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Friday, March 23, 2018

Russia relies on Soviet aircraft of the past

Two major aviation project revived in Russia revives the production of Il-96 and Il-114. The economic efficiency of both aircraft compared to the Western counterparts is questionable. However, the country has other tasks, for implementation of which the government is prepared to accept the loss of the creation and operation of these aircraft.

“Made strong-willed, intelligent technological solution for the creation on the basis of Il-96-400 aircraft in various modifications, including long-haul wide-body aircraft,” – said at the final Collegium of the Ministry of industry and trade Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

“This will allow our companies, taking into account exchange differences to make a choice in favor of Russian aviation equipment, instead of buying Boeing and Airbus”

According to him, this modification of Il-96-400 will cover the needs of Russian companies until the creation of the Russian-Chinese wide-body aircraft. “This will allow our companies, taking into account exchange differences to make a choice in favor of Russian aviation equipment, instead of buying Boeing and Airbus”, – said Rogozin.

To close the full range of private aircraft, Russia is also working on the launch of a regional aircraft Il-114 for 64 passengers. According to Rogozin, at a meeting in Sochi under the leadership of President, it was decided to allocate additional funds for these two aircraft project.

In particular, the production of Il-114 will be allocated from the budget of 50 billion rubles, said Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov.

Rogozin also recalled that soon will take place in Irkutsk roll-out of the medium-haul MS-21 aircraft. According to him, to the end of the year the aircraft needs to be flown in the sky.

All these developments will allow Russia to abandon its massive purchases of imported aircraft. “There will be no procurement, therefore, taken these decisions – so that in circumstances when, because of exhaustion of resources old Ukrainian aircraft (An-24 and An-26), they will simply go away in three to five years of aviation companies, – said Rogozin. – If we our aviation company will leave without the Russian-made aircraft new, then of course they will go to buy foreign planes. And whose fault would it be? Them? No – our”.

Meanwhile, the experts have serious doubts in the commercial success of these aviation projects. Even taking into account the devaluation of the ruble. “Because of the sharp exchange rate fluctuations of the last two years now the Russian products look more advantageous. But after a year or two the effect of exchange rate differences is completely gone, and the production of the aircraft is a long process”, – said the first Vice-President of the Russian Union of engineers Ivan Andrievsky.

The Prospects For The Il-114

The Il-114 should cover the needs in micevych, interregional transportation of passengers. “Today, if you want from the Amur region to move in the Khabarovsk territory, if you do not have a Charter, if you are Richie rich, you have to do it almost through Moscow. Now the situation is radically changed,” – said Rogozin.

Il-114 was designed by Ilyushin design Bureau in the USSR in the eighties, and until 2012 was produced in Tashkent. Now its want to establish production in Russia. Previously thought to start the production of “Sludge” at the Samara “Aviacor”. But now decided to release it at the Nizhny Novgorod aircraft plant “Sokol” (included in UAC). This is one of the oldest factories in Russia, now he specializiruetsya on the production of fighters family, MiG. On the Falcon is ready to release the first Il-114 in 2018 “from Tashkent hurt”, said the Executive Director of the company Alexander Karezin. Plans to collect annually 18 Il-114.

According to plan in 2019 should begin flight testing this aircraft, and in 2020-2021 it is planned to launch serial production. Rogozin expressed the hope that the aviation industry will follow through on these promises.

However, the commercial success of the project in doubt. In 2014 estimated that to establish serial production of the Il-114 in Russia will need 55 billion. Apparently, now the volume of investments increased. “A couple of years of inflation obviously had to throw the estimate another ten billion rubles, and maybe more,” – says the newspaper VIEW Director of “Airport” Oleg Panteleev.

“If you divide total investment in the potential of the market, which Russia has, it becomes not so obvious prospects of commercial success of this project. Of course, to establish production of Il-114 can be, but to profit from this program will be difficult,” he said.

The expert believes that in the project the production of Il-114 is not laid breakthrough development, we are not talking about creating a plane on the characteristics, superior to competitors as it was originally when you create, for example, the SSJ-100, and assumes the project of creation of MS-21. “SSJ-100, when he only appeared superior to the competition, and the MS-21 also promises to show the best parameters in terms of direct operating costs,” says Panteleev. Without creating a plane with disruptive technology access to competitive world market of the Il-114 is closed, he said.


United aircraft Corporation in advance of the first published image of the interior of the promising Russian airliner MS-21 – as the cockpit and passenger compartment

The expert is confident that Russia is capable to build and regional aircraft for 68 passengers with the best, than at competitors, performance. But then it will go absolutely about other size of the budget and the deadlines.

Apparently, the Russian authorities now follow other promises. The country needs such an aircraft not in 10 years, and as early as possible. We have to admit that to create in all segments of the planes better than the foreign competition does not work. The Il-114 and so solves the primary goal – the establishment of a regional turboprop aircraft for use in the far East and far North, in regions with poor infrastructure.

Another thing is that, according to Panteleeva, there is a cheaper way. “Flying SUV” can be created on the basis of military transport aircraft Il-112V, resigned to the fact that its performance in fuel efficiency and direct operating costs will not be satisfactory. But 30 of these machines is enough to close the issue with transport in remote areas. This is an opportunity to solve a local task for less money,” says aviation expert.

Wide-body aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-96

The Il-96 was the first long-haul aircraft with a wide fuselage, which was built in the USSR. It was made in the late 80-ies of the last century on the basis of the previous model – Il-86. The wide fuselage allows you to carry larger number of passengers, it is more convenient for passengers and more economical for carriers. It is designed to carry 300 passengers and additional cargo 40 tons, has a range of 4 to 9 thousand kilometers.

First new Il-96 off the ground in October 1988, and in 1989 was presented at the Airshow in Paris. In the mass production of the plane came only in 1993. The first flight was in USA, then it began to actively use for flights within the country. Three cars were even sold to Cuba, including the liner of the presidential class.

Il-96-400 is a deep modernization of Il-96-300 with PS-90A engines-1 and improved avionics. The fuselage was “borrowed” from the Il-96M. Maximum passenger capacity – 435 people. The maximum flight range of 13 000 km.

In Russia these airplanes were used “Aeroflot” (but brought from your Park) and the already bankrupt “Transaero”. Several Il-96-300 is still available in the Office of the President.

However, the project of creation of wide-body aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-96-400 from a commercial point of view, too, looks doubtful.

“On the technology and designs, taking root in the 80-ies of the last century, to compete with products such as the 777X and Boieng B787 or A350 and A330Neo, a priori impossible. Its direct operating costs and attractiveness to commercial airlines such product will lose to competitors with a crushing score”, – says Oleg Panteleev.

If this project has little relation to the needs of the Russian carriers, then why is it put in the budget? If the Il-114 solves a local problem of the far regions, then, apparently, the aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-96 is designed to solve the problem on a national scale.

The state is engaged in this project to keep from VASO relevant manufacturing expertise, after all, on this ship flies the President. It is difficult to imagine that the President used foreign aircraft. Secondly, the presence of such a liner can be a safety net in the event of implementation of the insulating scenario for Russia, that is, if the West toughens sanctions up to a ban on sale of foreign civil courts and, most importantly, their repair and maintenance in our country. In this case, the aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-96-400 will allow Russian airlines to continue to fly.

Panteleev agrees that if “risks to seriously consider the extension of sanctions and the withdrawal of support of the fleet of Russian airlines, then from this point of view own aircraft in a fully self-contained format, i.e. without of supply of components from other countries, probably, would have the right to exist.”

Apparently, there is another reason for Russia not to the competence of the Il-96 has sunk into oblivion, – the military. On the basis of this liner will create an air control stations of the third generation, the so-called aircraft “judgment day”. The planes that can be used in the case of a nuclear war, if the ground of the governance structure will be destroyed. The most famous of these specialized planes are the American E-4B on the basis of Boeing-747 and the Russian Il-80, developed on the basis of passenger Il-86.

At the end of 2015, the UIC together with the United aircraft Corporation was created for the modernized air defense command post Il-80, and the war Department ordered another plane.

Just recently, the representative of the United instrument Corporation (OPK, part of state Corporation rostec) said that the second generation aircraft, “the day of judgment” will last tentatively till 2025. And in five to seven years, Russia will develop the third generation of air control points just on the basis of the Il-96.

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