As Russia’s new Ilyushin Il-114-300 turboprop prepares for its maiden flight in 2020 we thought we would take a look at the United Aircraft Corporations (UAC) new regional airliner. Before we get into that, let’s first take a look at how the Ilyushin Il-114 first came about.
Originally, the Russian twin-engine turboprop airliner was intended to replace the 44-seat twin Antonov An-24 turboprop as a Russian regional airliner.
The Il-114 first flew in 1990 but the manufacturing process progressed slowly after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Il-114 was originally built in Uzbekistan
At the time, the aircraft was being manufactured in what is now the Republic of Uzbekistan in a factory in the capital Tashkent.
The Uzbek government decided that the aircraft factory would be better suited to manufacturing agricultural and car parts rather than planes, and suspended production of the Il-114 in 2012 having made just 20 aircraft.
The presentation of the new livery for the IL-114-300 first prototype, which to participate in future test and certification flights. pic.twitter.com/UwXUh22Hq0
— UAC Russia (@UAC_Russia_eng) December 31, 2019
Despite no longer being in production the Russian government still saw the plane as a vital part of the country’s infrastructure and decided to re-start the program with an updated Il-114-300 version of the older plane.
The objective behind the decision is to provide the Russian domestic air transport market with a modern Russian built aircraft.
The Il-114-300 is designed to compete with the ATR-72
Designed to accommodate between 52-64 passengers and up to seven tons of payload, Russia sees the Il-114-300 as a replacement for imported ATR-42s, ATR-72s and older An-24s and An-26s on domestic routes in Russia.
After having just recently rolled out the IL-114-300 from the paint shop, Ilyushin has revealed more details about the aircraft which it says is getting ready for its first flight towards the end of the year.
Powered by modern Russian built TV7-117ST-01 engines, the Il-114-300 will be able to deliver 3,100hp at takeoff and have the ability to increase that to 3,600hp if necessary.
More importantly, the IL-114-300s fuel burn is 500 kilos per hour, which is far better than a similar seating capacity ATR-72.
On top of that, the IL-114-300 has a much greater range with the ability to be able to fly 5,000 km a big selling point in a large country like Russia.
The French/Italian built ATR-72 in comparison has a maximum range of 3,600 kilometers some 1,400 kilometers less than the Ilyushin.
Ilyushin has said the company is currently looking at three passenger capacity’s for the plane with 64,52, and 50 all under consideration along with an increased luggage compartment.
Taking a look at the new Il-114-300 turboprop ahead of its flight certification tests, the turboprop’s livery features the manufacturer’s name on the fuselage (Ilyushin) the model number on the nose and a Russian flag on the vertical fin.
UAC is looking to build 12 aircraft per year
Currently, two of the Il-114-300s that will be used for testing are being built at RSK MiG facilities at Lukhovitsy near Moscow.
The UAC is targeting certification by 2022 and an initial production rate of 12 aircraft per year that it hopes to sell to Russian airlines and airlines in less developed countries.
The plane is designed to be able to operate on non-paved runways and can be fitted with ski and wheel landing gear that will enable the plane to fly in winter conditions north of the Arctic Circle.
Given the fact that there are still more than 100 old Antonov regional planes still operating in mainly the CIS and Africa and the fact the Il-114-300 is more fuel-efficient and has a longer range than the ATR-72, the new Ilyushin could be a winner.
What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.