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    Russian Transport Aircraft fleet (VTA)

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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:23 am

    ..a rocket sitting on the back of a Bear..
    its airframe isn't strong enough for that, & they need Bears as bombers & ASW/Command Posts platforms. If the engines were powerful enough, they would have modified a few An-22s for external rocket carry instead, if the internal volume is too small .
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:34 am

    First of all how can you claim the aircrafts fuselage is not strong enough... these rockets and fuel tanks and things being carried are empty and are made of some of the lightest metals available.

    Second I am suggesting it because they have quite a few airframes on hand for which transporting parts from western russia to eastern russia they would be ideal.... when rocket launches start increasing they are going to need a lot of rocket bodies transferred... especially Angara as its body is used several times for some of the bigger models... Angara 7 has seven rockets joined together so 7 flights per launch... and as they ramp up launches the needs for the rockets will only increase...

    A wider train tunnel makes more and more sense, but then it does not matter how wide you make it there will always be things that need to be transported that wont fit.

    The Northern Sea route could allow quite a few things to be sent via sea and bypass the tunnels all together, but where there are two tracks having wide loads can disrupt other traffic that can't use the other track going the other way while a wide load is moving on the track.

    Aircraft offer flexibility and speed and with an airfield next to where the rockets are handled and assembled into launch systems means less hassle especially if there is an airfield next to where they are made too.

    Pretty soon they will be looking at making all sorts of different space craft that might include all sorts of shuttles and other things... at some stage even air launched space craft could become a thing too...

    The ASW versions of the Bear don't seem to be getting replaced with new models... I would expect a naval model of the PAK DA would be able to perform that role of long period patrol while able to carry a wide range of anti ship and anti sub weapons...

    And it would make more sense to use the Il-96 for command aircraft too, as well as cargo transports in the same way the 747 is used for such roles.

    The An-22 was still useful as a transport but its Ukrainian heritage killed its future for any purposes in Russia... it already has an H tail, but it is being withdrawn from service for a reason, and that reason still applies, which would prevent it being used for other purposes.

    The Il-106 could be used but it looks like it will be quite a while before it makes its first flight let alone starts carrying stuff in a useful way.

    The Bear is an almost ready to go option that would require only superficial changes to make it suitable for the role and they have a few around the place.

    The Il-96 is a better option and has more potential for the future, which they should go ahead with too... if I had my way an new command model and new inflight refuelling models should be developed too, and with new engines it could be the Russian 747 class jet.

    What they did was they developed an enlarged version of the An-124 and added two more engines to it so it could carry the Buran... which is a much higher drag object than a rocket that is 3-4 metres wide... unless you strap it to the wings sideways...

    Not all the loads are rockets... shuttles are carried but often large tanks of various sorts are also carried from short stumpy ones to rather enormous long ones need to be transported... they are empty and create more drag issues than weight issues...

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    And of course the cranes needed to put these large objects on and take them off need to be at both ends of the flight...

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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:02 am

    The Bear's fuselage diameter may be too small for stable & secure external load; H tail will need to be made for it too. Their engines produce a lot of vibration.
    Besides, they lost a few of them in crashes & may not have spare airworthy planes for that role.
    It's a civilian program & they could later contract the An-225 out if need be to move some of those loads.
    An-22s could last some years more if properly maintained, esp. since they r rarely used at full capacity.
    Il-96 tankers is a dead idea- Il-478s will be good enough. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-76#Military_variants

    A 2nd tunnel will take ~10 years to build.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severomuysky_Tunnel#Future

    IMO, they could save more $ by just keeping leasing the Baikonur Cosmodrome, instead of making Vostochny the only heavy rocket launch facility & those Il-96-500s.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:48 pm

    The fuselage thickness of the Bear is fine... basically they would have a centre of mass attachment area and balancing supports on either side of that further down the aircraft in each direction... like a roof rack on a car...

    The level of vibration the engines create is not really that important... compared to the vibration a shuttle would feel being launched in to space you could fly it around for days on the back of a Bear and it wouldn't matter.

    They made the Bear in rather large numbers and didn't lose very many at all to crashes to be honest... a quick look at the wiki page and it mentions four crashed aircraft including one case where two crashed together... in over 50 years of use... two aircraft together in 1968, and two separately a month or so apart in 2015...

    It's a civilian program & they could later contract the An-225 out if need be to move some of those loads.

    The previous aircraft used for the role was the VM-T which as you can clearly see is an ex M4 bomber... and they barely used the Antonov because it belonged to the Ukraine when the countries split in the early 1990s and the Ukraine has no space programme that would need such an aircraft.

    My understanding is that the An-22 was fairly widely used and is only being withdrawn for maintenance issues and the lack of cooperation from Antonov... which would of course kill any future potential use for the aircraft for anything involving it flying... it would make an awesome gate guard for a civilian airfield...

    Il-96 tankers is a dead idea- Il-478s will be good enough.

    Il-96 tankers make sense for long range aviation... it has a longer range and a higher cruise speed and can carry much more fuel that can be offloaded, which makes it much better for refuelling large strategic aircraft.

    A 2nd tunnel will take ~10 years to build.

    They are expanding their rail network and intending to increase rail traffic from Asia to the EU and back so building another tunnel makes a lot of economic sense and once the new tunnel is operational closing the existing one and making it a two or three track tunnel by making it much wider would also be well worth the money to greatly expand potential for traffic through the area.

    IMO, they could save more $ by just keeping leasing the Baikonur Cosmodrome, instead of making Vostochny the only heavy rocket launch facility & those Il-96-500s.

    They don't own Baikonur, so any money spent there is wasted in terms of value for Russia... by all means keep using it, but increasing the tunnel sizes for rail access to the far east as well as the number of tunnels is now more than just about sending rockets from where they are made to where they can be launched... it is a bottle neck that will effect transit times from Asia to the EU which is a major selling point of the whole concept...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:07 pm

    l-96 tankers make sense for long range aviation...
    They cancelled it- the cost is too high & the benefit gained isn't worth it, otherwise the Il-478 would've been not being pursued/cancelled. A twin engine variant would be more economical, but there's no suitable engine yet.
    They don't own Baikonur, so any money spent there is wasted in terms of value for Russia...
    They may get all that surrounding land back later, after Ms of Russian speakers get RF passports, like those in Donbass. There r no tunnels & none needed whatsoever between Central Russia & Baikonur which is also lot closer than Vostochny.  
    ..but increasing the tunnel sizes for rail access to the far east as well as the number of tunnels is now more than just about sending rockets from where they are made to where they can be launched...
    If they get more transit fees from China & Korea, that would be easier to finance. Otherwise, it can wait- even with delays in transit, it's still faster by 2-3 weeks or more than by sea. Besides, widening the tunnel will close it for the duration, so a new 1 will need to be dug.
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    Post  Gazputin on Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:33 pm

    there's an enormous PPT presentation on the Il-96-500T

    https://diana-mihailova.livejournal.com/3277444.html

    and they really are talking about building 16 of them ….

    new tunnel to Vostochny will take 10 yrs - re train tunnel width ...

    the project isn't as crazy as I first thought …

    think they are still doing 5x Il-96-400M airliners first … pretty straight forward apparently
    first one will be finished this year - tested early next year … certified by June 2020
    as adjunct to existing freighter certified already

    so you've got 10 yrs of production at 2 p.a. = 21
    seems a pretty good plan for a factory to get some reasonable consistency

    there's 4-5 Il-96-400s still flying .. ex Polet freighters
    there's 2 in the Govt fleet converted to VIP …
    not sure where the other 2-3 are - one was going to be a prototype for a tanker but that got canned

    its the only factory in the world apart from Airbus and Boeing that can make widebody airliners ….
    so there are a lot of skills in that place they don't want to lose prior to CR-929

    and they don't have a replacement for the An-124 for at least 10 yrs …
    so if you use your An-124s less and use these Il-96-500Ts for a lot of their work then you can make your An-124s last longer

    it does make a hell of a lot of sense - you can't just switch factories on and off






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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:44 pm

    If they would ever get off their asses at Ulyanovsk and start cranking out new Il-76s the strategic aviation will do just fine until PD-35 can power a new heavy airlifter. It has been so long since the delivery of new strategic aviation the fleet is hanging on by a thread.

    Trying to make Il-96 into a wannabe C-5 Galaxy... it is a waste of time with only 40t load.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:36 pm

    Trying to make Il-96 into a wannabe C-5 Galaxy... it is a waste of time with only 40t load.
    The Il-96-500T will have 80T payload, the same as the An-22 & the proposed Il-106.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:01 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    The Il-96-500T will have 80T payload, the same as the An-22 & the proposed Il-106.

    What magical engine will get them there? The PS-90A only gets it to 40 tonnes.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:15 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    The Il-96-500T will have 80T payload, the same as the An-22 & the proposed Il-106.

    What magical engine will get them there?  The PS-90A only gets it to 40 tonnes.  

    We have to wait for PD-35 as that is what they hope to use.  They are still waiting for the remaining 38 Il-476 the MoD ordered.  Only things are starting to pick up because there were discrepancies with all the agreements and costs.  Aviastar-SP was increasing the prices. Now I am starting to think that major delay was the PS-90A2 engines since it uses some French components thus sanctions.... So they may have to work towards using PD-14 engines for this jet too.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:30 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:

    We have to wait for PD-35 as that is what they hope to use.  They are still waiting for the remaining 38 Il-476 the MoD ordered.  Only things are starting to pick up because there were discrepancies with all the agreements and costs.  Aviastar-SP was increasing the prices.  Now I am starting to think that major delay was the PS-90A2 engines since it uses some French components thus sanctions....  So they may have to work towards using PD-14 engines for this jet too.

    PD-35 is going to power the modernised An-124s with twice the payload. Why would it make any sense to wait that long to put it into an Il-96 with half the load?
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:34 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:

    We have to wait for PD-35 as that is what they hope to use.  They are still waiting for the remaining 38 Il-476 the MoD ordered.  Only things are starting to pick up because there were discrepancies with all the agreements and costs.  Aviastar-SP was increasing the prices.  Now I am starting to think that major delay was the PS-90A2 engines since it uses some French components thus sanctions....  So they may have to work towards using PD-14 engines for this jet too.

    PD-35 is going to power the modernised An-124s with twice the payload.  Why would it make any sense to wait that long to put it into an Il-96 with half the load?

    Dunno. This is pic from what is proposed:

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t7724p325-russian-civil-aviation-news-3#254577
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:35 pm

    That would only be an option if An-124 isn't an option. Are they giving up on Ruslan already?
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    Post  PapaDragon on Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:54 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:That would only be an option if An-124 isn't an option. Are they giving up on Ruslan already?

    No it's not

    Il-96-500 is supposed to carry cargo with small mass and large volume (e.g. composite airplane wings)

    An-124 is super heavy military transport

    Il-96-500 is neither super heavy not military
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:18 pm

    PD-35 is going to power the modernised An-124s with twice the payload.
    Not true:
    The intended Ruslan replacement remains a high-wing monoplane with four turbofans on wing pylons and bears a passing resemblance to the Antonov design. It will be able to transport 150 tonnes of freight over 3,800 nm, or 180 tonnes over 2,650 nm at a cruise speed of 460 knots. Instead of using the Ukrainian-designed and made D-18T turbofans, the Slon would be powered by indigenous PD-35s being developed for the Sino-Russian CR929 jetliner, which produce 35 tonnes of thrust compared to 23. Lower fuel-burn provides for a two-fold range increase compared to the An-124-100-150M, which can haul 150 tonnes to 1,675 nm or 80 tonnes to 4,600 nm.
    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2019-02-04/124-ruslan-replacement-takes-shape

    An-124s may or may not be re-engined; if they r, they may carry only ~30t more, extrapolating from data above.
    IMO, the Il-96-500T is the transitional plane bebefore the Slon & the Il-106 r supposed to appear.
    Il-96-500 is neither super heavy not military
    It's of dual use & will carry helos, boats, vehicles, heavy equipment, & other cargoes for the MOD/MChS, as schematics in the links show.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:30 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    Not true:

    It doesn't do you any good to butcher quote me, the second half of my statement was compared to the 80t Il-96-500.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:34 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:

    No it's not

    Il-96-500 is supposed to carry cargo with small mass and large volume (e.g. composite airplane wings)

    An-124 is super heavy military transport

    Il-96-500 is neither super heavy not military

    An-124s do commercial transport all the time. It is not going to be sold just to the military.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:01 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    It doesn't do you any good to butcher quote me, the second half of my statement was compared to the 80t Il-96-500.
    Pl. be more clear in ur posts. The 120T max payload of the AN-124 isn't 2x of the the 80T max payload of the Il-96-500T; it would be if it was 60T.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:17 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    Pl. be more clear in ur posts. The 120T max payload of the AN-124 isn't 2x of the the 80T max payload of the Il-96-500T; it would be if it was 60T.

    I thought I was pretty clear by stating an An-124 powered by PD-35 engines. That will have a payload in excess of 160t, twice that of an Il-96 with PD-35s.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:55 pm

    Fine, but the An-124s may not be re-engined in sufficient #s thanks to Kiev's legal obstructions. Also, An-124s r aging & will need replacements.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:33 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    PapaDragon wrote:
    No it's not
    Il-96-500 is supposed to carry cargo with small mass and large volume (e.g. composite airplane wings)
    An-124 is super heavy military transport
    Il-96-500 is neither super heavy not military

    An-124s do commercial transport all the time. It is not going to be sold just to the military.

    Yes but An-124 is too narrow to carry extra wide cargo like Soyuz-5 rockets or wings for that new Russian/Chinese wide body airliner which is what this new airplane will be exclusively used for

    They only plan on making less than dozen of them​ anyway just like Airbus Beluga (there are 5 of those)
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:56 am

    PapaDragon wrote:

    Yes but An-124 is too narrow to carry extra wide cargo like Soyuz-5 rockets or wings for that new Russian/Chinese wide body airliner which is what this new airplane will be exclusively used for

    They only plan on making less than dozen of them​ anyway just like Airbus Beluga (there are 5 of those)

    An-124 is far wider than an Il-96 and has a cavernous storage deck. If you needed a platform with more room, you would just expand the Ruslan. If you need to put it on top of something, you would put it on top of the Ruslan.
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    Post  Gazputin on Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:28 am

    Vladimir doesn't understand how factories work
    Ulyanovsk "has to get off its arse"
    and "why make Il-96-500T" at all
    and the best one of all - lets make the An-124 bigger …. instead … hilarious … in what factory ?

    the very reason Aviastar is struggling to get Il-76 output up is.... it is creating a new skilled workforce at the same time it is starting serial production
    as the previous expert workforce was lost or was in Uzbekistan …

    and one of the main reasons the Il-96-500T project is likely to go ahead is because it is a mechanism to ensure the same scenario doesn't happen again .. and not to lose an existing skilled workforce
    and they are good by the look of it …
    there's a recent photo showing the Il-96-400M fuselage almost assembled next to another Il-96-300 they are making concurrently
    … it will provide a consistent build volume which is exactly what a factory needs to be efficient … and retain their existing skilled assembly staff prior to the CR-929 project

    what would I know ? I was in product design and manufacturing for only 25-30 yrs ….
    to make remarkable aircraft …. first you need a remarkable factory … the 2 are not mutually exclusive



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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:33 am

    An-124 is far wider than an Il-96 and has a cavernous storage deck. If you needed a platform with more room, you would just expand the Ruslan.
    The Slon, not to mention the Il-106, will take longer to field; the Il-96-500T will come out sooner & for a lot le$$.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:12 am

    Gazputin wrote:Vladimir doesn't understand how factories work
    Ulyanovsk "has to get off its arse"
    and "why make Il-96-500T" at all
    and the best one of all - lets make the An-124 bigger …. instead … hilarious … in what factory ?

    the very reason Aviastar is struggling to get Il-76 output up is....  it is creating a new skilled workforce at the same time it is starting serial production
    as the previous expert workforce was lost or was in Uzbekistan …

    and one of the main reasons the Il-96-500T project is likely to go ahead is because it is a mechanism to ensure the same scenario doesn't happen again .. and not to lose an existing skilled workforce
    and they are good by the look of it …
    there's a recent photo showing the Il-96-400M fuselage almost assembled next to another Il-96-300 they are making concurrently
    … it will provide a consistent build volume which is exactly what a factory needs to be efficient … and retain their existing skilled assembly staff prior to the CR-929 project

    what would I know ? I was in product design and manufacturing for only 25-30 yrs ….
    to make remarkable aircraft …. first you need a remarkable factory … the 2 are not mutually exclusive

    They do need to get off their asses and start cranking out Il-76. It has been 10 years and only one has been accepted into service.

    Why would you make a Beluga Il-96 just to fly a couple of rocket parts that can be moved by train?

    More powerful engines can make for a bigger aircraft. With a 160t payload they might want to think about it.

    The skills are making aircraft. Whether it is an Il-96 Beluga that makes no sense or what we really need, the Ruslan, then they are still making aircraft. They have plenty of baccklogged work now making the rest of the 39 Il-76s.

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