Ilyushin Il-114-300, the new Russian regional turboprop, made its maiden flight on Wednesday at Zhukovsky airfield, the day after the MC-21-310 jet took off for the first time. The two aircraft are part of the country’s initiative to reduce reliance on Western planes.
According to UAC, the group that controls the main Russian aeronautical manufacturers, the first flight was performed by pilots Nikolai Kuimov, Dmitry Komarov and engineer Oleg Gryazeverviu and served to verify the operation of the turboprop engines and the controls and systems of the aircraft in flight.
“The first flight of the IL-114-300 is the result of the excellent work of tens of thousands of people – researchers, engineers, specialists – working in the design bureau and at the plants of the United Aircraft Corporation, at the enterprises of our suppliers and partners. The development of the new regional turboprop aircraft opens up new prospects for the Russian civil aircraft industry, “said Yury Slyusar, General Director of United Aircraft Corporation.
The Il-114-300 project is a revision of the turboprop launched by Ilyushin in the 1990s, but which had only 20 units produced. The new version, with advanced Klimov engines and avionics, has a capacity for 68 passengers, cruising speed of 500 km/h, service ceiling of 7,600 meters and a range of 1,400 km.
It was designed to be used in airports without infrastructure in order to serve inhospitable regions of Russia. To make this feature feasible, the aircraft has a retractable ladder and ground inspection accessible to maintenance personnel.
Unlike other more ambitious programs, the Il-114-300 is aimed at the Russian domestic market as an alternative to the popular ATR. Although it has no customers yet, the turboprop must receive orders through the Russian government.