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Ilyushin 1:144 IL-86 'Camber'(Russian: Илью́шин Ил-86)

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Ilyushin 1:144 IL-86 'Camber'(Russian: Илью́шин Ил-86)

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Ilyushin 1:144 IL-86 'Camber'(Russian: Илью́шин Ил-86)

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In the mid-1960s, the USA and Western Europe planned airliners seating twice the then-maximum of some 200 passengers. They were known as airbuses at the time. The Soviet leadership wanted to match them with an aerobus (Russian: аэробус). Alongside the propaganda motive, the USSR genuinely needed an aerobus. Aeroflot expected over 100 million passengers a year[3] within a decade (the 100th million annual passenger was indeed carried on 29 December 1976.)

First to respond was OKB-153, the bureau led by Oleg Antonov. It proposed a 724-seat version of the An-22 airlifter. The project was promoted until 1969, ultimately with a 605-passenger interior (383 on the upper deck and 223 on the lower). It did not go ahead due to fears that it would be old-fashioned and because the Kiev-based bureau was close to the deposed Nikita Khrushchev.


Many airports had terminals too small for "aerobuses". In the West, the solution to this involved constructing greater airport capacity. By contrast, Soviet aviation research institutes addressed ways of increasing passenger throughput without the need for additional airport capacity.

Many Soviet airports also had surfaces too weak for "aerobuses". The Soviet solution again favoured adapting aircraft to existing conditions, rather than reconstructing airports. The aerobus thus had to match the ground loadings of existing airliners. This called for complex multi-wheel landing gear.


The "Luggage at hand" system

The Soviet solution to the airport capacity issue involved passengers loading and unloading their own luggage into and from the aircraft. This was eventually called "the luggage at hand system" (Russian: "система «багаж с собой»"; transliterated: "sistyema bagazh s soboy"). Soviet aviation journalist Kim Bakshmi described it (at its ultimate) thus: "One arrives five minutes prior to departure, buys oneself a ticket on board the aircraft, hangs one's coat next to the seat and places one's bag or suitcase nearby.".

Taking suitcases into the cabin, as in trains, was studied, but necessitated a 3 m fuselage extension with a 350-seat capacity. To avoid this, passengers were to deposit their luggage in underfloor compartments as they entered the airliner.

Ideas similar to the "luggage at hand system" were briefly addressed in the West. Airbus studied such an arrangement in the mid-1970s,.[15] Lockheed implemented it into the L-1011 TriStar in 1973 at the request of Pacific Southwest Airlines (who used the baggage compartment as an entertainment lounge) and possibly also to suit potential Soviet buyers (see below).


Formal aerobus programme launch

In October 1967, the Soviet government approved a Ministry of Civil Aviation (Aeroflot) specification for an aerobus. This called for 350 seats and a range of 3,600 km (1,900 nmis) with a 40-tonne payload or 5,800 km/3,100 nmi with seats taken but no freight. The airliner had to operate from smaller airports (classified as Klass "B" and "V" [Russian: класс "Б", "В"] or "Class B/C" by the Soviets) 2,600 m (8,500 ft) runways.

In the second half of the 1960s, OKB-240 (as the Ilyushin bureau was formally known) was restoring positions lost (with Yakovlev, in favour of Tupolev and Antonov) during the Khrushchev era and was well placed to secure design of the aerobus. When the Soviet cabinet's defence industry committee promoted the Aeroflot specification on September 8, 1969 to a preliminary project, (Russian: аванпроект; transliterated: avanproyekt), it entrusted it to Ilyushin. The bureau received specific operational requirements for the aerobus on February 22, 1970.

In developing the concept which had been agreed, Ilyushin faced four challenges: configuration (layout or "shape"), powerplant, automation (avionics) and manufacturing capacity.




Configuration and wing

All-metal low-wing land monoplane with four wing-mounted jet engines.

Cantilever three-spar structure of modified trapezoid planform. Centre section integral with fuselage. Inboard sections, outboard sections and detachable leading and trailing edges. High-lift devices comprise full-span six-segment leading edge slats (contiguous at engine pylons) at up to 17.5% of chord (drooping to 35°), two-segment fixed-vane double-slotted trailing edge flaps occupying some 75% of the span (deploying to 40°) and five-segment spoilers (outboards used as spoilerons at high speeds, inboards used as lift dumpers on the ground). Two-segment outboard ailerons for low speed roll control. Boundary layer fences over pylons. Engines suspended from the wing on pylons act as anti-flutter weights. Trim range is 16–33% of mean aerodynamic chord.



Circular-section structure of frames and stringers with a continuous main deck and lower decks fore and aft of the centre section. Rectangular windows in most interframe bays, eight ICAO Type 1a passenger doors on the main deck and three more on the lower deck portside; two freight hold doors and a galley supply door on the lower deck starboard. The main deck houses the flightdeck, two wardrobes, eight toilets, two pantries and a three-section passenger cabin. The lower deck houses three entry vestibules/luggage stores with hydraulic boarding stairs to ground level and fixed stairs to the main deck, a midships galley linked with the main deck by an electric lift, two freight holds (fore and aft of the passenger facilities), an avionics bay and two technical bays. The entire accommodation is pressurised and air-conditioned with "earphones for music or on-board cinema."



Cantilevered trapezoid planform swept-back surfaces. Two-segment elevators and rudder. Tailplane area 96.5 m2 (1,039 ft2); incidence adjustable between 2° and 12° by electric motors commanded by yoke trim thumbwheels and console trim wheels. Fin area 56.06 m2 (603.4 ft2). Landing gear of near-conventional layout, with a twin-wheeled nose leg and three four-wheel bogie main gear legs (centreline and two outers). Track is 9.9 m (/32 ft 5.5 in).


Power plant

Four Kuznetsov NK-86 two-spool turbofans. Five-stage LP compressors, six-stage HP compressors, annular combustor cans, single-stage HP turbine, two-stage LP turbine. Cascade thrust reversers canted 15° from the horizontal. Pneumatic starters (airborne relights use the windmill effect). Forward-facing ejectors blow away detritus during taxi. International Standard Atmosphere hourly fuel consumption per engine is 7.7 t (16,975 lb) at maximum continuous rated thrust, 6 t/13,230 lb at nominal maximum thrust, 5.1 t (11,243 lb) at 85% thrust, 4.2 t/9260 lb at 70%, 3.6 t (7,937 lb) at 60%, 2.45 t (5,400 lb) at 40% and 1 t (2,205 lb) at idle. Overall hourly fuel consumption at long-range cruise and 190 t (419,000 lb) is 9.75 t (21,495 lb) reducing to 7.79 t (17,174 lb) at 140 t (308,650 lb). Outboard engine pylons on the latter two-thirds of all Il-86s are marginally extended to cut drag.

A VSU-10 APU generates power and heats/cools the interior on the ground, provides engine start air.



Hydraulically driven. An SAU-1T-2 automatic flight control system offers assisted manual or automatic flight, with no manual option. Four independent hydraulic systems power all flight controls and the built-in airstairs. Fluid is to the NGZh, rather than AMG, formula.



Pizhma-1 navigational system with OMEGA inputs. GPS transceivers and TCAS fitted retroactively during the 1990s. Pizhma-1 can be used throughout the flight from departure terminal area to landing and taxi to stand. Pizhma-1 has full-time roll and yaw dampers.

Airfield approach aids enable instrument landing system-coupled approaches to ICAO Category II weather minima.

Other radio aids include VOR and DME receivers, a weather radar, and Warsaw Pact identification aids. Cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders standard.

Four GT-40PCh6 engine generators. The APU or ground sources supply 200/115 V, 400 Hz current to the primary system or two secondary systems (36 V/400 Hz AC and 27 V DC). Consumers include high-lift devices, tailplane trim, deicing, galley lift (elevator) and interior services.


Service life

Twenty years (up to 25) or 10,000 landings (up to 20,000) or 30,000 flight hours (up to 35,000) prior to major servicing.


Operational history


An inaugural service from Moscow to Tashkent was flown on December 26, 1980 but services-proper commenced after February 1, 1981. Aeroflot first operated the Il-86 on peak domestic routes. Foreign services began in June 1981 to Eastern Europe. Services to larger West European cities began with the winter timetable starting in October that year. Charter flights to European points followed, with services on high-density medium/long-range routes within the Soviet Union coming last.


Long-range operations

Although the Il-86 was a medium-range airliner, from 1982 Aeroflot put it into scheduled service from Moscow to Havana via Shannon and Gander, "perhaps with limited payload or with additional tankerage." Other scheduled long-range services flown by the type were to Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Lima, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, all via Sal Island.


Post-Soviet operations

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, national airlines emerged in the 15 successor republics. Il-86s serving with Aeroflot administrations ("Directorates") in these nations accrued to their airlines and many were traded.

From April 2002, the European Union, the USA and much of the rest of the world banned noisier aircraft, including the Il-86. On October 23, 2006, Aeroflot Deputy Director General Igor Desyatnichenko said that the Il-86 was to be withdrawn from service starting November 15 that year as it operated for just two or three months in the summer."


Unused facilities

The Il-86's "luggage at hand" carry-on luggage facility was rarely used. Vul'fov (ibid.) notes: "Thank God no civil servant got it into his head to refuse the parallel opportunity offered to passengers of electing to drop their luggage when checking-in at airports. Otherwise, the loading of luggage into the aircraft by passengers would have turned into a proper nightmare lasting hours."

In 1987 Radio Moscow reported that Aeroflot "resisted the change" to a three-person crew. Vul'fov, A, ibid, reports that the type continued to be operated by four-member crews. Navigators, occupying the observer seat (devoid of instrumentation), stood unsecured on final approach to oversee the pilots' instruments and read-out indications (despite voice synthesizers being fitted). Soviet operations of the Tu-154 airliner similarly employed four or five flightdeck crew, despite foreign operators using three-person flightdeck crews.


Military operations

With its built-in stairs and below deck holds, the Il-86 was widely expected to serve in the personnel transport role with the Soviet air forces: "The wide-bodied Il-86 can perform not only as a troop transport ... but may also in the future form the basis for a command and control aircraft for airborne coordination of Warsaw Pact forces."

In the event, four airframes (c/n 042, 043, 046 and 048, carrying quasi-civil registrations SSSR-86146, '7, '8 and '9) were delivered to the 8th Special Purposes Aviation Division at the Chkalovsky air base near Moscow. These are variously claimed to be designated Il-80, Il-82, Il-87 or Il-86VKP (Russian: “ВКП” for “воздушный командный пост”; transliterated: "vozdushniy komandnyi post" “veh-kah-peh” and meaning "aerial command post"). This version has the NATO reporting name Maxdome.

Additional Information

Show on Homepage Diecast
Diecast Toy Manufacturer Dragon Wings
Manufacturer No
Country Soviet Union
Scale 1:144
Type Jet Aircraft
Series No
Color Multi-Colored