The Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) subsidiary of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has now assembled a wing centre section for the first prototype of the Ilyushin IL-114-300 twin-turboprop aircraft.
According to UAC, the section is to be delivered to the MiG factory at Lukhovitsy (Moscow region) in September, where final assembly of the aircraft is taking place. However, it is not clear whether the aircraft manufacturer will meet the schedule for the creation of the new regional aircraft.
A 2021 timetable for the supply of all parts for the IL-114-300 project was originally agreed by VASO and MiG in February 2019, with more than 40 per cent of the parts to be produced at Voronezh. Commenting on the release of the wing centre section, Nikolai Lysakov, VASO’s operational director, notes: “This is the first prototype unit [built] for the IL-114-300 construction programme, which includes the production of some important aircraft components – wing and empennage with devices including nacelles – at the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association.” UAC has however not specified the production dates for the remaining components of the IL-114.
In Soviet Union times the IL-114s were originally produced at an aircraft factory at Tashkent, in the now independent Republic of Uzbekistan. The only local operator of the type, Uzbekistan Airways, stopped using them in May last year.
Now, UAC is planning to assemble its updated IL-114-300 version in Russia, with the upgraded aircraft powered by TV7-117ST-01 engines. Three passenger capacity options of 64, 52 and 50 seats, with an increased luggage compartment, are under development. The IL-114-300 is expected to replace the vintage Soviet Antonov An-24/26s and western analogues, such as the ATR 42, ATR 72 and Bombardier Q400 in the fleets of Russia’s airlines.
It is not yet clear when the first IL-114-300 prototype will take to the air. In December 2018, Ivan Kabatov, the director of the IL-114 programme, assured that a demonstrator aircraft – based on the 1994-manufactured IL-114 with serial number 01-08 – would fly by May 31, 2019. In June, Yury Grudinin, the new Ilyushin chief executive told the RIA Novosti state newswire that it was planned to be in the sky by the end of this year.
The first Lukhovitsy-assembled IL-114-300 prototype should fly in November 2020, Ilya Tarasenko, chief executive of MiG, insisted two months ago. Although UAC has not clarified whether a delay to the demonstrator aircraft flight tests will eventually affect the timing of the upgraded type’s first flight.
Deliveries of the Russian-made IL-114-300s were initially scheduled for 2023, but at the Presidium of the State Council meeting chaired by Vladimir Putin in September 2018, the minister of Industry and trade Denis Manturov promised to launch aircraft sales in 2022.
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