Russia’s newest military transport aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A, has completed an initial flight-test programme and has now returned to its maker Aviastar SP for subsequent modifications.
Conducted by the Ilyushin design bureau and the nation's defence ministry at the Zhukovsky flight research centre near Moscow, the early-stage evaluations consisted of 38 flights.
These focused in particular on the aircraft’s flightdeck display and navigation, fuel system, autopilot and radio communications, Aviastar says.
The aircraft’s absolute airspeed and g-limits were also tested, and the aircraft was flown at its maximum all-up weight of 210t and maximum landing weight of 170t. A procedure was also devised for a go-arounds with multiple engines out, Aviastar says.
The Ulyanovsk-based company says it will introduce additional equipment into the aircraft including communications systems, defensive aids and internal and external video cameras. The new systems will be validated in a second set of tests at Zhukovsky, which will include trials of the defensive flight systems and communications, as well as load delivery systems.
The Il-76-MD-90A is a heavily modernised version of the 1970s vintage Il-76, featuring a new wing, Aviadvigatel PS-90A high-bypass turbofan engines, strengthened undercarriage, an uprated two-man glass cockpit and avionics and a new navigation system.
Aviastar says the first production Il-76-MD-90A is in an advanced state of assembly, while the airframe of the second has also been built and is being fitted out with subsystems. A third airframe is under construction.
The first completed Il-76-MD-90A is due for delivery in 2014. Moscow ordered 39 of the transports last October in a $4.5 billion deal. Aviastar has previously said it hopes to sell the type to foreign military and civil customers.