The llyushin Il-76 was designed as a heavy transport for operations onto short unprepared strips in the Russian "outback" and entered Aeroflot service as the production IL-76T in 1978.
Originally designed to carry 40 tonnes of freight in excess of 3500 nm using relatively short, unprepared runways, the Il-76 first flew on 25 March 1971, NATO code name ‘Candid’. Test flying continued until 1975 when the type was put into production at the Tashkent factory. During the same year the II-76 established 25 international records for speed and altitude with payload.
The design was prepared to meet a basic need in the Soviet Union for a really capable freighter which, while carrying large indivisible loads, with a high cruising speed and inter-continental range, could operate from relatively poor airstrips. The result is a very useful aircraft which, though initially being used by Aeroflot in 1975 and 1976-80 plans for opening up Siberia the far north and far east of the Soviet Union is a strategic and tactical transport for military use.
The production II-76T 'Candid A', with greater cargo capacity and higher gross weights, went into service with Aeroflot on domestic routes early in 1978, and the Moscow-Japan international route in April the same year.
It has fitted reversers, a high lift wing for good STOL performance and a high-flotation landing gear with 20 wheels. The big fuselage is fully pressurised and incorporates a powerful auxiliary power unit and freight handling systems.
The four-turbofan Il-76M/MD Candid long-range transport continues to replace Soviet Military Transport Aviation (VTA) An-12 Cubs at a rate of about 30 a year, and now accounts for around half the VTA fleet, with some 310 in service according to US estimates. Deliveries to India, which has ordered 20 to replace An-12s, began in February 1985. In Indian service the Il-76 is named Gajaraj.
About 100 have been exported to civil users including Libyan Arab Airlines, Syrianair and, more recently, Cubana, while military customers include the Czech, Polish, Algerian, and Iraqi.
The Il-76TD Candid A entered service in late 1982.
The military transport version, intended for the deployment of paratroops and troops, together with strategic heavy freighting, differs primarily by having military, rather than civil, avionics and equipment. The Soviet air force, with about 450 'Candids' in service, also use the aircraft for firefighting (the II-76DMP), able to carry over 40 tons of water or retardant; as an engine testbed (the II-76LL); airborne early warning (as the A-50 'Mainstay' in the USSR, and the 'Adnan' in Iraq) and for Antarctic support flights and cosmonaut training providing simulated weightlessness. Il-76TD (the civil variant is designated 'T', whilst the extended range model is assigned the suffix 'M was one of two aircraft transferred to Aeroflot's CUMVS, or International Air Services, after serving in Polar regions.
Ilyushin IL-76 PS-90A-76 in detail Gallery
By early 1991 total production had reached about 680 aircraft. Over 700 had been built by early 1992 at the Chakalov Aircraft Production Plant near Tashkent. Over 100 have been exported and about 150 were in Aeroflot service by 1992.
From the moment it was put into service Il-76 has been the main heavy military and transport aircraft of the Russian air forces. More than 950 civilian, military and special modifications variants have been built. In a single-deck modification (with central seats) it can transport 145 military men and 126 paratroopers. In a double-deck version - up to 225 men.
According to the terms of the State contract 39 military and transport aircrafts Il-76MD-90A were to be built for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Maximum load has been increased to 52 tons (compared to 48 tons of Il-76MD). Maximu takeoff weight has risen to 210 tons (190).
A three-point hose-and-drogue tanker variant of the Il-76, the Il-78 Nato code name Midas, has been under development for some years, and is thought to have been deployed operationally early in 1987.
The first Mainstay airborne early warning and control system (Awacs) derivative of the Candid is now operational, according to US claims. Four Mainstays were built for test and evaluation, and production is expected to reach five a year to replace the Tu-126 Moss.
Succeeding the Tu-126 Moss with Voska PVO, Mainstay, derived from Il-76 Candid and referred to as A-50 'Mainstay', is an AWAC aircraft possessing true overland lookdown capability. Powered by four 26,455 1 (12 000 kgp) Soloviev D-3OKPs, it features a new IFF system and, apparently, a comprehensive ECM complement. About a half-dozen have attained Voyska PVO service mid-1987. A triple vertical tail arrangement of the prototype was not standardised for series production versions.
In 1978 the first flight took place of the Beriev A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning and control aircraft, in Russian operational service since 1984.
The A-50 is the 'Adnan' in Iraqi service.
A laser-gun test-bed aircraft based on the llyushin II-76 was produced by Beriev and has been flown since 1980s as the A-60.
A communications relay variant flew as the IL-82.
Engines: 4 x 26,455 lb (12,000 kg / 117.7kN) thrust Soloviev D-30KP two-shaft turbofans.
Wingspan 165 ft 8 in (50.5 m)
Length 152 ft 10½ in (46.59 m)
Height 48 ft 5 in (14.76 m).
Empty weight, about 159,000 lb (72.000 kg)
Maximum loaded weight 346,125 lb (157,000 kg).
Maximum speed, about 560 mph (900 kph)
Maximum cruising speed 528 mph (850 km/h)
Normal long-range cruising height 42,650 ft (13,000 m)
Range with maximum payload: 88,185 lb (40.000 kg) 3,100 miles (5000 km).
Range w/max.fuel: 5000 km / 3107 miles
Armament: normally none / 2 x 23mm machine-guns
Il-76M Candid B
Engine: 4 x Soloviev D-30KP turbofan.
Installed thrust: 470.8 kN.
Span: 50.5 m.
Length: 46.6 m.
Wing area: 300 sq.m.
Empty wt: 61,000 kg.
MTOW: 170,000 kg.
Payload: 40,000 kg.
Cruise speed: 100 kph.
Ceiling: 15,500 m.
T/O run: 850 m.
Ldg run: 460 m.
Fuel internal: 82,000 lt.
Range: 5000 km.
Capacity: 90 pax.
Air refuel: No.
Maximum takeoff weight: 190 ton
Maximum load: 48 ton
Maximum takeoff weight: 210 ton
Fuel capacity: 109500 litres
The total of tanks of the aircraft is.
Service life: 30 years / 10000 landings / 30 000 Flight hours
Engines: 4 x 26,455 lb (12,000 kg) thrust Soloviev D-30KP two-shaft turbofans.
MTOW: 190,000 kg.
Wing area: 300 sq.m.
Sweepback: 25 deg
Max payload: 50,000 kg (110,230 lb).
Range: (50t payload) 4500 km
Range: (20t payload), 8000 km.
Cruise alt: 9000-12000m.
Cruise speed: 750-800 kph.
Hold cap: 3.4x3.4x24.5m.