Ilyushin Il-96

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An Aeroflot Il-96-300 at Sheremetyevo International Airport in 2011
Role Widebody jet airliner
National origin USSR
Design group Ilyushin
Built by Voronezh Aircraft Production Association
First flight 28 September 1988; 35 years ago (1988-09-28)
Introduction 29 December 1992 with Aeroflot
Status In low-rate production; in service
Primary user Cubana
Produced 1992–present[1]
Number built 33 as of October 2023[2]
Developed from Ilyushin Il-86

The Ilyushin Il-96 (Russian: Илью́шин Ил-96) is a Russian four-engined jet long-haul wide-body airliner designed by Ilyushin in the former Soviet Union and manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association in Russia. It is powered by four high-bypass Aviadvigatel PS-90 two-shaft turbofan engines.

It is used as the main Russian presidential aircraft.


Inside an Ilyushin Il-96 operated by Cubana de Aviación

It was first flown in 1988 and certified in 1992. In June 2005, the Volga-Dnepr Group signed a 15-year financial agreement with Ilyushin Finance Corporation (IFC) to take delivery of two new-build Il-96-400T aircraft, to be operated by Volga-Dnepr's subsidiary AirBridge Cargo. The first was due to have been delivered in late 2006.[3]

The Cuban Government newspaper Granma announced on 3 January 2006 the first official flight of the Cubana Il-96-300, from Havana to Buenos Aires, Argentina.[4]

On 11 August 2009 Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko announced that manufacturing of the Il-96-300 would cease. In particular, the Il-96-300 had been deemed inferior to counterparts from Boeing and Airbus, and the manufacturer could not arrange commercially viable mass production, making only one aircraft per year.[5] The Il-96-400T cargo version was to remain in production.

On 9 October 2015, it was announced that an updated version of the Il-96 may be produced. This decision was taken due to the current diplomatic situation between Russia and the West, and the dependency of the Russian aerospace industry on Airbus and Boeing.[1] In September 2017, the Vice President of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation Aleksandr Tulyakov announced the start of development of the 250–280 seat, wide-body long-haul aircraft in partnership with Chinese builders.[citation needed] The aircraft is to be a development of the Russian-designed IL-96 and will be assembled in China. A new engineering center will be built in Russia to undertake technical and electronics production.

In March 2022, after International sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War, the CEO of Rostec Sergey Chemezov announced a large scale production relaunch of the Il-96.[6]


Cockpit of an Aeroflot Il-96-300

The Ilyushin Il-96 is a shortened, long-range, and advanced technology development of the Soviet Union's first widebody airliner, the Ilyushin Il-86. It features supercritical wings fitted with winglets, a glass cockpit, and a fly-by-wire control system. The basic Il-96-300 is equipped with modern Russian avionics integrating six multi-function colour LCD displays, inertial and satellite navigation systems, and a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (including mode "S"). It allows the airplane to be operated with two crew members. The avionics correspond to modern requirements on international routes in Europe and North America (RNP-1) and allow navigation and landing under ICAO CAT III/A conditions. The Il-96 is offered in three main variants: the Il-96-300, Il-96M/T and Il-96-400.[citation needed]

The Il-96-300 has a standard passenger capacity of 262 seats in a two-class configuration with 18 seats with a seat pitch of 54 inches (140 cm) and 244 seats with a pitch of 32 inches (81 cm), of which typical seating is 3–3–3 (layout), but low density seating is possible with 2–4–2 (layout). Galleys are positioned on the upper deck, and the lower deck can accommodate 18 LD-3 containers and crew rest areas.


There are two variants of the Il-96. The Il-96-300 was launched in 1985 with introduction into service in 1993. The Il-96M was launched in 1993 with introduction into service in 2000.


Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin Il-96-300

The Il-96-300 is the initial variant and is fitted with Aviadvigatel (Soloviev) PS-90A turbofans with a thrust rating of 16,000 kgf (157 kN, 35,300 lbf). Development started in the mid-80s while the first prototype flew on 28 September 1988. The first Il-96 entered service with Aeroflot in 1993.[citation needed] Range with 262 passengers and fuel reserves (for holding 75 minutes at an altitude of 450 m) in a two-class configuration is about 11,000 km (5,940 nmi), allowing flights from Moscow to US west coast cities, a great improvement over the Ilyushin Il-86.


A highly customized version of the Il-96-300, called the Il-96-300PU, is used as the primary aircraft in the Russian presidential aircraft fleet. Four were used by Russian president Vladimir Putin, and by Dmitry Medvedev as VIP planes. The VIP aircraft is operated by Russia State Transport Company.[7] The Cuban leadership use the IL-96-300.


There were plans to produce a variant dubbed Il-96-300V which would include two sets of airstairs in it.[8]


The Il-96M is a stretched variant of the Il-96-300. It features a 10 m (30 ft) fuselage stretch, is 15 tonnes (33,000 lb) heavier, is fitted with Western-style avionics, and is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW2337 engines with a thrust rating of 165 kN (37,000 lbf). Range with 312 passengers in a three-class configuration or 92 tonne (203,000 lb) payload is about 10,400 km (5,600 nmi). This turned it into a true—but vastly more capable—Il-86 successor. Development on the M/T variant stalled when the US Export–Import Bank suspended talks on financing the engines and avionics, following pressure from Boeing. The dispute was later settled following an Aeroflot order for ten Boeing 737-400s—placed in April 1997 in a deal worth US$440 million that were granted a tax exemption by the Russian government. Nevertheless, the financing was blocked again when four Boeing 767-300ERs also ordered by Aeroflot were not included in the accorded exemption. The deal was never realised.


This is the freighter version of the Il-96-400. It is powered by four Aviadvigatel PS-90A1 engines.[9]


Ilyushin Il-96-400VVIP
Ilyushin Il-96-400T

The Il-96-400 is similar to the Il-96M, but features Russian avionics and engines. It is powered by four Aviadvigatel PS-90A1 turbofans and can carry up to 436 passengers. Typical two-class configuration will have 386 passengers. Range with 315 passengers in a three-class configuration is about 10,000 km.[10] A special version, dubbed Il-96-400VT, was reported on Friday 19 March 2010 by the Wall Street Journal to bid on the US$40 billion Air Force Tanker Program contract.[11] In February 2013, Cubana signed a deal for the order of three 350-seater Ilyushin Il-96-400s.[12]


One modified Il-96-400, the Il-96-400VPU, nicknamed the "doomsday plane,"[citation needed] is being converted to serve as an Airborne Command Post by the Russian Aerospace Forces as part of "Project Zveno-3S" calling for two such aircraft to enter service to replace the current Il-80-based planes.[13]


In February 2017, it was announced that Russia's United Aircraft Corporation had signed a contract with its subsidiary Ilyushin Aviation Complex for the development of a new version of Ilyushin Il-96-400 wide-body passenger airliner to compete with the Boeing 777-9 and Airbus A350-1000. Il-96-400M is the passenger version of the Il-96-400T cargo aircraft. Its fuselage is 9.65 m longer than the existing Il-96-300 passenger variant. The new interior planned seating capacity is 390 passengers.[14][15] In 2017, the Russian Government injected ₽3.6 billion ($57.4 million) into the Ilyushin Il-96-400M.[16]

By January 2020, the first test-flight airframe was in final assembly and the wing and fuselage were joined, to be finished at the end of 2020 before a first flight in 2021,[17] but by April 2021 it was announced that the aircraft will not enter mass production as expected because of "lack of interest from the airlines and the worldwide idling of the long-range fleet due to the pandemic".[18] Still, due to sanctions, on 15 August 2022, it was announced that the first flight of the Il-96-400M was planned.[19] On 7 June 2023, the United Aircraft Corporation rolled out Russia's future wide-body passenger airliner. It made its first flight on 1 November 2023.[20][21][22]


In January 2015, a new tanker variant of the Il-96, designated the Il-96-400TZ (Russian: ТЗ for топливозаправщик - fuel replenisher), was proposed, with an initial order for two aircraft placed by the Russian Ministry of Defense.[23] The new tanker would have been able to transfer more than 65 tons (IL-78M 40 tons) of fuel at a distance of up to 3500 km (Il-78M 3000 km). Universal aviation refueling systems ORM-1, proven on existing combat aircraft tankers Il-78/78М, would have been installed on the aircraft.[24] According to Alexei Krivoruchko, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense, factory trials of the Il-96-400TZ are expected to be completed in May, 2020.[25] However this is previously cancelled due to differences between Russian MoD and Ilyushin,[26] and in favor of much proven Il-76MD-90A platform, which is the Il-78M-90A.


Projected freighter version of Il-96 with an enlarged fuselage to transport oversize cargo.


Projected double-deck version of Il-96 for 550-600 passengers and powered by Kuznetsov NK-93 propfan engines. Following flight tests in 2007 the engines were removed and the aircraft was not developed further.

Twin engine[edit]

As of 2018, Ilyushin is studying a new variant of airliner based on Il-96, powered by two Aviadvigatel PD-35s rated at 340 kN (76,000 lbf), developed by 2025 from the PD-14, or powered by foreign powerplants. The goal would be to reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs.[27]


Current operators[edit]

As of December 2016, current operators of the Ilyushin Il-96 are:[28]

Operator Aircraft Type In service On order Stored
Cuba Cubana de Aviación Il-96-300 4
Russia Ilyushin Il-96-300 1
Russia Rossiya (operated for the Government of Russia) Il-96-300 10 1
Russia Voronezh Aircraft Production Association Il-96-400T 2 4
Russia Russian Ministry of Defence Il-96-400TZ 1
Total 14 4 5

Production by year[edit]

The following sheet lists the number of finished aircraft per year since the start of its production:[29][30]

Year 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Prod 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 1
Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Prod 2 2 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1

Accidents and incidents[edit]

In the entire history of operation with the Il-96, there have been no accidents causing the deaths of passengers or crew.[citation needed]

  • In 2005, Russia indefinitely grounded Ilyushin Il-96-300 passenger aircraft after transport inspectors pointed out malfunctions in the jets’ braking systems. The decision came just weeks after a technical glitch in an Il-96-300 forced Russian President Vladimir Putin to fly in a back-up plane during a visit to Finland.[31]
  • On 3 June 2014, RA-96010 of Aeroflot, which had been retired from service, was damaged beyond economical repair in a fire while parked in storage at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow.[32]


side view
Data from Ilyushin Aviation Complex,[33] FAA Certification Document A54NM and Il-96-300 Pilot Manual
Variant Il-96-300 Il-96M Il-96T Il-96-400
Cockpit crew 3 2 2/3
Seats (3/2/1-class) 237/263/300 307/340/420 315/386/436
Cargo capacity 25 t 776  196 
LD3 capacity 16 32
Length 55.35 m (181 ft 7 in) 64.69 m (212 ft 3 in) 63.93 m (209 ft 9 in)
Wing 60.12 m (197 ft 3 in) span, 350 m2 (3767.9 ft²), 30° sweep
Fuselage 6.08 m (19.94 ft) diameter, 5.70 m (18.70 ft) cabin width[34]
Height 17.55 m (57 ft 7 in)
OEW 120.4 t (265,198 lb) 132.4 t (291,630 lb) 116.4 t (256,387 lb) 122.3 t (269,383 lb)
MTOW 250 t (551,000 lb) 270 t (595,000 lb) 270 t (594,713 lb) 265 t (583,700 lb)
Max. payload 40 t (88,105 lb) 58 t (127,753 lb) 92 t (202,643 lb) 58 t (127,753 lb)
Fuel capacity 152,620 l (40,322 US gal)
Engines (×4) Aviadvigatel PS-90A[a] PW2037 PW2337 or PS-90A1 PS-90A1[b]
Thrust (×4) 156.9 kN (35,242 lbf) 170.1 kN (38,250 lbf) 166.8 kN (37,500 lbf) 170.7 kN (38,326 lbf)
Cruise 0.78–0.84 Mach / 850–870 km/h / 459–469 kn TAS; 13,100 m (43,000 ft) Ceiling
Range 10,000 km (5,400 nmi)[c][36] 11,482 km (6,195 nmi)[d][37] 9,700 km (5,237 nmi)[e][37] 10,000 km (5,400 nmi)[f][38]
Takeoff run (MTOW) 2,340 m (7,677 ft) 3,000 m (9,843 ft) 2,700 m (8,858 ft) 2,700 m (8,858 ft)
Landing run 860 m (2,821 ft) 1,800 m (5,906 ft) 1,650 m (5,511 ft) 1,650 m (5,511 ft)
  1. ^ All the PS-90A turbofan can be upgraded to the new PS-90A2 version, with the latest generation FADEC of western design and many other improvements. The maintenance costs are reduced by 40%. The fuel consumption (SFC) of this version is equivalent to current Western turbofans. PS-90A2 variant meets the ETOPS-180 rules, ICAO-4 and AP-33 (equivalent to FAR-33/JAR-33). The maximum thrust is 16,000 kg or 18,000 kg.[35]
  2. ^ Ilyushin has not ruled out the possibility to install other engines (PW, RR, or CFM), depending on the number of requests from customers.
  3. ^ 30 tonne payload
  4. ^ 30 tonne payload
  5. ^ 58 tonne payload
  6. ^ 315 passengers


PS-90A engine

The airplane has the following systems installed, providing compliance with ICAO recommendations and Eurocontrol requirements:

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


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  3. ^ "Volga–Dnepr Group signs up for two new Il-96-400T aircraft". VOLGA-DNEPR GROUP. 27 March 2005. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
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  5. ^ Kolobkov, Sergei (August 11, 2009). "The short-lived Il-96-300" (in Russian). RBC Daily. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
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  14. ^ Insider, Russian Aviation (14 February 2017). "Improved Ilyushin Il-96 airliner to fly in 2019—Russian aviation news". Retrieved 26 January 2019.
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  16. ^ Vladimir Karnozov (July 9, 2018). "Kremlin Boosts Effort toward 'Indigenization' of SSJ100". AIN online.
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External links[edit]