ULYANOVSK, Russia: The first flying prototype of the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A airlifter has passed the initial phase of its factory tests with the Aviastar-SP airframer in Ulyanovsk and been ferried to Zhukovsky where Ilyushin’s test facility is, Aviastar-SP’s press office told TASS.
“En route from Ulyanovsk to Zhukovsky, the crew led by Honored Test Pilot, Hero of Russia Nikolai Kuimov fulfilled a six-hour-long test program with success. The crew commander said all systems had performed well, and, hence, the flying prototype was fit for further tests,” the Aviastar-SP’s spokeswoman told TASS.
According to Ilyushin Chief Designer Andrei Yurasov, the crew’s basic task was to test the quality and distance of communications gear and the terrain collision avoidance modes. According to Aviastar-SP, the first flying prototype of the Il-76MD-90A is ready for the second stage of its official tests that will be rather long – 12 to 18 months. The official test program is to be completed in 2018.
The manufacturer also added that the first flying example of the Il-76MD-90A had logged 38 sorties as part of the first phase of its official tests conducted by a joint Ilyushin-Defense Ministry crew. Emergency power modes were tested, including g-loads and a combination of the speed limit and g-load limit.
The crew also checked the operation of the Kupol-III-76M(A) flight and navigation system and the fuel system, autopilot and radio communications gear as well, flew with the maximum takeoff and landing weights and refined the techniques for aborted landing due to the failure of one or two engines. Aviastar-SP gave the first flying Il-96MD-90A a number of improvements to fix the issues revealed by the tests.
The Russian Defense Ministry and United Aircraft Corporation clinched the deal for 39 Il-76MD-90 airlifters and the latter are being made by Aviastar-SP in Ulyanovsk. Ilyushin developed the type. Ten aircraft are in various stages of completion at the moment.