Russia moved a step closer to the introduction of a new short-range indigenous turboprop for local operators when the Ilyushin Il-114-300 on Wednesday flew for the first time from the Zhukovsky airfield outside Moscow. Powered by Klimov TV-7-117ST-01 turboprop engines, the latest Il-114 variant will ensure air mobility in remote regions with weak airfield infrastructure and harsh climates, such as Russia’s northern and far eastern regions and Siberia, according to Ilyushin parent company United Aircraft Corporation.
During the flight, test pilots Nikolai Kuimov and Dmitry Komarov and flight test engineer Oleg Kryazev checked power plant operation modes, aircraft stability and controllability, and systems operation.
"The first flight of the Il-114-300 is the result of the excellent work of tens of thousands of people—researchers, engineers, specialists—working in the design bureau and at the plants of the United Aircraft Corporation, at the enterprises of our suppliers and partners,” said Yury Slyusar, director general of Russian aerospace group United Aerospace Corporation (UAC). “The development of the new regional turboprop aircraft opens up new prospects for the Russian civil aircraft industry."
Designed to carry 68 passenger seats, the Il-114-300 can cruise at a speed of 270 knots and to a full-payload range of 755 nautical miles.
UAC has assigned the final assembly of fuselages and the whole aircraft at the RAC MiG factory in Lukhovitsy, in the Moscow Region. It will receive major subassemblies from Sokol, Aviastar in Ulyanovsk, and VASO in Voronezh.
Under the Kremlin's orders, The Il-114-300 consists virtually solely of Russian vendor items, most notably including the replacement of the Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines in the Il-114-100 with the Klimov powerplants. Separately, the Collins avionics suite gives way to a similar package from Russia's KRET. The Il-114-300 features a glass cockpit for two pilots on five large-format multifunction displays.
The original Il-114 flew 30 years ago, won type certification in 1997, and began revenue services in 2000. Ilyushin's design house built one prototype and the TAPO factory in Uzbekistan's capital city of Tashkent 17 more. The last production examples flew on Uzbekistan Airways' route network until May 2018. Today, Russia operates only one example as a test-bed for maritime defense systems.
Following a chill in East-West relations, the Kremlin decided to re-launch production of the Il-114 at RAC MiG in place of an earlier plan to establish license production of the Bombardier Q400 twin turboprop.