Russian presidential aircraft
The Russian presidential aircraft are aircraft of the Russian presidential fleet used by the President of Russia and other government officials, the presidential fleet is operated by GTK Rossiya. As Russia is the largest country on Earth by land area, distances within Russia can be very long, and air travel is frequently needed for the President to travel across the country as well as internationally.
The main presidential aircraft is the four-engined, long-range, widebody Ilyushin Il-96-300PU, a highly modified Il-96, with the two last letters standing for "Command Point" in Russian. Four modified Il-96s have been used as presidential aircraft, the first one was used by the first President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin. In 2005, the second aircraft was used by President Vladimir Putin. In 2010, the third president, Dmitry Medvedev announced that he wanted to expand the presidential fleet with two more aircraft, manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Plant. Previously the president had used Ilyushin Il-62, Tupolev Tu-154, and Yakovlev Yak-40 aircraft.
The aircraft is a highly customized version of the standard Il-96, with extensive modifications for luxury and safety, including advanced communications systems.
Exterior and interior designs
The presidential aircraft uses the same color scheme as standard Rossiya aircraft, except for the use of the coat of arms of Russia or the Presidential Standard on the empennage instead of the standard flag of Russia.
The interiors of the aircraft are inspired by Russian art. In May 2002, it was reported that fittings used in the Russian presidential aircraft were manufactured in England, and that Vladimir Putin had personally inspected the ongoing work at the Voronezh plant while he was the Prime Minister.
In November 2007 it was reported that GTK Rossiya had chosen the Tupolev Tu-334 for the presidential aircraft. In May 2010, it was reported that the first new Russian airliner, the Sukhoi Superjet 100, could be used as the Russian presidential airplane in the future. However, the actual impact of these reports is unknown.