Russia’s United Air Corporation (UAC) announced the maiden flight of the Ilyushin Il-112V tactical airlifter on 31 March.
The twin-turboprop aircraft made its first flight from the Voronezh Aircraft Plant on the same day as the announcement.
The Il-112V was selected to replace the Soviet-era Antonov An-26 ‘Curl’ airlifter in 2003, with more than 100 airframes set to be delivered to the air force. However, the effort stalled following the Russian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) cessation of funding in May 2010, only to be revived again in 2014.
In 2015 it was reported that a production contract would be awarded before the end of 2017, but according to Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft: Development & Production this did not happen and to date no such contract has been announced. Design deficiencies and cost overruns have also led to speculation that the project might yet be cancelled.
Assuming it is built, the Il-112V will have an estimated payload of about 5 tonnes, which is somewhat less than its chief Western rivals (the Airbus Defence and Space C295 can carry 7 tonnes, while the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan can carry 11 tonnes). It will be provisioned to transport 35 passengers or 18 stretchers or 34 paratroopers, and have a cruise speed of 300 kt, as well as a range of about 1,200 km.
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