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Ilyushin's aircraft: a brief history and the present

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Ilyushin's aircraft: a brief history and the present
Ilyushin's aircraft: a brief history and the present

The founding date of the enterprise is January 13, 1933, when on the basis of the plant. Menzhinsky, an experimental design bureau was created under the leadership of S. V. Ilyushin. Several brigades involved in the creation of light aircraft were transferred to this design bureau from TsAGI.

At the same time, a lot of design bureaus of various kinds were formed, but only some of them managed to survive to this day. The aviation complex named after S. V. Ilyushin exists to this day. The name of the designer has long become a household name. Ilyushin's planes (pictured) decorate computer screens for many.

restored IL-2

Combat aircraft

In the context of the impending war, Ilyushin began to design military aircraft. First of all, these are long-range bombers DB-3 and DB-3F (later Il-4), which in the pre-war period became the basis of Soviet strike and naval torpedo aviation.

It was these planes that took part in the first bombing attack on the capital of the Third Reich in August 1941. The Germans did not expect an air attack so much that the blackout in Berlin was turned on only after the attack was already in fact.completed. After the bombing, the crews returned to the base without loss, flying for 7 hours.

However, it should be noted without exaggeration that Ilyushin's planes gained worldwide fame thanks to the Il-2 attack aircraft. Until now, the world record for the number of produced cars of this brand has not been broken - more than 41,000 in total. They, along with the Katyusha and the T-34 tank, are a symbol of victory in the Great Patriotic War.

German and American designers to create support for ground units took the path of dive bombers, which have practically no armor protection. The Ilyushin Il-2 aircraft, unlike them, had an armored capsule that protected the crew and vital structural elements from fire damage, and also used a different attack tactic.

For its survivability, the attack aircraft received various nicknames, including "flying tank", "concrete plane", and for its efficiency - "plague", "black death". It is clear that the last nicknames were given by enemy soldiers.

Of course, things were not so rosy. The IL-4 was extremely unstable in flight and did not forgive mistakes in piloting. The vast majority of the nearly 7,000 aircraft produced during the war were destroyed in battle or crashed in air crashes.

The first modifications of the Il-2 attack aircraft did not have protection in the rear hemisphere and became easy prey for German fighters. But we must remember that Ilyushin's aircraft were created in an extremely difficult time and were among the first in the Soviet aviation industry. Based on the experience of combat use, the design was promptly introducedcorresponding changes.

IL-38 in the air

Post-war aircraft for the army

After the war, the design bureau team led by S. V. Ilyushin began work on an experimental Il-22 jet bomber. Here, for the first time, a scheme for suspending engines under the wing on pylons was used. Subsequently, the results of this experimental work were embodied in the Il-28 front-line jet bomber, which was put into service.

In the future, the creation of bomber combat aircraft passed to the Tupolev company, and attack aircraft - to the Sukhoi company. But the Ilyushin Design Bureau also produced a number of experimental models, including the Il-102 jet attack aircraft, which did not go into production for various reasons.

Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft, jammers, repeaters and other special aviation equipment, as well as military transport vehicles were created in the design bureau for the country's Air Force.

IL-18 in the air

Civil aircraft

Back in 1943, when the war was in full swing, the Design Bureau began preparing the design of civil passenger airliners. The Il-12, designed to carry 30 passengers over a distance of up to 2,000 km, was the first-born among Ilyushin's civilian aircraft, which entered Aeroflot's regular lines as early as 1947. The aircraft was also actively used in polar aviation, had many modifications, including military transport.

In the year the war ended, the team began designing a 4-engine aircraft fortransportation of twice as many passengers over a distance of up to 5,000 km. The first flight was made in 1946, the machine was named Il-18. The latest flight and navigation equipment for those times was installed here, but the machine with piston engines did not enter the series. This Ilyushin aircraft (IL-18) was put into operation later, already with turboprop engines and became the first Soviet liner that was exported.

In the 60s of the last century, the second-generation aircraft Il-62 was created, designed to solve the problems of transporting a large number of passengers over intercontinental distances. Many innovative solutions were applied in its design. Twin engines according to the 2 x 2 scheme were located in the rear of the fuselage, a new undercarriage scheme with a retractable tail was developed, the swept wing received a stepped leading edge, which, in combination with a set of wing profiles, made it possible to achieve high controllability and stability of the machine in the air, and without complex automatic systems installed on analogues with the same arrangement of engines. This Ilyushin aircraft was the first to use the engine reverse system, which provides effective braking on slippery runways.

Later, to further increase the flight range, the Il-62M liner was developed, equipped with other engines and receiving an additional reserve of fuel in the caisson tank in the keel. All this made it possible to bring the maximum flight range to 12,000 km. For a long time, the aircraft was the flagship of the domestic civilfleet.

The passenger capacity of the Il-62 airliner was limited to 165 passengers, further increase was impossible, and the construction of airbuses, that is, wide-body aircraft, began in the world. The pioneer in this area in our country was Ilyushin Design Bureau. In a short time, the Il-86 airbus was created, capable of transporting 350 passengers over a distance of 3,600 km. It had a fuselage with a diameter of 6.08 meters and two aisles between the seats.

Given the above specialization, a new concept of "baggage with you" was applied here, although it did not exclude the classic method of checking in luggage and transporting it in containers. Its essence was that passengers independently placed their luggage on the lower deck and then climbed to the upper deck to their seats. In addition, the aircraft had built-in airstairs, allowing it to be used in various conditions and at any airport.

The second Airbus created by the company was the Il-96, which was supposed to replace the obsolete Il-62 and provide a longer flight range. Initially, it was supposed to take the Il-86 as the base of the new aircraft, but later it was decided that it was necessary to unify the engines for the new Tu-204 and Il-96 aircraft.

The PS-90 motor did not allow to leave the dimensions and wing of the IL-96 unchanged. As a result, the fuselage was shortened, and the wing area was reduced. The prototype was assembled directly in Moscow, on the territory of the Ilyushin company, and made its first flight in 1988. In total, only 29 of these machines were built, mass production was mastered in Voronezh. Most are operated inThe last Soviet development of this design bureau, the Il-114, a regional turboprop airliner that made its first flight on the day of the collapse of the USSR, had a similar fate.

IL-62 front

Military transport aircraft

In addition to the civilian theme, which became the main one for the design bureau, the Il-76 military transport aircraft was developed. It was the first aircraft of its class to be powered by turbojet engines and made its first flight in 1976.

The military, accustomed to the classic propeller-driven military transport aircraft of the An brand, at first strongly resisted the adoption of this aircraft into service. However, over time, the IL-76 has proven itself from the very best side, having received the affectionate name "Ilyusha" among the troops. Until now, it remains the main aircraft of the military transport aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

A large number of modifications were developed on the basis of the IL-76, designed to solve a variety of tasks. In addition to purely transport and military aircraft, the Il-78 tanker was developed, as well as the AWACS A-50, the machine was used for training cosmonauts in weightlessness, mastered the Arctic and Antarctic, and extinguished forest fires.


As a result of the collapse of the USSR, Russia was left without military transport aviation. Most of these machines were designed in Kyiv, and their serial production was established in different cities of Ukraine and Uzbekistan, even the Il-76 was produced in Tashkent. To remedy the situation, it was decided to launch the production of aircraft of the IL family atterritory of Russia.

The upgraded Il-76MD-90A made its first flight in 2014 from the Vostochny airfield in Ulyanovsk. In parallel with this, the problem of reproducing the tanker that took off in 2018 was solved.

In addition to modernization work, the design bureau is completing the design and preparing the first flight of the new Il-112V light military transport aircraft.

Of course, the staff of the Ilyushin firm is also involved in maintaining the airworthiness of operated aircraft, both in the country and abroad. They are being modernized.

model IL-112


The new aircraft of Ilyushin include, first of all, military transport aircraft. IL-276 layout options are being worked out. In the near future, it is planned to carry out research work to determine the appearance of Ilyushin's super-heavy transport aircraft, which should surpass the aging An-124.

Work is also underway to resume production of the Il-96, but in a new modification - the Il-96-400, close to the original appearance of this aircraft with a lengthened fuselage and new engines, as well as the regional Il-114, previously produced in Tashkent.

Plans have emerged with relevant organizations to develop reusable systems for low Earth orbit.

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