Accident in a Russian airplane factory injured several workers and killed one – Technology Org

Ilyushin Il-76 is a Soviet/Russian strategic and tactical airlifter. It is a large four-engine transporter, used for military duties by a number of countries, including, of course, Russia and Ukraine. Il-76 can also be used as a civilian cargo aircraft. Several days ago it was announced that there was an accident in an aircraft factory in Ulyanovsk that involved one brand-new Il-76MD-90A. Several people were reported to have been injured and at least one lost his life.

Russian Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A - modernized version of the type, which started service in 2015.

Russian Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A – a modernized version of the type, which started service in 2015. Image credit: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ilyushin Il-76 took to the skies for its maiden flight in 1971 and entered service in 1974. It was always intended to be used by militaries for transport duties. The Il-76MD-90A is a modernized version of the type, announced in 2010 and first delivered in 2015. Not many of this type of aircraft have been built at the Ulyanovsk plant “Aviastar-SP” to this day. In late 2022 it was reported that only 15 had been built.

The Il-76MD-90A has some upgrades over the old Soviet aircraft. For example, the modernized version has an upgraded glass cockpit with new avionics, a new one-piece carbon-fiber wing, and Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 engines.

Due to these changes, the Il-76MD-90A has a capacity of 60 tonnes – 18 tonnes larger than the older Il-76M. Its ferry range was also increased to 9,300 km (without cargo) and it is generally more fuel efficient. However, the production of these planes is not going as smoothly as Russia probably would have wanted.

Back on March 2nd, it was reported that there was an accident in the Ulyanovsk plant. It occurred during the testing of the fuselage compartment of an aircraft that was in production. Details are scarce, but it is likely that the fuselage was being pressure-tested and failed, causing numerous injuries and one fatality.

The causes of the accident are being investigated and are unlikely to be made reliably public. However, for months now people have been wondering if sanctions on technology export to Russia would have a dramatic effect on the safety of the industries in Russia.

It is known that a lot of technology, including spare parts of aircraft and such scientific equipment and other important industrial devices, cannot be exported to Russia. Furthermore, there might be some pressure to deliver those airplanes sooner, as Russia is ramping up its war efforts against Ukraine.

It would be interesting to know whether the plant itself can resume work quickly. Having supply disruptions, it might take Russia longer than usual to repair any damage that might have occurred and, of course, the expected delivery of the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A will have to be significantly postponed.

Sources: , Wikipedia

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