Assembly of the first four-engine Ilyushin IL-96-400M wide-body passenger aircraft has begun at the Voronezh Aviation Plant (VASO) in southwest Russia.
- Earlier in November, the factory reported it was taking delivery of some structural components and was starting subassembly of the new version’s wing and fuselage.
- The design documentation for the complete aircraft is currently also being finalised.
- With a projected passenger capacity of 390 seats, the first flight of the aircraft – powered by Russian-made PS-90A1 engines – is scheduled for next year.
- The engine maker UEC-Perm Motors (part of United Engine Corporation) has confirmed it is planning to deliver the first engines for the programme before the end of this year.
- At the beginning of 2018, the Russian government allocated 1.32 billion roubles to United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), parent of the Voronezh Aviation Plant, for the necessary reconstruction and technical upgrade of the manufacturing facilities designated for serial assembly of the IL-96-400M.
- The IL-96-400M passenger aircraft project, although officially recognised as commercially unviable, is nevertheless aimed at sustaining and developing the all-round competences of VASO.