Small-production widebody jet, the Il-96-300 once again had an aircraft completed by VASO, the UAC division located in Voronezh. The Ilyushin four-engine plane made its maiden flight on April 9 and will be delivered to the Russian government shortly.
UAC said that the new jet is equipped “with the most modern systems and equipment that comply with European and international standards” and that it has a more modern flight and navigation system in addition to a painting technology that provides greater protection to the fuselage.
The holding company that controls the main Russian aviation companies, however, has not explained what will be done with the new aircraft. According to Flight Global, the Il-96-300 will be handed over to the country’s government and used as a platform for special operations.
The four-engine has a capacity for up to 300 seats in a single class and is a derivative of the Il-86, the first Russian widebody, which emerged during the Soviet Union.
Bet on four engines
The first flight of the Il-96-300 took place in September 1988, but Aeroflot only introduced the aircraft into service in 1992, when the communist regime had already ended.
Smaller than the Il-86 and with a longer range of about 11,000 km, the Il-96-300 has had about 30 aircraft produced to date. Aeroflot itself stopped flying the Ilyushin plane in 2014, replacing it with Western models.
Since then, the Il-96-300 has been used for various functions in the Russian government and also on the state-owned airline Rossiya. In addition to Russia, the jetliner still operates with passengers only on the Cubana de Aviación carrier.
Although other four-engine engines are being taken out of service due to high fuel consumption, UAC still invests in this type of aircraft. The company is currently developing the Il-96-400M, a modernized and higher-capacity variant of the plane, but which continues to use the old PS-90 turbojets.