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Ilyushin Il-96-300 Camber

Progress in aviation science and technology allowed the designers to abandon the idea of a IL-96 with its many pre-construction units and systems of the IL-86 and proceed to create a fundamentally new airplane - the IL-96-300.

Passenger accommodations in the initial version were for 300 in an all-economy configuration, and so it was designated the "Il-96-300" -- which is why there is no Il-96-100 or Il-96-200. According to some sources, this plane was the first Russian passenger plane not to receive a NATO reporting name. Other sources are of the view that it was regarded as a variant of the Il-86 Camber, and so the Il-96 would also be Camber.

Compared with the Il-86, it is an entirely new design, even if the two resemble each other from the outside. It was to compete with the family of the Airbus A330/Airbus A340 on the Russian market and to replace aging Il-62 of Aeroflot and of the companies which succeeded to following the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as IL-62 of Cubana and CAAC. The plane particularly resembles the A340 airbus. The IL-96-300 airplane aerodynamic configuration, assemblies and systems contain the newest engineering solutions ensuring a high level of the airplane safety and operational economy during its operation. In recompense for the IL-96-300 airplane development and its launch into regular service a large group of employees in the Open Joint Stock Company IL was awarded Government Prize of the Russian Federation.

Fast air transport development and increasing volume of long-courrier passenger traffic required a substitution for IL-62 aircraft. The first Soviet turbojet intercontinental passenger airplane that had remained the Aeroflot fleet leader for a long time was developed by Ilyushin design bureau as far back as in early sixties. The need was for a new aircraft able to carry a bigger number of passengers relieving airport traffic, more comfortable and more cost-efficient.

There is a story that Petr Dementiev, minister of aviation industry and Boris Bugaev, minister of civil aviation drew the technical task of the new aircraft for Genrikh Novozhilov on a napkin, because they didnt have any writing paper at hand during one of the joint flights.

In the beginning this kind of liner was supposed to be an upgraded version of IL-86 aircraft and to retain similar construction. That would have allowed to economize state resources, to reduce new aircraft release terms, to start up serial production rapidly. This is why the new project was designated IL-86D (long-distance). The working process made clear the need to develop absolutely new fundamental and design solutions aimed at increasing the aircraft aerodynamic qualities, reducing its weight, providing economy and ease of maintenance and operation. It was required to create almost a completely new aircraft.

The Il-96-300 became a new flag-aircraft in the Soviet civil air fleet. The first IL-96-300 test aircraft was built at the Ilyushin Design Bureau's experimental production in cooperation with the Voronezh Aircraft Plant (VASO). In 1986-1987 began construction of realization of three prototypes intended for in-flight tests and two prototypes for statics and dynamic test.

On 28 September 1988 the first Soviet wide-body long-range IL-96-300 aircraft took off from Frunze Central airdrome at Khodynskoye field. The test pilot S.G.Bliznuk flew the airplane. The liner was aviated by the crew commanded by honored test pilot of the Soviet Union Stanislav Bliznyuk. After landing, the pilots were met with applause. Many years of work for development of a new Russian aircraft ended in success. This was followed by the second prototype in November 1989.

In the process of testing IL-96-300 carried out a number of unique distance flights up to 14,840 km. It has been tested in Yakutsk at -50C and in Tashkent at +40C. As the outcome of these tests, the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (AR IAC) issued an Interstate Airworthiness Certificate No. 22-96-300 to IL-96-300 aircraft for passenger transportation on December 29, 1992. On that date, nine planes had been assembled within the framework of the test program. Thus, IL-96-300 serial production began in 1992 and passenger operations started in July 1993. But the economic situation of those years made broad operation of the new aircraft impossible.

During the development of the IL-96-300 the designers worked out entirely new project design decisions aimed at improving of the airplane aerodynamic perfection, the decreasing its weight and the achieving its operational and maintenance simplicity. In recompense for the Il-96-300 aircraft development and its launch into regular service a large group of JSC "IL" employees was awarded Government Prize of the Russian Federation. Technical solutions protected by 14 Russian and 29 foreign patents as well as by 167 copyright certificates were used in the Il-96-300 project.

PS-90 engines state testing was finished in 1992. Next year, IL-96-300 aircraft received the IAC certificate. From 1993, IL-96-300 liners were operated by Aeroflot. Some of them are named after famous Soviet and Russian pilots, designers, scientists: Valery Chkalov, Vladimir Kokkinaki, Valery Menitsky, Stanislav Blisnyuk and others.

The Voronezh Aircraft Manufacturing Company (VASO) will be busy with the production of wide-body aircraft based on the Il-96 until 2030. This was announced 05 July 2021 at a meeting at the enterprise by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. I believe that the most difficult times for the plant have passed. Three years ago we were wondering what to do with VASO. Today, in my opinion, such issues are not on the agenda. Programs have been determined. The 96th car [IL-96] is visible," he said.

Borisov also said that the service and repair of the government's Il-96 Special Flight Squad (SLO) "Russia" could be organized in Vnukovo. "A very important question is how you will organize, in the interests of your main customer, the Rossiya SLO, service and repair work. It is not an easy question, it is connected with the preparation of the infrastructure. There were opinions that it is better to transfer the repair tasks to Vnukovo. Maybe so" , - he said.

Currently, the production and repair of aircraft were organized in Voronezh, the Vnukovo airport was the base for the Rossiya SLO. The production of the next wide-body aircraft Il-96-300 had been completed, three more aircraft are in production at the Voronezh plant, Borisov said. He was present at the transfer of the aircraft to the flight test station at the Voronezh Joint-Stock Aircraft Building Company.

The next roll-out of the wide-body Il-96 aircraft took place today. It is absolutely true: you have something to be proud of. The only aircraft plant that is capable of building such wonderful airliners. The fate of this aircraft is still very long. aircraft, digitization. I think it will plow the air spaces of our homeland for a very long time," Borisov said. In total, four machines were in production in varying degrees of readiness, and there are prospects for additional loading of the enterprise with new contracts, the Deputy Prime Minister added.

In the aircraft of this series, only domestic components are used, the most modern systems and equipment are installed, including a flight and navigation complex, which ensures compliance with all airworthiness requirements, including international ones. After a complex of pre-flight measures, the aircraft will undergo air tests and will be handed over to the customer.

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Page last modified: 18-07-2021 18:42:11 ZULU