Ilyushin IL-96-400

IL-96-400 is a wide-body long-haul passenger airliner. It is a deeply modernized modification of the Il-96-300 base aircraft. An improved version of the IL-96-400M is being developed.

The Ilyushin residents created a new version based on the IL-96M, replacing foreign components with Russian ones. The IL-96-400 index was left to him, but it was a modernized car: the on-board systems were improved, and new, forced PS-90A1 engines with a thrust of up to 17.4 ts were installed under the wing (ordinary PS-90A with a thrust of 16 ts did not pull a heavier car). Attempts to sell the passenger version were unsuccessful, but the cargo version of the IL-96-400T was more successful: several aircraft were operated by Atlant-Soyuz and Polet airlines, but by 2017 both of them ceased to exist. One of the aircraft for Flight is being modified into the VKP version – an air command post. Also, the Ministry of Defense announced the purchase of a trial batch of IL-96-400 in the version of the tanker. There is information about a potentially large order for 30 aircraft in the future.

The main power plant of IL-96-300 is PS-90A engines with a thrust of up to 16 ts. The IL-96-400 is 20 tons heavier than its younger brother and is equipped with four PS-90A1 engines, the thrust of which reaches 17.4 ts each, to ensure the necessary flight characteristics. A very serious drawback of the PS-90A family of engines was always considered their rather low reliability and low maintainability. Often, the main problem with the commercial operation of the IL-96 was precisely its engines. Nevertheless, over the years, these engines have been brought to acceptable levels and PS-90A1, A2, A3 motors can already be considered acceptable. The versions of these engines are equipped with IL-76MD-90A, also known under the index Il-476.

Nevertheless, one thing is not a bad engine for military vehicles, the other is a fairly cheap and economical engine for a commercial airliner. PS-90 – was developed back in the 1980s and the cutting edge of modern progress can no longer be called. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when pronouncing the phrase “new Russian aircraft engine” is PD-14. PD-14 is the latest and most promising aircraft jet engine, which is being developed, first of all, for the medium-range airliner MS-21. Also, the leadership of the aviation industry relies on this engine in the long term. However, for all its merits, the engine has a drawback – with its thrust of 14 ts it is not powerful enough for installation on the Il-96-400M. The option of installing PD-14M is often discussed – a forced version of PD-14 with a draft of already 15.5 ts – it is made for promising, larger versions of the MS-21-400. However, this is not enough, even taking into account the possible reduction in liner mass due to less fuel or lighter materials.

The solution is PD-18 – an engine created based on PD-14. With a thrust of 18-20 ts, it is closest to what should be under the wing of the IL-96-400M. However, at the moment it is not known when this engine will be created and put into a series. Perhaps, given the modernization of the IL-96, the creation of this engine will be accelerated.

So for the IL-96-400M there are 3 modifications:

  • PS-90A1 – available but outdated
  • PD-14M – promising, but not powerful enough (the limits of effective forcing are unknown, it is possible to overclock it to 17-17.5 ts)
  • PD-18 is the most optimal option, but the timing of its creation is still unknown

The Wide-Body Long-Range Aircraft, also known as the CR929, is the project of a new wide-body long-range liner with a capacity of 250-300 seats. The plane is created jointly by the Russian UAC and the Chinese Comac.

It is assumed that this aircraft will appear in the mid-2020s. It will be equipped with optional engines of European or American production (Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney or General Electric), and then Russian PD-35 engines.

At first glance, it might seem that Russia is creating two long-haul liners at once, which is strange when taking into account the economic situation. However, it must be borne in mind that these aircraft belong to different market niches:

CR-929 holds 250-300 passengers, while the IL-96-400M holds from 330-435 passengers. That is, in the IL-96 line goes up a notch, CR-929 are different and complementary liners.


Also, by the end of the 2020s, when the CR-929 receives the PD-35, the same engine can become the basis of the power plant of the updated IL-96 – let’s call it conditionally – X.

This is the same version of the IL-96 with two engines, which has long been exaggerated in expert circles and the media.

Taking into account the experience of creating the CR919, the IL-96-X can get not only new engines but also a twin-engine scheme, an improved filling, and a new, black wing. Under such conditions, the IL-96 may not be quite a bad plane.


  • Type Widebody mid-range airliner
  • Powerplant 4 X PS-90A1 with a thrust of 17.4 ts each
  • Maximum number of passengers 315 (3 classes)
  • 386 (2 classes)
  • 435 (1 class)
  • Practical ceiling 12,000 m
  • Flight range 5,000 (maximum load)
  • 11 550 (IL-96-400T with 40 tons of cargo)
  • Maximum take-off weight 270 t
  • Cruising speed of 850 km / h
  • Wingspan 60.105 m
  • Wing area 350 m2
  • Length 63.94 m
  • Height 15.72 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.