By Tom Zaitsev in Farnborough

Russia’s Iyushin Design Bureau has begun upgrading its Il-114 model in order to cash in on the rising demand for turboprop aircraft.

Four examples of the upgraded Il-114s are in commercial service with Vyborg Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways, which operate two of the type each. The aircraft are powered by Klimov TB7-117 and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines respectively.

“Both modifications have proved to be extremely efficient,” says Ilyushin Design Bureau director Viktor Livanov, citing their average fuel consumption of 450kg per hour (650l/h, 16.5lb/min), which he claims is the lowest among the comparable turboprop types.

“Still, there is a lot to improve on the aircraft to meet current customer requirements that are becoming increasingly demanding.”

After the Il-114 gained certification in the 1990s, Ilyushin developed a more efficient de-icing system for the type to make it more suitable for services in winter conditions.

The other key enhancements will be a modernised avionics system, introduction of an all composite fuselage, let alone interior design improvements.

“Overall, this amounts to a comprehensive upgrade of the Il-114,” says Livanov. “It already fares well compared with rival ATR and Dornier turboprops. We hope it will become even more competitive following the modernisation.”

Source: Flight Daily News