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COLD WAR
MODERN AIRCRAFT


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.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/19/2019
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Specifications


Year: 1980
Status: Active, Limited Service
Manufacturer(s): Ilyushin OKB - Soviet Union
Production: 106
Capabilities: Transport; Commercial Market;
Crew: 4
Length: 197.51 ft (60.2 m)
Width: 157.64 ft (48.05 m)
Height: 51.44 ft (15.68 m)
Weight (Empty): 259,043 lb (117,500 kg)
Weight (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
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.






Armament



None.

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.
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