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Il-98 Big Twin

Not a single IL-98 has yet been built. At the Ilyushin Design Bureau there were studies on the IL-98, a 2-engine version of the IL- 96. Future plans based on the IL-86 and its development, the IL-96 was supposed to create an extensive family of unified aircraft, such as what Airbus and Boeing do. They wanted to include in it both a super-capacious IL-96-550 with the number of seats about five hundred, and a twin-engine Il-98 in combination with PW-4082 or NK-92/93 engines. Neither the NK-92 nor its derivative NK-93 has been completed.

Not a single Russian company flies on an IL-96, and the President has this main aircraft. After all, no one doubts that the head of a country like Russia does not fly at the best and most reliable. In Russia, these aircraft were used by Aeroflot (but withdrew from its fleet) and the bankrupt Transaero. Several IL-96-300s are still available at the Presidential Administration. However, the project to create a wide-body aircraft based on the IL-96-400 from a commercial point of view also looks doubtful. It is a priori impossible to compete with products such as the Boieng 777X and B787 or the A350 and A330Neo on technologies and designs rooted back in the 80s of the last century. In terms of direct operating costs and attractiveness for commercial airlines, such a product will lose to competitors with a crushing score, says Oleg Panteleev.

The first harbingers of a difficult fate were attacks on the IL-96 by Boeing and McDonnell Douglas back in the 90s. American corporations did their best to block the implementation of the signed contracts between KB Ilyushin and Pratt & Whitney for the supply of engines, as well as Rockwell Collins for the supply of avionics. They stated that these companies, in collaboration with the Russian design bureau, are creating an artificial competitor to US passenger aircraft manufacturers.

And then came the August 1998 default, which scared off foreign investors and closed any external financing for the construction of promising aircraft. Well, then the domestic leaders helped the Americans. When the first deliveries of IL-96-300 to Aeroflot began in the early 2000s, the government decided to remove the duty on foreign-made aircraft imported into Russia. But not all, but those whose capacity exceeds 300 people.

John Kirkland. His name is familiar to attentive observers. It was he who in March 2010 announced that the United Aircraft Corporation intends to submit an aircraft under the designation IL-98, created on the basis of the IL-96 airliner, to the tender for the KS-X program. The KLA immediately refuted Kirkland's statement, and qualified the documents later transmitted to them by the media as fake.

Il-96 was knocked out by the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viktor Khristenko, who announced in 2009 that it was time to close the production of "useless aircraft", that it was pointless to compete with the "best aircraft manufacturers in the world." In fact, it was an instruction to discontinue the aircraft. At that time, there were only six IL-96 in the Aeroflot fleet and the supply of about a dozen vehicles was contracted. Naturally, they were no longer delivered, and after four years, Aeroflot completely began to get rid of domestic aircraft, replacing them with foreign counterparts. The last commercial flight of IL-96 with tail number RA-96008 was completed on March 30, 2014.

The failure to operate is often justified by the fuel inefficiency of IL-96-300. Due to the use of four engines, this is true, but some experts say that the difference is very small. But at the same time they rely on high reliability and safety of flights (it is not for nothing that the IL-96 is board No. 1 of the President of Russia).

The twin-aisle semi-wide-body 767 was launched in 1978 and entered service in 1982. Early development extended the range of the -200 as the ER model, enabling it to fly the Atlantic nonstop. Initial routings were circuitous, since the aircraft had to stay within 90 minutes of a landing place. But as experience was gained, the FAA and international authorities approved ETOPS (extended range twin-engine over water operations), and more direct routes became possible. Much of the success of the 767 program is attributable to ETOPS operations, where these aircraft (and the A310) have replaced 747s, DC-10s and L-1011s on many long flights. So far there have been no untoward incidents under the ETOPS programs.

The twin engine Airbus A300 was launched in 1971, just as the bigger American widebodies were entering service. The first production model was delivered in 1974, and for a number of years the aircraft was a dud on the market--only Air France and Air Inter ordered any. By the end of 1976, 34 had been ordered and 27 were in service. But then Airbus took off--aided by a dramatically successful order placement for 28 aircraft by Eastern. As of January 2000, 537 A300s of all types had been ordered--outstripping the record for the DC-10 (446) and L-1011 (250) by a wide margin.

The economics of the big twin A300 has more than justified the faith, which Airbus had when it launched the aircraft. Interestingly enough, Douglas also toyed with the idea of a twin-engine DC-10, going so far as to develop an active sales program, but then dropped the idea. The A310 has had a boost from the trend toward use of ETOPS twins on over-ocean routes, replacing the larger 747s and DC-10/L-1011s. This permited airlines to serve long thin routes more frequently and economically.

The A330 and A340 projects were launched simultaneously in 1989 and quickly racked up over 200 orders in two years for the new aircraft. Both aircraft utilize the same basic airframe and wing, and have identical dimensions in the basic models. The A330 is a big twin-engine aircraft, and the A340 utilizes four CFM-56 engines to obtain greater range and payload capability over water. Both aircraft continue the A300/310 fuselage cross section and design concepts, but are 33 feet longer than the A300. Gross weight for the initial delivery aircraft is about 140,000 pounds greater than the A300-B4 for the A330, and over 200,000 pounds greater for the A340. The A330 offers significantly greater capacity and lower seat mile costs than the Boeing 767 or the older A300s. The A330/340 now both come in two configurations, a standard body long-range aircraft, and a shorter-bodied longer-range model.


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Page last modified: 31-10-2019 16:40:07 ZULU