Photo: Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation
Putin expressed condolences to the relatives, payments will be made and so on. A criminal case has been opened, don’t understand who, but we’ll start with it.
The age-old Russian problem: who is to blame? The second part is somewhat more complicated, but we will also return to it a little later.
So, who is to blame for the tragedy that claimed the lives of the best test crew of the Ilyushin Design Bureau?
Today, the investigation puts forward the following versions for consideration: engine malfunction, crew error and multiple system failures.
I simply refuse to talk about the "mistake" of the crew, it was the best crew of the "Ila", these were the people who were able to tear this winged misunderstanding off the ground. Aces of the highest category. And we just have to remember their names.
Crew Commander, Chief Pilot "Ila", Honored Test Pilot of the Russian Federation, Hero of the Russian Federation Nikolai Kuimov. It was he who first tore off the Il-112V from the ground in March 2019.
Co-pilot, Honored Test Pilot of the Russian Federation Dmitry Komarov.
First class flight engineer Nikolai Khludeev. Also with Il-1V from the beginning of testing.
Yes, everyone has the right to make mistakes. I simply have no right to talk about mistakes addressed to the lost professionals and I will not do it.
But I think that you can talk about the mistakes of other people, thanks to which we have lost three excellent specialists.
Here are the facts:
The first flight of the Il-112V took place on March 30, 2019. After that, the plane was hidden in the hangar for two years for revision. Information has passed that the aircraft does not meet the technical specifications and has many defects. At "Ilyushin" they said that deviations from the technical specification are commonplace and the shortcomings will be eliminated.
The shortcomings were eliminated for two whole years. All this time, the Il-112V did not fly.
The second flight took place on the same day, March 30, but 2021. The flight lasted 30 minutes, according to the report of the crew commander, the flight task was completed. The tests continued.
On August 13, 2021, the Il-112V flew from Voronezh to Zhukovsky near Moscow to participate in the VII International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2021".
The question arises: who ordered to send the car, which made a little more than 10 flights, to show-off flights? The plane that existed in a single copy and was not even transferred to the military?
By the way, the Il-112V was listed as belonging in the register of experimental machines of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia.
What did this plane forget in Zhukovsky?
The eternal legacy of the USSR. How many lives were ruined in that country for the sake of "In commemoration of the next congress of the CPSU" or "For the next anniversary of the Great October Revolution", it is difficult to count, but it is possible.
Everything is the same here. It was very necessary that the unsuccessful (and this is a fact) and raw machine show something there at the ARMY-2021 forum. Apparently, there is absolutely nothing to boast about, they decided to throw an airplane into battle, which did not really fly.
But it was very necessary to show the world another "success". Not "Poseidon" with "Petrel" to drag, right?
As a result, they lost three wonderful people completely mediocre. Specialists in their field. Masters. Who can replace them, I do not know, I know one thing: had it not been for this criminal haste for the sake of showing off on the forum, perhaps everything would have happened differently.
At the same time, oddly enough it sounds, the "newest" Il-112V for 20 years of development is already somewhat outdated. The main complaints are about weight and engines, which are frankly weak for an aircraft of this class.
And this is not a secret at all, the former general designer of "IL" Nikolay Talikov criticized TV7-117 engines with might and main.
TV7-117 is a copied continuation of the Ukrainian TV3-117 produced by Motor Sich. But very rarely the copy was better than the original. This happened with TV7-117.
In April 2019, Talikov reported that the first flight of the Il-112V was accompanied by an automatic failure. If the left engine worked in the specified range, then the right one switched to hydromechanics and worked in a slightly lower speed mode.
Talikov is no longer the chief designer, but the right engine caught fire.
By the way, according to the statement of the chief designer of the UEC (United Engine Corporation) Stanislav Konashkov, the TV7-117ST-01 turboprop engines are still not completed testing and certification process. During the MAKS-2021 air show, Konashkov said that a huge amount of work is being done in the form of bench tests of the engine, but this is not at all like the operation of the engine directly in the aircraft.
What's the bottom line? As a result, the aircraft that had not been brought to flight condition and the engine that had not been tested ended up in the ARMII-2021 flight program. As part of the only prototype of the Il-112V, to which there were claims long before its first flight.
Probably, it was very necessary to interest potential buyers ...
Today, opinions in the comments of many media outlets are divided. There are people who believe that everything is fine. This is the usual routine work of testers, and there is nothing to argue here. The plane is needed by the army, therefore it must be tested at any cost, brought to condition and so on.
"We were told - we need height, and do not spare cartridges ..."
It is a pity that those who make such statements and write such comments will never sit at the controls of an airplane falling to the ground.
It is a pity that those who made the decision to show off on the forum will never be punished for their actions.
Today, there are two more Il-112Vs on the stocks of the Voronezh enterprise VASO. The Ministry of Defense says that testing of the aircraft will continue when these prototypes are completed.
It is clear that the army needs a transport plane to replace the outdated Ukrainian Anov. It's clear. This does not cause anything other than understanding the situation and hoping that the problems will be resolved over time.
But the testing and fine-tuning of aircraft should be dealt with exclusively by specialists. And only then, perhaps, when the specialists have done their job of fine-tuning the aircraft, then "effective managers" can think about how to show this aircraft to someone in order to fill their pockets.
And in no case is it the other way around.
In the meantime, we have another shame and another tragedy.
Bottom line: who is to blame? Those who sent a completely unprepared for flight car with under-tested engines on demonstration flights are to blame.
What to do: to exclude the slightest possibility of "effective managers" to influence the testing program of new technology in this way.
Interestingly, our Minister of Defense will be able to pull this?