Russia has abandoned plans to build a large fleet of Antonov An-140T tactical airlifters as replacements for aging An-26s and An-72s, thanks to deteriorating relations with the new regime in Ukraine, where Antonov is based. Instead, the Russian defense ministry has revived the Ilyushin Il-112 project, a development of the Il-114 airliner, even though it was shelved in 2010 in favor of the less expensive An-140T.
Worsening relations between Moscow, the new regime in Kiev and the latter’s supporters in the West have prompted the Russian government to “dust off” the Ilyushin-114 turboprop. The Kremlin favors the outdated, but home-grown, design to Ukraine’s Antonov An-140, now in low-rate production at the Aviacor plant in Samara, and the Bombardier Q400, local production of which by Russian aerospace conglomerate Rostec remains under negotiation.
Ilyushin Finance is entering the business aviation market with plans to have some of the airliners it has on order for its lease portfolio outfitted with VIP interiors. For the most part, the aircraft to be offered for lease for private and corporate clients will be Russian-made airliners, such as the Tupolev Tu-204 and Antonov An-158, but the company also has orders for new aircraft such as Sukhoi’s Superjet SSJ-100 and Irkut’s MC-21.
Russian civil aerospace executives might remember last week’s Moscow Air Show (MAKS ’13) at Zhukovsky Air Field outside the Russian capital as the start of their industry’s ascent toward global relevance.
All 16 main-gear tires on an Ilyushin Il-76 burst during a landing in Dubai on June 21 last year because the aircraft’s parking brake was engaged before touchdown, according to a final incident report released last week by the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The Ilyushin reportedly has no cockpit display system that would have indicated to the crew that the parking brake was on. No one aboard the aircraft was injured.
Some aircraft have had better safety records over the past decade than others, according to data produced by airlineratings.com. Not surprisingly, newer Western-built airliners, such as most Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier models, are rated the safest. The least safe aircraft include the Czech Let-410, which has experienced 20 accidents over the past 10 years; both the Ilyushin Il-72 and Antonov An-12, which logged 17 each; and the de Havilland Canada Twin Otter, with 18.
Russian aviation executives said the Irkut-led MC-21 narrowbody airliner development program is proceeding according to schedule. At a Paris Air Show briefing on Tuesday, program officials said the design is frozen on the first aircraft in the series, the MC-21-300, and parts manufacturing has started.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Hall 2a B198) and Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) signed a so-called heads of agreement outlining the terms of delivery of 20 Sukhoi SSJ100s here at the Paris Air Show on Monday. IFC envisions leasing 15 of the airplanes in basic configuration for Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern customers. IFC also plans to buy five other long-range versions of the jet, designated the SSJ100-95LR. The Parties agreed that the deliveries would start in 2015.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense has issued a contract for the modernization of the Navy’s fleet of Ilyushin Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft. The Novella mission system will be installed in an unspecified but “large” number of aircraft serving in the Northern Fleet, making them Il-38Ns. Of the 59 aircraft produced between 1967 and 1972, some 18 are currently in operation. The work was initially planned for the Ministry of Defence’s aircraft repair plant No. 20 at Pushkino, but instead the MoD has contracted UAC’s Ilyushin and Myasishchev to undertake it at the Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow.
The Russian navy introduced the first of a planned eight Antonov An-140-100 twin turboprops at Ostafievo naval air station. This follows delivery of four similar aircraft to the Russian Air Force, three of which are based at Chkalovsky airbase. But it is still unclear whether the Russian ministry of defense will order the Ukrainian design in quantity.
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