Re: IL-96 vs. A340

Date:         27 Dec 96 04:41:01 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>The IL-96M is described in the Aeroflot home page ...

They say Il-96M, but JP says they only have the Il-96-300 version.
Despite that, I think the Aeroflot Il-96 I saw at SFO a while back
was an Il-96M.  Possibly the -300s were converted; the prototype
Il-96M was a converted -300.

The difference is significant, despite using a nearly identical
airframe.  The Il-96M was Pratt and Whitney PW2337 engines along
with Western avionics, while the Il-96-300 has Soloviev's PS-90
engines and Russian avionics.

>... as having a 12-13,000 km range, and advanced avionics.  It bears
>some resemblance to an A340 - 4 engines, winglets; it's actually a
>pretty modern-looking aircraft.

That's an interesting comparison.  The basic design is not nearly as
new as the A340 as it was developed from the Il-86, which dates from
about the same time as the 757 and 767.  Much has been changed since
the original Il-86, though, not the least of which are the engines,
the Achille's heel of the Il-86.  The latest versions of each seem
very similar:

  Aircraft	Ilyushin 96M	Airbus A340-300
  MGTOW		270,000 kg	271,000 kg
		595,250 lbs	597,500 lbs
  Seats, max	350		350
  Engines	PW2337		CFM56-5C4
    Thrust	38,250 lbs	34,000 lbs
    Weight	7,160 lbs	5,700 lbs

>My question is this - if the aircrafts' capabilities are similar (are
>they?) why do we not see too many of 'em here in the west...there
>must be reasons.  Safety?  That's the first thing that comes to mind.
>Also perhaps availability of parts, and such?

Engines from the former Soviet Union are pretty undesireable -- they
have an enormous appetite for fuel and have *total* lifetimes that are
a small fraction of the typical time between overhauls of Western

With the PW2337 engines and Western avionics, the Il-96M is a far more
capable competetor, but hasn't been around very long yet, and suffers
from a great deal of uncertainty about the manufacturer's ability to
even deliver aircraft, never mind support the product in the future.

Similar arguments apply to the Tupolev 204 versus the Boeing 757 --
the Tu-204 has flown with both the RB.211-535 and PW2000 engines used
on the 757, and Boeing engineers seem to highly regard it, but without
a strong support organization, it has an uphill battle in the market-

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills