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Ilyushin IL-86 (Camber)

Wide-Body Passenger Airliner


The Ilyushin IL-86, a product of the Soviet Cold War period, proved less successful than its Western wide-body airliner counterparts.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Ilyushin IL-86 (Camber) Wide-Body Passenger Airliner.  Entry last updated on 7/19/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Just prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country fielded its first four-engined wide-body jet airliner for short-to-medium routes (something of a competitor to the West's more successful Boeing Model 747 "Jumbo Jet"). This product - the relatively short-lived "IL-86" - emerged from the storied Soviet aero-concern of Ilyushin and represented a major national accomplishment - despite a prolonged developmental period and production totals reaching just 106 units (1976 to 1991). Despite this, the IL-86 still managed to find some marketplace value, even coming into use with the modern Russian Air Force (four examples under the "IL-86VKP" mark). All civilian market IL-86 airliners have been retired since 2011, these having operated with air carriers such as Aeroflot, Donavia, Kras Air, Siberia Airlines, and Xinjiang Airlines.

The IL-86 was known to NATO under the name of "Camber" and became the foundational airframe for the follow-up Ilyushin IL-96 of 1992 (30 produced). This aircraft is detailed elsewhere on this site.

Everything quality of the IL-86 was highly conventional: Its layout incorporated the flightdeck over a short nosecone assembly and the wing mainplanes were set along the lower sides of the tubular fuselage in the usual way. Under each mainplane member were a pair of podded engines. The undercarriage was of a non-conventional arrangement in that three main legs (as opposed to two) were used in conjunction with the twin-wheeled nose leg. The tail unit incorporated a single, large vertical fin with low-mounted horizontal planes.

Power to the design came from 4 x Kuznetsov NK-86 turbofan engines outputting 28,665lb of thrust. Typical cruising speeds reached 160 knots with a range out to 1,835 nautical miles and a rate-of-climb equal to 3,000 feet-per-minute.

The 255,000lb (empty) aircraft was crewed by three or four depending on operator and a flight crew of eleven could be carried. Total passenger seating could reach up to 350 persons while a mixed-class arrangement reduced this number to 320. Beyond its passenger-hauling capabilities, the aircraft could manage up to 565,035 cubic feet of cargo across three individual compartments. The maximum take-off weight was rated up to 460,000lb.

The aircraft became the subject of several championed - but ultimately unrealized - forms including Long-Range (LR) and High-Capacity (HC) versions. Additionally, one proposal was to cover re-engined (RB211-22 series turbofans) IL-86 airliners under the IL-86V designation.

Former operating nations included Armenia, China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine - all former Soviet-era states or allies.


YEAR: 1980
STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Ilyushin OKB - Soviet Union
LENGTH: 197.51 ft (60.2 m)
WIDTH: 157.64 ft (48.05 m)
HEIGHT: 51.44 ft (15.68 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 259,043 lb (117,500 kg)
MTOW: 478,403 lb (217,000 kg)
POWER: 4 x Kuznetsov NK-86 turbofan engines developing 28,665lb of thrust.
SPEED: 186 mph (300 kph; 162 kts)
CEILING: 40,026 feet (12,200 m; 7.58 miles)
RANGE: 2,485 miles (4,000 km; 2,160 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,000 ft/min (914 m/min)
OPERATORS: Armenia; China; Georgia; Kazakhstan; Pakistan; Russia; Soviet Union; Uzbekistan; Ukraine

Variants / Models

• IL-86 ("Camber") - Base Series Designation.
• IL-86D - Proposed long-range variant.
• IL-86V - Proposed high-capacity variant.
• IL-86V (II) - Proposed re-engined variant with RB211-22 series turbofans.
• IL-80 - Military Airborne Command Post variant for the Soviet (Russian) Air Force.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (186mph).

Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Ilyushin IL-86 (Camber)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (106)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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