UAC Sets First Flight Date For Il-112 Airlifter

 - November 2, 2015, 3:31 PM
A model of the forthcoming Il-112 airlifter, displayed in the Ilyushin design bureau’s museum in Moscow. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)

The Ilyushin Il-112V tactical airlifter for the Russian air force will make its maiden flight in the summer of 2017, according to Yuri Slyusar, president of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Russia selected the the Il-112V, being developed from the Il-114 airliner, rather than the Antonov An-140T, because of Russia’s poor relations with Ukraine. The new airlifter will replace Russia’s aging fleet of Antonov An-26s, in a program that was first defined in the late 1990s, as the LVTS (Russian acronym for Lightweight Military-Transport Aircraft).

Slyusar revealed the date during a visit to the Voronezh Aircraft Production Plant (Russian acronym VASO) in late October. VASO will build the Il-112 instead of the An-140T, including the prototypes—a task that traditionally was undertaken by the Ilyushin design bureau’s experimental plant in Moscow city. Ilyushin successfully completed wind-testing of scaled models of the Il-112 at the Central Aero-Hydra Dynamics Institute (Russian acronym TsAGI) in 2008-2009, but further work slowed because the Russian MoD opted for the lower-cost An-140T. The Il-112V will be a completely Russian aircraft, including avionics and Klimov Boratyr turboprop engines, a higher-power version of the TV7-117, already flown on the Il-114 and Mil Mi-38.

VASO is currently still building An-148 regional airliners, against orders from the Ilyushin Finance Corp. and some government entities. But this is likely to end soon. Earlier this year VASO and other Russian companies complained that they could not complete new An-148s because of late delivery of parts from Ukrainian vendors, notably the landing gears being supplied by Dnepropetrovsk-based YuzhMash, whose economic situation worsened during Ukraine’s economy downturn.

Earlier, Slyusar said that VASO will continue producing the Ilyushin Il-96 widebody airliner at rate of two to three per year until 2023. These will go mainly to the Russian defense ministry, as air tankers, flying command posts and special mission aircraft, including the air transport detachment serving President Putin and his ministers. VASO is also a key supplier of airframe parts, subassemblies and components to other UAC programs, including Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional jet; MC-21 next-generation narrow body airliner; Il-76MD-90A strategic airlifter; and Sukhoi T-50 (PAKFA) next-generation fighter.