"The new light transport, the Ilyushin Il-112, is already being called 'the Ilyushin miracle' by aviation specialists."
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Russian engineering is literally taking off to new heights.
The following clip, taken from Russian news (with transcript below), gives fascinating insight into the rich history of Russian aviation contruction, and shows a vibrant and dynamic industrial sector fully able to compete with global rivals.
Today is a big day in the history of Russian aviation — 85 years have passed since the Ilyushin Company was founded. Everyone knows the legendary "Il" airplanes, both the combat aircraft and passenger liners.
But this is history. What new heights are being reached and are they being reached?
Dmitry Petrov with the story.
It's a truly magical moment. A single wing is being installed on an Ilyushin Il-112 fuselage. It would seem to be a simple engineering solution, nevertheless, it turned out to be a breakthrough one. The new light transport, the Ilyushin Il-112, is already being called "the Ilyushin miracle" by aviation specialists.
It’ll replace the Antonov An-26, which will be retired. The Ilyushin Il-112 has a higher cargo capacity and double the range, up to five and a half thousand kilometers. In Voronezh, the first batch of fuselages are being assembled, in Zhukovsky, located in the Moscow region, engine tests are being conducted.
This is a flying laboratory belonging to the Gromov Flight Research Institute. It allows state-of-the-art aircraft equipment to be tested in real flight conditions. Now, a new turboprop engine has been installed onto one of the pylons instead of a native engine used by the new Ilyushin Il-112 light transport aircraft. They started the second stage ahead of schedule.
Anatoly Kulakov, the Gromov Flight Research Institute Deputy Head Tester:
"We’ll fly the entire profile of the first departure of the Ilyushin Il-112, we’ll model it and make some adjustments, and then we'll prepare a conclusion about the first flight of the Ilyushin Il-112."
It’ll be a good gift for the Ilyushin Company’s anniversary year. The plan is to build up to 10 aircraft per year.
Sergey Ilyushin, without any exaggeration, was a person of naturals gifts. He was born in the remote village in Vologda. He fell in love with aviation at first sight. By the beginning of the 1930s, he was already known as a large production organizer and a talented aircraft designer.
On January 13, 1933, the Aircraft Industry Main Directorate created the Central Design Bureau, and Ilyushin was appointed as its head. His first bombers immediately became record-breakers in range and average speed of flight.
And then the war began. "Butcher," "plague," and "black death." That’s what fascists called his legendary Ilyushin Il-2 attack aircraft. The first retaliatory strikes were inflicted by Ilyushin's long-range bombers.
Genrikh Novozhilov, aircraft designer:
"36,000 such bombers were built. That includes 5,500 Ilyushin Il-4s. In August, these aircraft were the first to attack the capital of fascist Germany—Berlin."
The successor, the student, the heir. It’s all about him, about Genrikh Novozhilov. He had been with the Design Bureau since 1949. Ilyushin immediately saw a talented designer in the young Aviation Institute graduate. He appointed him as his deputy for the Ilyushin Il-18 aircraft.
"One time, Ilyushin went on vacation. He came back and said: "In our country, only wealthy people and businessmen fly. We need to make civil aviation available to the broad masses of the Soviet people." And the Ilyushin Il-18 was designed."
It was exported to 16 countries. Several military modifications were developed on its basis. It’s still in service.
The Ilyushin Il-62 became the last aircraft which the designer worked on personally. And again it was an engineering masterpiece in range, speed, and comfort. It was flown in the autumn of 1967 and immediately began to be used for the Moscow-Montreal transatlantic route. It was rented by Air France and the Japanese airline JAL. Can we imagine this now?
In the early 1970s, Novozhilov became the CEO. But Sergey Vladimirovich was still around. He advised on the Ilyushin Il-76. The task was very complicated. A new heavy military transport aircraft was to take off from unprepared airfields that had short runways. A unique airplane was created.
The pilot-cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Georgy Beregovoy, also applied his talent. By the way, the first star he received was for his exploits on an Ilyushin Il-2 back in 1944. Later, he was invited to the plant to take a look at the future Ilyushin Il-76.
"He said that the cargo cabin was like a gym. "Let's make an airplane for the training of cosmonauts because we train on the Tupolev Tu-104." This is how this plane was born."
Since then, the road to space has been opened with a flight on an Ilyushin Il-76KT. Here, its latest modification, the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A is taking off. Designed fully digitally, it became even more powerful and reliable.
Vladimir Irinarkhov, test pilot:
"The aircraft's strength allows carrying 52 tons of payload instead of 48 tons, as on the old Ilyushin Il-76. Four tons is a good gain for a transport plane."
Yes, the wide-bodied Ilyushin Il-86 and Ilyushin Il-96 lost the competitive battle in fuel efficiency. But after all, Russia's Air Force One is an Ilyushin. Reliability is the most important virtue.
In 2018, the Ilyushin Company is to take two steps forward.
Alexei Rogozin, Ilyushin Aviation Complex CEO:
"The first one is the flight of the promising new refueler, the Ilyushin Il-78M-90A, the second is the flight of a new light military plane, an entirely new aircraft that was created in the post-Soviet period, the Ilyushin Il-112V. These are two new classes of aircraft that are in demand by the armed forces. They’re waiting for them. These planes also have export potential."
The Ilyushin Aviation Complex is now working at 150% capacity. And the placement of a new jigless assembly line at the Aviastar-SP plant in Ulyanovsk will increase the speed and accuracy of assembly.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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