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Ilyushin Il-18

Medium-range transport aircraft


There were numerous military versions of the Il-18 turboprop airliner

Entered service ?
Crew 9 men
Dimensions and weight
Length ~ 36 m
Wing span ~ 37 m
Height ~ 10 m
Weight (empty) ~ 35 t
Weight (maximum take off) ~ 64 t
Engines and performance
Engines 4 x Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines
Engine power 4 x 4 250 hp
Maximum speed 675 km/h
Cruising speed 625 km/h
Service ceiling 11.8 km
Range (with 6 500 kg payload) 6 500 km
Range (with maximum payload) 3 700 km
Ferry range ?
Maximum payload 13.5 t
Troops 65 - 120 men
Cargo compartment dimensions ?


   The Il-18 (Western designation Coot) first flew in 1957 and was produced in large numbers for civilian operators. Its production commenced in 1959. This aircraft was a milestone in development of Soviet commercial aviation. Its performance, capacity and reliability made it an obvious choice for adaptation of redundant airframes for military roles. These militarized versions were used by the Soviet Air Force and Soviet Naval Aviation. Both civil and militarized versions of the Il-18 have been exported to a number of Soviet allies and countries where the Soviet influence has spread, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. In some countries the Il-18 it was used as a government, presidential or VIP transport.

   Currently a single Il-18 is still used by North Korean Air Force. Versions of this aircraft, such as Il-20 or Il-38 are used by the Russian military.

   The Il-18T is a military transport aircraft. It was used to carry troops, vehicles, cargo and evacuate casualties. However there was also a commercial airliner with the same designation.

   The Il-18 can carry a maximum load of about 13 500 kg. Range with maximum payload is 3 700 km.

   The Il-18 is powered by four Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines, developing 4 250 hp each.

   There were numerous variants of the Il-18. Only military variants are listed below.




   Il-18AT is a military transport version, converted from civilian Il-18A;

   Il-18BT is a military transport version, converted from civilian Il-18B;

   Il-18VT is a military transport version, converted from civilian Il-18V;

   Il-18TD could carry 118 paratroopers or 69 stretchers. A single aircraft was built to this standard. However it was not wanted by the military. Later this sole aircraft was converted to another variant;

   Il-18USh navigator trainer aircraft. One Il-18V was modified to this standard. It was tested and found acceptable. However Soviet Air Force used a modified version of the Tupolev Tu-124 for this role instead;

   Communications relay aircraft, based on the civilian Il-18D. A total of 3 aircraft were modified to this standard to provide a communications relay between VIP aircraft and Government bodies;

   Il-20M (Coot-A) strategic electronic intelligence and radar reconnaissance aircraft. Previously it was known as Il-18D-36 Bizon. This aircraft was fitted with a side-looking airborne radar, cameras and other optical sensors. It can be regarded as a Soviet answer to the Boeing RC-135 series. Russian Air Force still operates some Il-20 aircraft and its versions;

   Il-20RT telemetry and communications relay aircraft. A total of 4 of these aircraft were built to support the Soviet space activities. Later these were replaced by a specialized variant of the newer Il-76. Surviving Il-20RTs were used by the Russian Air Force and Naval Aviation as trainers and transports;

   Il-22 (Coot-B) airborne command post variant. It was developed by the Myasischev design bureau it was converted from the Il-18D and known as Il-18D-26 Bizon. There were also essentially the same, but newly-built aircraft, known as Il-22M. Later some of the Il-22 were reconverted and served as staff and VIP transports;

   Il-22M airborne command post variant. It was also known as Il-22M-11 Zebra. Unlike the baseline Il-22, converted from the Il-18D, the Il-22M was a newly-built aircraft. It was the same as Il-22, but had new mission equipment;

   Il-38 (Western designation May) anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft. A total of 58 of these aircraft were built.








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