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Il-96M & Il-96T

Market analysis of passenger and cargo traffic was the basis for development of a "long" IL-96 modification, equipped with PW2237 engines by "Pratt & Whitney" (USA). This aircraft had two types - IL-96M (for passengers) and IL-96T (for medium and long-distance cargo transportation).

The Il-96M is an evolution of It-96-300 equipped with Western avionics and Pratt & Whitney PW2337 engines. The lengthened fuselage [by approximately 9 meters) can carry 375 passengers (in three classes). The Il-96T is a version cargo liner equipped d' a door of 3,6 X 2,6 m in the fuselage nose section. In order to make up for its lost time with respect to Western competition in terms of fuel consumption and profitability of operation, towards the end of the Communist rule in the Soviet Union Ilyushin worked on an evolution of the Il-96 to use important technologies come from the West. The new alternative was powered by 4 Pratt & Whitney PW2337 double-flow turbojets of 164,6 kN each. The cockpit had been entirely redesigned to integrate Rockwell-Hake numerical avionics which rendered the flight engineer superfluous.

The IL-96T long-range cargo airplane was designed on the basis of the IL-96-300. The IL-96T is designed for transportation of various cargoes with total weight of up to 92 tons. The maximum flight range is 14000km. The airplane is equipped with the PW-2337 engines manufactured by the PRATT & WHITNEY (USA) and Collins (USA) avionics. The main deck and lower compartments have the floor-mounted cargo and trays moving and lashing system ensuring fast loading and unloading operations. The dimensions of the upper deck cargo compartment and floor-mounted mechanization system allow carriage and transportation of the trays and containers similar to the nomenclature carried by the B-747F and ?300-600F. The upper deck is equipped with chairs for cargo attendants.

The selected prototype was Il-96-300 lengthened and adapted to the specifications of the Il-96M. It made its first flight on April 5, 1993 [other sources say it took place onn April 3, 1993]. The first Il-96MO that was upgraded from the first prototype of IL-96 (RA-96000) was demonstrated at an exhibition in Paris in the summer 1993, where specialists and pilots highly estimated it. It was the IL-96MO model that was due to be exported. An intergovernmental agreement was signed between the U.S. and Russia in 1998 on joint promotion of this aircraft to foreign markets.

However, due to a number of circumstances, that project was not realized. The sharp drop in passenger traffic in Russia forced Ilyushin Aviation Complex to concentrate efforts on the cargo version of IL-96T. On April 6, 1997 the first serial aircraft of this type was rolled out of VASO assembly shop. On March 31, 1998 IL-96T received AR IAC type certificate and on July 7, 1999 an airworthiness certificate of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that opened the way to foreign markets.

The first Il-96T, which was also the first Il-96 of series M/T made its first flight on May 16, 1997. Russian certification was marked in March 1998, that of the FAA in June 1999. Il-96T became thus the first Russian plane officially certified by the FAA. The project was confronted very early on with financial problems and had to be stopped officially in 2001 after the Import-Export Bank of the United States had put an end to the negotiations on the financing of the avionics and of motors. On this date, only the two specimens referred to existed (Il-96M and Il-96T). Following this decision, the engines Pratt & Whitney already delivered and installed last being returned to the supplier and the contracts (bearing on 17 Il-96M and 3 Il-96T intended for Aeroflot) were terminated.

Ilyushin then decided to develop on the basis of the Il-96M/T a new alternative, the Il-96-400(T), equipped with engines of Russian manufacture. The prototype It-96M accepted engines Aviadvigatel PS-90A and was used as prototype under the designation It-96-400.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:16:44 ZULU