Although India already operates two types of airborne early warning aircraft, the air force is pressing ahead with a program to procure a third platform with extended range, longer endurance and higher operational altitude performance.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board.
Ilyushin and the Russian defense ministry have begun a joint flight-test and certification program for the Il-76MD-90A airlifter. The first flight in the program took place on March 18 at the Gromov Flight Test and Research Institute, in Zhukovsky, using the prototype (RA-78650) that first flew from the Aviastar manufacturing facility in Ulyanovsk in September last year.
Russian-owned outsize cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr has many years experience moving all types of helicopters around the planet, whether in support of contracts or on delivery flights for manufacturers. The company (Booth No. C702) was founded in 1990 and can transport anything from MD 500s up to Mil Mi-8s/17s and Sikorsky CH-53s or S-64s.
The first large military airlifter developed by China made its maiden flight on January 26. The Y-20 prototype, seen previously upon rollout, was airborne for about one hour before returning to the Yanliang air base in Xian, amid the cheers of a flag-waving crowd. The test flight was called a key step toward building China’s strategic force. Judging from the prototype’s serial number–20001–at least 100 Y-20s could be produced.
China has ordered 10 used Il-76s from Russia’s arms vendor Rosoboronexport as an interim measure to enlarge its fleet of the heavy airlifters, before the redeveloped Il-476 version becomes available. Sergei Kornev, head of Rosoboronexport’s aviation equipment department, told AIN that his company has already found seven suitable airframes on the secondary market. They are being overhauled before delivery to the PLA Air Force. Rosoboronexport is still sourcing the other three aircraft, which could come from non-Russian fleets.
The Russian defense ministry awarded United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) a launch order for 39 Il-476 heavy airlifters, also referred to as the Il-76MD-90A. The move is partially designed to convey program assurance to potential customers in China and India. These countries already operate “classic” Il-76s. The new version can transport a 114,500-pound payload over a range of 2,700 nm.
Russia’s first stealth fighter, the Sukhoi T-50, made its public debut last week at the Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2011), where Russian air force commander General Alexander Zelin gave an update on this and other re-equipment programs. The two T-50 prototypes flew in formation, before one gave a restrained solo display.
A computer-generated skeletal view of a military transport closely resembling the Boeing C-17 appeared in a promotional video released last year by Aviation Industries of China (AVIC). Coincidentally–or not–the FBI last week arrested a former Boeing engineer and charged him with passing trade secrets on the C-17 to China.
Volga-Dnepr (Hall 4 Stand E16) and Ilyushin Interstate Aviation signed a general agreement here Monday for three firm orders and 10 options for IL-76TD-90VD freighters. A firm contract is to be signed by the end of July with first delivery following within 15 months.