of Soviet aircraft designer Sergei Ilyushin. The aircraft’s maiden flight was postponed several times. This is the first military transport plane designed in Russia from scratch during the post-Soviet era. Work to create it has been in progress since 2014. According to its specifications, the new plane will be capable of carrying of up to 5 tonnes of cargo. It is designed to transport troops, military equipment and weapons.
The development of the twin turboprop aircraft, designed to carry six tons of cargo to a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), was canceled in 2011 under former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, but his successor Sergei Shoigu reportedly approved the revival of the Il-112 program in 2013. It was decided to resume work on the light transport aircraft IL-112, with a launch is scheduled for 2015. The scope of work was formed in order to start series production of the aircraft.
Light military transport aircraft Il-112V is designed for transporting and parachuting of light weaponry and equipment, cargoes and military personnel, as well as for transporting a wide variety of cargoes when operated in commercial service. It is capable of auto landing approaches to categorized aerodromes (minimum requirement being ICAO category II) and manual landing approaches to aerodromes poorly equipped with, or having no radio technical equipment. Ilyushin's Il-112VT lightweight tactical transport emerged in the first Russian air force tender for new airlift capability. The aircraft is a classic high-wing design in the six-metric-ton (13,228-pound) payload class and powered by a pair of commercially certified 2,500-hp Klimov TV7-117S turboprops. This light military transport aircraft can also be operated by civilian carriers.
The high-wing Il-112 utility turboprop is a shrunk version of the low-wing Il-114, launched in 2000. The fuselage is 6.2m shorter, but the type retains the -114's Klimov TV7-117 turboprops. A military Il-112V with a loading ramp and 11-seat corporate shuttle versions will also be offered. The Ilyushin Il-114 was designed to fill what could ultimately be a very large requirement to replace ageing fleets of turboprop airliners, including the Antonov An-24, in service on regional routes within Russia and other CIS states.
The specification calls for a 6,000kg payload and a 6,000km range. The Il-112VT will have two high-power derivatives of the Klimov TV7-117S engine, used on the Il-114 regional turboprop. The Il-112VT will have a 2.4 x 2.4m cabin cross section and a rear ramp and will be required to operate from 800-1,000m unprepared strips.
In May 2003, the Il-112VT was selected as the Russian Air Force's next-generation airlifter, beating the RSK MiG MiG-110, Sukhoi S-80 and a Tupolev design. The Russian defence ministry estimated 100-120 aircraft would be needed by 2010. The commercial market was estimated at 200 units and production will be carried out at the VASO plant in Voronezh. Ilyushin planned to fulfil the order in some four to five years. Ilyushin became the first in Russia, with its Il-112V, to land a three-year contract with the Russian Defence Ministry - previously, such contracts were concluded for one year. The contract covers the entire product development period, including the draft design and the mock-up.
A four-year development program was launched following the approval by Air Forces C-in-C of aircraft's technical specifications on 17 November 2003. This called for preliminary design to be complete by early 2004, full scale development to begin in mid-2004 and the first Il-112VT to fly in 2006 at the VASO plant. Early delays to this timetable experienced when mockup commission postponed six months from planned date of June 2004. One milestone in 2004 was the acceptation of the Il-112V draft design and the examination of its mock-up. The examination board approved of the mock-up, but there are a number of shortcomings that have to be eliminated. Ilyushin had the draft design and the mock-up submitted as scheduled.
On 16 October 2006 Voronezh-based stock aircraft- building society (VASO) director general Mikhail Shushpanov said the enterprise was to start producing the Il-112 airplanes in November. At the end of 2006, UABC's management confirmed VACO's production plan up to 2015. According to the plan, VACO is expected to manufacture a total of 262 airplanes of various types and 462 production kits for the Sukhoi Superjet. The company plans to produce 27 IL-96 planes (three per year between 2007 and 2015); 170 AN-148s (two in 2007, 8 in 2008, 16 in 2009 and 24 airplanes per annum from 2010 onwards); and 65 military cargo airplanes - the IL-112 (two in 2010, 4 in 2011, 8 in 2012, 11 in 2013, 20 in 2014 and 20 in 2015).
In January 2007, Ilyushin stated Il-112V detail design "nearly ready" and to be finalised by mid-2008. Construction of prototype to begin in mid-2008 by VASO for two-year trials program. Russian Air Forces C-in-C confirmed continued commitment to Il-112 in January 2006. Development costs funded 30 per cent by Russian government and 70 per cent from private finance. VASO at Voronezh was to build three flying and two static test prototypes.
The Russian air force plans to purchase Il-112 light military transport planes in order to renew its fleet, Maj- Gen Viktor Kachalkin, commander of Military Transport Aviation (MTA) [the 61st Air Army of the Supreme Command], said 29 May 2007. "We can confidently operate MTA's current fleet until 2020, except for An-26 and An-24 planes. In order to replace these aircraft as quickly as possible, the air force plans to purchase Il- 112 light military transport planes," Kachalkin told a news briefing.
On 14 February 2008 the chairman of board of directors of joint stock company "Vaso" Victor Livanov stated that the building of the light military transport aircraft Il-112[V], which is the first model of the military establishment, developed in the last 15 years, will begin on the Voronezh aircraft factory in the middle of 2008. According to him, structural parts with the long cycle of production into the production will be first to be fabricated. Development Il-112[V] is conducted at the level of the advanced technologies of machine design, emphasized Livanov, after adding, that the developer of aircraft - [AK] im Il'yushin - already began to transfer on joint stock company "of Vaso" design and technical documentation. Scientific research and experimental-design work on the creation of new aircraft according to the official information [OAK] was evaluated at 3 billion rubles. The share of federal money was about 1 billion, with the remaining money drawn by the developers of the Il-112[V] in the form of credits and investments from extra-budgetary resources.
The project, launched over a decade ago, was canceled in 2011, but the work on the Il-112 resumed in 2013.
By mid-2013 the Russian Defense Ministry was considering two possible designs for a replacement for the obsolete Antonov An-26 military transport aircraf. The ministry was considering development of a light military transport plane based on the Antonov An-140 turboprop airliner made by Aviakor in Samara, or the rival Ilyushin Il-112V transport aircraft to be made by the Voronezh aircraft plant (VASO). The development of the Ilyushin Il-112V was canceled in 2011 under former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, but his successor Sergei Shoigu reportedly approved the revival of the Il-112 program. In December 2013, it was decided that both would enter production.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the United Aircraft Corporation will sign a contract on the development of the Il-112V light transport plane next year, a deputy defense minister said 20 December 2013. Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said the Il-112 development contract, worth 7.9 billion rubles ($240 million), had been included in the state defense order for 2014. “We will sign a contract on series production of the aircraft after this work is completed,” Borisov said.
Borisov did not specify the number of Il-112s slated for delivery to the Russian air force, but said the plans were for at least several dozen aircraft. “The first deliveries have been scheduled for 2017,” he said. The Ilyushin aircraft maker earlier announced plans to build 62 Il-112s to replace the aging fleet of An-26 military transport aircraft in service with the Russian air force. The company said in August 2013 that the first prototype would be ready for flight tests in 2015. The assembly of Il-112s will be carried out at the Voronezh aircraft plant in central Russia.
The state defense order in 2014, according to Deputy Minister Yuri Borisov, included the allocation of nearly 8 billion rubles for the completion of the development work on the aircraft. "Voronezh Aircraft Company" / VASO / in 2016 will build two prototypes of military transport aircraft Il-112V under a contract between the Defense Ministry and "Aviation Complex. Ilyushin." The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a contract to carry out development work to create light military transport IL-112V. It is expected that the contract for production aircraft will be signed in 2015, and in 2018 they will supply the troops. "Ilyushin" made it clear that cooperation in the IL-112V employs about 30 Russian companies and more than 50 suppliers of components.
The Ilyushin Il-112, Russia's brand new light military transport plane, was slated to make its maiden flight in 2017, Yury Borisov, a Russian Deputy Minister of Defense, said 25 March 2015. The aircraft's mass production was expected to be launched in 2019.
The twin-engine turboprop plane, developed by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex (JSC IL), will be manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association at an aircraft plant in Voronezh, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Moscow. It will replace the Antonov An-26.
Russia's Ministry of Defense plans to purchase at least 35 Ilyushin Il-112 planes. Earlier, JSC IL said the company was ready to deliver more than 60 Il-112 aircraft to the military. The transport plane is designed to carry out missions in any geographic or weather conditions. It has a payload of 6 tons and can travel a maximum distance of 5,000 kilometers (3100 miles).
The first flight of an IL-112 light transport aircraft will take place immediately after the testing of the TV7-117ST engine as part of the flying laboratory that started today, chief designer of the UAC Sergey Korotkov told the website of TRK "Zvezda" 2 September 2017. "The flight of Il-112V will take place in the near future," Korotkov said. In turn, the general designer of the United Engine Corporation Yury Shmotin added that the test flights in the LL will continue for two months. Earlier it was reported that the tests of Il-112V were scheduled for the end of 2017.
Aircraft deliveries to the troops were planned for 2021. In total, the Ministry of Defense planned to purchase 35 such machines.
Bench tests of the TV7-117ST engine at the modernized UEC-Klimov test bench started in September 2016. In September 2017, the first stage of flight tests of the engine as part of the flying laboratory took place; at the end of 2018, the second stage was successfully tested.
A prototype of the Il-112V light military transport aircraft, built under a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense, made its first flight. The plane took off on 30 March 2019 from the runway of the Voronezh Aircraft Joint Stock Company. The flight took place as usual. The plane was piloted by the chief pilot of Il PJSC Hero of Russia Nikolai Kuimov, and in the air the Il-112V was accompanied by the Il-114LL laboratory plane.
On 30 March 2021, the flight test program of the Il-112V light military transport aircraft, built under a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense, reached a significant milestone. During this second test flight, the engine operating modes, stability, controllability and operation of the main systems were checked. The flight lasted approximately 30 minutes with all systems conforming to specification.
Turboprop engines TV7-117ST, designed and manufactured by the UEC-Klimov enterprise of the United Engine Corporation, worked routinely during the second flight of the Russian Il-112V light military transport aircraft. TV7-117ST are assembled entirely from Russian parts, assemblies and components. TV7-117ST was created for the new Il-112V military transport aircraft using modern design solutions. Engine power at maximum take-off mode is 3100 hp, at high emergency mode - 3600 hp.
“UEC specialists have done a great job with this power plant. The equipment passed life bench and special tests, having worked 700 hours, four stages of flight tests were successfully completed as part of the IL-76LL flying laboratory, work was carried out on ground and workshop tests as part of the aircraft itself, including checking the implemented measures and high-speed runs. At the moment, we are completing the first part of tests to confirm the engine overhaul life of 600 hours for a typical design. In total, the enterprise has manufactured seven bench engines and three pairs of engines for testing as part of the aircraft, ”commented Vsevolod Eliseev, General Designer of UEC-Klimov JSC.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in May 2021 that tests of the Il-112V military transport aircraft were being completed. Two Il-112 aircraft were expected to be put into service in 2021.
The first prototype of the Ilyushin Il-112V Russian military transport plane crashed 17 August 2021 just outside Moscow, killing all three people on board. The aircraft was undergoing a test flight to the Kubinka air base. There were three people on board, including Honored Test pilot Nikolay Kuimov, who holds the status of Hero of Russia. Before the plane crashed, the aircraft’s right engine went on fire, causing the Il-112V to tilt to the right side. The fire that quickly engulfed its right wing did not allow the most experienced pilots to keep the aircraft in the air. The aircraft began to lose speed before flipping over and falling to the ground.
Former General Designer of PJSC Ilyushin, currently one of the chairmen of the corporation's technical council, Nikolai Talikov emotionally told reporters that the cause of the accident could have been the TV7-117ST turboprop engines installed on the plane, manufactured by UEC-Klimov. According to the designer, the power plants were not powerful enough for a heavy transport aircraft, and even during ground tests and test flights of the Il-112V, Ilyushin's specialists registered unstable operation of the turbines due to failures in their control circuits.
The specialist said that for several years the experts knew about similar problems with the engines of aircraft of this series, but they were silent. The company ignored the possibility of malfunctions for too long, he said, and as a result the crash incident became possible. "I expected. I've been yelling for years that engines are shit. That they will fail in the end. Nobody pays attention to our glorious company. We have had the seventh boss in the last five or six years, no one pays attention. So they waited" said Talikov.
Another version was expressed by the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) Ruslan Pukhov. “It has become a tradition for us to blame everything on the engines. However, judging by the way the flame bursts out, and it looks as if the fuel was poured onto a hot frying pan, it is possible that there could be problems with the fuel system, ”he said. Mr. Pukhov suggests that during the tests, the developers could break the schedule due to preparations for the forum. “Perhaps, some procedures had to be neglected and carried out according to an abbreviated scenario,” he suggested.
According to the experts interviewed by Kommersant, the cause of the crash was most likely the destruction of the fuel tank or fuel lines, which led to the splashing of kerosene and the burning of the right wing, which the aircraft's automation could no longer cope with. The "kerosene" fire, according to experts, could quickly destroy the control systems of the flap, aileron, or damage the elements of the mechanization of the right wing, which, in turn, inevitably led to the loss of the lateral control of the aircraft by the pilots.
The head of the CAST admits that the program for the creation of the aircraft will be delayed for several years, but it will not be canceled. “It is clear that the disaster will create big problems for the program: the tests will be delayed, the construction of a new aircraft for testing will take a long time.
However, the United Aviation Corporation (UAC) assured Kommersant that a disruption of the aircraft test schedule is out of the question. “Any aircraft, including an experienced one, performs test flights exclusively in permitted modes. Before the flight, the aircraft always undergoes pre-flight training in accordance with the approved regulations. The flight of an aircraft that did not pass pre-flight training according to the regulations is excluded, ”the UAC stressed.
After finding out the reasons for the crash of the Il-112V military transport aircraft in the Moscow region, two more aircraft with numbers 103 and 104 are to be connected to flight tests in 2022.
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