Ilyushin IL-96

Ilyushin IL-96 – a wide-body long-range aircraft, developed at the Design Bureau Ilyushin in the 1980s. The first wide-body long-haul liner in the history of aircraft manufacturing in the USSR and Russia. On the basis of IL-96 created Board number 1 of the President of the Russian Federation.


In 1976, the first Soviet wide-body passenger airliner Il-86 took off. With a capacity of up to 350 passengers and a large number of specially designed solutions, he could immediately transport a large number of people between many central and regional airports of the country. However, this aircraft also had drawbacks, the main of which was the range: when fully loaded, it flew 3,800 km, and with a standard one, with 300 passengers on board, 5,000 km. Therefore, the IL-86 was considered an aircraft for medium-range routes (by today’s standards: short-medium-haul airliner).

For long-distance flights, the narrow-body IL-62 was still used. He flew at sufficient distances but with a capacity of fewer than 200 people and rather modest comfort conditions did not meet the requirements of the time.

The government presented its requirements for the aircraft, which was supposed to solve this problem. The future car was supposed to fly at a speed of 850-900 km / h at a distance of 4000-11000 km. The load weight is up to 30 tons, and the capacity is close to IL-86 (300-350 passengers). At the same time, the aircraft had to take off and land on existing runways up to 3200 meters long.

In the design bureau of Ilyushin, already in the 1970s, work was launched to create a modification of the IL-86D (Dalniy) – capable of flying at distances of up to 9000 km. The changes were supposed to be minimal to save development costs. It was planned to increase the wing area, as well as to install new, more powerful NK-56 engines with a thrust of up to 18 ts. However, when developing the concept, it turned out that the use of promising materials, the processing of the structure, and the use of the latest solutions will significantly improve the characteristics of the aircraft. Also, it was decided to abandon the use of the NK-56 engine in favor of the PS-90, which was also supposed to be placed on the then-developed Tu-204. The difficulty was that the PS-90 was more efficient, but for its installation, it was necessary to create a new wing (the IL-86 had the wing and pylons too low and the PS-90 simply could not fit). All these changes yielded great returns, but this meant that the Ilyushin Design Bureau had to create a new aircraft only in general, continuing the construction of the IL-86. It was decided to do just that.

Work continued for many years. The prototype was manufactured at the design office in Moscow. In 1988, the aircraft underwent a rolling ceremony, and on September 27, 1988, the IL-96-300 prototype made its first flight. The liner made many test flights, including long distances. He received a certificate of airworthiness in 1992. The active operation began in 1993.


IL-96 is a classic four-engine wide-body airliner with a low-lying low sweep wing and four jet engines suspended under the wing. It was created based on the IL-86 and looks very close to it, however, it has many differences that make it practically a new aircraft.

The aircraft received a completely new wing of large elongation with more advanced aerodynamics and wingtips, installed for the first time. The dimensions of the wing also changed significantly. The span increased by 9.6 meters, the area increased from 320 to 350 m2. The wing sweep was reduced from 35 degrees on the IL-86 to 30 degrees on the IL-96. The average cruising speed, however, decreased from 950 to 870 km / h, however, the aerodynamically more advanced airliner became much more economical.

The horizontal tail of the IL-96 is the same as that of the IL-86, and the area of ​​the vertical tail has increased due to an increase in its height by 1.5 meters. The need to increase the area of ​​vertical tail is due to the requirement to ensure directional stability in case of failure of one engine.

The aircraft is equipped with PS-90A engines. It was decided to make these engines basic for the unified power plants Il-96 and Tu-204. With traction up to 16 ts, these engines are about 20% more economical than the NK-86 installed on the IL-86.

Together with savings on glider excellence and weight, the IL-96 has become the most efficient airliner of all created in the Ilyushin Design Bureau. In the niche of long-haul aircraft per passenger-kilometer, the fuel consumption of the IL-96 was half that of the IL-62M.

The IL-96-300 has a fuselage structurally close to the Il-86 fuselage. Therefore, externally, the planes seem almost the same. The fuselage diameter remained the same – 6.08 meters, however, the length was reduced by 5.23 meters. New solutions and materials have been introduced into the fuselage design, which has reduced its weight, increased resource, and aerodynamic quality.

The various layout of the passenger compartment provides a capacity of 235 to 300 people. The tight layout allows for 300 passengers. The layout for 235 seats includes 3 salons. It was also assumed an intermediate two-cabin layout for 262 passengers. The salon has a buffet counter and 8 toilets.

When creating the IL-96 in the Design Bureau, they abandoned the concept of “baggage with you”, as well as retractable gangways. In the 1980s, airport infrastructure was actively developing; the need for such systems was no longer obvious. And luggage space, stairs for passengers from deck to deck, and retractable ramps increased the mass of the aircraft and consumed quite a lot of internal space. Of the features of IL-86 on the new liner, there is a kitchen room located on the lower deck.

The vacant space of the lower deck was used according to a more classical scheme. The lower deck has 3 cargo compartments: 2 standard compartments for containers and a third for the transport of piece goods. Also, enlarged fuel tanks began to hold up to 150 tons (114 on the IL-86).

The IL-96 was equipped with the latest aerobatic and navigation system at that time, which simplified management and allowed to completely abandon the navigator (on the IL-86 the navigator often remained although technically it was permissible to fly without it). The cockpit is equipped with six displays on the radiation tubes. The aircraft is controlled using an electronic remote control system (EDSU).

The IL-96-300 chassis has undergone minimal modifications compared to the IL-86. Four-post chassis with front swivel rack. The use of three four-wheel from the pillars of the main support is dictated by the need to work with airfields with a coating that is not dense enough for heavy airliners.


Ilyushushintsy took into account the lesson of the small modernization potential of IL-86. When creating the IL-96, it was initially introduced the possibility of fairly strong structural changes at a minimal cost. Thanks to this, despite the small serialization, the liner received many modifications.

  • IL-96-300 is the base aircraft. The only aircraft commercially available and in operation.
  • IL-96-300PA / PU (M1) is a special modification designed for the transportation of Russian leaders, including the President. The aircraft has an increased flight range and is also equipped with several special systems that allow constant communication with civilian and military structures. Made 5 aircraft of this type.
  • IL-96M is the first aircraft created in international cooperation. Equipped with Collins equipment and Pratt & Whitney PW2337 engines. In 1997 received the FAA certificate. In 2009, it was disposed of.
  • IL-96T – cargo version of the IL-96M. One prototype was made. Made its first flight in 1997. Serially not produced.
  • IL-96MD – modification with two engines Pratt & Whitney PW4082 (from Boeing 777). Not issued.
  • IL-96MK is an aircraft with four NK-92 engines with a thrust of up to 20 ts. A prototype was created, later redone in the IL-96-400T.
  • IL-96-400 is an updated modification of IL-96M with installed PS-90A1 engines with a thrust of 17.4 ts and updated avionics. 2 aircraft are in storage and 2 more are in the fleet of the SLO “Russia” and as part of the Russian Aerospace Forces (modification of the Air Control Center).
  • IL-96-400T – cargo modification of IL-96-400. Are on modification or storage.
  • IL-96VKP – Air Command Post – version for replacing IL-86VKP.
  • IL-96-400T3 – modification of the strategic tanker. It has additional fuel tanks, allowing to transfer up to 65 tons of fuel to other aircraft.
  • IL-96-400M – a promising modification being developed in AK them. Ilyushin.


The aircraft has been manufactured since 1992 at the VASO aircraft plant in Voronezh. In total, for 2017, 30 aircraft of various modifications were produced (mainly Il-96-300). Of these, 12 fly as part of the Special Flight Squad “Russia” (SLO) (including several aircraft of the President of the Russian Federation), as well as the Cuban airline Cubana de Aviacion (including one aircraft for the President of Cuba).

In 2016, the Aviation Complex. Ilyushin announced the plan to create a new passenger modification of the IL-96-400M. The new project received support from the Government of the Russian Federation.

During the operation of the IL-96 several times, there were accidents and incidents. However, all these incidents did not end in air accidents and did not entail any casualties.


  • Type main passenger plane
  • Powerplant 4 X PS-90A for 16 ts each
  • Maximum number of passengers 237 (3 classes)
  • 263 (2 classes)
  • 300 (1 class)
  • Practical ceiling 12,000 m
  • Flight range 9,800 (maximum load)
  • Maximum take-off weight 216 t
  • Cruising speed 900 km / h
  • Wingspan 60.1 m
  • The wing area is 350 square meters. m
  • Length 55.3 m
  • Height 17.5 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.