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Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome)

Airborne Command Post (ACP)

Russia | 1992

"Four Ilyushin IL-80 Maxdome aircraft take on the Airborne Command Post role for the modern Russian Air Force today."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Ilyushin IL-80/IL-86VKP (NATO codename of "Maxdome") is an IL-86 four-engined, wide-body passenger airliner converted for specialized military service as an Airborne Command Post (ACP) / Command & Control (C2) aircraft. With the IL-86 developed in the early-to-mid-1970s, this mature airframe was selected for further development as a flying command post aircraft, resulting in the "Maxdome" offshoot. A first-flight involving a converted IL-86 airliner was had on March 5th, 1987 with deliveries following in 1988. Service introduction was unavoidably derailed by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 which led to official series introduction in 1992. Just four total aircraft were procured by the newly-minted Russian Air Force and this aging fleet continues in service today (2019).

The primary purpose of this IL-86 offshoot has been to support Russian governmental operations in the event of all-out war - namely nuclear war. This platform, therefore, is designed to keep high-ranking Russian personnel (including national leaders) out of harm's way, providing a "flying headquarters" of sorts while the situation on the ground is assessed and reacted to. In this fashion, the IL-80 is intended to operate along similar lines to the American's Boeing E-4B "Advanced Airborne Command Post" aircraft brought along by Boeing in 1974, these four examples built atop the framework of the classic Boeing Model 747 "Jumbo Jet" airliner.

A chief identifying feature of Maxdome is the rectangular protrusion seen along the dorsal line of the fuselage just above (and aft) of the flightdeck. This contains a powerful SATellite COMmunications (SATCOM) fit. Also along the dorsal line are a series of antennas running from the flightdeck to midships. The nose section sees a fuel probe fitted to help keep the aircraft in the air for considerable periods of time (via aerial refueling).

The four IL-80 aircraft in the Russian Air Force inventory (though only three are thought to be operational) are operated by the 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division out of Chkalovsky Airport.

The Maxdome series is set to be succeeded by a newer design being developed atop the IL-96 (IL-96-400) framework. The IL-96 airliner is considerably more modern and provides broadened performance capabilities.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome) Airborne Command Post (ACP).
4 x Kuznetsov NK-86 turbofan engines developing 28,665lb of thrust.
186 mph
300 kph | 162 kts
Max Speed
40,026 ft
12,200 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
2,485 miles
4,000 km | 2,160 nm
Operational Range
3,000 ft/min
914 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome) Airborne Command Post (ACP).
197.5 ft
60.20 m
O/A Length
157.6 ft
(48.05 m)
O/A Width
51.5 ft
(15.70 m)
O/A Height
264,555 lb
(120,000 kg)
Empty Weight
485,017 lb
(220,000 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome) family line.
IL-80 ("Maxdome") - Base Series Designation; four conversions from the IL-86 passenger wide-body airliner.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 4 Units

Contractor(s): Ilyushin OKB - Russia
National flag of Russia

[ Russia ]
Going Further...
The Ilyushin IL-80 (Maxdome) Airborne Command Post (ACP) appears in the following collections:
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