Russia - Air Force
Russia - Air Force
The Ilyushin Il-76, NATO codename "Candid", is a 4-engined heavy transport
aircraft in widespread use in eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The aircraft was
first conceived in 1967, to meet a requirement for a freighter able to carry a
payload of 88,183 lb (40 000 kg) over a range of 2,698 nautical miles
(3,107 miles; 5,000 km) in less than six hours, able to operate from short and
unprepared airstrips, and capable of coping with the worst weather conditions
likely to be experienced in Siberia and the USSR's arctic regions. The basic
layout of the plane was similar to the U.S. built Lockheed C-141 Starlifter,
but the new design had a larger cargo hold area and more powerful engines to
achieve the desired performance. It first flew on March 25, 1971, and is still
in production in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The basic Il-76 is the first production version and in widespread use by the VVS.
Il-76T ('T' for Transport,) unarmed cargo transport version.
Il-76D ('D' for Desantniy, - "for paratroopers") has a turret in the
tail for defense purposes.
Il-76PP - Il-76MD-based radio jammer
The Il-76M(T/D) is another version with more powerful engines giving it a
bigger payload capacity.
The Il-76-MF is the latest version with a 6 meter extension and more economical
and powerful engines, the Aviadvigatel PS90.
The Il-76 is also in use as a airborne tanker or refueller
(Il-78), and a waterbomber. Its airframe was used as a base for AWACS aircraft
(Beriev A-50 "Mainstay").
The Il-76 waterbomber is a VAP-2 1.5 hour install/removal tanking kit conversion.
It has stirred a decade of controversy in the west at a time where more powerful
firefighting assists are needed. The Il-76 can carry 11,000 U.S. gallons
(41,600 liters) of water; three times the capacity of the Hercules C-130. While
the Australasian Fire Authorities Council says the Il-76 is a "very, very good
firefighting aircraft", and while Canada awaits a U.S. decision, the matter hit
US local television in Denver in 2004, apparently calling for a public interest
decision from Americans themselves.
Later that year Moscow News reported a continued struggle with U.S. bureaucracy.
There it was reported California Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, vowed to break
down barriers to its use. Meanwhile, Canada's CBC television went national with the
issue featuring interviews with firefighting bureaucrats from both Canada and
the U.S., a first.
On April 26, 2005, Rep. Rohrabacher spoke to importing the services of IL-76
waterbomber(s) on the floor of the United States House of Representatives,
exhibiting a letter to the U.S. Forest Service chief aviation bureaucrat,
Jerry T. Williams, which demanded an accounting.
According to Venik's Aviation pages online, in 2000, FEMA requested (2) Il-76
waterbombers to respond to Los Alamos area wildfires. Venik further
reported this order was countermanded by the US Forest Service.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ilyushin Il-76".