Maiden flight of IL-62MOn the 15 of February of 1972 a new serial modernized passenger IL-62M aircraft (Reg No SSSR-86656, Ser No 0901) made its first flight at the airdrome of Kazan Aviation Production Association named after S.P.Gorbunov. The crew chief was Hero of the Soviet Union, Boris Vyacheslavovich Mashkovtsev.
The modernized IL-62M differs from the basic one with new more economizing and up-to-date D-30KU engines instead of NK-8-4 used before. Aerodynamic configuration of the engine body was also modernized. An additional fuel tank of 5000 liters volume was installed in the fin. All these enhanced operational range of the aircraft from 8 700 km to 10 000 km. Cruise speed increased from 850 km/h to 870 km/h. However geometric parameters of the aircraft weren’t changed, wing span was 42.5 m, its square was 279.55 sq m, length was 53.12 m, height was 12.35 m, landing gear tread was 6.8 m.
Roll power was increased at the modernized aircraft due to use of spoilers together with ailerons, tail authority was extended, more effective double-slotted flaps were fixed and a new equipment of reverse thrust was applied. New control panel, new steering wheel and lighting system were applied in the cockpit. The elements of the airframe related to increase of gross weight were enhanced. Improved navigation system and automatic control system provided for IL-62M feasibility of landing approach in meteorological minimum conditions as per 2nd ICAO category.
The first serial IL-62M was given to Domodedovo special aviation crew. In August of 1972 this aircraft participated in check joint flight with basic IL-62 (SSSR-86686) on the route Tokio-Moscow for comparing of flight performance of the two aircraft in the same weather conditions. The crew chief of IL-62M was K.N.Tskhovrebov, of IL-62 – S.V.Bondarenko.
The average hourly fuel consumption of IL-62M was 6.8 tonnes, of IL-62 – 7.3 tonnes, where commercial load of IL-62M was three tones more. The flight time was 9:55 hours for IL-62M and 10:02 for IL-62.
Depending on the route mileage IL-62M appeared to carry commercial load by 43 percent more than the basic aircraft. So, for example IL-62M carried 18 tonnes when flew from the capital of USSR to the one of Japan, while IL-62 carried only 13 tonnes. The increase of commercial load together with high speed provided a considerable boost of economic efficiency of the aircraft.
Great work was done in the engine development in order to provide the cleanliness of the air taken from the compressor for air conditioning system, which delayed start of operation. Regular passenger traffic at IL-62M started on the 8th of January of 1974, the first flight was made by the crew of P.G.Khmelnitsky.
Total 193 aircraft in various modifications were built. IL-62M stayed as a flagship of “Aeroflot” and the only long-range Soviet aircraft which could connect continents. It was always a symbol of reliability, safety and high comfort for passengers.