Ilyushin Il-76

Last updated
Il-76
IL-76MD - TankBiathlon2013 (modified).jpg
A Russian Air Force Il-76MD
RoleStrategic and tactical airlifter
National originSoviet Union / Russia
Design group Ilyushin
Built by Tashkent Aviation Production Association
Aviastar-SP
First flight25 March 1971
IntroductionJune 1974 [1]
StatusIn production, in service
Primary users Russian Air Force
Ukrainian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Libyan Air Force
Number built960+ [2]
Variants Ilyushin Il-78
Beriev A-50
KJ-2000

The Ilyushin Il-76 (Russian : Илью́шин Ил-76; NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union's Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967, as a replacement for the Antonov An-12. It was designed to deliver heavy machinery to remote, poorly served areas. Military versions of the Il-76 have been widely used in Europe, Asia and Africa, including use as an aerial refueling tanker or command center.

Contents

The Il-76 has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. It has also been used as an emergency response transport for civilian evacuations as well as for humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world. Due to its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful in undeveloped areas. Specialized models have also been produced for aerial firefighting and zero-G training.

Design and development

The Il-76 is a high-wing freighter with four turbofans and a T-tail. Volga-Dnepr IL-76 RA-76950 (8222957212) (2).jpg
The Il-76 is a high-wing freighter with four turbofans and a T-tail.

Origins

The aircraft was first conceived by Ilyushin in 1967 to meet a requirement for a freighter able to carry a payload of 40 tonnes (88,000 lb) over a range of 5,000 kilometres (2,700 nmi; 3,100 mi) in less than six hours, able to operate from short and unprepared airstrips, and capable of coping with the worst weather conditions likely to be experienced in Siberia and the Soviet Union's Arctic regions. It was intended to replace the Antonov An-12. Another intended version was a double-decked 250-passenger airliner but that project was cancelled. The Il-76 first flew in March 1971. [3]

Production of Il-76s was allocated to the Tashkent Aviation Production Association in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then a republic of the Soviet Union. Some 860 of the basic transport variants were manufactured. [4] In the 1990s, modernized variants also equipped with Soloviev D-30 turbofan engines [5] were developed (MF, TF), with a cargo compartment 20 m (66 ft) long by 3.4 m (11 ft) wide by 3.4 m (11 ft) tall; these larger variants were not produced in significant quantity due to the financial difficulties being experienced by the Russian Air Force, which was the primary operator of the type.[ citation needed ] The prototype of the Il-76MF conducted its first flight on 1 August 1995.[ citation needed ]

Further development

From 2004 onwards, a number of aircraft in commercial service were modernized to the Il-76TD-90VD version; this involved the adoption of the newly developed PS-90 engine to comply with European noise limitations. [1] In 2005, the People's Republic of China placed an order for 34 new Il-76MDs and four Il-78 tankers.[ citation needed ] In June 2013, Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport announced an order by China for 12 Il-76MD aircraft. [6]

Landing gear of an Ilyushin Il-76 Il'iushin Il-76-78-A-50 0083483510, Moskva - VnukovoRP38653.jpg
Landing gear of an Ilyushin Il-76

The Il-76 has also been modified into an airborne refuelling tanker, designated the Il-78, around 50 aircraft having been produced. [4] A variant of the Il-76 also serves as a firefighting waterbomber. Its airframe was used as a base for the Beriev A-50 'Mainstay' AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) aircraft; around 25 aircraft were made. [4] Another application for the type was found in Antarctic support flights and for conducting simulated weightlessness training for cosmonauts (akin to the "Vomit Comet" used by NASA). [7] Beriev and NPO Almaz also developed an airborne laser flying laboratory designated A-60, of which two were built, much of this project's details remaining classified. [8]

Il-76MD-90A

It was announced in 2010 that the production of a modernized Il-76, the Il-76MD-90A (also known as project Il-476 during the design stage), would begin; a proposed new production line would be located in Aviastar's facility in Ulyanovsk, Russia, and be operated in cooperation with the Tashkent works. [4] At that point, the construction of two Il-76MD-90A prototypes had begun at the Ulyanovsk facility. [9] The 1st Il-76MD-90A was rolled out at Aviastar's Ulyanovsk plant on 16 June 2014. [10] On 29 April 2015, it was reported that the Russian Air Force received the first Il-76MD-90A built at the Ulyanovsk plant "Aviastar-SP" from the 2012 contract for 39 aircraft. [11] [12] The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) received its first serial production Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A airlifter on 2 April 2019. [13] As of early 2021, 27 aircraft are ordered to be delivered in the period up to 2028 and 9 had been built. [14] [15] [16]

Operational history

First aircraft were delivered to the Soviet Air Force in June 1974. [1] Next it became the main Soviet strategic transport aircraft. From 1976 it was operated by Aeroflot.

Video of Il-76MD landing on an unpaved runway

Between 1979 and 1991, the Soviet Air Force Il-76s made 14,700 flights into Afghanistan, transporting 786,200 servicemen, and 315,800 tons of freight. The Il-76 carried 89% of Soviet troops and 74% of the freight that was airlifted. As Afghan rebels were unable to shoot down high-flying Il-76s, their tactics were to try and damage it on takeoff or landing. Il-76s were often hit by shoulder-launched Stinger and Strela heat-seeking missiles and large-calibre machine gun fire, but because the strong airframes were able to take substantial damage and still remain operational, the aircraft had a remarkably low attrition rate during this period of conflict. Building on that experience, the bulk of the Canadian Forces equipment into Afghanistan was flown in using civilian Il-76s. [17] In 2006, the Russian Air Force had about 200 Il-76s. Civilian users in Russia have 108. [4]

On August 3, 1995, an Il-76 piloted by a Russian crew was forced down by a Taliban fighter plane sparking the Airstan incident.

USAF and IAF airmen work inside the cockpit of an Indian Il-76. Indian Air Force IL-76 cockpit.JPG
USAF and IAF airmen work inside the cockpit of an Indian Il-76.

In 2004, a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Il-76 carried out a flight mission in Afghanistan, and later in 2011, PLAAF Il-76s were sent to Libya to evacuate Chinese citizens. The two missions were the reported first steps of PLAAF developing long-range transportation capability. [18]

On 23 March 2007, a Transaviaexport Il-76 was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile while taking off from Mogadishu, Somalia. Everybody on board, seven crew and four passengers, was killed. [19]

Syrian Air Force Il-76s, operating as civil Syrianair aircraft, have been reportedly used to ship weapons, money, and other cargo from Russia and Iran to Syria, according to a defected Syrian military pilot. Since the start of the war, in April 2011 (and up to July 2012), around 20 military flights have been conducted to and from Tehran, via Iraqi airspace. Further information exposes that since around 2012, Syrian Il-76s have regularly flown to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport to fetch shipments of Syrian banknotes that have been useful to Bashar al-Assad's government to survive Western sanctions. [20] [21] [22]

On 14 June 2014, a Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 was shot down by ground fire from pro-Russian separatists while on approach to landing at Luhansk, resulting in the deaths of 40 soldiers and nine crew members on board. [23] [24] [25]

On 30 January 2017, an IL-76 firebomber of the Russian EMERCOM agency was deployed to Chile to assist firefighters. This assignment took 39 days. [26]

All Il-76 transport aircraft in service with the RF Aerospace Forces will receive anti-missile systems. The aircraft reconfiguration started in the spring of 2019. [27]

Variants

Prototypes and developmental variants

Il-76TD-90, Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines have larger diameter. 4K-AZ100, Neubrandenburg Airport, 2012-12-28 (41).jpg
Il-76TD-90, Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines have larger diameter.
Il-76TD-90 / Il-76MD-90
Engine upgrades to Perm PS-90s.
Il-76 firebomber
Firefighting aircraft to drop exploding capsules filled with fire retardant.
Il-76PSD
SAR version of Il-76MF
Il-96
Early development of convertible passenger/cargo aircraft, (project only, designation re-used later)
Il-150
proposed Beriev A-50 with Perm PS-90 engines.
Beriev A-60
Airborne laser weapon testbed. (Il-76 version 1A)

Special purpose / research variants

Ilyushin Il-76LL with PD-14 engine prototype under testing, 2015 Gromov Flight Test Institute Ilyushin Il-76LL with one Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine.jpg
Ilyushin Il-76LL with PD-14 engine prototype under testing, 2015
Il-76TD glass nose 008-Il-76TD-Candid-2007.jpg
Il-76TD glass nose
Ilyushin Il-76LL SKIP testbed, 1999 Beriev Be-976 (Il-76SKIP), Flight Research Institute AN0076932.jpg
Ilyushin Il-76LL SKIP testbed, 1999
Il-76LL
with reinforced wing (at least 3 aircraft) to be used as test-bed aeroplane for engine prototypes flight testing in Gromov Flight Research Institute.
Izdeliye-176
prototype Il-76PP.
Izdeliye-576
Izdeliye-676
Telemetry and communications relay aircraft, for use during trial programmes (prototype).
Izdeliye-776
Telemetry and communications relay aircraft, for use during trial programmes (prototype).
Izdeliye-976 ("SKIP", Il-976, or Il-76SK) [28] – (СКИП – Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Center)
Il-76/A-50 based Range Control and Missile tracking platform. Initially built to support Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile tests.
Izdeliye-1076
Special mission aircraft for unknown duties.
Izdeliye-1176
ELINT electronic intelligence aircraft, or Il-76-11

Military variants

Il-76MD-90A of the Russian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A with aurora and meteor.jpg
Il-76MD-90A of the Russian Air Force
Il-76MD GSh-23 tail guns Tail turret of Il-76MD 'RF-76743' (37078748876).jpg
Il-76MD GSh-23 tail guns
Il-76MD cargo cabin In Ilyushin Il-76MD.jpg
Il-76MD cargo cabin
Il-76-Tu160 tailplane transporter
One-off temporary conversion to support Tu-160 emergency modification programme.
Il-76D
('D' for "Desantnyi", Десантный – "Paratrooper transport") has a gun turret in the tail for defensive purposes.
Il-76K/Il-76MDK/Il-76MDK-II
Zero-g cosmonaut trainer (dlya podgotovki kosmonavtov), for Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center.
Il-76LL
Engine testbed, (ooniversahl'naya letayuschchaya laboratoriya).
Il-76M
Military transport version, (modifitseerovannyy – modified).
Il-76MD
Improved military transport version, (modifitseerovannyy Dahl'ny – modified, long-range).
Il-76MD Skal'pel-MT
Mobile Hospital
Il-76M / Il-76MD
Built without military equipment but designated as Ms and MDs (Gordon – 'Falsies')
Il-76MD-90
An Il-76MD with quieter and more economical Aviadvigatel PS-90 high-bypass turbofan engines.
Il-76MF
Stretched military version with a 6.6 m longer fuselage, PS-90A-76 engines, maximum takeoff weight of 210 tonnes and a lift capability of 60 tonnes. First flew in 1995, not built in series so far, [1] just built for Jordan.
Il-76PP
ECM aircraft, major problems with ECM equipment on the Izdeliye-176 only.
Il-76MD-M
Modernized Il-76MD for the Russian Air Force. [29] [30] [31]
Il-76MD-90A
An upgraded version with a new glass cockpit, upgraded avionics, new one-piece carbon-fibre wing, and Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 engines. It was also known as Il-476 while in development. [10] [32]
Il-76T/Il-76TD
Built as military aircraft but given civilian designations. (Gordon – 'Falsie')
Ilyushin Il-78/Il-78M/Il-78MD-90A
Aerial refuelling tanker.
Il-78 MKI
A customized version of the Il-78 developed for the Indian Air Force.
Il-82
Airborne Command Post/communications relay aircraft, (alternative designation – Il-76VKP-'version65S').
Il-84
Maritime Search and Rescue aircraft, (alternative designation – Il-76PS-poiskovo-spasahtel'nyy), not produced.
Beriev A-50/Beriev A-50M/Beriev A-50I/Beriev A-50E
Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft. Beriev given control over the program.
Beriev A-100
An AEW&C version of the Il-76MD-90A.

Civil variants

A commercial variant of the Ilyushin Il-76, loading cargo at Ali Air Base, Iraq Il-76 Iraq.jpg
A commercial variant of the Ilyushin Il-76, loading cargo at Ali Air Base, Iraq
An Il-76TD belonging to the IRGC, used as a firefighting aircraft Watertanker IL-76D of IRGC.jpg
An Il-76TD belonging to the IRGC, used as a firefighting aircraft
Il-76MGA
Initial Commercial freighter. (two prototypes and 12 production) equipped with Soloviev D-30 Turbofan engines. [33]
Il-76MD to Il-76TD conversions
Complete removal of military equipment, identified by crude cover over OBIGGS inlet in Starboard Sponson.
Il-76P / Il-76TP / Il-76TDP / Il-76MDP
Firefighting aircraft. The Il-76 waterbomber is a VAP-2 1.5-hour install/removal tanking kit conversion. The Il-76 can carry up to 13,000 U.S. gallons (49,000 liters) of water; 3.5 times the capacity of the C-130 Hercules. Since this kit can be installed on any Il-76, the designation Il-76TP, Il-76TDP are also used when those versions of the Il-76 are converted into waterbombers. The Il-76P was first unveiled in 1990.
Il-76T
('T' for Transport, Транспортный) unarmed civil cargo transport version. NATO code-name "Candid-A". It first flew on November 4, 1978.
Il-76TD
The civil equivalent of the Il-76MD, first flew in 1982, equipped with Soloviev D-30 Turbofan engines. [33]
Il-76TD-90
An Il-76TD with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines and a partial glass cockpit.
Il-76TD-90VD
An Il-76TD with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines and a partial glass cockpit. It was developed specially for Volga-Dnepr cargo company, which operates five aircraft as of 2021. [34]
Il-76TD-S
Civilian mobile Hospital, similar to Il-76MD Skal'pel-MT.
Il-76TF
Civil transport stretched version with Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines. It is the civil version of the Il-76MF (none produced).

Foreign variants

The A-50E/I Mainstay of the Indian Air Force Beriev A-50EI Mainstay2009.jpg
The A-50E/I Mainstay of the Indian Air Force
Beriev A-50E/I
For the Indian Air Force. Hosts Israeli Phalcon radar for AEW&C and Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines. [35]
Il-76MD tanker
Iraqi Air Force tanker conversions.
KJ-2000
Domestic Chinese airborne early warning and control conversion of Il-76, developed after A-50I was cancelled and currently in service with the armed forces of China.
CFTE engine testbed
The China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) currently operates a flying testbed converted from a Russian-made Il-76MD jet transport aircraft to serve as a flying testbed for future engine development programmes. The first engine to be tested on the aircraft is the WS-10A "Taihang" turbofan, currently being developed as the powerplant for China's indigenous J-10 and J-11 fighter aircraft. Il-76MD #76456, acquired by the AVIC 1 from Russia in the 1990s, is currently based at CFTE's flight test facility at Yanliang, Shaanxi Province.
Baghdad-1
Iraqi development with a radar mounted in the cargo hold enabling it to serve as AEW&C, used in the Iran–Iraq War.
Baghdad-2
Iraqi development (with French assistance) with fibreglass-reinforced plastic radome over the antenna of the Thomson-CSF Tiger G surveillance radar with a maximum detection range of 350 km (190 nmi; 220 mi). One was destroyed on the ground during the 1991 Persian Gulf War; two others were flown to Iran where they remained. [36] At least one went into service with the IRIAF. One aircraft crashed following a midair collision with a HESA Saeqeh fighter, during the annual Iranian military parade in Teheran. [37] It can be distinguished from the Beriev A-50 by having the Il-76 navigator windows in the nose, which the A-50 does not.

Operators

Present and ex-Il-76 operators (Red=military only. Green=civilian only. Blue=both.) World operators of the Il-76.png
Present and ex-Il-76 operators (Red=military only. Green=civilian only. Blue=both.)
Indian Air Force pilots walk away from their Il-76 medium cargo jet after landing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Indian Air Force IL-76.JPG
Indian Air Force pilots walk away from their Il-76 medium cargo jet after landing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
Il-76 of the Indian Air Force lands in Leh, Ladakh. Use your Ilyushin edit1.jpg
Il-76 of the Indian Air Force lands in Leh, Ladakh.
IAF IL-76 MD K2902 at Leh IAF IL-76 MD K2902 at Leh photographed by Sumita Roy.jpg
IAF IL-76 MD K2902 at Leh
Air Almaty Il-76T Air Almaty - IL-76T-001.jpg
Air Almaty Il-76T

Military and civil operators in 38 countries have operated 850+ Il-76 in large numbers. While Russia is the largest military operator of the Il-76, followed by Ukraine and India, Belarus' TransAVIAexport Airlines is the largest civilian operator.

Military

IL-76 lands on a dirt strip IL-76 lands on a dirt strip.png
IL-76 lands on a dirt strip
Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Flag of India.svg  India
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq
Flag of Libya.svg  Libya
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen

Civil

Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso

Former civil operators

Flag of Angola.svg  Angola
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  Democratic Republic of the Congo
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Republic of the Congo
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Laos.svg  Laos
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia
Flag of Libya.svg  Libya
Flag of Mali.svg  Mali
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan
Flag of Syria.svg  Syria
Ilyushin Il-76TD of Turkmenistan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 Turkmenistan Airlines Istanbul Sabiha.jpg
Ilyushin Il-76TD of Turkmenistan Airlines
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan
Loading BMD-1 in Ukrainian Air Force IL-76 Loading BMD-1 in IL-76.JPG
Loading BMD-1 in Ukrainian Air Force IL-76
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Flag of the United Nations.svg  United Nations
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen

Accidents

As of April 2018 a total of 80 Il-76 series aircraft have been written off in crashes and other incidents, [63] including the following:

Aircraft on display

Specifications (Il-76TD)

Ilyushin Il-76.svg

Data fromIlyushin, [84] Aviadvigatel, [85] Volga-Dnepr Airlines. [86]

General characteristics

92,000 kg (202,825 lb) Il-76MD/TD
104,000 kg (229,281 lb) Il-76MF/TF
170,000 kg (374,786 lb) Il-76M/T
190,000 kg (418,878 lb) Il-76MD/TD
210,000 kg (462,971 lb) Il-76MF/TF

Performance

5,000 km (3,107 mi) Il-76MD-90A / TD-90VD with 52,000 kg (114,640 lb) payload.
4,000 km (2,485 mi) Il-76M/T with 52,000 kg (114,640 lb) payload.
4,400 km (2,734 mi) Il-76MD/TD with 52,000 kg (114,640 lb) payload.
4,200 km (2,610 mi) Il-76MF/TF with 52,000 kg (114,640 lb) payload.

Armament

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

Related Research Articles

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The 2009 Iranian Air Force Il-76MD Adnan 2 accident of 22 September 2009 resulted in the destruction of Iran's only functional airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-76MD Adnan 2. Sources conflict on the cause of the loss, with some stating that there was a mid-air collision with an Iranian Air Force Northrop F-5E Tiger II or a HESA Saeqeh, and others stating that the rotodome detached from the aircraft, striking and removing the tailplane while the aircraft was maneuvering for an emergency landing following an engine fire.

Sun Way Flight 4412 2010 aviation accident

Sun Way Flight 4412 was an international scheduled cargo flight from Karachi, Pakistan, to Khartoum, Sudan. On 28 November 2010, the Ilyushin Il-76 operating the flight crashed while attempting to return to Karachi after one of the engines caught fire. Twelve people were killed in the crash: everyone on board the aircraft and four people on the ground.

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References

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  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Butowski, Piotr. Rosyjski kontrakt na Ił-76 i Ił-78 dla Chin. Lotnictwo nr. 1/2007, pp. 54–55 (in Polish)
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