Ilyushin Aviation Complex engineering traditionally arouses a great interest.

17 November 2017

New military transport aircraft IL-112 is under the preparation for its first flight. Middle turbojet IL-276 is also being developed for the army. First Deputy General Director of PJSC «IL» Pavel Cherenkov tells in his interview for TASS about what aircraft Experimental Design Bureau of PJSC «IL» wants to suggest for training of pilots, what is the difference between IL-112 and IL-114 and how many new IL-76 will be manufactured in Russia for a year.

- On the first day of Dubai Airshow 2017 exhibition Vice Premier of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin told that Russia intends to develop the market of transport and passenger aviation together with UAE. What can Ilyushin Aviation Complex suggest in this area?
- Local visitors of the exhibition have shown a great interest for our new light military transport aircraft IL-112. I want to remind that the first prototype of this aircraft is ready for a flight.

Besides, we have an interesting project of the middle transport aircraft IL-276. Such a sizing is in a demand now. Various countries at the exhibition present alike projects, but we have offers for an interested customer. Ilyushin Aviation Complex engineering traditionally arouses a great interest as it is reliable, maintenance friendly and has been serving Eastern countries for many years.

Today we have important tasks for servicing this engineering and providing spares for its operators all over the world. In general the Eastern market is ready for that.

- Are there any agreements for modernization, repairs and maintenance of aircraft, which were acquires by customers in the Soviet period?
- We are now working on the establishment of modern automated service complexes. One of the peculiarities for example is that our IL-76 abroad are not certificated under the civil regulations, only under the military. Good, qualified service of military and transport aircraft hadn’t been developed until recent time.

Now we sell not only an aircraft, but a service life cycle of a n engineering

Now we are negotiating with some large companies, operators, which work here in Dubai, with representatives of the region in the whole and also with representatives of the African market. Negotiations are held in two directions. First is managing warehouses and service at some territory and second is promotion of Russian aircraft in this region.

Now we sell not only an aircraft, but a service life cycle of an engineering, that’s why it is crucially important for a customer to have a concept from the first day of operation of an aircraft until the end of its exploitation.

- In what time are you planning to organize service centres?
- Our task is to set up logistics and servicing within the period of two-three years. We have several programs which we have together with IL-76 theme, I mentioned them. That means that we create the service and application software systems not only for old engineering, but olso for new ones - for the whole line of military and transport aircraft of Ilyushin Aviation Complex.

We already are implementing some particular steps. In general there is a special proportion: number of service centres directly depends on number of operational aircraft in the region. In some cases it is much more profitable to flight to the Russian repair workshops. The issue is currently being worked out with consideration of the market volume and particular forms of repairs at places.

By the way Ilyushin Aviation Complex already has a big amount of service teams which in case of necessity respond for works at places. Taking into consideration that the number of engineering is growing, we develop our local presence at those markets in which we have an interest.

- In Russia combat IL-76MD are modernized to the exterior of MD-M. Are foreign partners more interested in modernization or in buying new aircraft?
- In general, there is a fair amount of «seventy sixth» in the world, around 300 aircraft are in active operation and in the great scheme of things this is our potential market for modernization and prolongation of service life of such aircraft. But modernization is a complex issue, because its not equally in demand among all. Service life extension is a different story. An engineering won’t serve forever, but we think that the existing fleet will be operable until 2035. And we prepare the newest serial aircraft IL-76MD-90A to replace it. Its exterior is the same, but the aircraft is considerably upgraded.

- Is Ilyushin Design Bureau currently developing some new projects?
- On requests of our customers including foreign ones we consider the possibility to recommence out production of light piston engined aircraft IL-103 with in-depth modernization.

- What engines are you planning to assemble on it?
- It is a rather complicated question as there is no production of engines of such a size in Russia. But we have several alternatives: First we can work with foreign power supply units if we are talking about the commercial utilization of the aircraft; second Simonov Design Bureau is now developing engines for an unmanned aircraft, which can be adapted for operation on a light aircraft. There are actually a lot of options.

IL-103 has good perspectives. Now there are about 40 of these aircraft flying in the world. This is a great aircraft which fits not only for casual tasks but also for pilots of a fighter aviation training. You can’t perform barrel rolls on it of course, but one can obtain basic flight skills easily on it.

- At which stage is this project currently?
We are ready to provide the market with a comfortable operational aircraft for 150-200 thousand US dollars.

There are some pending issues in this project like a balanced cabin heating. But in general we need to answer to ourselves one question, if this program has the future. This is just an ambitious development of Ilyushin Aviation Complex for now. We are ready to provide the market with a comfortable operational aircraft for 150-200 thousand US dollars. This will be just a sensation of a price quotation.

- And where will this sensation developed?
- Production of IL-103 may be established on one of the facilities of the UAC, for example in Lukhovitsy in Moscow region - where MiG are being assembled currently. In Soviet period 100 aircraft were manufactured successfully.

- IL-114 will also be manufactured in Lukhovitsy?
- This program has been worked out for a long time, but certain moments has been resolved only in September of this year. Now we don’t have management or technical problems with preparation of IL-114 production. The firs aircraft is now manufactured at the experimental production of Ilyushin Aviation Complex in Zhukovsky, a lot of works a re being done with it on him in order to conduct further tests.

Assemble shall be carried out in the same workshop that is utilized for MiGs.

Serial aircraft will e manufactured in Lukhovitsy - managers of the plant has done a great job on preparing all the logostics for this aircraft. Assemble shall be carried out in the same workshop that is utilized for MiGs in two parallel streams. Of course we are expecting a high cooperation: some aggregates will be manufactured at «Sokol» plant, some - at VASO (Voronezh Aircraft Joint-Stock Company), our Voronezh plant. And all the production will be delivered to Moscow region for the final assemble.

- Who is in demand for such an aircraft?
- This aircraft is in incredible demand in Russia. I think it is one of a few aircraft for which we have a fairly big demand.

First it is Far North. Price for a transfer with turboprop aircraft is less then with turbojet, specially for transportation at north. IL-114 has special anti icing systems it is able to make landings on a soft surface.

Second it is regional transfers in general. TV7-117ST engine which is currently being tested in Gromov Flight Test Centre shall be efficient and decently powerful to ensure transportation for fairly long radius distances. In this sense the aircraft is highly demanded by companies which have a lot of key regional routes.

IL-114 is the base for different types of aircraft.

Third it is Asia, Africa and Latin America. IL-144 is efficient and maintenance friendly. Now we are thinking through its service life cycle. Its maintenance is more simple than aircraft with other types of engine.

Besides, IL-114 is the base for different types of special aircraft. Any versions, demanded by the military may be implemented on this aircraft. For example IL-114 equipped with targeting and search complex «Kasatka» by «Radar MMS» company conducts its flights on every MAKS exhibition. Generally speaking every type of comjam system may be implemented to this aircraft. It may even carry the «dish».

- And what about IL-112? Don’t these aircraft duplicate each other?
- No as IL-112 is in first place a ramp aircraft, manufactured for the military. Of course, 112th and 114th have a lot common: the same engines very, same control system.

IL-112 is in first place a ramp aircraft, manufactured for the military

But IL-112 is a very interesting format. It has its own customer, not only the military. This is also designed for cargo and passenger purposes. And for Emergencies Ministry and special task forces also. We received a very interesting request for the government of Yakutia for example. It is a very large region, they have a lot of cargo and transport tasks, the weather is unpredictable and IL-112 is the aircraft that was designed for fulfilling specific works in any region.

- «Aviastar» where IL-76MD-90A are manufactured is very busy as I understand.
- we need just overcome this situation. «Aviastar» initially was built as serial plant that is principally deiffers from experimental production.

Serial plants use ready designs and it is important to be sure that the system works. With IL-76 we had the first situation for aircraft of such type that the first serial aircraft is the prototype at the same time. It increased our schedules a little bit, but we will not have other conditions. The plant is actually able to manufacture 12 aircraft per year and it will do it. By the end of the year «Aviastar» shall present more aircraft than for the recent 20 years! Such a thing happens for the first time.

- Will you transfer any aircraft to the military?
- According to the contract in this year we don’t have handing of IL-76 only presentation of it for the state tests. Just one tanker.

- Are Aerospace Forces planning to do anything with IL-18?
- theses are excellent aircraft, but they have issues with their service life. On ours part we are ready to carry out modernization and assembly of a new equipment and we are ready to join works of their service life extension at any moment. But first we need to ask Aerospace Forces about our tasks. We still don’t have any big project.

- Middle transport aircraft IL-276 is in the area of their vivid interest as I understand?
- This is a very popular aircraft because when we observe transportation tasks, cargo capacity up to 20 tons is exactly what forms the basis.

IL-76 - is another type of aircraft, twice as bigger and transportation tasks are cheaper to be carried out by a middle aircraft. Plus, of course, training of paratroopers. It is counter-productive to use IL-76 for training of 10 people. Upon that cockpit and fuselage section are the same in these aircraft that is why they have a lot of crossings and for the military it will be a one line of engineering which allow them to fulfil effectively those tasks that they are currently having.

- Does Ilyushin Aviation Complex Design Bureau gald with cooperation with Aerospace Forces of Russia?
- I think that we have constructive relations with the military. They are up and running first of all with the military and transport aviation. These people are maximally bound up with this theme and they totally share our goals

Interviewed by Anna Yudina