Russia rolls out the Il-96-400M quad jet

Aircraft is an elongated variant of the widebody considered obsolete by Western standards

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) rolled out the Il-96-400M quadrijet, a higher-capacity variant of the widebody developed during the Soviet Union.

The state-owned company that houses Russia’s main aircraft manufacturers under its umbrella unveiled the prototype on June 7 at the facilities of VASO (Voronezh Aircraft Production Association), located about 500 km south of Moscow.

According to the UAC, the test aircraft, already featuring a livery in the company’s so-called “corporate style”, should perform its maiden flight soon.

Il-96-400M roll out (UAC)

The aircraft is equipped with modern Russian avionics equipment, including a new avionics complex and other systems and components,” the company said.

The elongated fuselage makes the aircraft more spacious and attractive for operators.

However, there are no known customers for the Il-96-400M, an aircraft of obsolete concept in the West, which stopped producing jets with more than two engines.

Il-96-400M roll out (UAC)

Capacity for almost 400 passengers

The Il-96 is an evolution of the first Russian widebody, the Il-86, which entered service in the 1970s. Equipped with PS-90 turbofan engines, the ll-96 had a longer range but less passenger capacity.

In 2017, UAC announced the development of the Il-96-400M, capable of accommodating up to 390 passengers in a single class thanks to the fuselage extension of almost 10 meters.

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Major upgrades include avionics and Russian-made parts, but the engines remain the inefficient PS-90.

The first example of the Il-96-400M when it was still in assembly (UAC)

UAC shared information about the assembly of the prototype until 2021 when the maiden flight was expected in the same year, later transferred to 2022.

At that time, the Russian government even stated that the Il-96-400M would not be mass-produced, only a few aircraft would be destined for specific missions.

The delay in the CR929 program, a twin-engine widebody developed in partnership with China, however, may have given new meaning to the quadjet.


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