Firebird wrote:The above article mentions 3 airframes per annum for the Il-96.
Does anyone know if there are serious plans to produce it in volume eg the 4 or 2 engine version?
ie for Aeroflot and other Russian and foreign airlines over the next 5 or 10 yrs.
It strikes me as a very good plane that would be more competitive internationally with twin engines.
Seems a shame that an aerospace industry like Russia is going to even enemy states to fulfill its airline requirements. Especially when it can produce and even export its own planes.
Surely Russia could produce 10 or 20 twin engine Il-96s per annum, and export a fair number of them too?
until the next 5 years at least ( but more probably 7) there will be no large Russian engine of the needed thrust available for commercial operations. Even the best estimates do not speak about 2025 for entry into service of the new 35 tons engine. Of course it is considered to have a new version ofil96 with 2 engines, but they cannot wait for it.
It will be important to start working on the modified design of the aircraft with this configuration
(just the wing or also other parts?), is the wing high enough to have the required ground clearance during takeoff and landing with the larger engines, how is the weight balance of the modified aircraft, how does the aircraft behave with this new configuration?).
The aircraft will need a new type rating in order to be certified with 2 engines instead of 4.
That is, it is considered a totally new aircraft from the certification authorities (both russian and foreign, like the EASA).
If they have a modified development aircraft available for when the new PD35 has already started flying tests on the flying test bed (that will be most probably an il-76 with one of the engines replaced by the pd35), and the engine has proved in ground tests, test in altitude test facilities and in the flying test bed that it is reliable enough, then they can start flight testing the updated twin version of the il96 without losing much time.
They can't however have the twin il96 fly commercially before the engine is extensively tested both alone and in the aircraft.
Starting now with the il96-400M they just need to apply for a change to its current type rating, requiring additional tests, but not as many as they would need for a new type rating for a new aircraft.
Russia want to have within a couple of years a locally produced widebody able to fly commercially and transport passengers,even if it is less fuel efficient than foreign alternatives. They even refused to put there the improved version of the old engine, the PS-90A3M, since it was not yet certified, and they will use the PS-90A1.
The only thing that they could do to save time would be to work on certifying a twin engine version of the il96 with Rolls-Royce or GE engines and asking for a type rating supplement and repeating only a part of the tests when the new russian engine PD35 is available, (same approach that they are following for the MC-21, that will be certified with the pratt and witney engine, and only later with the PD14).
Maybe they will do that after they finish the work on the 4 engines version.
But if they want to have a fully Russian widebody soon(e.g) 2022) they must accept a compromise and use the 4 engines version with the old PS-90A1.