Ilyushin expects to wrap up flight-testing of the new Il-76MD-90A
in the second half of 2014, after initiating the regime with a sortie
to Moscow Zhukovsky on 28 January.
The upgraded transport got airborne from Ulyanovsk for a 4h 25min
flight, during which it climbed to an altitude of 33,000ft (10,000m) en
The Ilyushin design bureau says the initial test programme covered
powerplant checks, stability and control characteristics and missed
Three more of the type are in various stages of assembly at the
Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar production facility, and Ilyushin says a second
batch of aircraft will enter production later this year.
Previous versions of the Il-76
were assembled in Uzbekistan, at Tashkent's Chkalov aircraft production plant.
Aviastar general director Sergei Dementiev says the maiden test
flight is a "significant event" for the Russian facility, but adds: "We
don't intend to stop here. There is still work ahead of us to produce
The modernised Perm PS-90A-76 engines are intended to cut fuel burn
by 12% and improve the aircraft's range by 18%. The airlifter also
incorporates glass cockpit avionics, with eight multifunction
Ilyushin general manager Viktor Livanov says a three-stage test
programme will include 22 initial flights by the developers, followed by
a longer phase of operational tests comprising 60 flights. The
Il-76MD-90A will then undertake specialised testing for troop transport
and parachute-assisted cargo drops, with the full test programme to be
completed in the third quarter of 2014.
Russia's defence ministry signed a production order in October 2012
to acquire 39 of the new model, the first prototype of which made its
flight debut the previous month.