The Il-103 is one of the Russian aerospace industry's first attempts at designing and building a light aircraft for both eastern and western certification.
The Il-103 was originally conceived in response to a Russian requirement for 500 military and civil basic trainers. Program go-ahead for this new tourer and trainer was given in 1990. First flight was originally planned for the second half of 1993, although this was delayed until May 17 1994.
The Il-103 is one of the first all new four seat piston engine light aircraft to be developed in the 1990s. Optimised for western markets, it is powered by a six cylinder Teledyne Continental IO360, while western avionics equipment is available optionally. Ilyushin is marketing tourer and trainer versions which differ only in seating capacity, the trainer seats two, the tourer four or five.
Ilyushin has now received both Russian and US FAA FAR Part 23 certification. Russian AP23 certification was awarded in February 1996, with first deliveries to local customers taking place later that year, while US certification was awarded in December 1998.
The Il-103 is being developed in three basic models. The basic Il-103 is intended for the Russian market. The Il-103-10 is the export version with upgraded avionics, while the Il-103-11 is for export but with partially upgraded avionics compared to the Russian baseline fit.
Ilyushin is looking at certificating the Il-103 with a 1460kg (3218lb) max takeoff weight and a development with a 194kW (260hp) class Teledyne Continental or Textron Lycoming.
The Il-103 is one of a small number of promising Russian designs that looks capable of realistically achieving sales success in western markets and thus earning much needed foreign currency.
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