Some Russian experts said in 2021 that Russia, instead of the long-range wide-body airliner CR929 jointly with the Chinese, needs a new domestic IL – 96-400M. Given the sanctions pressure from the West, which will not stop in the foreseeable future, the revival of the legend of the aviation industry in the Russian Federation may become a reality.
It should be noted that the Russian civil aviation industry has really begun to revive. The medium-range narrow-body MS-21 and the Sukhoi Superjet 100, replacing imports, began the development of regional and small-sized aviation aircraft, and less than two weeks ago the UAC officially presented the first completed flight prototype Il-96- 400M. This is a modernized version of the huge and most reliable passenger aircraft in the world – Il-96.Russian economist Konstantin Dvinsky drew his attention to this on June 20, who commented on what was happening on his Telegram channel.
The expert noted that today only three aircraft manufacturers in the world can build such planes (types of aircraft): Boeing, Airbus and Ilyushin. At the same time, the IL-96 is still produced in the Russian Federation for government agencies, on average one unit per year (19 units were built in 2003-2022). Then he made two points.
The first is the commercial efficiency of the Il-96. Our aircraft is equipped with four PS-90A engines, while foreign jumbo jets fly with two engines, which requires less fuel.
According to the expert, if the nuance of sanctions is removed, the choice of air carriers will not be in favor of Russian products, and subsidizing the operation by the state is a meaningless business. Undoubtedly, the government should help with aircraft development, mass production, affordable leasing and other related issues, but the product itself should be competitive and high-tech.
And here profile structures are developing a project for the transition of the IL – 96 from four engines to two. The first step is the appearance of a new version – IL – 96-400M on four engines. The second stage is the re-engining of the aircraft for two PD-35 high-thrust engines
However, the serial production of the PD-35 power unit is planned for 2027-2028. However, this is a normal period, since “the product has been in demand for half a century, passing only occasional updates”. When the modernized Il-96 acquires a few of the latest PD-35s, the problem of commercial efficiency will be solved by itself.
The second question is the capacity of the widebody market. Currently, Russian airlines operate 90 jumbo jets. However, this volume can be increased by building a number of directions. For example, Turkey
The expert believes that the IL-96 is convenient because it can travel long distances and carry about 400 passengers. Sometimes it is much more profitable to fly on such aircraft than on medium-haul. Also, don’t forget the export potential. The markets of Cuba, Venezuela and Iran will certainly need such aircraft. In the future, you can try to promote your products in the markets of BRICS countries (the club is growing), there may be buyers there, just get them interested.
Annual production of 5-7 units of IL – 96-400M on PD – 35 is quite a reasonable story. The main thing is that the project is not abandoned, and the development of the new Il – 96, as well as the PD – 35 engine, continues to be processed in an accelerated mode. If we miss the opportunity now, it will be impossible to revive the project in 10-15 years
Photos used: UAC
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