The departing aircraft was the Il-96-300, built on the order of the special flight unit "Russia", the first of the two remaining operators in the world of this model.
We have recently (after the next Boeing catastrophe) talked about this plane. Today I will repeat a bit, for there seems to be a movement towards the revival of the production of this remarkable machine in all respects.
Still, a couple of words about stories, in order to refresh the memory.
The story is simple to impossible. IL-96 - the continuation and further development of the IL-86, our first domestic Airbus. For its creation, the Ilyushin Design Bureau once received a State Prize. And the plane was quite good, as, by the way, all Ilyushin Design Bureau passenger planes. And reliable, as evidenced by the fact that for all the time (albeit small) operation of 106 IL-86 and 29 IL-96 in accidents and catastrophes, which were few, not a single passenger died.
In the history of the aircraft, however, there was a nuance in relation to engines. The planned NK-56 had to be abandoned due to the overload of the Kuibyshev plant with military orders in favor of the Perm engine PS-90, which was obviously weaker. We had to significantly alter the airframe for this engine, which caused deterioration in flight characteristics, since the chief designer Novozhilov had to reduce the length of the fuselage, reduce the wing area and the passenger capacity of the aircraft.
The IL-96T transport variant was rescued by the appearance of the PS-90-2, but this happened much later. But IL-96T is in production since 2009, which, unfortunately, cannot be said about its passenger counterpart.
The fight against 86 and 96 did not begin yesterday. Many European countries suddenly closed their airports for our aircraft, citing the high level of noise. The Ilyushin Design Bureau did not sit with folded arms, and looked for ways to solve the problem. And found.
In 1991, the Ilyushin Design Bureau concluded a contract with British companies Pratt & Whitney, as a manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Collins, manufacturers of avionics.
The result was the appearance in the 1993 year IL-96M, which met all Western requirements. The plane could take on board the 435 passengers and carry them over a distance of 13 000 kilometers. And quite naturally, the aircraft was certified for flights, both in Russia and in Europe, and even the United States. Not a bad start, a wonderful prospect.
So what is next? And then the policy began. Then Boeing intervened, which was absolutely useless to the Russian rival. Only this, and the desire to seize the Russian aviation market, can explain the subsequent events.
The fact that the representatives of Boeing bought the whole government in bulk at that time, and Mr. Khristenko in particular, someone might not believe it. But the fact is that as soon as the production of the first IL-96-300 for Aeroflot began, our government "suddenly" cancels customs duties on foreign aircraft imported into Russia. Not all, but with a capacity of more than 300 people.
At the headquarters of "Boeing", probably, the day after that they drank to the health of our authorities. And then the 767-e went into the open gate and the European Airbus followed them. The Ilyushin Design Bureau and Vaso got not just a blow, it was actually a knockdown.
Here it is also necessary to tell about how the chaos did take place in those years. As our folk earned a penny to the detriment of the state (and us, by the way). In 2000, a leasing loan to Aeroflot in the amount of 219 million was allocated. For the purchase of 7 copies of the IL-96-300 and 10-ti Tu-204.
And here the Aeroflot plots showed themselves in all their glory. The result was a purchase on this money of six "Ilov" and ... four used "Boeing 767". Tu-204 "flew" in the truest sense of the word. Yes, the facts of these outrages were checked at various levels, but they did not bring results.
Well, and finished off the IL-96 in 2009 year, as I already wrote, the great figure Vitya Khristenko. He stated from his high chair that it was pointless to compete with the best aircraft manufacturers in the world, and production of useless planes should be stopped.
"Whew!" - said domestic airlines and rushed for kickbacks when buying a used Boeing and Airbus. And it is not surprising that in the 2014 year, Aeroflot quickly wrote off the remaining IL-96, which, by the way, could still fly and fly.
But why? After all, it is no secret that all the airport and technical services at our airports are aimed at Boeing and Airbus. It turns out that there is absolutely no need to train flight and technical personnel to fly and maintain domestic equipment. She's not here ...
It reminds, frankly, the old Soviet anecdote about caviar in the grocery store. It is not on sale, because no one asks.
And we, consumers, are often fed with absolute nonsense regarding our aircraft. Yes, we never learned how to make passenger cars, although we have been striving for this very much for 40 years already. But the planes, I'm sorry, we have always been on top.
Lie first. IL-96 consumes more fuel.
If you look at the numbers, then yes, more. But sorry, these 7-9% are not such a significant difference. Especially if you go to the item 2.
The second lie. Safety aircraft from the "best manufacturers."
It’s difficult to pass through numbers here, because yes, Boeing flies a lot more. And they wind up with enviable regularity. Elahs do not fall, but you can not say that they fly. IL-96 operates the squad "Russia" and the Cuban company "Cubana".
But statistics say that the Boeing-767 with its two engines in the event of a single failure - an aircraft mogil for everyone. That shows the same statistics. 23,8% disasters "Boeing" is caused by the failure of the engine. IL-96 is able to fly with two engines of four. Not the fact that it is normal, but will be able to sit down without sticking ten meters into the ground. And the Boeing?
The third lie. Boeing is cheaper to operate.
Advocates of the Boeing buying idea are preaching the idea that Boeing’s already 25% cheaper to operate. That is certainly nonsense, it's not even in numbers. And in where this money will go. Of course, it is better to send 100 thousand dollars to America, "Boeing", than to spend 118 thousand, leaving them in Russia. Without questions, of course, support the "Boeing" is very patriotic and profitable. The only question is - to whom?
The fourth lie. Boeing is cheaper to buy.
Oh yeah! Of course, the Boeing, which years 10-12, cheaper. But if you look at the official figures, the new 767 is worth 180 million dollars. Against 92 million in IL-96. Questions?
Even if it is more expensive in the service staff and for Il-96 fuel, three new IL-96 will be in any case more profitable than three shabby Boeing.
But this is not about economics at all. The point is in the accounts, which regularly receive bonuses and bonuses from overseas "partners." The fact is that all our air carriers are bought in the bud for the very green papers with portraits. And therefore, for these papers, they will fight for the Boeing case with the same fury as their grandfathers and great-grandfathers beat the same "partners" at the wheel of Ilovo. Not passenger.
It seems to be a sad picture. Yes, at Vaso today, as well as at Ilushin Design Bureau, it’s not that it’s not the best of times, I would say - probably it can’t be any worse. Nobody needs the mud, a joint project with the Antonov Design Bureau also rested for political reasons.
But, as sometimes happens in fairy tales, a kind magician suddenly appeared in a spotted helicopter.
Guess who it is? That's right, Shoigu. Who else?
The Ministry of Defense gives a chance for survival. Yes, not on a global scale, as it would be desirable, but quite a decent chance to preserve a unique plant and team. And to work for the good of the country.
The fact is that despite the final collapse of the IL-96 − 300, the “Ilyushins” did not surrender. And designed and built a new aircraft: IL-96-400. This miracle can accommodate not 300, but 435 passengers. PS-90А-1 engines allow you to fly with a maximum load of 10 000 km. By the way, the Cubans have already drawn in Voronezh, asked the price. But this is Cubans, what do they understand in airplanes? They are still on the IL-96-300 fly ...
But the point is not that. On the basis of the passenger aircraft was created transport, 96-400T. And so they became interested in our Ministry of Defense. More precisely, what is called IL-96-400TZ. Fuel servicing truck.
Until now, the tanker Il-78M, which is essentially the brainchild of Il-76, is in service with the VKS of Russia. It can move 40 tons of fuel over a distance of 3000 km. As a good indicator, IL-78 is used not only by Russia, but also by India, Pakistan, and China.
But the IL-96-400TZ can transport 65 tons per 3500 kilometers. Feel, as they say, the difference. Plus, new avionics, which, quite understandably, are three heads taller than what was developed in the 80s of the last century.
The Department of Defense even voiced the number in 30 tankers. And there is some hope that the neighbors will also decide to purchase such a machine in return for the IL-78M. Especially Indians who like to spend money on good things (“Rafali” doesn’t count).
By the way, IL-96 − 400ТЗ can be transformed into simple transport aircraft with a payload of 92 tons using simple operations. Which is also useful and practical. Two in one, scrap and mount included in the kit.
And as a bonus, the Ministry of Defense voiced a really awesome thing: there are plans to purchase 2024 passenger IL-14-96 or 300-96 before 400, too. Why so much is not entirely clear, but what's the difference?
You know, it looks like some kind of fairy tale with a happy ending. To knock - to beat off fingers, to spit - to spit up the district if only not to jinx it. Such a development of the plot after the collapse of the program for 96-300 and An-148, there has been more than an improvement in the situation. Light at the end of the tunnel, if you want.
Based on the above, we decided that it would be quite good to get to the plant in order to familiarize ourselves with the situation on the spot. And sent a request for accreditation. So we are waiting for the results, and it is quite possible that we will have to familiarize everyone with the situation first-hand.