MOSCOW -- The first serial-produced Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft has made its first flight in Russia, according to Ilyushin Aircraft Company.
Alexei Rogozin, the CEO of Ilyushin Aircraft Company, posted on his social media page on November 7, 2018, about the aircraft's flight. He wrote, "The Il-76MD-90A is the second generation of Il-76 military transport planes. The first flight was made in September 2012 and the first evaluation flight to test its compliance with the Defense Ministry’s requirements was conducted in December 2016. Yesterday, this was the first flight of the Il-76MD-90A with the factory No. 01-09 - the first serial-produced plane built in compliance with the performance characteristics of the Russian Defense Ministry."
As TASS noted, the aircraft features PS-90A-76 engines that cut down on fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent. The Il-76MD-90A can carry a payload of 52 tonnes and has a range of 5,000 kilometers. These specifications are an improvement on the previous Il-76MD, which carry 47 tonnes up to 4,000 kilometers.
The Russian government placed an order for 39 of the aircraft in 2012, at a total cost of 140 billion rubles. Over the longer term, Russia is expecting to produce several hundred of the transport aircraft. To fill the order, the aircraft is being produced at the Aviastar-SP plant in Ulyanovsk.
Along with introduction into Russian service, the Russian government is looking to export the Il-76MD-90A to foreign customers and has held dialogue with several countries in recent years on a possible deal.