March 21, 2023

Russian plane design has traditionally not been centered on the newest state-of-the-art expertise. It has been extra about ruggedness and dependability whereas not reliant on high-tech avionics suites or flight management techniques. Throughout the Nineteen Forties, the Ilyushin Il-12 was developed to be a rugged flyer.

The Ilyushin household of plane

IL stands for the world-famous Ilyushin plane designers named after the excellent Russian airplane maker Sergei Ilyushin. The household of civil IL planes began with IL-12, launched in mass manufacturing in 1946, and later adopted by IL-14, IL-18, IL-62… The event of the twin-transport plane Ilyushin Il-12 started in 1943. It was later adopted by the Il-32 cargo glider prototype, 1948, and the Il-34 prototype motorized variant of Il-32.


Like many different Russian plane, the Ilyushin Il-12 had a NATO-given nickname” ‘Coach’. The plane was meant as a substitute for the Lisunov Li-2, an meant Russian competitor to the Douglas DC-3. A complete of 663 Il-12s had been manufactured. The plane was later improved into the Ilyushin Il-14.

The Coach’s development

The Il-12 was a monoplane with metallic pores and skin and a traditional tail part. It featured a tricycle touchdown gear, placing it a step forward of the Li-2 and DC-3 designs when it got here to enhancing visibility when taxiing and touchdown.

Initially, the Il-12 was designed for 29 passengers in a fuselage that was pressurized utilizing centrifugal superchargers put in on the engines. The passenger cabin housed 9 rows of seats with one longitudinal aisle (one seat on the starboard aspect, two on the left) and the tenth row of two seats, situated on the port aspect reverse the entrance door.

Efficiency points

Testing revealed issues with vibration, poor engine-out traits, and the addition of a strut beneath the rear fuselage to stop tipping throughout loading on account of center-of-gravity issues. There have been some modifications within the touchdown gear of the ll-12 prototype for its enhanced stability. The prototype skilled some propeller vibration which was later decreased.

Ilyushin engineers had been involved about engine efficiency and regarded for tactics to boost security if the plane wanted to fly on a single engine. So, they opted for a brand new powerplant possibility.

Modifications to the ll-12 additionally included a brand new wing with fixed dihedral and a ahead wing sweep of three levels for enhanced energy functionality. The touchdown gear was redesigned to retract sooner, and extra hydraulic redundancy was added to keep away from drag throughout an engine failure. Cowlings had been modified for simpler entry throughout servicing.

Ilyushin engineers opted to switch the touchdown gear, wing and engine configurations after some design flaws had been famous throughout flight testing. Picture: by way of Wikimedia Commons

A public rollout

On Could 1, 1947, the primary public demonstration of the Il-12 occurred over Moscow’s Crimson Sq. with a lot fanfare. In June, Aeroflot commenced passenger flights with the plane, and by the tip of the 12 months, these plane had been operated by many territorial departments of the Civil Air Fleet.

In 1948, the IL-12 started flying worldwide routes, beginning with Moscow – Sofia. Operated by the joint Soviet-Bulgarian airline TABSO, with combined nationality crews. Later, IL-12 started to fly usually to Berlin, Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest, Warsaw, Vienna, Kabul, Prague, Tehran, Stockholm, Helsinki, Ulaanbaatar and Hami (Western China). On August 2, 1954, the passenger line Moscow-Paris was launched.

Thereafter, Polish airline LOT acquired 5 Il-12Bs with a passenger cabin structure of 18-21 seats. The primary plane served to coach flight and floor crews with the remainder of the Coach fleet getting into home and worldwide routes. In 1951, the variety of seats was elevated to 26, with subsequent layouts for 24-28 passenger seats.

Il-12s weren’t solely flown by Russian operators but in addition in Asia as evidenced by this instance as soon as operated by the Chinese language army. Picture: by way of Wikimedia Commons

The IL-12 Coach was an plane designed to be rugged and versatile. Though the plane first emerged with some design points requiring refinement, it later proved to be an plane that served not solely Russian pursuits but in addition benefited different events who selected to function the airplane.

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