The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on Wednesday that the Il-96-400M, a Russian-made wide-body long-range aircraft, has successfully completed its maiden flight. This modernized version of the Il-96-300, manufactured by the well-established Ilyushin aircraft company, boasts a fuselage extended by 9.35 meters, more powerful PS-90A1 engines, and a capacity to accommodate up to 370 passengers.
Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov praised the achievement, stating, “The first and successful flight of the modernized Il-96-400M is a demonstration of the highest level of competencies of domestic design bureaus and aircraft factories. The plane not only retained the high performance of the Il-96-300 but also received new operational and transport capabilities.” This accomplishment reinforces the capabilities and expertise of Russian aircraft manufacturers.
During the maiden flight, the Il-96-400M reached altitudes of up to 2,000 meters and had a duration of 26 minutes. The aircraft demonstrated its impressive speed, reaching up to 390 km per hour. Manturov emphasized that this aircraft incorporates cutting-edge flight navigation and radio communication equipment using Russian components, significantly enhancing flight safety and reliability. Furthermore, the aerodynamic layout, structures, and systems of the aircraft ensure optimal operational efficiency.
The development of the Il-96-400M quadjet was first announced by the UAC in 2017. As a higher-capacity variant of the widebody developed during the Soviet Union era, this jet features an elongated fuselage that enhances the overall spaciousness and appeal for operators. The state-owned company officially unveiled the Il-96-400M this June, highlighting its advanced features and advantages.
Russian authorities believe that the Il-96-400M plays a vital role in expanding Russia’s presence in the global aviation market. By offering an alternative to aircraft manufactured by Airbus or Boeing, Russia aims to compete with established players in the industry and strengthen its domestic aviation industry.
This successful maiden flight marks a significant milestone for the Russian aviation industry and showcases the country’s capabilities in aircraft design and manufacturing. The Il-96-400M’s improved performance, new operational capabilities, and efficient design make it an attractive option for airlines seeking long-range, wide-body aircraft. With ongoing technological advancements and investment in the aviation sector, Russia is set to establish itself as a key player in the global aviation market.
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