Jan 2, 2015

First serial-production Il-76MD-90A airlifter makes maiden flight

The first serial-production Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A (Il-476) strategic transport aircraft has made its maiden flight at Aviastar-SP's Ulyanovsk aircraft factory, about 700 km east of Moscow.
Aircraft's engines, equipment, and general handling were evaluated during the flight.
The Russian Air Force is contracted to receive 39 of the upgraded Il-76MD-90A airlifters. It is understood to have a requirement for up to 100 of the upgraded tankers, as well as 38 Il-76MD-90A-derived Il-478 tankers.
Developed from the Soviet-era Il-76 'Candid', the Il-76MD-90A features a digital 'glass' cockpit as well as modernised flight, navigation, and communication systems.
The Il-76MD-90A development is part of a wider revamp of the VVS's airlift capabilities that should see it replace much of its current Soviet-era stock with new and improved platforms by about 2020.
The Il-76MDM upgrade process should increase the service life of 41 of the VVS's current Il-76MD fleet by a further 15 years, but at a third of the cost of buying brand new Il-76MD-90A aircraft.

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