The revival of IL-96: forward to the past

In modern Russia, they increasingly began to talk about the revival of old Soviet aviation projects. Does this make sense?

Challenge to the West

IL-96 is a Soviet passenger wide-body airliner for medium and long-haul airlines, which was designed in the late 80s. In general, this is not an independent development, but the further development of the IL-86, which became the most massive Soviet passenger wide-body aircraft. This, however, is very arbitrary, because the machine did not find much popularity: it was built with a very limited (even by the standards of wide-body aircraft) series of 106 aircraft. The 96th, which was conceived as an analogue of the Boeing 747, also did not become a cult: a total of 30 such aircraft were built.

Last but not least, the notorious orientation of the Soviet aircraft industry to the needs of the military-industrial complex played a role. So, the workload of the Kuibyshev plant (now it is called the Samara Scientifictechnical complex named after N. D. Kuznetsov) by military projects, led to the abandonment of the previously selected NK-56 engine in favor of the PS-90. But if the take-off thrust of the first was 18 kgf, then for the PS-000 it was 90 kgf (there are four engines in the aircraft). This required changes in the design, in particular, to reduce the fuselage.

Needless to say, how difficult is such a task, especially for engineers of the USSR, who were far from leaders in the creation of wide-body airliners.

However, the aircraft has its own advantages. So, during the operation there was not a single serious incident. For comparison, during the operation of the Boeing 747 lost 63 aircraft, including the terrible incident on the island of Tenerife at the airport of Los Rodeos, when almost 600 people died as a result of a collision of two such cars. However, the number of 747s built was approaching the mark of 1600 units, and their widespread exploitation by third world countries was far from always correct.

By the way, now the IL-96 operates only two countries: Russia and Cuba, and the latter has at its disposal only a few of these machines. For Russia, the plane is significant if only because Vladimir Putin flies on it (the special flight detachment "Russia"). This, in general, is not entirely IL-96, but rather, its deep modification, satisfying the highest comfort requirements. Such machines will certainly never appear on regular airlines.

Faithful dear

Back in 2017, Aviation EXplorer wrote that the Aviation Complex named after S.V. Ilyushin and the United Aircraft Corporation signed a contract for development work on the creation of a modernized IL-96-400M passenger aircraft based on the IL-96. They want to extend the fuselage of the new machine by 9,65 meters, and intend to use the PS-90A1, a more powerful version of the PS-90A, as the power plant. The goal is to increase fuel efficiency and increase seats for passengers. In total, it is believed that the machine will be able to carry up to 390 people.

Of course, we intend to improve passenger comfort and update electronics. “Serial production of IL-96-400M will be deployed at PAO VASO in Voronezh. In terms of reliability, safety and efficiency, the IL-96-400M is on a par with world analogues. The aerodynamic layout, structure and systems of the aircraft use modern design solutions that provide a high level of safety and economy of the aircraft in operation. The terms of the contract include the manufacture of a prototype Il-96-400M aircraft for flight testing. It is planned that he will fly to the sky for the first time in 2019, ”the company said.

A small step for the country, a big one for aircraft construction

Recently, or more precisely - in December last year - the press service of the United Aircraft Corporation said that the creation of the first prototype of the IL-96-400M would require more than ten billion rubles. Specifically, for the manufacture of the aircraft, 7,6 billion rubles will be required, and another 900 million is needed for the development of the design documentation for the airliner in electronic form and design documentation for avionics and interior. By that time, the assembly of the elements of the first Il-96-400M had already begun at the Voronezh Aircraft Building Plant. And at the end of December it was reported that flight tests of the deeply modernized IL-96-400M airliner could begin in 2020.

“If you really upgrade the IL-96, you get a model that is quite comparable with some Boeing and Airbus,” said Yury Sytnik, Honored Pilot of Russia. However, all these plans, frankly, look too ambitious. The point is not only in the probable postponement of the trial of the first IL-96-400M. Do not forget that Russia is now developing, in cooperation with China, a completely new CR929 wide-body long-range aircraft. Its first flight is scheduled for 2021-22. The expected cost of developing a machine, according to experts, can reach a very immodest $ 20 billion. Even the fact that China took over 50% of the costs does not make the situation simple.

At the same time, the flight range of the new CR929 aircraft will be about 12 thousand kilometers, which will allow it to be used on many long-haul routes. Thus, with the structural differences between the IL-96 and CR929, their tasks may overlap, which means that customers will have to choose. In principle, in such conditions there is not much much point in resuming production of the old Soviet machine (albeit with new engines). Of course, the IL-96-400M can be used for a narrow circle of customers, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that the car will be a commercial success. Here you can recall the giant European Airbus A380, which, due to its high cost and technical complexity, received very limited demand: just over 200 cars have been built today.

Speaking quite simply, the niche that the IL-96-400M should occupy is not clear. Something similar, by the way, happened with the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which someone called "too big", and someone - "too small." Finally, if Russia has embarked on the design of new modern machines, such as the MC-21 and CR929, then why revive old projects, which, moreover, haven’t been shot before?

Perhaps the only reason for reconstructing the IL-96 is to support the Voronezh plant. The same one that was previously produced by the Ukrainian-Russian An-148, but now is left with nothing. But just how appropriate are such practices in the XNUMXst century, subject to fierce competition among aircraft manufacturers? Most likely, we will see a real revival of the domestic aircraft industry only when (and if) the United Aircraft Corporation finally learns how to count money. After all, the budget is not unlimited, and oil excess profits in the foreseeable future are not expected.
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  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 15 February 2019 09: 23
    Il well done. On the one hand, it is needed. On the other hand, there are too many Rogozins and Medvedevs with their breakthroughs. Bolivar won't shade so many
    1. hydrox Offline hydrox
      hydrox (hydrox) 16 February 2019 09: 48
      Superficial little article: the fact is that the sanctioning policy of the globalists has gone wrong, which means that Russia at one fine moment can remain GENERALLY without passenger aviation - but do we need this?
    2. Bobo Offline Bobo
      Bobo (BoBot Robot - Free Thinking Machine) 18 February 2019 14: 42
      Russia desperately needs a wide-body aircraft of purely Russian production! And Airbus and Boeing - go!
  2. A.Lex Offline A.Lex
    A.Lex (Secret information) 15 February 2019 19: 18
    A country oriented towards "partnership relations" in aircraft and engine building will never be an aviation power. As we all managed to see, in the event of sanctions from such "partners", the industry of certain areas can calmly "lie down" and die. And what is most interesting - all these sanctions are nothing more than a lie (aimed at eliminating current or future competitors) and all these songs about free competition are nothing more than the same lie! It is no secret a long time ago that the SOVIET aircraft industry was destroyed by the Americans, because it was a direct competitor to the aircraft concerns of amers and Europe (the same Boeing and Airbus ... Boeing is bigger). And the "reasons" for which the aircraft industry of the USSR was destroyed were false (such as noise, not efficiency, futility and backwardness in technology). In general, all Western politics and economics are built on lies and robbery. The explanation for this is simple - they consider the whole world to be their colony, and the colonies are supposed to plunder - God told them so. At the same time, they do not forget to export high-class specialists and technologies from "backward" countries (they are also backward ones).
    We conclude:
    If our state does not want to one day be near imported aircraft that cannot take off (there are no spare parts, there is no software ... nothing) because of the sanctions, then it MUST recreate its aviation industry, and not rely on a neighbor. "Neighbor" may one day also impose sanctions (why is China better than amers in this? If you need it - and we will have the same sanctions). The state (if it understands that in the EXISTING world there are no allies, let alone any "partners" there) must have an industry that provides it with EVERYTHING it needs. And if someone relies on someone else's uncle or "partner", and even more so on some kind of "free hand of the market" (which is a lie from beginning to end), then he is either a stupid woodpecker, or an enemy that lets gullible citizens " dust in the eyes. "
    And yes: investing in LONG-TERM projects is a foresight of the future ... And not immediate benefits.
    .................................................. .............................. like this somehow ............... .........................
    1. Former optimist Offline Former optimist
      Former optimist (Former optimist) 17 February 2019 12: 35
      Khristenko benefited from the destruction of the aviation industry and not only him. Where do these with clean hands and warm hearts look?
  3. A.Lex Offline A.Lex
    A.Lex (Secret information) 15 February 2019 19: 32
    I would like to say something else - the state should not be afraid to invest in itself - in the STATE industry, and not in all sorts of "businesses" that at one fine moment change the owner and are generally taken out of the country.
    In my dilettante view, all these songs about "effective private property owners" are just chatter and lies. This refers to the strategic directions of the industry. And this is almost all that was in the country. That’s what was not enough in the Soviet country, because it was an industry producing “consumer goods” - so let the “business” master this. And everything else is only state.
    ... and then the question of personnel arose - the eternal headache of Russia ...
    1. hydrox Offline hydrox
      hydrox (hydrox) 16 February 2019 09: 40
      Don't be fake: the Union never had a "cadre problem", but there were excellent "cadres", and in a sufficient number, but the fact that the liberals do not know how to reproduce cadres for the national farm, but this happens because there is no nar.khoz-va in nature, but there is ANOTHER private property.
      1. A.Lex Offline A.Lex
        A.Lex (Secret information) 18 February 2019 15: 33
        If, in your opinion, the personnel "WERE", then why then did the USSR disappear, why did Russia ALMOST collapse in 97-98? Why do you think there is personnel, instead of GDP ... NO ONE? It has no alternative! If there are personnel, where is Putin's replacement? Why, with SUCH personnel, we cannot do anything with our enemies inside the country?
    2. Former optimist Offline Former optimist
      Former optimist (Former optimist) 17 February 2019 12: 37
      The production of consumer goods in Russia is prohibited by law.
      1. Bobo Offline Bobo
        Bobo (BoBot Robot - Free Thinking Machine) 18 February 2019 14: 44
        Nonsense! Everything was different - from condoms to computers!
  4. DPN Offline DPN
    DPN (DPN) 15 February 2019 20: 48
    The factory is smaller, the factory is larger, especially the Soviet one, how many of them were closed by Russia. Oil and gas have not yet been removed. Enough for the islands, maybe enough for the planes.
    In 1984, in Sverdlovsk, in Koltsovo, he saw the IL-96-300 seemed a whopper, it was a pity to be in it was not lucky. In general, there was much to be proud of.
    1. faiver Offline faiver
      faiver (Andrei) 16 February 2019 18: 22
      In 1984, in Sverdlovsk, in Koltsovo, he saw IL-96-300

      - you are mistaken, you could not see IL-84 in 96, then it did not exist yet.
  5. Radikal Offline Radikal
    Radikal 16 February 2019 11: 30
    Needless to say, how difficult is such a task, especially for engineers of the USSR, who were far from leaders in the creation of wide-body airliners.

    Curiously, is the author of the article a specialist in the field of aircraft manufacturing? winked
  6. Rusa Offline Rusa
    Rusa 16 February 2019 13: 15
    ... does that make sense?

    Why not? For the domestic economy, our aircraft are an order of magnitude better than foreign, even modernized, Soviet ones. No wonder they say that the new is the well forgotten old. For example, Aeroflot's aircraft fleet is up to 90% foreign.
    How then to train specialists in high technology industry, including civil aircraft industry? The Soviet Union was one of the leading in the world in this industry and will be a great shame if we lose it, especially under the conditions of sanctions.
    Is it worth it for years to reinvent the wheel when the country's population needs airplanes today and now. Sometimes it comes to the ridiculous: to get from one region to another, you need to fly through Moscow.
    And in general, a stupid tendency has appeared, as they start to do something useful, they write right away: who will buy over the hill, how will it be with foreign commerce, etc.
    First of all, one should think about one’s own country, build at least 100-200 planes for it, so as not to buy strangers for currency, so that tickets for flights are inexpensive for people, revive their science, and then about the benefits and commerce abroad.
    1. tigoda Offline tigoda
      tigoda (Zahar) 17 February 2019 20: 57
      I agree! First fill your market, then dream of a foreign one. And they will not let "admin. Measures + guests + economic norms" either to Europe or America-Canada.
    2. Bobo Offline Bobo
      Bobo (BoBot Robot - Free Thinking Machine) 18 February 2019 12: 23
      it is necessary that Russian airlines fly ONLY on Russian planes, and the acquisition of foreign cars - only in exceptional cases!
  7. Valentine Offline Valentine
    Valentine (Valentin) 17 February 2019 12: 29
    Having lived on the Kr.sever for over 40 years, in Norilsk, we had a connection with the "mainland" in the summer only along the Yenisei, and mainly by air. First they flew the Li-2, then the Il-14, then the Il-18, then the Tu-154, and at the end of the 80s they began to fly Norilsk (Alykel) - Moscow on the Il-86. It was a wonderful aircraft, passenger-carrying, low-noise and quite economical, but in Washington they suddenly discovered that it was a clear competitor to Boeing and Airbuses, so they asked (forced) the bastard Misha Gorbachev to stop producing this wonderful domestic aircraft because of, you see, its energy consumption threatening the global ecology, because of its, threatening the whole world, hellish engine noise, and because of its disgusting avionics ...
    This is how they "hacked" for a long time its release and operation, and our liberal shobla was happy then to push our future "partners", which they are doing now, slowing down many innovative projects, otherwise, God forbid, we Let's do some damage to our "friends" from overseas.
    1. Bobo Offline Bobo
      Bobo (BoBot Robot - Free Thinking Machine) 18 February 2019 00: 14
      Needless to say, Misha is an agent of the CIA, and who allowed him to power?
      And by the way, the same thing can happen with the Sino-Russian aircraft. So it's best to have a clean car!
  8. Former optimist Offline Former optimist
    Former optimist (Former optimist) 17 February 2019 12: 32
    With a serious approach: here is a kick to the Chinese, and an easy response to sanctions ... It is worth digging.
  9. tigoda Offline tigoda
    tigoda (Zahar) 17 February 2019 20: 51
    Keeping qualified and experienced aircraft builders costs a lot more. A new plant can be built in 5 years, and a QUALIFIED worker will grow only after 25 years, not earlier. Keeping professionals is very important!
  10. Bobo Offline Bobo
    Bobo (BoBot Robot - Free Thinking Machine) 18 February 2019 00: 11
    You never know how things will turn out with tea houses! Maybe they will be banned by the doodles to sell their airplane to Russia solely out of the dirty tricks of this folk.
    So, just in case, it makes sense to set up production of a purely Russian car, so that in extreme cases, they don't give a damn.
    So go ahead guys!
  11. jury2477 Offline jury2477
    jury2477 (Yuri Vladimirovich) 19 February 2019 19: 52
    On the instructions of the Ministry of Defense, PJSC "Il" developed the Il-96-400TZ tanker based on the Il-96-400T cargo modification. It was planned that it would be a "clean" tanker with an upper tank location, capable of transferring over 65 tons of fuel at a distance of up to 3,5 thousand kilometers from its home airfield. However, in May 2018 it became known that the military department refused to develop this vehicle in favor of the Il-78M-90A2 tanker.

    But in vain, the plane would have its own niche. For the Voronezh Aircraft Plant, there would be substantial support with the upbringing and retention of personnel, but IL-76 (78) is better to build as a truck, which is always lacking.
  12. weddu Offline weddu
    weddu (Kolya) 22 February 2019 01: 11
    IL-96 from domestic parts. The point is the support and revival of not only VASO, but also hundreds of allied enterprises throughout Russia. They need to revive for something, buy new equipment, somehow return experienced, still remaining personnel to the workshops, sometimes from retirement, so that they can remember how they worked on old projects and details, and the young people have time to learn how to grind and cook. Well, then already undertake new projects. Happen what, where are the details for Superjets and MS-21 we will take? There are more than half of them. All our and imported aviation and the entire remake will be joked ... Only Soviet rubbish from conservation will save.