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Top Five Ilyushin Aircraft

The story of Russian aircraft manufacturer Ilyushin is one of success and innovation. These are the top five Ilyushin aircraft of all time.

5. Ilyushin DB-3

Ilyushin DB-3
Ilyushin DB-3

In the number five spot we’ve got the Ilyushin DB-3, a Soviet long-range bomber aircraft that took its first flight in 1935 and later went on to play a seminal role in World War II. The DB-3 is a twin-engined aircraft with a maximum speed of 439km per hour and a range of 3,800km. The aircraft has space for three crew members and is fitted with three machine guns, one cannon and up to 2,500 kg of explosives. Prior to World War II, Russia sold 30 DB-3 aircraft to the Chinese Air Force as part of the Second Sino-Japanese War, fought between Japan and China from 1937 to 1945. On August 8, 1941, during World War II, 15 DB-3T torpedo bombers from the Russian navy fleet dropped the first Soviet bombs on Berlin. DB-3 were also supplied to the Finnish Air Force and Germany during the war, with a total of 1,528 Ilyushin DB-3 aircraft being built.

4. Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik

Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik fighter aircraft used in World War II
Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik fighter aircraft used in World War II

The Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik is notable for being produced more times than any other military aircraft in history, with 36,183 produced during World War II. IL-2 Sturmovik is a ground-attack aircraft that took its first flight in 1939, later being introduced in 1941. Built with a single engine, the propeller-driven IL-2 has a maximum speed of 414km per hour and a range of 720km. The original design had space for two crew members and was usually fitted with two forward-facing cannons, two forward-facing machine guns and another machine gun in the rear cockpit. The IL-2 was loaded with 600kg of bombs and 12 rockets. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Tank’, the IL-2s role in the war was momentous, with Stalin likening the IL-2 fleet to air and bread for the Red Army. An essential part of the Soviet Air Force, IL-2s were also used by Poland, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia during the war.

3. Ilyushin IL-62, Kim Jong-Un’s favourite

Ilyushin IL-62, Kim Jong-Un’s favourite
Ilyushin IL-62, Kim Jong-Un’s favourite

Air Koya, the state-owned airline of North Korea, may only have a fleet of 15 aircraft, but it’s a small bounty for vintage aircraft fans, with a selection of Russian airliners dating back to the Cold War. The fleet includes the Ilyushin IL-62, which Kim Jong-Un is known to be very fond of. The aircraft was released in 1960 as the follow-up to the turboprop IL-18. When it was first flown in 1963, it was officially the world's largest jet airliner. One of the original long-range aircraft, the Ilyushin IL-62 successfully operated as a commercial airliner for over thirty years.The IL-86 and IL-96 preceded the IL-62, however as wide-bodied planes they are very different to the original slim-bodied Ilyushin IL-62. The four turbo engines, 230m³ load volume and payload of 40,000kg make this an excellent choice for cargo charter.

2. Ilyushin IL-62

Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft used for cargo charter
Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft used for cargo charter

The original Ilyushin IL-76 was launched in 1974, with the current IL-76T and IL76-TD, being released later with improved efficiency. With a payload of 48000kg and a total load volume of 180 m³ the IL-76T and IL76-TD aircraft have a smaller capacity than the IL-62, but can carry much heavier loads. For the transportation of cargo requiring a higher payload, the IL-76TF can carry up to 60000kg.

The IL-76TD-90VD was recently hired by the Canadian company Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation to carry out a major mining contract in Toronto. The production manager for Baffinland, John Dingwell, was quoted as saying that the Russian airliner is the only transport airliner that can handle large loads and that there was no suitable Canadian-owned alternative. The IL-76TD-90VD aircraft that was used on this project was released in 2007 and is one of the newest models, equipped with a semi-glass cockpit and impressive Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 engine. Air Charter Service has previously charted the IL-76 to transport cargo including two high cube containers of oil and gas industry materials from Italy to Saudi Arabia, Mi-8 MTV helicopters and a 30 ton control unit to Nigeria. We are proud to offer the Ilyushin IL-76T, IL76-TD and IL-76TF for cargo charter flights.

1. Ilyushin IL-96-400T

Ilyushin IL-96-400T
Ilyushin IL-96-400T

Taking pride of place at number one is the Ilyushin IL-96-400T, the ultimate cargo charter aircraft, which can carry up to 88,000kg with a 580 m³ load volume. The original IL-96 first flew in 1988 and was officially certified in 1992, with the first IL-96 starting service with Aeroflot a year later. The IL-96 is a long-haul wide-bodied aircraft with four engines. As the largest and most weight bearing of the Ilyushin cargo planes, the IL-96-400T is capable of carrying out the most difficult of cargo operations. Currently in development is the IL-96-400M, the passenger version of the IL-96-400T cargo aircraft, designed to carry up to 390 passengers, with the first flight due to take place in 2019. A cutting edge future airplane development project for the IL-96MK is being studied.

Charter an Ilyushin cargo plane

Air Charter Service were voted ‘Air Cargo Broker of the Year 2016’ at the ACW World Air Cargo Awards and have been a specialist in charter flights and outsized cargo transport for over 25 years. Contact us for information on arranging a cargo charter to anywhere in the world.



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