Ilyushin Il-18

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Rossiya Ilyushin Il-18.jpg
Operational Ilyushin Il-18 of Russia State Transport Company
Role Airliner
Designer Ilyushin
Built by Moscow Machinery Plant No. 30
First flight 4 July 1957
Status Out of production, in limited service
Primary users Aeroflot (Former)
Air Koryo
Rossiya (Former)
Produced 1959–1978
Number built 800+
Unit cost
$24,500,000 (2011 USD equivalent)
Variants Ilyushin Il-38

The Ilyushin Il-18 (NATO reporting name: Coot) is a large turboprop airliner that became one of the best known Soviet aircraft of its era as well as one of the most popular and durable, having first flown in 1957 and still being in civilian use 56 years later. The Il-18 was one of the world's principal airliners for several decades and was widely exported. Due to the aircraft's airframe durability, many achieved over 45,000 flight hours. The Il-18's successor was the long range Il-62 jet airliner.

Design and development[edit]

Two Soviet aircraft shared the designation Ilyushin Il-18. The first Il-18 was a propeller-driven airliner of 1946 but after a year of test flights that programme was abandoned.

In the early 1950s a need to replace older designs and increase the size of the Soviet civil transport fleet, a Soviet Council of Ministers directive was issued on 30 December 1955 to the chief designers Kuznetsov and Ivchenko to develop new turboprop engines and to Ilyushin and Antonov to design an aircraft to use these engines.[1] The two aircraft designs were developed as the Ilyushin Il-18 and the Antonov An-10 and the engine chosen was the Kuznetsov NK-4 rather than the Ivchenko AI-20.[1]

Aeroflot Il-18V at Prestwick Airport, 1960s

The Il-18 design had started in 1954 before the directive was issued and experience with the piston-engined Il-18 was used although the aircraft was a new design.[1] The design was for a four-engined low-wing monoplane with a circular pressurised fuselage and a conventional tail.[1] The forward retracting tricycle landing gear had four-wheels fitted on the main leg bogies, the main legs bogies rotated 90 degrees and retracted into the rear of the inboard engines.[1] A new feature at the time was the fitting of a weather radar in the nose and it was the first soviet airliner to have an automatic approach system.[1] The aircraft has two entry doors on the port-side before and after the wing and two overwing emergency exits on each side.[1]

The prototype SSSR-L5811 was rolled out in June 1957 and after ground-testing it began taxying test and high-speed runs on 1 July 1957.[1] On 4 July 1957 the prototype first flew from Khodynka.[1] On 10 July 1957 the aircraft was flown to Moscow-Vnukovo Airport to be presented to a soviet government commission, also present was the prototype Antonov An-10 and the Tupolev Tu-114.[1] The Il-18 type was formally named Moskva and this was painted on the fuselage, although the name was not used when the aircraft entered production.[1]

The Moscow Machinery Plant No. 30 located at Khodynka near where the Ilyushin design office and the prototype had been built was chosen to manufacture the aircraft.[2] During 1957 the plant began to reduce its production of the Ilyushin Il-14 and prepare to build the production aircraft designated IL-18A.[2] The Il-18A was only different from the prototype in minor details mainly internal configuration to increase the seating from 75 to 89.[2]

Malev Il-18 in Sweden, 1972

The first production aircraft were powered by the Kuznetsov NK-4 but the engines were plagued with problems so the Council of Ministers decreed in July 1958 that all production from November 1958 would use the Ivchenko AI-20 and earlier production would be re-engined.[2] Only 20 IL-18As were built before production changed to the improved Il-18B, this new variant had a higher-gross weight, the nose was re-designed with a larger radome which increased the length by 20 cm.[2] The first Il-18B flew on 30 September 1958 powered by the AI-20, a VIP variant was also built as the IL-18S for the Soviet Air Force.[2] From April 1961 a TG-18 Auxiliary Power Unit was fitted for ground starting rather than the bank of lead-acid batteries, some aircraft were modified to allow the APU to be run in flight.[2]

With experience of the earlier aircraft a further improvement was the Il-18V variant.[2] The Il-18V was structurally the same but the interior was re-designed including moving the galley and some minor system changes.[2] The first Il-18V appeared in December 1959 and was to continue into production until 1965 after 334 had been built.[2] Specialised variants of the aircraft also appeared including aircraft modified for flight calibration and a long-range polar variant.[2] Military variants also appeared including the anti-submarine Ilyushin Il-38.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Ilyushin Il-18D of TAROM at Manchester Airport in 1988

The first Il-18, equipped with NK-4 turboprop engines, flew on 4 July 1957. On 17 September 1958 the aircraft first flew with the new Ivchenko AI-20 engines. Vladimir Kokkinaki was the test pilot. Between 1958 and 1960 twenty-five world records were set by this aircraft, among them flight range and altitude records with various payloads. In 1958 the aircraft was awarded the Brussels World Fair Grand Prix. In April 1979 a monument was unveiled at Sheremetyevo airport to commemorate this remarkable aircraft.

Seventeen foreign air carriers acquired 125 Il-18 aircraft, seating 100-120 passengers. Il-18s are still in service in Siberia and the Middle East whilst a number of examples manufactured in the mid-1960s were still in civilian use in Africa and south Asia as at 2013.

An Il-18 (registration DDR-STD) belonging to Interflug and used as a transport by East German leaders, including Erich Honecker, has been converted into a static hotel suite in The Netherlands.[3]


An example at a museum in Borkheide, Germany
An Il-20 in 2008
Malev Il-18 in at an open air aircraft museum at the Budapest Ferihegy International Airport

Data from:OKB Ilyushin[4]

Designation of the sole prototype of the Il-18 family.
The original production model, equivalent to pre-production, powered by either Kuznetsov NK-4 or Ivchenko AI-20 turboprop engines. Circa 20 built.
First major production model, a medium-haul airliner that could seat 84 passengers.
Il-18 Combi
Il-18 aircraft modified to mixed passenger / cargo configuration
Similar to Il-18I, but equipped with an extra centre section fuel tank for increased range. The Il-18D is fitted with four 3,169 ekW (4,250 hp) Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines.
Il-18D communications relay
Three aircraft modified to provide communications relay between VIP aircraft and Government bodies.
Il-18D Pomor
A single Il-18D converted to a fisheries reconnaissance aircraft, (Pomor - person who lives by the sea)
Il-18D Salon
VIP version of the Il-18D
Two IL-18Ds modified as fishery reconnaissance aircraft for the Polar Institute of Oceanic Fishery and Oceanography, the modification mainly involved the fitment of specialised mission equipment. First flown in 1985 they were later modified back as standard Il-18Ds.
Similar to the Il-18I, but without the increased fuel capacity.
Il-18E Salon
VIP transport version of the Il-18E.
Aircraft converted to cargo configuration, (Gr - Groozovoy - cargo).
Several Il-18 aircraft modified to Gr standard with the addition of a pressurised side cargo door.
Equipped with more powerful Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines, producing 3,170 kW (4,250 shp). Seating increased to 122 passengers in an enlarged cabin gained by moving the aft pressure bulkhead rearwards by 1.64 m (5 ft).
(Letayuschchaya Laboratoriya - flying laboratory), one aircraft modified to be an anti-icing test-bed and an Il-18V used by the Czechoslovak flight test centre as an engine testbed.
Two IL-18Vs were modified as Telemetry Relay Aircraft to rocket and unmanned air vehicle trials.
VIP variant of Il-18B
This designation was given to civil and military cargo transport aircraft converted from Il-18A/B/V aircraft.
Il-18AT: Military transport/casevac version based on the Il-18A
Il-18BT: Military transport/casevac version based on the Il-18B
Il-18VT: Military transport/casevac version based on the Il-18V
One IL-18T was modified as a military transport variant to take either 69 stretcher cases or 118 paratroopers. Not wanted by the military it was converted to IL-18D standard.
One IL-18V was modified as a navigator trainer including two dorsal astro-sextant windows. Although it was tested and found acceptable the Soviet Air Force used a variant of the twin-jet Tupolev Tu-124 instead.
Standard Aeroflot version, which entered service in 1961. The Il-18V was powered by four Ivchenko AI-20K turboprop engines, seating 90-100 passengers.
Il-18V Salon
VIP version of the Il-18V
a single Il-18V modified for Polyarnaya Aviahtsiya - Polar Aviation use.
a single Il-18V modified for Polyarnaya Aviahtsiya - Polar Aviation use with an auxiliary fuel tank in the cabin, revised window layout and enlarged oil tanks on the engines, covered by protruding fairings on the engine nacelles (sometimes referred to as the Il-18D, before the real D model emerged).
Il-18V calibrator
a single Il-18V operated by Interflug for navaid calibration.
Il-20M Coot-A
ELINT electronic, radar reconnaissance version. Also known as the Il-18D-36 Bizon.
Four Telemetry and Communications Relay aircraft used to support the Soviet space activities, later replaced by a variant of the IL-76.
Il-22 Coot-B
Airborne command post version.
Same as the Il-22 but had new mission equipment.
Two Il-18Ds modified for ice reconnaissance similar to the IL-20M but with civilian reconnaissance equipment, both later modified back to standard configuration and sold.
Maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare version.
Designation of a number of different test and research aircraft, normally had a letter suffix like SL-18D for avionics trials.
A proposed upgrade powered by two Lotarev D-236-T propfan engines.


IL-18 of North Korean national airline Air Koryo.
IL-18 of Rossiya Airlines.

Civil operators[edit]

Current operators:

 North Korea
  • NPP MIR - 1 in use

Former operators:

 People's Republic of China
 East Germany
  • Egyptair (formerly United Arab Airlines)
Il-18E of LOT Polish Airlines in Warsaw. (1990)
 Soviet Union
 Sri Lanka
 United Arab Emirates

Military operators[edit]

Current operators:

 North Korea

Former operators:

  • Government of Bulgaria
 East Germany
  • Government of Indonesia (Presidential aircraft)
 North Yemen
  • North Yemen Air Force
  • Government of Romania
 Soviet Union

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • May 7, 1958: A Soviet Air Force Il-18A (CCCP-L5821) crashed near Sheremetyevo Airport after an engine failed while on a test flight, killing all 10 on board in the first loss of an Il-18. The aircraft was operating for AKDON (Red Banner Special Task Aviation Division).
  • April 7, 1960: An Aeroflot Il-18A (CCCP-75648) crashed on landing at Koltsovo Airport while on a training flight due to crew error, killing one of five crew on board.
  • August 17, 1960: Aeroflot Flight 36, an Il-18B (CCCP-75705), exploded in mid-air and crashed near Kiev after an in-flight fire, killing all 34 passengers and crew on board.
  • December 3, 1960: An Aeroflot Il-18A (CCCP-75651) lost control and crashed near Ulyanovsk Airport while on a training flight due to possible wing icing, killing at least three on board.
  • March 28, 1961: ČSA Flight 511 crashed near Gräfenberg in West Germany. All 52 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • July 28, 1961: ČSA Flight 511, an Il-18V (OK-PAF), crashed near Casablanca, Morocco, killing all 72 on board; the cause was not determined, but weather may have been a factor.
  • December 17, 1961: Aeroflot Flight 245, an Il-18B (CCCP-75654), went into a dive and crashed near Chebotovka, Rostov after the flight engineer accidentally moved the flaps, killing all 59 passengers and crew on board.
  • December 31, 1961: An Aeroflot Il-18V (CCCP-75757) crashed near Mineralnye Vody Airport while attempting a go-around during a charter flight, killing 32 of 119 on board. The aircraft was one of two sent to pick up people who had been stranded at Tbilisi due to bad weather.
  • February 24, 1962: A TAROM Il-18V landed in the sea off Paphos, Cyprus, after all 4 engines failed, perhaps due to the fuel filters icing (see List of airline flights that required gliding).
  • November 23, 1962: Malev Hungarian Airlines Flight 355, an Il-18V (HA-MOD) stalled for reasons unknown and crashed near Le Bourget Airport, killing all 21 passengers and crew on board.
  • February 26, 1963: An Aeroflot Il-18V (CCCP-75732) force-landed on the ice of the Shelikhov Gulf near Bukhta Yemlinskaya due to double engine failure, killing all 10 passengers and crew on board; three initially survived the crash, but later died of hypothermia in the subzero temperatures.
  • March 5, 1963: Aeroflot Flight 191, an Il-18V (CCCP-75765), crashed short of the runway at Ashgabat Airport due to poor visibility caused by a dust storm, killing 16 of 55 on board.
  • April 4, 1963: Aeroflot Flight 25, an Il-18 (CCCP-75866), crashed near Urakhcha, Tatarstan after the pitch control mechanism on an engine malfunctioned, killing all 67 passengers and crew on board.
  • September 2, 1964: Aeroflot Flight 721, an Il-18V (CCCP-75531), struck a hillside near Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport after the crew descended too soon, killing 87 of 93 on board.
  • October 19, 1964: A Soviet Air Force Il-18V (CCCP-75568) struck Mount Avala while on approach to Beograd Airport, killing all 33 passengers and crew on board.
  • January 4, 1965: An Aeroflot Il-18B (CCCP-75685) operating as Flight 101 crashed short of the runway at Alma-Ata Airport in poor visibility, killing 64 of 103 on board.
  • November 22, 1966: Aeroflot Flight X-19, an Il-18B (CCCP-75665), left the runway and crashed on takeoff from Alma-Ata Airport, killing two of 68 on board.
  • November 24, 1966: TABSO Flight 101 crashed near Bratislava; killing all 82 passengers and crew on board; the cause was not determined, but crew error was blamed. The crash remains Slovakia's worst air disaster.
  • April 6, 1967: An Aeroflot Il-18V (CCCP-75563) was being ferried from Domodedovo Airport to Vnukovo Airport when it crashed on climbout, killing all eight crew on board.
  • September 5, 1967: ČSA Flight 523, an Il-18D (OK-WAI), crashed shortly after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Thirty-seven of the 69 passengers and crew aboard were killed; the cause was never determined.
  • November 16, 1967: Aeroflot Flight 2230, an Il-18V (CCCP-75538), lost control at 200 m and crashed on climbout from Koltsovo Airport after an engine fire, killing all 8 crew and 99 passengers.[7]
  • February 29, 1968: Aeroflot Flight 15, an Il-18D (CCCP-74252), broke apart at 10,000 feet and crashed near Parchum, Irkutsk due to a possible fuel leak and fire, killing 83 of 84 on board.
  • April 2, 1968: An Aeroflot Il-18V (CCCP-75526) struck power lines and crashed near Domodedovo Airport while on a training flight, killing all five crew on board.
  • September 3, 1968: A Bulair Il-18E (LZ-BEG) crashed near Bourgas Airport after the crew deviated from flight rules to attempt a visual approach in bad weather, killing 47 of 89 on board.
  • March 20, 1969: A United Arab Airlines Il-18 crashed while attempting to land at Aswan International Airport. One hundred of the 105 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • August 26, 1969: An Aeroflot Il-18B (CCCP-75708) landed on its belly at Vnukovo Airport after the crew forgot to lower the landing gear, killing 16 of 102 on board.
  • February 8, 1970: An Aeroflot Il-18V (CCCP-75798) struck a mountain en route to Samarkand from Tashkent, killing 92 of 106 on board.
  • December 31, 1970: Aeroflot Flight 3012, an Il-18V (CCCP-75773) crashed on climbout from Pulkovo Airport after the crew forgot to select the flaps before takeoff, killing six of 86 on board.
  • January 18, 1971: A Balkan Bulgarian Airlines Il-18D (LZ-BED) crashed on approach to Kloten Airport after the pilot attempted to correct the glide path, killing 45 of 47 on board.
  • August 28, 1971: A Malev Ilyushin Il-18 (HA-MOC) crashed into the sea near Copenhagen while executing an instrument approach. The main cause of the accident was a microburst, a particularly dangerous and unpredictable meteorological phenomenon. Twenty-three passengers and the crew of 9 died, two passengers survived. The captain of the plane was World War II flying ace of the Royal Hungarian Air Force, Dezső Szentgyörgyi, who was due to retire less than 3 weeks after the date of the accident.
  • July 28, 1976 - ČSA Flight 001 - During a flight from Prague Ruzyně Airport, the no.3 engine (aircraft engines are numbered from the outermost port engine) of a Czech Airlines Il-18 malfunctioned. Whilst shutting down the No.3 engine, the crew inadvertently shut down No.4 engine (which was on the same wing as engine 3). This caused the aircraft to veer to the right during the emergency landing at the M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava, crashing into the Zlaté Piesky lake, killing 70 passengers and 6 out of 9 crew members. Five crew members were saved right after the crash but two died later in hospital due to kerosene poisoning.[8]
  • December 24, 1982: CAAC Flight 2311, an Il-18B (B-202) burned out on the runway at Guangzhou-Baiyun Airport after a passenger's cigarette started a fire, killing 24 of 69 on board.
  • January 19, 1985: A Cubana de Aviación Il-18D (CU-T899) lost control and crashed near San José de los Rajas after the cargo shifted, killing all 38 passengers and crew on board.
  • January 18, 1988: China Southwest Airlines Flight 4146 crashed while on approach to Chongqing Airport in China. All 108 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • August 14, 1991: A Tarom Il-18V (YR-IMH) crashed near Uricani, Romania after the crew descended too soon, killing all nine passengers and crew on board.
  • November 15, 1992: An Aerocaribbean Il-18D (CU-T1270) struck Pico Isabel de Torres on approach to Puerto Plata, killing all 34 passengers and crew on board.
  • October 25, 2000: A Russian Air Force Il-18D (RA-74295) struck Mtirala mountain while on approach to Chorokh Airport due to crew and ATC errors, killing all 83 passengers and crew on board.
  • November 19, 2001: An IRS Aero Il-18V (RA-75840) crashed near Kalyazin after the elevator control system malfunctioned, killing all 27 passengers and crew on board.

Specifications (Il-18D)[edit]

Layout of Il-18

Data from OKB Ilyushin[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 9
  • Capacity: 65-120 passengers
  • Length: 35.9 m (117 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 37.4 m (122 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 10.165 m (33 ft 4 in)
  • Wing area: 140 m2 (1,500 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 35,000 kg (77,162 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 64,000 kg (141,096 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 30,000 l (6,599 imp gal)
  • Fuselage diameter: 3.5 m (11 ft)
  • Max. landing weight: 52,600 kg (115,963 lb)
  • Max. zero-fuel weight: 48,800 kg (107,586 lb)
  • Max. taxi weight : 64,500 kg (142,198 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Ivchenko AI-20M axial flow turboprop engines, 3,170 kW (4,250 hp) each
  • Propellers: 4-bladed AW-68 I constant speed feathering propellers, 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in) diameter
    • Auxiliary power unit: TG-16M (28 Volt DC)


  • Maximum speed: 675 km/h (419 mph; 364 kn)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.65
  • Cruising speed: 625 km/h (388 mph; 337 kn) at 8,000 m (26,247 ft)
  • Range: 6,500 km (4,039 mi; 3,510 nmi) with 6,500 kg (14,330 lb) payload, maximum fuel and reserves for one hour.
    • 3,700 km (2,299 mi) with 13,500 kg (29,762 lb) maximum payload, at 84 - 85% of maximum continuous power.
  • Service ceiling: 11,800 m (38,714 ft)
  • Approach minima: ICAO CAT 1 Decision Height 60 m (200 ft) / 800 m (Visibility) or 550 m RVR
  • Take-off run: 1,350 m (4,429 ft)
  • Landing run: 850 m (2,789 ft)


    • RPSN-2AMG: or RPSN-2N Emblema weather radar
    • NAS-1B: autonomous navigation system
      • DISS-1: doppler speed/drift sensor
      • ANU-1: autonomous navigation computer
    • Put'-4M: navigation system
    • KS-6G: compass system
    • DAK-DB: remote celestial compass
    • RSBN-2S Svod: SHORAN (Svod - Dome)
    • SP-50 Materik: ILS
    • RV-UM: radio altimeter
    • NI-50BM-1: navigation display
    • ARK-11:main and backup ADF (automatic direction finder)
    • RSB-5/1230: communications radio
    • RSIU-5 (R802G): command link radio, 2 of.
    • SR-2M Khrom: IFF transponder (Khrom - Chromium)
    • MSRP-12-96: flight data recorder

See also[edit]

Related development[edit]

Comparable aircraft[edit]

Related lists[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gordon and Komissarov 2004, pp. 7-9
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gordon and Komissarov 2004, pp. 13-49
  3. ^ The Local, 7th October 2011
  4. ^ a b Gordon, Yefim; Dmitry Komissarov (2004). OKB Ilyushin. Sergey Komissarov (1st ed.). Hinkley: Midland publishing. pp. 193–251. ISBN 1-85780-187-3. 
  5. ^ Michał Petrykowski, Samoloty Ił-18 Lufthansy, Lotnictwo Nr. 12/2009, p.20 (Polish)
  6. ^ AeroLOT Fleet history
  7. ^ Aviation Safety Network
  8. ^ [1]


  • Gordon, Yefim and Komissarov, Dmitry. Ilyushin Il-18/-20/-22 - A Versatile Turboprop Transport. Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-85780-157-1
  • Gordon, Yefim; Dmitry Komissarov (2004). OKB Ilyushin. Sergey Komissarov (1st ed.). Hinkley: Midland publishing. pp. 193–251. ISBN 1-85780-187-3. 

External links[edit]