First flown in January 1963, the Il-62 was officially announced by the Soviet Prime Minister, Nikita Kruschev, in September 1962. The basic IL-62 was announced to carry up to 186 passengers, but other seating arrangements provide more leg room with 114 or 168 passengers.
A cantilever low-wing monoplane with swept wings, a T-tail with all swept surfaces, retractable tricycle landing gear and four engines mounted in pairs on each side of the rear fuselage. The II-62 has the NATO reporting name 'Classic'.
The crew has five members, named Ship’s Commander, Second Pilot, On-Board Mechanic, Navigator, and Radio Operator in Soviet parlance.
Ilyushin was aware that TsAGI’s aft-engined T-tailed layout imposed penalties on the Il-62. In particular, he knew that the tail moment arm was shorter, calling for a larger and heavier tailplane. So he decided to cheat a little. He moved the wing slightly ahead of its ‘classical’ position at the aircraft centre of gravity, correspondingly lengthening the tail moment arm. However, this left the landing gear in front of the aeroplane’s centre of gravity. The tail prop fixes this. It has a pair of castoring wheels, enabling it to be used while taxiing. In practice, when the Il-62 is loaded for a flight, the weight of passengers and luggage counterbalances that of the fuel in its swept wing, and the tail prop is retracted.
Initial flight trials proceeded rapidly, and the third prototype attended the 1965 Paris Air Salon. The flight-rated Kuznetsov NK-8 turbofans designed for the aircraft were not ready in time, and the prototype Il-62 originally flew with Lyulka turbojets. Production aircraft, however, were fitted with turbofans.
The Il-62’s layout was fixed at the prototype stage. Ilyushin froze the Il-62’s wing in 1967 and it remained unchanged ever since.
A route-proving flight to Siberia was made in February 1966, and crew training began in August later in the year. Aeroflot took delivery of its first aircraft at the end of 1966, and regular services to Khabarovsk began in March. Initial operations had been on cargo services, but on 10 March passenger/mail services were inaugurated on the Moscow-Khabarovsk and Moscow-Novosibirsk routes. Services to Tashkent followed and finally, on 11 July 1967, an Il-62 made a route-proving flight from Moscow to Montreal. The new jet took over this ‘flagship’ weekly route from the Tu-114 a few months later, on 1 November 1967. Other international routes taken over by the Il-62 in 1967 included services to Delhi, Rome and Paris.
Most importantly, in November, Aeroflot Il-62s flew to Washington and other East Coast US airports in preparation for the opening of a Moscow-New York service. This, the first between the USA and the USSR, opened in July 1968. The airliner is capable of carrying more than 150 passengers and reserve fuel on a flight of more than 4,800 miles.
By the early 70s, the Il-62 was fitted with the promising new Solovyov D-30 turbofans, which had greater rated thrust and a more than doubled bypass ratio compared with the original NK-8s. They were also much quieter. A problem associated with the new engines was their larger frontal area which negated much of the benefits. Accordingly, Ilyushin put the Il-62 through a subtle aerodynamic slimming programme. This addressed the tailplane/fin bullet in particular.
The resulting Il-62M was the last development of the Il-62. The M-model Il-62 was basically a re-engined Classic with an increased fuel capacity and a revised flight deck layout. The basic Il-62 was originally powered by four extremely thirsty Kuznetsov NK-8-4 turbofans, these engines being replaced by the more economical (and powerful) Solviev D-30KUs on the new production II-62M in 1971
Shown first at the Paris Air Show in 1971, the IL-62M200 is a high-density version of the IL-62 that seats a maximum 198 economy-class passengers or 161 in a mixed-class configuration. The newer deluxe model has the same outer dimensions as those found on the basic model, but an additional fuel tank in the tail of the plane plus improved turbofan engines give the airplane greater range and payload. The Russian airliner has two airflow guide vanes on the forward section of the fuselage, while the VC-10 builders placed air guide vanes on the top wing surface. Its flight controls are entirely human muscle-powered.
Apart from Aeroflot, the Il-62 saw service with a large number of Soviet client state airlines. Its exports began with CSA in 1969 and continued with Interflug, Zhongguo minhang zongju (“CAAC”), Lot, Tarom, Cubana, Chosonminhang, and Hang khong Viet Nam. Aircraft have been wet-leased to Air-India, Aeronica, MALÉV and others. The Il-62 base model stayed in production until 1979. One Il-62 has been photographed in Russian VVS markings, but no other military operators are known, and the VVS uses it as a staff transport. The Russian Ministry of Natural Emergencies also used a single Il-62 which it lost in a crash at Lisbon.
It is believed that more than 210 Il-62 have been built.
Engines: 4 x 23,150 lb (10,500 kg) Kuznetsov NK8-4 turbofan.
Length 174.25 ft (53.12m)
Wing span 142 ft (43.30m)
Height: 12.4 m / 40 ft 8 in
Wing area: 279.6 sq.m / 3009.59 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 157500 kg / 347230 lb
Empty weight: 67800 kg / 149474 lb
Fuel capacity 26,420.
Max capacity: 186 passengers
Max cruise 560 mph (900 kph).
Cruise speed 510 mph.
Landing speed 137 mph.
Ceiling: 39,400 ft.
Range 5,715 miles (9,200 km) with 22,050 lb (10,000 kg) payload.
Range w/max.payload: 6700 km / 4163 miles
Takeoff run 10,660 ft.
Landing roll 9,185 ft
Cruise: 550 mph.
Pax cap: 186.
Range: 4000 miles.
Pax cap: 198.