Ilyushin Il-86

Ilyushin Il-86

infobox Aircraft
name =Il-86
type =Wide-body airliner
manufacturer =MAP Factory No 64 and WSK PZL-Mielec

caption =An Il-86 of Aeroflot
first flight =December 22, 1976
introduction =1980
status =Operational
produced =1977-1994
primary user = S7 Airlines,
more users = Atlant-Soyuz Airlines
number built = 106
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =

The Ilyushin 86 is a medium-range wide-body jet airliner designed and tested by the Ilyushin design bureau in the 1970s, certificated by the Soviet aircraft industry during the 1970s and 1980s, manufactured jointly by the USSR and Poland and marketed by the USSR. It was the first Soviet wide-body airliner and the world's second four-engined wide-body.

Only 106 Il-86s were built and only three of those were exported. The type was used overwhelmingly by Aeroflot and, after the collapse of the USSR, by successor post-Soviet airlines. Unusually for a Soviet airliner, the Il-86 saw limited military service, though an airborne command post version did enter service.

The Il-86 typified the priorities and approaches applied to Soviet airliners as distinct from those applied to Western airliners. Emerging during the Brezhnev stagnation, it suffered from engines which were typical of the 1960s and spent a decade in development, failing to enter service for the Moscow Olympics, as had been intended.

In service, the Il-86 gained recognition as a very safe and reliable machine which did what had been asked of it. By 2008, more than half of all Il-86s had been retired.

Design and development


In the mid-1960s the USA and Western Europe planned airliners seating many more than the then-maximum of some 200 passengers: "airbuses" in contemporaneous parlance. The Soviet leadership wanted to match them with its own "aerobus" ( _ru. аэробус). Though the propaganda motive was important in Soviet policymaking, the USSR also had a practical need for an "airbus". Aeroflot was expecting to carry over 100 million passengers a year within a decade. First to respond was OKB-153, the bureau led by Oleg Antonov, which proposed a 724-seat version of the An-22 airlifter. [See for instance Stroud J, "Soviet Transport Aircraft since 1945", Putnam, London, 1968] This did not go ahead due to fears that it would be old-fashioned and because the Kiev-based bureau was close to the deposed Nikita Khrushchev. [Krasnoshchekov A, V Zayarin, "Античный герой XX века" ["An Ancient Hero Amid the 20th Century"] , "Aviatsiya i Vremya" No 3 1999] [Zasypkin Yu V, K Yu Kosminkov, eds, "История конструкций самолетов в СССР 1951-1965 гг." ["A History of Aircraft Design in the USSR between 1951 and 1965"] , Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 2002]


Accommodating the hundreds of passengers envisaged for "aerobuses" was challenging: many Soviet airports had small terminals. Soviet aviation research institutes therefore elaborated a concept of passengers loading and unloading their luggage into and from the "aerobus" as they boarded and disembarked: "the luggage at hand" system ( _ru. система "багаж с собой"; transliterated: "sistyema "bagazh s soboy"). Airbus Industrie studied such arrangements in the mid-1970s, ["Flight International" 18/June 25, 1977, p 1802] while Lockheed implemented it into the L-1011 TriStar in 1973 at the request of Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA). [See particularly "Transatlantic TriStar-2," "Flight International" April 9, 1977, - 994] Many Soviet airports also had weak surfaces and the "aerobus" had to match the ground loadings of existing airliners. This called for a complex and heavy multi-wheel landing gear. [Vul'fov A, "Широкофюзеляжные "ИЛы" ["The Broad-Fuselage ILs"] , "Aviatsiya i Kosmonavtika" No 1 2001] In October 1967, the Soviet government approved a general specification for an "aerobus" by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Aeroflot). This called for it to seat 350, have a range of 3600 kilometres/1900 nautical miles with a 40-tonne payload or 5800 kilometres/3100 nautical miles with most seats taken but no freight. The airliner had to be able to operate from smaller regional and local airports (classified as "Klass "B" and "V" [Russian: класс "Б", "В"] or "Class B/C" by the Soviets), with runway lengths of up to 2600 metres/8500 feet. [Talikov N, "В небе "Ильюшин" ["Ilyushin in the Sky"] , ADK Studiya, 1997]

In the second half of the 1960s, OKB-240 (as the Ilyushin bureau was formally known) was restoring positions lost (along with Yakovlev, in favour of Tupolev and Antonov) during the Khrushchev era [See particularly Yakovlev A S, "Цель жизни" ["My Life's Aim"] , Politizdat, Moscow, 1973 and also Talikov, "ibid";] and was well placed to secure design of the Soviet "aerobus". Indeed, when the Soviet cabinet's defence industry committee progressed the Aeroflot specification on September 8, 1969 onto the preliminary project (Russian: аванпроект; transliterated: "avanproyekt") stage, [Gordon Y, D Komissarov, S Komissarov, "OKB Ilyushin: a History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft", Midland/Ian Allan, Hinckley, 2004] it entrusted it to Ilyushin. The bureau received specific operational requirements for the "aerobus" on February 22, 1970. Having won the political battle for the prestige project, Ilyushin faced four challenges: configuration (layout or "shape"), powerplant, automation (avionics) and manufacturing capacity.

Conceptual development

Ilyushin began its preliminary "aerobus" project in late 1969. Initially, this involved assessing the development potential of existing hardware. This included "stretched" versions of the Il-62, double-deck or "two fuselages side-by-side" developments of it, as well as "civilianising" the Il-76. Eventually, the bureau moved to all-new designs. In a paradigm shift, it also embraced high-technology in contrast to the "appropriate technology approach" it had taken for the Il-62: the "aerobus" would have powered controls, complex high-lift devices and advanced automation enabling fewer flightdeck crew. [Novozhilov G V, Lyeshchiner D V, Sheynin V M "et al., "Самолеты ОКБ имени С. В. Ильюшина" ["Aircraft of the S V Ilyushin Experimental and Design Bureau"] , Mashinostroyenie, Moscow, 1985]

An early version of the "avanproyekt" was shown to the Soviet leadership at an exhibition of civil aviation novelties held at the Vnukovo-2 Airport near Moscow on May 17, 1971. [See Yakovlev A, "ibid."] ["Jane's All the World's Aircraft" 1973-74] ["Pravda", May 18, 1971] A scale model bore the true designation of "Il-86" (Russian: Ил-86, transliterated "Il vosem’desyat' shest'"). The model showed the "self-loading" concept with integral boarding stairs and below-deck luggage stores in addition to a below-deck midships galley. It had a twin-aisle interior with nine-abreast seating in a "3-3-3" layout. Ilyushin considered it politic to make the interior wider at 6.08 metres/239 inches than that of any airliner except the Boeing 747. [Gunston B, "Aircraft of the Soviet Union", Osprey, London, 1984]

The difference between the 1971 model and the eventual Il-86 was that the model was in configuration or shape: the model looked like an Il-62. At that time, the important Central Hydro and Aerodynamics Institute (TsAGI) favoured the clean-winged, rear-engined, T-tailed configuration for airliners. The BAC Three-Eleven ["BAC's Big Twinjet," "Flight International" November 14, 1968, pp 777-780] and BAC/CASA/MBB Europlane ["Europlane details revealed," "Flight International" May 24, 1973 pp 765-766] projects had similar configurations.

The configuration of heavy jet aircraft was a sensitive issue in the USSR. Aircraft designer Leonid Selyakov [Selyakov L L, "Тернистый путь в никуда: записки авиаконструктора" ["A Thorny Road to Nowhere: an Aircraft Designer's Notes"] , private edition, Moscow, 1995] states: "The configuration of the В-47, taken on strength by the US Air Force ... brought forth a veritable storm of critical opinions from [Soviet] aviation scientists. Responsible TsAGI officials and industry leaders robustly called that aircraft 'utter nonsense' (similar opinions were expressed of the Boeing 747)." Similar controversy was known in Western aeronautical circles [See the chapter on the Sud Aviation SE.210 "Caravelle" in Stroud J, "Jetliners in Service since 1952", Putnam, London, 1994] and was typical of Soviet ideology with its idea of fixed "scientifically-correct" solutions. [See in particular "History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union", various eds.] Ilyushin therefore had to stress that it had first in the world adopted podded engines suspended from pylons beneath and ahead of the wing, on the experimental Il-22 four-engined jet bomber of 1946 (first use of this designation. [Gordon Y, "Early Soviet Jet Bombers: the 1940s and early 1950s", Midland/Ian Allan, Hinckley, 2005] Having thus been presented as indigenously Soviet, the Il-86's ultimate configuration could at last appear in public in 1973, six years after publication of the "aerobus" specification and four years after the bureau had received the design assignment. ["Flieger Revue" 12-72, 1972"] ["Aeroflot Airbus Developments," "Flight International", February 1, 1973, p 156.] Six-light flightdeck glazing came soon afterwards in place of multi-window arrangements similar to the Il-62 and Il-76.

The main problem facing the Il-86 project was the lack of a suitable engine. This problem was never resolved. The USA and the UK had turbofans with bypass ratios of 4 or 5 to 1. The first Soviet large turbofan, the Lotarev D-18T, did not appear before the mid-1980s. [Gunston, Bill. "Soviet turbofan revealed," "Flight International" January 14, 1984, pp 70-71]

The Soloviev D-30, originally intended for the Il-86, was the most advanced Soviet civil aeroengine. It had a bypass ratio of 2.4 to 1 and aerodynamic clamshell thrust reversers. It failed to attain the required thrust, however: "only after the lapse of three years that were spent on preparing the advanced development project did it become clear that these engines would not provide the necessary take-off performance." [Gordon Y, D Komissarov, S Komissarov, "OKB Ilyushin: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft", Midland/Ian Allan, Hinckley, 2004] The less-advanced Kuznetsov NK-8 series engine, adopted on March 26, 1975, had a bypass ratio of 1.15 to 1 and drag-inducing grilles over its cascade thrust reversers. Both these engines had high specific fuel consumptions and were noisy. Being ultimate developments of smaller engines, they could not offer growth to future Il-86s.

The appropriate/intermediate technology principles to which most Soviet airliners before the Il-86 had been designed meant that they had typically five-member flight crews. The design and entry into service in 1972 of the Tu-154, an airliner built to high technology principles (more automation, less human input), showed that Soviet science was lagging in the avionics which removed the need for a navigator and radio operator. A programme of avionics development was thus mounted to enable the Il-86 to operate in most weathers with a three-member flight crew. While it was successful, its outcome only matched the level of Western technology of the late 1960s.

The shortage of manufacturing facilities for the Il-86 constituted a problem from the outset: "The rapid modernisation of the Soviet Air Force ... has left limited scope for the expansion of commercial production ... the lack of production capacity is being remedied partly by ... international cooperation." "Russia's New Long-Hauler," "Flight International" August 20, 1977, p 524.]

Interest in foreign technology

Because of the intractability of the powerplant (and to an extent the avionics and manufacturing capacity) issues, the Soviets tried to acquire foreign technology. Before the Boeing 747 had flown, a Ministry of Civil Aviation delegation visited Boeing and received a series of detailed sales presentations on the type lasting three days. At the 1971 Paris Salon, Ilyushin bureau head Genrikh Novozhilov and Boeing's Joe Sutter arranged an informal technology trade-off. Over supper in a Paris restaurant, the Soviet side ceded information on its titanium technology to the Americans, while the latter, "sketching on the tablecloth," ceded information on "the structural and aerodynamic amity of the aeroelastic wing." [Irving C, "Wide-Body: the Making of the 747", Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1994, pp 250 "et seq"., pp 265-266]

Helped by "détente", on March 11, 1974, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar arrived in Moscow for three days of sales presentations and demonstrations. ["Colours in the Sky", Simons G, GMS Enterprises, Peterborough, 1997] ["TriStar Flies to Moscow," "Flight International" March 21, 1974, p 358.] The TriStar matched the Il-86 in size and performance, was widely regarded as the technological leader of the time, and had development potential. Negotiations to buy 30 TriStars and licence-produce up to 100 a year in a new factory employing 80,000 people continued until mid-1976. ["Lockheed TriStar", Birtles P, Modern Civil Aircraft No 8, Ian Allan, London, 1989] They collapsed as US President Jimmy Carter made human rights a US policy factor. The TriStar was also listed by the Coordinating Committee as embodying advanced technology banned from potential enemies.

At the same time, the US Department of Commerce vetoed export of 12 General Electric CF6-50 engines ordered by the USSR for planned long-range Il-86s. ["No CF6s for Soviet Union," "Flight International" February 25, 1978, p 482] In the 1980s, there were moves to fit the Il-86 with RB211-22 engines. ["Flight International" Commercial Aircraft of the World surveys 1986 "et seq"] Designated Il-86V, this would have had a range of over 9000 kilometres/4860 nautical miles and/or increased payload. A 450-seater Il-86V was also projected, to be powered by RB211-524G engines. Amid the disintegration of the Soviet economy these ideas did not progress. In 1991, there were moves to fit the Il-86 with Franco-American CFM56-5C2 engines. ["CFM-Engined Il-86 at Costs Stage," "Flight International" September 12-18 1990, p 17] Finances precluded progress. In 1995, International Aero Engines offered the V2500 engine for retrospective fitting on the Il-86. No development emerged, though five operators had wanted to re-engine 25 aircraft. ["CFMI Seeks to Pin Down Airlines on Il-86," "Flight International" February 22-28 1995, p 11] ["IAE offers V2500 as alternative on Il-86," "Flight International" March 22-28 1995, p 12]

Design, testing and certification

The design process at Ilyushin was managed by Sergey Ilyushin's successor as head of the bureau, Genrikh Novozhilov. The timescale announced in 1973 envisaged first flight in 1976 and service entry in time for the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

The prototype flew at Khodynka airfield (where Ilyushin's experimental factory was) on December 22, 1976 (Soviet airliners often flew before the close of the calendar year due to the requirements of Five-Year Plans). It was announced that the type had a patented electromagnetic pulse deicing system. ["Jane's All the World's Aircraft" 1979-80] ["Flight International" Commercial Aircraft of the World survey, 1977 "et seq"] which used 500 times less energy than conventional deicers. ["Commercial Aircraft of the World," "Flight International" October 17, 1981, pp 1180-1181] The initial test programme was flown by Ilyushin staff, ending two months ahead of schedule on October 20, 1978. (According to a faster schedule, announced at the time of the first flight, Ilyushin tests were to end in time for the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution, on November 7, 1977. [Cooksley P, B Gunston (Consultant Ed.), "Advanced Jetliners: the Illustrated International Aircraft Guide," Phoebus/BPC, London, 1980] ) Initial certification flying by pilots independent of Ilyushin ended on June 6, 1977. State acceptance trials began on April 24, 1979 and ended on December 24, 1980. Certification by Gosaviaregistr SSSR [the USSR State Aviation Registry] was granted under certificate number 10-86. [cite web|url= |title=IL-86 Medium-haul Passenger Airliner | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] The service-entry deadline of summer 1980, announced by Minister of Civil Aviation Boris Bugayev in 1977 [Cooksley, "ibid."] had passed, however, and the Il-86 missed the prestige Moscow Olympics.

Overall development of the Il-86 occupied over a decade. The length of this period was due to the sensitivity of the airliner's configuration, problems with its powerplant, prolonged avionics development and the low priority assigned to civil as opposed to military aircraft. ["Flight International" October 17, 1981, "op. cit".] Moreover, in its early stages, the Il-86 programme was "fall-back insurance" in case US airliner imports failed. Certificating the Il-86 to the very demanding set of Soviet and Comecon standards called NLGS-2 also delayed progress; it was the first Soviet aircraft to undergo a full certification programme since certification was introduced in the USSR in 1967 and was made mandatory five years later. ["Russia intensifies export drive," "Flight International" April 12, 1973, p 579]

Undeveloped versions

On June 26, 1972, a long-range version of the Il-86, the Il-86D (for Russian: "дальный"; transliterated: "dal’niy"; meaning "long-range"), was ordered into development by the Soviet cabinet. Design was completed in June 1976. The Il-86D would have had a marginally extended wing span, carried additional fuel, and had a range of some 8500 kilometres/4600 nautical miles. Later announcements stated that the version was to have new high bypass ratio engines, 147,500 kilo/325,000 pound empty weight, 300,000 kilo/660,000 pound maximum take-off weight, fuel capcaity of some 150,000 kilos/330,000 pounds, wing area of 325 square metres/5300 sq square feet, and a range of 10,200 kilometres/5500 nautical miles. This version (also known as Il-86V) evolved into the Il-96. A "minimum-change" development of the Il-86 which was tested in the 1980s but not adopted was a 450 seater with 3-4-3 layout seating with reduced seat pitch. [Gordon Y "et al"., "ibid".] No freight or combined passenger-freight versions were proposed.


Il-86 provision to Aeroflot did not constitute a sale: it was part of the centralised Soviet supply and allocation system coordinated by offices called Gosplan and Gossnab which controlled the entirety of planning and distribution in the USSR (except the black market). As part of a similar supply provision, Lot was allocated four Il-86s as barter for component manufacture; that airline deferred deliveries which were cancelled by 1987. ["Pressure mounts for LOT to buy American," "Flight International" November 21, 1987, p 6.]

Selling the Il-86 commercially (which under the Soviet system meant solely exports) was the job of the Soviet foreign trade organisation V/O Aviaeksport. The compartmentalisation of a design bureau, acting like naval architects designing an aeroplane, a separate factory constructing it and a separate organisation selling it, has been seen as diluting responsibility. [see Gunston B, "op. cit"., and especially Skipp P, and]

The Il-86 prototype was displayed at the Paris Salon International de l'Aéronautique in 1977. It was noted that its interior used patented fire-resistant materials and hydraulics employed a fire-resistant fluid. ["Jane's All the World's Aircraft" 1981-82] At that time a version without the "luggage at hand" system was offered, seating 375 or alternatively weighing 3000 kilos/6600 pounds less and having longer range. This version offered 7 per cent lower seat-mile operational costs. ["Flight International" Commercial Aircraft of the World survey 1981] The type was again displayed at Paris in 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1985, the Farnborough Air Show in 1984 and other world air events.

On Tuesday September 22, 1981, an Il-86 flown by Commander G Volokhov and Second Pilot A Tyuryumin set Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records for flying payloads of 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65 tonnes over a 2000 kilometre closed circuit at an average of 975.3 kilometres per hour. [FAI Sub-slass C-1 Group 3 Database IDs 4140 to 4150;] Two days later, the same crew and machine set FAI records for flying payloads of 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80-tonne payloads over a 1000 kilometre closed circuit at an average of 962 kilometres per hour. [FAI Sub-slass C-1 Group 3 Database IDs 4134 to 4139;] Of the 18 records, one was broken by a Tu-144 in 1983, five were superseded or discontinued and 12 still stood in mid-2008.

In September 1982 the type made a sales call in Bulgaria, followed by calls in July 1983 in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The calls appeared to have been hastily arranged, with the potential byuers being supplied no hard information on the type in advance. ["Hard-sell tour for Il-86," "Flight International" July 23, 1983 p 178] Very little solid information was given to them during the sales calls: "constructor Novosilov side-stepped all questions [on fuel consumption] ... [the] chief pilot ... provided a measure of veiled explanation: 'The consumption of the Il-86 is not higher than that of the Il-18,' he said." While welcomed as “proof of friendship with the USSR,” ["Grazhdanskaya Aviatsiya" 11/82] these sales calls failed to attract orders. Observers tacitly noted that the aircraft marked a 10/15-year lag by Soviet civil aviation compared with the West.

The sole export order for the Il-86 − and the sole commercial transactions involving factory-built rather than secondhand examples − was by China Xinjiang Airlines which received three aircraft in 1990. The rest were allocated by Aeroflot region and Soviet Air Force unit as follows (in order of first acceptance): the Vnukovo Aviation Entreprise, 21; the TsUMVS Administration of International Air Communications centred on Sheremetyevo Airport, 22; the Tashkent Air Enterprise, 9; the Sheremetyevo Air Enterprise, 10; the Pulkovo Air Enterprise, 8; the Alma-Ata Air Enterprise, 8; the Chkalovsky Soviet Air Force Base 8 ADON (or 8th Special Purposes Aviation Division), 4; the Kol'tsovo Air Enterprise, 6; the Tolmachevo Air Enterprise, 6; the Erevan Air Enterprise, 2; the Yemelyanovo Air Enterprise, 3. [ [] dead link|date=September 2008]


On the Soviet side, the Ministry of Aircraft Manufacture ("MAP," "Minaviaprom") Factory 64 at Voronezh (today VASO) was tasked with building more than half of the Il-86 and of assembling the airliner. ["Flight International" October 8, 1977] Capacity there was insufficient and the Polish aircraft industry was involved in the Il-86 project from the outset. The arrangement was not a subcontract; it involved significant technology transfer to enable Poland to meet its assigned role: PZL Amalgamation Mielec factory Director Jerzy Belczak said it involved “… a radical retooling of our enterprise” involving “over 50 new processes.” [”Co-Production Going Well,” ‘’Aviaexport’’ 15, 1985, p 9] Observers noted that "work on the Il-86 will bring Poland's ... WSK-Mielec to a new level of capability ... in the manufacturing processes involved with an aircraft of this size, including titanium structures, chemical milling and the machining of integral panels." ["Flight International", August 20, 1977, "ibid". Also see "Poland opens for Business," "Flight International" April 15, 1989 and "Senecas and Spoons," "Flight International" April 29, 1989 for details.] By the 1980s, Mielec was planned to produce half of the Il-86, ["Flight International", "op. cit"] including its entire wing, and also to work on Il-86 developments (“Now we are preparing to manufacture units for the next model of the Il wide-body plane,” according to Belczak). [Aviaexport 15, ‘’ibid’’.] From May 1977, the Polish factory manufactured entire empennages including tailplanes and the fin, all control surfaces, high-lift devices and engine pylons for the Il-86, representing "about 16 per cent of these aircraft." ["Flight International" April 29, 1989, "ibid".] As labour and political unrest spread in Poland from 1980, the Voronezh factory retained wing manufacture.

Five aircraft were assembled at Voronezh in the later 1970s in anticipation of successful certification. The first (flown on October 25, 1977) was built largely by hand, subsequent machines making increasing use of series production equipment. These early aircraft were used in certification and development flying before handover to Aeroflot. [Gordon Y "et al"., "op. cit"] Voronezh factory production engineers conducted a "redesign cycle" [Statement by Genrikh Novozhilov, "Flight International" July 23, 1983] of over 50 areas, cutting some 1500 kilos/3300 pounds of airframe weight.

Production of the Il-86 began in 1976 and continued until 1991. The first two machines were hand-manufactured, in 1976 and 1977 respectively, by Ilyushin at the bureau's own Moscow prototype construction shop; one was used for flight testing and one for static ground testing. Three aircraft were assembled at Voronezh in 1979: one by hand and two using series manufacturing techniques. Subsequent years' manufacturing totals were: 1980, one; 1981, nil; 1982, 11; 1983, 12; 1984, 8; 1985, 9 (including the four for 8 ADON); 1986, 11; 1987, 10; 1988, 10; 1989, 9; 1990, 11 (including the three for export to China), 1991, 3. [, "ibid."] Of the 106 examples built, one never flew (being used for static tests) and three were exported. [ (in Russian)]


An inaugural flight from Moscow to Tashkent was made on December 26, 1980 but services-proper commenced after February 1, 1981. Aeroflot first operated the Il-86 on peak domestic routes. Foreign services began in June 1981 to Eastern Europe and larger Western European cities.

In 1987 Radio Moscow reported that Aeroflot "resisted the change" to a three-person crew. ["Grazhdanskaya Aviatsiya" newspaper October 29, 1987] ["Flight International" November 21, 1987] Vul'fov, A, "ibid.", reports that the type continued to be operated by four-member crews. Navigators, occupying the observer seat (devoid of instrumentation), stood unsecured on final approach in order to observe the pilots’ instruments and read-out indications (despite voice synthesisers being fitted). Soviet operations of the Tu-154 airliner similarly employed four or five flightdeck crew, despite foreign operators of that type using three-person flightdeck crews.

From 1982 Aeroflot put the Il-86 into scheduled service from Moscow to Havana via Shannon and Gander, "perhaps with limited payload or with additional tankerage." [ "Flight International" October 15, 1983] Other scheduled long range services flown by the type were to Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Lima and to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo via Sal Island.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, local airlines emerged in the 15 successor republics. Il-86s serving with Aeroflot administrations ("Directorates") in these nations accrued to their airlines and many were sold.

From April 2002, the European Union, the USA and much of the rest of the world banned noisier aircraft, including the Il-86. By 2008, the type operated mostly within the former USSR. In May 2007, 42 Ilyushin Il-86s remained in service. On October 23, 2006, Aeroflot Deputy Director General Igor Desyatnichenko said: "the Il-86 will be withdrawn from service starting November 15 as it is too costly to maintain through the winter and to operate for just two or three months in the summer." [cite web|url= |title=«Аэрофлот» списал Ил-86. «Аэрофлот» отказался от эксплуатации первого отечественного широкофюзеляжного самолета Ил-86 | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]

The Il-86's carry-on luggage arrangements were rarely used. [As noted in Selyakov, "ibid"., and numerous Russian and other magazine publications, "e.g." the "Grazhdanskaya Aviatsiya" newspaper June 30, 1988] Vul'fov ("ibid".) notes: "Thank God no civil servant got it into his head to refuse the parallel opportunity offered to passengers of electing to drop their luggage when checking-in at airports. Otherwise, the loading of luggage into the aircraft by passengers would have turned into a proper nightmare lasting hours." The three integral airstairs are used regularly for disembarkation and boarding when the aircraft is docked at remote stands.

With its built-in stairs and below deck holds, the Il-86 was widely expected to serve in the personnel transport role with the Soviet air forces: "The wide-bodied Il-86 can perform not only as a troop transport ... but may also in the future form the basis for a command and control aircraft for airborne coordination of Warsaw Pact forces." [Robinson A, "Soviet Air Power", Bison, London, 1985] In the event, only four airframes (c/n 042, 043, 046 and 048, carrying quasi-civil registrations SSSR-86046, '7, '8 and '9) were delivered to the 8th Special Purposes Aviation Division at the Chkalovsky air base near Moscow. These were designated Il-80, Il-87 or Il-86VKP (Russian: “ВКП” for “воздушный коммандный пост”; transliterated: "vozdushniy kommandnyi post" “veh-kah-peh” and meaning "aerial command post").

The Il-80/Il-86VKP has the NATO reporting name "Camber": the same as the passenger Il-86.


Current civil operators: in May 2007, 37 of 106 Il-86s remained in service with: [] ] ;flag|ArmeniaArmavia 1, Armenian Airlines 1 stored;flag|RussiaAeroflot-Don 4, Atlant-Soyuz Airlines 7, KrasAir (Air Union) 4, Rossiya State Air Transport Company 4, S7 Airlines 9, Tatarstan Airlines 3, Ural Airlines 4, VASO Airlines 1.Former civil operators:cite book | last = Hillman | first = Peter | authorlink = | title = Soviet Transports | publisher = The Aviation Hobby Shop | date = 2004 | pages = p. 323-326 | doi = | isbn = ] [Bratukhin AG, ed., "Авиастроение России/Russian Aircraft", Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 1995] ;flag|ChinaChina Xinjiang Airlines;flag|GeorgiaAJT Air International;flag|KazakhstanAir Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Airlines;flag|PakistanHajvairy Airlines;flag|RussiaAeroflot Russian Airlines, Aerolicht, Continental Airways, East Line Airlines, Moscow Airways, Orient Avia, Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise, Russian Sky Airlines, Transaero Airlines, Transeuropean Airlines, Vnukovo Airlines;flag|USSRAeroflot Soviet Airlines, Vnukovo AP, TsUMVS, Tashkent AP, Sheremetyevo AP, Pulkovo AP, Alma-Ata AP, Kol'tsovo AP, Tolmachevo AP, Erevan AP, Yemelyanovo AP;flag|UzbekistanUzbekistan Airways, IRS Aero, Jana Arka Airlines.Current military operator: in May 2007, two of 4 Il-86VKPs (Il-80s; Il-87s) remained in service with:;RUSRussian Air Force, 2.Former military operator:;USSRSoviet Air Force.



The Il-86 is seen as one of the world's safest airliners; one accident involving fatalities had taken place by 2008. A 2006 ICAO paper stated: "There were no fatal accidents in passenger-carrying operations involving a wide-body IL-86, for all periods of operation." [] The first deputy minister of transport of Russia and head of the State Civil Aviation Service Aleksandr Nyeradko said in 2003: "the Il-86 was and remains one of the world's most dependable airliners." [(]

The following are all significant recorded safety events in the history of the Il-86 to date:-

*On an unknown date during the 1980s, an unknown Il-86 on approach to Mineral'nye Vody suffered a hydraulic failure resulting in asymmetrical deployment of the high-lift devices. The flight crew brought the machine to a safe landing without further incident. No casualties.

*On an unknown date in 1980, the aircraft registered SSSR-86004 (constructor's number 51483200002 ["002"] ) experienced a fire in engine No 4 on departure from Vnukovo; the crew initially shut down No 1 in error, then No 4, but landed safely on the reciprocal runway to the one from which they had departed, after performing a 1800 turn. No casualties.

*In 1984, SSSR-86011 (c/n 009) was found to have suffered a tail strike on landing at Simferopol'. [, "ibid."] No casualties.

*On March 8, 1994, an Il-86 parked at Delhi airport was struck by a landing Boeing 737 flown by a trainee pilot. The 737 crew died but there were no casualties on the Il-86. [cite web|url= |title=ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 86 RA-86119 Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]

*In June 1998, RA-86080 (c/n 051) was found to have been overstressed, most likely by a recent heavy landing, and repairs were considered inexpedient in view of coming retirement. No casualties; aircraft stored pending retirement.

*On May 1, 2000, RA-86113 (c/n 081) suffered an apparent engine failure and fire on departure from Sochi. The flight crew brought the machine to a safe overweight landing. The failure and fire indications were found to have been spurious. No casualties.

*On September 21, 2001, RA-86074 (c/n 041) belly-landed at Dubai after a flight from Moscow, the flight crew having switched-off the ground proximity warning due to heavy workload on the approach and then neglected to extend the landing gear; no casualties; aircraft written-off. [cite web|url= |title=ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 86 RA-86074 Dubai Airport (DXB) | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]

*On August 26, 2000, RA-86066 (c/n 033) experienced a failure and fire in No 2 engine shortly after take-off from Moscow Sheremetyevo for Barcelona. The crew landed on the reciprocal runway with no further incident. No casualties.

*On July 28, 2002, RA-86060 (c/n 027) crashed shortly after departure from Moscow while a ferry flight to Sankt Peterburg. The trim toggle button on the control column caused a spontaneous retrimming of the tailplane, rapid transition to nose-heavy trim and a dive; 14 of the four flightdeck crew, two ground support staff and ten cabin crew aboard the aircraft died. The two survivors, both of them cabin crew members, were injured. [cite web|url= |title=ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 86 RA-86060 Moscow | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] ["А есть ли у нас в ГА бардак?" ["Is our civil aviation in a proper mess?"]] ["О результатах расследования авиационного происшествия с самолетом Ил-86 RA-86060 28 июля 2002 года" ["On the Results of the Investigation into the Accident with the IL-86 aircraft RA-86060 on June 28, 2002"]] ["Анализ обстоятельств авиационного происшествия с самолетом Ил-86 RA-86060" ["An Analysis of the Circumstances of the Air Crash of the Il-86 Aircraft RA-86060"]]

Following the Moscow crash in July 2002, the MAK Interstate Aviation Committee withdrew the Il-86's certificate of airworthiness, temporarily grounding the type. The certificate was rapidly restored in stages, the process being complete by early 2003. [cite web|url= |title=Russia decides not to ground Il-86 aircraft Airline Industry Information Find Articles at BNET | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19] The accident prompted the Egyptian civil aviation authorities to state that they intended to ban Il-86 operations to Egypt on safety grounds. Amid continuing negotiations, by 2007 the intention appeared to have lapsed and intensive Il-86 operations to and from that country continued in 2008. [cite web|url= |title=Ban on IL 86 flights to Egypt discussed for five years but never imposed since Egypt itself wants Russian tourists, says Ural Airlines. Daily news за 26.03.2007. UralBusinessConsulting | |date= |accessdate=2008-09-19]

ee also

similar aircraft=
* Airbus A300
* McDonnell Douglas DC-10
* Lockheed L-1011
* List of airliners
* List of civil aircraft
see also=


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