55 years ago regular passenger flights operation of IL-18 was started55 years ago on April 20, 1959 IL-18 operation was started for regular passenger flights.
This day two flights were performed onboard IL-18B with AI-20 engines, at the aircraft with Reg No SSSR-75674 (Ser No 188000903) on the route Vnukovo-Adler (crew captain – Hero of the Soviet Union – B.A.Lakhtin), at the aircraft with Reg No SSSR-75672 (Ser No 188000901) on the route Domodedovo – Alma-Ata (crew captain – A.M. Averkin).
For 2,5 years after Government regulations of the USSR, Design Bureau team, serial plant and operating organizations engineered, put into serial production, thoroughly tested and mastered in operation the speed passenger aircraft, which meets the aviation world development level of that time.
High level of IL-18 technical excellence was confirmed by awarding it with Grand Prix and Gold medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. This was proved by numerous world records in class of turboprop aircraft, set in 1958-1969 by crews of V.K. Kokkinaki, B.M. Konstantinov and L.M. Ulanova. IL-18 world records of flight speed (727,84 km/h) and flight altitude (13513 m) were beaten only in 1971 onboard of Orion military aircraft by Lockheed.
22 April 1960 the Lenin Prize was awarded for building of passenger IL-18 aircraft to:
S.V. Ilyushin – General Designer, chief for aircraft engineering works
V.M. Germanov – Chief for engineering aircraft general plans and layout scheme
V.A. Borog – Chief for building pressured fuselage
E.I. Sankov – Chief for wing engineering and its take-off and landing system
V.N. Semyonov – Chief for engineering landing gear and aircraft control system
A.Y. Levin – Chief for passengers and crew life support system engineering, hydraulic and anti-icing system
V.K. Kokkinaki – Leading test- pilot of the aircraft, who carried out a big number of flight tests in regular and failure situations,
Series of Il-18 aircraft were built in different options of passenger cabin configurations. The most mass was IL-18B with AI-20 engines, which was in serial manufacture in 1960-1965 with passenger cabin option for 89-110 seats.
Il-18 aircraft and their modifications are still being in operation in subdivisions of Air Force and Special Aviation of our country.