President was pleased with what he had seen:Nikolai Kuimov’s crew flew the new aircrafton a short but spectacular sortie. “I haveevery reason to thank and congratulate theDesigner General and plant Director, andthe whole of the team who have worked hardto achieve this stage of the development of anew Russian transport aircraft. Today, we haveactually witnessed the final stage of its devel-opment”, Vladimir Putin said. “The event wehave witnessed today is not a mere flight of therevitalised Il-76 aircraft. Essentially, this is adrastically new aircraft upgraded by 70%. Wehave got an advanced aircraft featuring cut-ting-edge characteristics in terms of reliabil-ity, range, efficiency and lifting capacity. I amcertain that the aircraft will be in demand both in this country and with our possiblepartners abroad”, the President concluded.Then there was the ceremony of signingthe launch contract for 39 Il-76MD-90A aircraft for the Russian Defence Ministry,attended by Vladimir Putin. After the event was over, the President’s chief of staff SergeiIvanov said: “This is the largest contractthe Russian aircraft industry has ever seen”.The deliveries under the contract will havetaken place from 2014 to 2020. The con-tract’s value stands at 140 billion rubles (about$4.5 billion), i.e. more than 3.5 billion rubles(around $115 million) per aircraft. The con-tract will not be the only one signed by theDefence Ministry. As was reported in thepress, the Il-76MD-90A shall serve the basisfor an advanced tanker plane intended tosucceed the in-service Il-78M and for severalspecialised aircraft, which development has been assigned to Beriev company. Accordingto Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin, the 2020State Armament Acquisition Programme pro- vides for procurement of “more than 100”Il-76MD-90As in several versions.In addition, other governmental cus-tomers are expected to place orders for theIl-76MD-90A in the coming years. “Now, weneed to consolidate other customers, becausethe aircraft features a widest range of applica-tions”, Sergei Ivanov told the media in the wake of the meeting in Ulyanovsk. “It canoperate in the fire-fighting, medevac, air- borne assault and freighter roles. Therefore,the Emergencies Ministry, Ministry of theInterior, Federal Security Service, Office of the President, Transport Ministry and severalother governmental agencies should form apool of customers within a month and work out a line of credit stipulating a proactive useof leasing arrangements”.Ilyushin JSC Director General/Designer General Victor Livanov said: “The congratu-lation by President Vladimir Putin imposeson us a high responsibility. We have passedan important stage, but a lot has to be donefurther down the line: we are to test andproductionise the aircraft – both the baselinemodel and a whole range of its derivatives. Weare certain that the Il-76MD-90A aircraft isfacing new vistas”. At present, Aviastar plant is manufac-turing the first three production-standardIl-76MD-90A airlifters. Their constructioncommenced as far back as 2010 under thecontract with UAC – Transport Aircraft. According to Aviastar-SP Director GeneralSergei Dementyev, two of them are to be com-pleted as soon as this year, with the deliveriesto begin in 2014. The company’s productionplan provides for a gradual increase in theannual Il-76MD-90A output all the way to 18aircraft per annum in 2018.Meanwhile, the first flying prototype of theIl-76MD-90A was painted late in December last year. Once it has completed a series of groundtests and fixes, it is to fly to Ilyushin’s flight testfacility in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, whereits flight tests will continue. The move wasplanned for late January or early February 2013. According to Ilyushin Designer General Victor Livanov, the first stage of the Il-76MD-90A’s offi-cial tests, which includes 50 test sorties, is to becompleted in the third quarter of 2012. One pro-totype will be enough for this purpose, becausethe official trials of the upgraded Il-76MD-90(RA-78854) aircraft, which were conducted withsuccess in 2011, will be taken in consideration.This test aircraft made in 2005 on the basis of the Il-76MD (c/n 81-05) built in 1991 was usedfor testing the advanced powerplant consisting of four PS-90A-76 turbofan engines as well as newavionics now used in the Il-76MD-90As madein Ulyanovsk.
Ilyushin 476 first flying prototype being painted at Spektr-Avia JSC, 22 December 2012
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Il-76MD-90A prototype in its second flight, 28 September 2012.Registration has been already changed from RA-78650 to 78650