As of today, an endurance specimen of upgraded Il-76 has passed fatigue tests in the extent of up to 2,000 flights. Additional calculations and experimental studies shall prove the design service life of 8,000 flights, says the R&D project description. It is planned to finish the tests by the end of 2019.
Mikhail Pestrakov, an aviation engineer and an airspace expert, confirmed to Mil.Today that the in-depth upgrade of the airplane needs new endurance tests and high-tech methods of their studying.
"The aircraft testing procedure must be adjusted in step with technology development", the expert said.
Gen Maj Alexander Akhlyustin, Russia’s honored military pilot of Il-76 aircraft added that due to production transfer the equipment and staff had changed, so assembly technology might change as well, which gave rise for extra tests.
New version of Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft differs from the predecessors by several parameters. The plane has ‘glass cockpit’, new communications and protection system, and new piloting and navigation equipment. Besides, it has more powerful engines PS-90A-76 thrusting up to 14.5 tons, which helps the airplane lift up to 60 tons payload.
Service life of the new version of widely-known military transport aircraft reaches 30 years with an extension potential. The plane got upgraded wing and reinforced landing gear.