TP343 From Brazil, joined May 1999, 312 posts, RR: 4 Posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1095 times:
Ukraine International Airlines, Aerosweet, Estonian Air, Air Lithuania, LOT, CSA, Balkan, TAROM, Malév, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, MIAT, Cubana, Aeroflot and Transaero. These airlines compose the bigger and most important part of the group of international-level airlines from ex-socialists countries.
As we know, they are assumedly moving to an all-occidental made fleet, composed by Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, SAAB, etc. planes, as they (sadly) consider that it's a shame to operate "those flying things" made in USSR. Even Aeroflot, which was the most probable to keep supporting Russian and CIS-made products, is adding many Airbus and Boeing to its fleet and they're told to be in talks with both Airbus and Boeing to redo its short-range fleet. And, on the other side, I recognise that it is 99.8% improbable that an airline from the occident (places such the EU, the USA, Japan) will someday order planes from CIS manufacturers! So, the orders should come from countries such Poland, The Czech Republic, Romania, Uzbekistan, exactly from those airlines I've listed on the beginning of this post. But, they are not coming from any of the sides...
Face to this, what seems to be the future of air-constructors such Antonov, Ilyushin, Tupolev, Beriev and Yaklovev? Are planes such the An-140, Il-114, Tu-324, Tu-214, Il-96-300/M/T so bad face to the occidental equivalent products that they can't receive orders neither from airlines from where they are made? What is the problem there? Neither state-owned airlines from (ex-) socialists countries (Cubana de Aviación is an example) seem to be interested or with financial conditions to investing in planes like the Il-114, Tu-214s and Il-96-300 to replace/ complement their existing fleets! I know there are some orders for some planes, such the 17 IL-96M + 3 IL-96T for Aeroflot, but anyway they are not enough to keep an industry working! I don't believe Ilyushin will be capable of selling few more of them. It seems that there are not more interested airlines at all! What about the just-launched Tu-324? Who may order it in this present situation?
I'd appreciate any news someone may have and I'd like also to hear what are your thoughts about what the future reserves to those manufacturers. I'd like to add that I'm quite sad to observe this panorama and forecast this (black and doubtful) future to these manufacturers, as their legacy is extremely important to the aerospacial history, and they have made wonderful flying machines such the old Ant-20, Il-12, Tu-104, Tu-114 "Rossyia", Mil MI-12, and the modern An-124 ("Ruslan"), An-225 ("Mriya"), Tu-144, etc, all of them very important for the development of our aerospacial industry along the decades. (Not to forget that the employees from Antonov, Ilyushin, Tupolev,... also have children to take care of).
Ilyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1061 times:
Great to see your subject posted, TP343.
I for one can say that the Soviet/Russian aerospace industry has many hurdles to jump if it is ever to compete on the world market. Not that it hasn't progressed, but Russian airliners have neither the reputation nor the following Western aircraft do.
The primary problems of Soviet airliners were that they used too much fuel, were too noisy and dirty, and required frequent maintenance and overhaul. Plus the level of passenger comfort and safety fell FAR below Western standards. Former Eastern Bloc countries were virtually given no option other than to buy Soviet aircraft for their airlines. Once those ties were broken, and the strangleholds relaxed, Poland, Czecho- Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. flocked to buy Western aircraft, if they did not already have a few in service. Now that they have a choice, no airline wants to use out-dated, uncomfortable, inefficient aircraft, and they are getting rid of them as quickly as they can.
There have been various projects looked into within Russia as far as modernising existing aircraft platforms. For example, research was carried out on how to re-engine both the Ilyushin IL86 and Tupolev TU154 with CFM engines. Neither project was deemed economically viable. Interior re-fits are more practical, but do not provide a long-term solution in terms of capacity and efficiency. Additionally, new Russian airliners simply are not up to standard if they are produced using only Russian engines, avionics and aircraft interior fittings. For example, the Ilyushin IL96-300, Russia's first fly-by-wire long-range widebody airliner, is equipped with the first high-bypass turbofans ever produced for a civil airliner in Russia by a Russian engine producer. The engine, the Perm/Soloviev PS90A, has been plagued with problems since it was first put on the wing of an IL96. This engine is also used on the Tupolev TU204, as well as the Ilyushin IL76MF. Aeroflot has been and will be the only customer for the IL96-300 and domestic TU204, largely out of a commitment to support the Russian aerospace industry. No other airline has such obligations or is willing to deal with an aircraft that spends weeks at a time parked with an engine or two off the wing due to mechanical failure.
In order to overcome its bad history with countries outside of Russia, the Russian civil aviation industry as a whole will have to produce and sell top-notch equipment over time, thus proving itself to the world. Possibilities exist that if, for example, Ilyushin were to loan several IL96M long-range jetliners to an airline to use on its routes, as did Airbus with Eastern and the A300 back in the early '70s, Russian airliners could gain more acceptance and become competitive. One thing Russian aircraft have had and still have working in their favour, is that they are priced FAR below their Western equivalents. So, if an IL96M can carry the payload and passengers of an A340, at half the purchase price, and is just as reliable and efficient, some airlines might be convinced to look at the IL96.
As I've emphasized in previous posts, all hope for the Russian aviation industry rests in joint ventures to produce aircraft with Western engines, avionics and cabin fittings. With these comes the possibility for orders from customers both within and outside the CIS. And Ilyushin, Tupolev, Antonov, Yakovlev and Beriev will have to work hard to get those orders. Hopefully, their survival is important enough that they will do what it takes.
TP343 From Brazil, joined May 1999, 312 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1051 times:
Thanks for be present!
Do you know any details about the work on the industries themselves? (I mean, do you know if they are producing planes right now or if they are temporarely closed due to the financial problems Russia is facing?)
And, what do you think about the IL96T? I believe that face to this panorama, this model could be the most well-succeed plane from the IL96 family, as it fits a market where there are not going to be new planes so soon (unless Airbus advances with a A330/340 Freighter or Boeing advances with a B777F): the DC-10Cargo/MD-11F market!
I don't know if you share my opinion, but the Il96T seems very interesting to me: a "modern" (ok, for the Russian patterns), cheap and spacious wide-body cargo airliner. Do you think it could have any chance of being operated by an occidental airline in place of DC10C, DC8, A300F...? Or even compete directly against the A300F, MD11F, B767F, B747-400F,...? Do you (or others that read this, as well) have additional information about this plane, such as if it is already ready for production, how long are the deliveries taking to happen, how much cargo in tons and volume can it carry,...
What are in your opinion the perspectives for this particular plane? Do you think that without a direct help from Ilyushin (no loan from IL to incentivate and help with $), airlines from the around the world would be interested on operating this plane, by themselves and their own costs?
Ilyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1054 times:
Hey TP343 -
I'll respond to your questions in order.
First, the Ilyushin and Tupolev are producing airliners, though in limited quantities. I can't tell you the number of aircraft currently on the floors in various stages of assembly, but Ilyushin has an order for the 17 IL96Ms and 3 IL96Ts for Aeroflot. Production of the IL96-300 continues, but in limited quantities. Tupolev has a contract for 10 + TU214s for Sirocco and is in negotiations with a West German cargo airline as well (for what quantity, I am not certain). So they ARE producing the newest planes, slowly but surely. From what I know, Antonov (this is a Ukrainian aircraft construction bureau, not Russian) and Yakovlev do not have any large orders for aircraft whatsoever. Antonov is currently developing the AN70 cargo aircraft and is producing the AN72 and AN74 in limited quanitities. They are also developing the AN140 commuter airliner, but it has yet to make its first flight, and Russian certification trials are lengthy and can span years. Yakovlev has nothing on the drawing board which I am aware of. Beriev has a great amphibian aircraft, the BE70 (I think) which will be used mostly to fight forest fires, when it reaches production, The BE70 is currently undergoing trials for Russian certification.
The Tupolev TU214 has already received the boost I think will eventually come to the IL96M/T. The TU214 is operated by Sirocco of Egypt in both its passenger and cargo versions. It is powered by the Rolls-Royce RB211-524, the same engine as on one variant of the Boeing 757-200. As well, the PS90A-powered TU204 is in service with Vnukovo Airlines, Transeuropean and a few other local carriers based in Moscow and Siberia.
Now, as far as the IL96M/T is concerned, the only airline currently expecting them is Aeroflot. However, given its fantastic combination of Russian airframe construction and Western engines and avionics, I think it will see some success. It will most certainly be the long-range airliner of choice for Aeroflot and Pulkovo Airlines. It could also see orders from Air Ukraine, Sibir, Air Tadjikistan, possibly even CSA, LOT, Malev and Balkan, for the latter certainly are or will be in the market for a long-range, 350+ passenger widebody which they can afford better than a new Boeing. But as I mentioned in my previous post, the IL96M/T will have to prove itself by reputation first. As far as the freighter is concerned, it certainly could be acquired at a significantly less cost than any Western equivalent, and will have a huge cargo carrying capacity. The IL96T could indeed see orders from Western cargo airlines.
Here are a few specs on the IL96M/T. The powerplants are Pratt&Whitney PW2337 engines. The passenger capacity is to be about 385 in a three-class layout. Cargo capacity for the IL96T should be equal to that of an MD11F. The plane should have the range of an A340; the current IL96-300 is capable of making non-stop flights from Moscow to San Francisco, as well as Moscow to Tokyo and Bangkok, so the IL96M, with its increased fuel capacity and more efficient engines, could be the first Aeroflot jetliner to make non-stop flights to Australia and other faraway points on the globe.
I don't know that the IL96M/Twill see many orders immediately. However, if I were an airline executive, I would certainly consider the aircraft. Unlike its predecessors, the IL96M/T has a great deal of Western components used in its construction, and has a measure of comfort and reliability no other Russian airliner has at present. I also think price is the deciding factor which will get orders for it. Unfortunately, much will have to be left to the whims of fate.