Russia resumes Ilyushin Il-112V testing after 2-year break
The Ilyushin Il-112V light tactical transport aircraft successfully completed its second flight test at the Voronezh Aviation Plant aerodrome on March 30, 2021. “During the flight, the operating modes of the power plant, the stability and controllability of the aircraft, and the operation of its main systems were checked,” reported United Aircraft Corporation. “According to the crew, the flight mission was successfully completed.”
The 30-minute flight marks the resumption of the testing campaign for the plane, after two years of suspension.
The Il-112V is the first cargo plane entirely designed in Russia since the fall of the USSR. It is powered by two UEC Klimov TV-117ST with 3,600 horsepower. The engine is a derivative of the TV7-117V powering the Mi-38 military helicopter. It can carry up to 5 tonnes of cargo and be configured for airdrop, personnel transport and parachuting, and medical evacuation. The new twin-engine turboprop should eventually replace the Soviet-era An-24 and An-26 transport aircraft.
Il-112V program setbacks
Officially, tests were interrupted to allow for the renovation of the Voronezh Aviation Plant runway. However, the development of the Il-112V program has been encountering many setbacks and accumulating delays.
Ilyushin Aviation Complex was selected to develop the airlifter back in May 2003. After 8 years of research, the development was interrupted for the first time in 2011, as the first prototype was showing design flaws. In 2014, the program resumed and on March 30, 2019, the Il-112V took off for its maiden flight. However, the prototype was found to be over 500 kilograms too heavy. The redesign of certain parts of the plane and the use of composite materials led to a weight saving of almost 1,000 kilograms.
The Russian Aerospace Forces expect two prototypes of the Ilyushin Il-112V cargo plane in 2021, while the first production units should arrive two years later.
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