Ilyushin IL-86

Ilyushin IL-86 – a wide-body passenger aircraft for medium-length lines, developed at the Design Bureau Ilyushin in the 1970s. The first wide-body Soviet airliner. A total of 106 units were issued.


The 1960s in the history of world transport can be noted as a decade of explosive growth in air transportation. The creation of new, fast airliners, the development of air networks, and the active spread of air travel among the population have become not only a symbol of progress but also a serious problem. At some point, there were so many different airliners in the sky that their escort in the air, ensuring safe takeoffs and landings, as well as airport services, were incredibly complicated. Such congestion in infrastructure turned into not only an inconvenience for passengers but also an increased risk of disasters.

The growth in the number of passengers could not be stopped, the only way to reduce the number of aircraft themselves is to increase their capacity. In addition, an increase in the number of passengers would reduce unit costs, which made the new aircraft quite attractive to customers.

The first this issue was addressed by aircraft manufacturers from the United States – the congestion of their airports, especially those that were nodes of the transatlantic routes, became critical. The result of active development in 1968-69 was completely new and huge at that time airliners McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, and Boeing 747.

The problem of airport congestion did not pass by the USSR either. Naturally, the Soviet representatives of transport organizations came to the same conclusion that their foreign counterparts – an increase in aircraft capacity. By 1967, Aeroflot submitted materials on its needs in the new aircraft, and a decision was made to begin development.

Initially, the Ilyushin Design Bureau was considering the possibility of creating an enlarged modification of its then flagship – IL-62. It was assumed that an extension of the fuselage by 6.8 meters would accommodate up to 250 passengers. However, the demand exceeded 250 seats, and a further increase in the narrow-body IL-62 worsened its characteristics and comfort.

It became clear that it was necessary to create a completely new – the first wide-body aircraft for the USSR.

Despite the huge number of innovations, the aircraft was created at a fast pace. The prototype IL-86 made a test flight on December 22, 1976. In the summer of 1977, he was first publicly presented at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget. The liner type certificate was received at the end of 1980 and a few days later made the first flight on the route Moscow – Tashkent.

The aircraft was mass-produced in the period from 1976 to 1997. By the end of the 1980s, as part of a thorough modernization, the IL-96 was created, which was supposed to replace the IL-86.


Structurally, the IL-86 is a classic, by modern standards, a wide-body airliner with a low wing low sweep wing, and four engines suspended on pylons under the wing. At the time of its creation, the IL-86 was the first wide-body passenger aircraft in the history of the USSR.

When working out the general view of the aircraft structure, it was decided to create a large passenger cabin with 9 seats in a row and two aisles. The diameter of the fuselage at the same time reached 6.08 meters.

Also, the passenger compartment volume was increased due to the placement of the main kitchen equipment on the premises on the lower deck.

The possibility of boarding and alighting passengers without airport equipment is provided by three retractable ramps. They are designed so that passengers can climb to the lower deck, leave their luggage there, and then climb the upper deck into the lounge for seating.

All these measures allowed the IL-86 to be put on the line rather quickly without the need for significant modernization of airports, procurement

Another challenge for designers was the characteristics of the airfield coating. It was necessary to make sure that the IL-86, with a maximum take-off weight of about 200 tons, could work with runways designed for a much lower load. To solve this problem, the main landing gear was made three-post, which allowed to distribute the load over a large area of ​​coverage. For example, the DC-10 and L-1011, which are close in mass, have two struts of the main landing gear.

The power plant of the IL-86 airliner – four NK-86 turbojet engines with thrust up to 13 ts each. These engines were the development of NK-8 engines, which were actively used on IL-62 and Tu-154 airliners.

The IL-86 was equipped with four hydraulic systems that provide duplication of the main systems with high reliability in flight.

The crew most often consisted of three people: commander, co-pilot, and flight engineer.


  • IL-86 is the basic and only mass-produced version.
  • IL-86V – a project of a medium-haul large-capacity aircraft (450 passengers per 3600-4000 km)
  • IL-86D is a long-range liner project. Based on it, the IL-96 was created.
  • IL-80/87 – air command post. It does not have most of the windows, equipped with a refueling system in the air and additional equipment for special tasks. Built 4 aircraft.


Before the collapse of the USSR, the only operator of the IL-86 was Aeroflot. In the 1990s, aircraft were owned by former monopoly squadrons. Aircraft were actively used on busy lines and in charter transportation to tourist resorts.

However, the international aviation market that opened for airlines gave access to the purchase of other aircraft. And the high operating costs and noise of IL-86 engines led to a decrease in its competitiveness. In the end, by the end of the 2000s, most aircraft were withdrawn from airline fleets. In 2011, commercial flights were fully completed.

At the moment, IL-86 in the modification of air command posts is used by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (4 aircraft).


  • Type Widebody mid-range airliner
  • Powerplant 4 X TRDD NK-86
  • Engine thrust 4 X 13 ts each
  • Passenger capacity 234 (3 classes)
  • 315 (2 classes)
  • 350 (1 class)
  • Practical ceiling 12,000 m
  • Range 3800 (maximum load)
  • 5000 (300 passengers)
  • 8200 (distillation)
  • Maximum take-off weight of 215 tons
  • Cruising speed 950 km / h
  • Wingspan 48.06 m
  • The wing area is 320 square meters. m
  • Length 59.94 m
  • Height 15.81 m
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.