The Ilyushin Il-112V airlifter got airborne for the first time on March 30 from the aerodrome of VASO, the Voronezh Aviation Plant. During the 30-minute flight, the first prototype was accompanied by an Il-114LL chase aircraft. Reportedly, the pair made three circles over the city of Voronezh at 135 knots.
The manufacturer claims that the Il-112V has twice the “transport efficiency” of the Antonov An-26, currently the primary lightweight tactical airlifter with Russia’s Air and Space Force (VKS). The press release further says that the new type is the first airlifter to have been developed in Russia using modern computer-aided design technologies. Late last year, the second airframe was transported by road to TsAGI, the Central Aero-Hydrodynamics Institute in the town of Zhukovsky, where it is undergoing static and fatigue testing.
Among the group of officials who witnessed the Il-112V’s first flight was Yuri Borisov, the deputy prime minister responsible for the military industrial complex. He described the event as “a milestone in the renewal of the Russian military transport fleet.” Stressing that the type does not contain any foreign components, Borisov expressed a hope that it will find many applications in governmental and commercial service. “Our objective has been to create an aircraft that would match the performance of the best contemporary designs available elsewhere,” he said.
In his turn, Denis Manturov, Minister for Industry and Trade, claimed that the VKS’s Military Transport Aviation has a demand for more than 100 Il-112Vs. Yuri Slyusar, UAC president, added that the Il-112V is a new addition to the corporation’s product line that now covers the whole spectrum of tactical airlifters, from lightweight tactical to super-heavy strategic. He sees “a huge demand” for the Il-112V while admitting that the project had suffered delays and “has been long-awaited.”
Classified as a lightweight tactical airlifter, the Il-112V is intended to transport equipment and air-drop equipment and paratroops. Its secondary role is transportation of a wide range of commercial cargoes weighing up to five tonnes. The powerplant comprises two Klimov TV7-117ST turboprops each developing 3,100 shp at maximum takeoff power, and an automatic control system managing both the engines and Stupino AV-112 propellers. Customer specifications call for a cruise speed of 254 knots and a range with maximum payload when operating from ground strips of 650 nm (1,200 km). The type should be capable of autonomous operations from semi-prepared airfields with both paved and unpaved strips, and in adverse climatic conditions—both in hot-and-high environments and in the Arctic.
On the day of the Il-112V’s maiden flight, the Russian government’s official site published information about the allocation of 2.22 billion roubles ($33.5 million) to the Il-114 program. This additional budgetary funding is intended for the construction of 8,500-sq-m (915,000-sq-ft) production facilities. They should be completed in 2021, to allow serial production to commence in 2022-2023. VASO received 920 million roubles from the allocation to prepare for component manufacturing, most notably the wing. Similar in size, the Il-112V high-wing and Il-114 low-wing turboprops are intended for a variety of applications with the Russian armed forces, as well as in civil aviation.