Ulyanovsk region has started production flight tests of the Il-78M-90A convertible aircraft-tanker
The first Russian aircraft-tanker constructed at the Ulyanovsk enterprise AO "Aviastar-SP" performed a flight at the Ulyanovsk East airfield complex on 27 December. The event took place after land testing of systems and presentation of the aircraft to the customer.
“The aircraft factory has provided 516.7 million rubles into the consolidated budget of the Ulyanovsk region over 11 months of 2018. It is vital contribution to the regional economy, which shown by development of the region. Recently we together with the management of the enterprise have discussed the plans for 2019, and we concluded that the plant would increase the output considerably. In addition, they continue working on implementation of the state order”, - the Governor Sergey Morozov noted.
Tests of the aircraft-tanker will take place in Ulyanovsk at the Ulyanovsk East airfield complex and at PAO "Il" in Zhukovsky near Moscow. After the programme is completed, the plane is to undergo official tests.
Silt-78M-90A has a number of unique features. If necessary, the Il-78M-90A aircraft-tanker can be used as a cargo plane once it has been stripped of its fuselage fuel cells. In this case, the tanker becomes a military transport aircraft. Re-equipment is available at the home airfield.
The tanker has new generation PS-90A-76 engines. "They provide the plane with absolutely different performance qualities such as flying range and mission endurance, fuel consumption and reduced takeoff power rating", - explained Andrey Yurasov, Chief Designer of Il-76/Il-78. Completion of the development stage allowed to reduce the past-due debt to the Russian Defense Ministry significantly.
Another important advantage is the new wing, which is lighter, can take more fuel, is more technology-savvy and is designed for the increased take-off weight of the plane.
Il-78M-90A has had the onboard equipment almost completely replaced.
"Today the first production flight test was performed. The crew of PAO "Il" piloted the first Russian tanker. During the flight, we assessed stability and control of the plane, as well as performance capabilities all systems and equipment", - reported Yury Kapsha, Flight Test Director - Head of the AO "Aviastar-SP" flight-test center (FTC).
In the long term, Il-78M-90A will become the main aircraft-tanker for Russian long-range air force.