The first Il96400M with Russian engines has been assembled and is used as a flying laboratory

The first Il96400M with Russian engines has been assembled and is used as a flying laboratory

The first Il96400M with Russian engines has been assembled andIllustrative Photo Anna Zvereva, CC BYSA 2.0, via Wikimedia

The decision on serial production of the updated version of the longhaul fourengine Il96400M aircraft is still pending and will be made only after certification tests, but the first example has already had a defined mission, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

“The first aircraft is assembled and will be used as a flight laboratory to test technical solutions for longhaul widebody aircraft. Modernized systems are being tested there, including a promising domestic flight and navigation equipment complex. The engine is also Russian PS90A. It is scheduled to air at the end of the year. Mass production will be decided based on the results of the certification tests,” the source told TASS.

The Il96 aircraft was designed at the Ilyushin Design Bureau in the late 1980s and has been in small series production in Voronezh since 1993 and is mainly used for government flights.

In April, Rostec boss Sergei Chemezov reported that production of the Il96300 would not be massive. And the head of the United Aircraft Corporation (part of Rostec), Yuri Slyusar, indicated that the production of the Il96300 is planned at the level of two aircraft per year. He noted that airlines have very modest forecasts for demand for this aircraft.

In January, the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that the modernized Il96400M should make its maiden flight before the end of the year. The aircraft received a fuselage lengthened by 9 meters, an upgraded digital flight and navigation system. The maximum flight range of the aircraft will exceed 8,000 kilometers, the maximum number of passenger seats will be 370. It is assumed that the aircraft will be made entirely of Russian components.