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Il-112V to start tests in 2017

_United Aircraft Corporation's Ilyushin company and VASO plant started manufacturing of the future Ilyushin Il-112V light tactical airlifter prototypes under the contract with Russian Ministry of Defence signed a year ago, in November 2014.

As is known, Ilyushin began the development of the Il-112V, using the requirements specification released as far back as 2003. As far back as 10 years ago, the aircraft passed the conceptual design and mock-up manufacture milestones followed by the devising of the detailed design documentation for the airframe and systems to the extent relevant for the construction of prototypes. VASO launched the production facilities preparation, but due to the protracted work, lack of the powerplant (Klimov TV7-117ST turboprop engines) and modified requirements, the Defence Ministry decided in May 2010 to put the programme's funding on a backburner. By then, about 95% of the design documentation had been devised, VASO had designed 24% and made 21% of the production accessories, and manufacture of parts for prototypes had begun.

The tentative decision on the resumption of the Il-112V programme using an updated requirements specification was taken in summer 2013, but the negotiations with the customer over financial matters had dragged their feet for almost 18 months. Finally, the contract for the development was placed in November 2014, after which the programme finally transitioned to an active phase.

VASO became the prime contractor for manufacturing of the Il-112V prototypes and future series production aircraft. The relevant contract with Ilyushin was signed in March 2015. About 30 companies are also involved in the Il-112V development work. In particular, UAC's Aviastar-SP plant in Ulyanovsk will manufacture fuselage panels, hatches and doors while AeroComposit company will deliver composite parts. The final assembly of two Il-112V prototypes at VASO plant in Voronezh, one for flight trials and another for ground static and endurance tests, is to be completed by 2017 with the first flight is scheduled for second half of 2017.

Visiting VASO in March this year, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russian Ministry of Defence was going to order not less than 35 aircraft of the type under the current procurement programme. The deliveries could commence in 2019. According to Ilyushin JSC, the aircraft "will be relevant to governmental agencies in the first place - not only the Defence Ministry, but also the Federal Security Service, Emergencies Ministry, etc. There are plans to deliver about 200 aircraft of the type to governmental customers prior 2030". The developer is also looking into the feasibility of the Il-112T commercial transport version.

Published in Take-off magazine, November 2015.

(Photo: Andrey Fomin)

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