State trials of Il-78MD-90A air tanker to be over in 2021

The state trials of Russia’s modernized air tanker, Il-78MD-90A, will be over in 2021, an aircraft industry source has told TASS.

“Last year, we finished building a test model of the air tanker, which is now undergoing the manufacturer’s flight tests. In 2021, we expect to complete state trials and receive the 01 status [giving the green light to the start of serial production],” the source said. “We are taking all measures to speed up the process.”

At present, the aircraft has performed about a dozen out of 73 scheduled test flights.

An Il-78MD-90A air tanker, developed on the basis of Il-76MD-90A, will be the first aircraft of its kind produced in modern Russia. The aircraft made its maiden flight on January 25, 2018. The latest modification of the well-known airlifter has new equipment, including a “glass cockpit”, four modern PS-90A-76 engines, a modified wing and the reinforced chassis. It can carry more fuel and has a longer flight range. Firefighting equipment can be installed on the aircraft if necessary.