Ilyushin IL-76

The IL-76 is a long haul freighter developed for military use, yet also operates in the civilian sector. It was constructed as the successor of the Antonov An-12 and made its first flight in spring 1971. The first civil delivery to Aeroflot took place in 1975.

The IL-76 features a cargo ramp in the back, allowing turnaround times of only 40 minutes. The high wing and engine construction gives superb short takeoff abilities even from unpaved runways. Normally, the IL-76 is operated by 7 crew members, two of which work as load masters and one navigator whose place is in the nose below the flight deck.

There are numerous versions of the IL-76, each equipped with the necessary features for either the civil or military operational field. There is even a version MDK for cosmonaut training. A slightly modified version with PS-90 engines is assembled in Tashkent. So far, more than 850 IL-76 have been built, with 300 flying in the civil field, mostly in GUS states.

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© Lukas Kirchner 2005