Another Stage of IL-76TD-90VD Flight Tests Undertaken in AntarcticaThe flight test program of IL-76TD-90VD in Antarctica is underway. In the course of the second test stage, which was carried out in November 2016, the aircraft was checked for fault safety.
The joint crew of Ilyushin Aviation Complex and the State Scientific Research Institute of Civil Aviation (GosNII GA), under the command of Il OJSC test pilot Sergei Sukhar, performed an aborted and a continued take-off from a snowy and icy air strip with an imitation of engine failure, differential breaking (i.e. using either only port-side landing gear units of only starboard-side ones), and a landing with one non-running engine (clocked over). The crew also checked the aircraft sensitivity on a snowy and icy surface with ac-propulsion caused by a possible engine failure. The undertaken tests confirmed operational safety of IL-76TD-90VD aircraft in such situations under Antarctic conditions. Recommendations for the crew regarding necessary actions in case of an engine failure will be included in the flight-operating manual of the aircraft.
The test flights were supervised by Ruben Yesayan, chief pilot of GosNII GA, Hero of the Russian Federation.
Use of IL-76TD-90VD aircraft for flights from the continent to Antarctica allows increasing safety, since the decision making line regarding flight continuation, whether to make a landing or return to the takeoff aerodrome in the absence of reserve aerodromes, and under the conditions of instable Antarctic weather, has been shifted to the destination point. This is achieved through extended flying range of the IL-76TD-90VD aircraft equipped with PS-90А-76 engines, which are more energy-efficient in comparison with D-30KP engines used on IL-76TD/MD aircraft.
Moreover, PS-90A-76 engine are more environmentally friendly than D-30KP engines, which is a matter of particular importance in Antarctica, the most ecologically clean continent on the planet. PS-90F-76 engines conform to all the ICAO requirements regarding noise and emission level and can be used for flights all over the world without any restrictions.