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Russina Planes And Cold Weather

Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:40 am

I know that this is maybe a dump question, but anyway...

Are Russian planes specially equipped for cold weather winter operations? Do they have any advantage in adverse winter weather conditions over Western airliners?

Winter is pretty tough in Russia, and I imagine that many small airfields in Siberia are probably not very well equipped compared to their Western counterparts. Do Russian airliners have any special equipment to deal with de-icing and other extreme winter weather requirements?

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RE: Russina Planes And Cold Weather

Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:48 am

Basically their mechanical moving parts are much more simplified, their landing gear is stronger, their engines require less maintenance, and the planes are made almost self servable. For example, the Il-86 has a little door in the cargo hold where the passengers could put their luggage in instead of airport service doing it. The Yak-40 is an ultimate plane for those Siberia airports because it is very simple, the flaps are one slot, it has 3 engines "just it case", an automatic opening ladder in the back, low pressure tires and many more features to make it as less complex as possible. If you haven't noticed, many Russian planes have lots of tires compared to their western counterparts so they can land on rough runways, and their systems are triple reserved so that if one fails the plane can still make it out of the airport to a more civilized one. Or for example the wheel base of the Tu-134 and Tu-154 is very wide for better stability on the snowy runways. However some of these things lead to weight increase and increased fuel consumption which wasn't much of a problem in the Soviet Union. As for cold weather all planes are designed to withstand cold not just in Russia.
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RE: Russina Planes And Cold Weather

Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:11 am

This picture gives you a pretty good idea of how cold weather testing may look.
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RE: Russina Planes And Cold Weather

Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:13 am

wow, great picture. I'm getting cold by even looking at it.
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RE: Russina Planes And Cold Weather

Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:02 am

While working the ramp at JFK in the late 80s-early 90s, we serviced the Russian airliners-mainly the IL62, later the IL76.In the winter months, the fuel had to be routed thru a special tank that mixed in some sort of anti-freeze, since the fuel in Russia had some property that kept it from freezing as easily.I guess the fuel heating system wasn't as effective (or designed?) like the western built aircraft.I can attest to the robust build of the landing gear,like an old fashioned outhouse!They were reliable, but I often wondered how lenient their MEL was!

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