Volga-Dnepr Group will commence commercial flights with its new generation IL-76TD-90VD cargo aircraft, re-establishing the freighter for worldwide operations including the major cargo transportation markets in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan, the Group’s President, Alexey Isaikin, announced at the ILA-2006 Air Show in Berlin.

The IL-76 is a unique cargo aircraft. In operation for over 30 years, it is one of the most successful and popular aircraft in the history of international air cargo. In total, more than 960 IL-76’s have been built. However, the enactment of Chapter 3 of the ICAO Chicago Convention in 2002 regarding ground noise level restrictions, apart from special exemptions, placed a ban on the use of the IL-76TD aircraft in Western Europe, North America, Australia and Japan.

The reintroduction of unrestricted international operations for the new IL-76 is the result of a four-year program launched in 2002 by Volga-Dnepr Group to upgrade the IL-76 by further improving its operating capability and ensuring conformance to the current and future regulatory requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Alexey Isaikin, President of Volga-Dnepr Group, said, ‘We are delighted that all of the commitment, hard work and investment that has been put into this important project since 2002 has resulted in the successful launch of the IL-76TD-90VD. This new aircraft is a welcome addition to Volga-Dnepr’s fleet. With its increased capacity to 50 tons and global operating capability, it will be an extremely popular aircraft for our customers all over the world.’

The agreement to begin the IL-76 modernization program was signed in 2003 and combined the joint commitment of Volga-Dnepr with the S.V. Ilyushin Aviation complex, Tashkent V.P. Chkalov Aviation-Industrial Association (TAPOiCh) and the Perm engine works.

In 2003, Volga-Dnepr began financing production of the first of two upgraded IL-76TD-90VD aircraft. In March 2005, the first IL-76TD-90VD aircraft being built at Tashkent’s TAPO aviation plant was fitted with PS-90A-76 engines produced by the Perm engine manufacturer. In August last year, the aircraft successfully performed its first test flight.

Volga-Dnepr Group’s first new-build IL-76TD-90VD freighter has now been given clearance to operate globally after the aircraft type was awarded a Chapter 4 noise certificate by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in January 2006. The certificate confirms that the new generation, 50 tonnes capacity aircraft complies with the requirements of AP-36 Aviation Rules for level 4 aircraft and standards of ICAO annex 16, Chapter 4.

Prime advantages of the new IL-76TD-90VD

  • Increased commercial payload to 50 tonnes
  • New PS-90A-76 engines conform to ICAO noise and emissions requirements
  • 15% less fuel burn than the previous version of the IL-76
  • Maximum operating range increased to 10,200 km
  • Up time increased to 500 hours
  • Crew reduced to four persons
  • New KUPOL-III-76M-VD digital integrated piloting/navigation system installed to ensure conformance with RNP-1 navigation accuracy requirements
  • TAWS terrain awareness & warning system installed
  • Airport/airfield elevation has been increased up to 3000m above sea level

To achieve safe and efficient loading of outsize and heavy cargoes, the freight compartment of the IL-76TD-90VD is equipped with two electric winches, each with a 3-tonne hauling capacity. There are also four electric hoists with 10-ton lifting capacity, which move on two rails along the entire length of the cargo compartment and 6m beyond the ramp threshold. It is possible to load cargoes through the cargo door into the maindeck of the aircraft directly from the ground or from a truck.

Volga-Dnepr has a licence for special purpose cargo handling equipment for the IL-76 aircraft, making it possib