Starting from the Soviet era, Russia has always been building some of the most iconic aircraft. The Russian aviation sector has always been at the forefront to challenge the western world in aviation technology supremacy. Since the Soviet Union’s disintegration, the scale has been just limited within borders, mostly due to financial difficulties.
While talking about Russian aircraft design and technology, Illyushin is a very revered name. It has built some of the famous aircraft like Il62, Il-76, Il-96, and many more. On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, Ilyushin conducted its maiden test flight of the highly upgraded and modernized version Il 114-300. With all the upgrades, the aircraft looks promising in terms of range, economic and positions itself as a competitor to the market leader in the segment ATR-72 and Dash 8.
The Nepalese aviation sector has mostly favored the western manufacturers except for the Russian mil-8 and Mil-17 helicopters, a workhorse for Nepal Army and domestic cargo operators. In the past decade, the Nepalese domestic aviation sector is booming, and with new entrants, the industry is even going to be more competitive. The operators will want to look for aircraft that offer cheap operating costs at a lower price per seat per mile. Currently, ATR is a market leader in domestic and regional aviation, and the same is the case in Nepal. Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines operate 16 of the type, and other operators are looking to get more aircraft. Below is the comparison of how the Il 114-300 stands with ATR-72 and why there is a case for Nepalese operators to look into this aircraft.
|Parameters||ATR 72-500||IL 114-300|
|Max Payload (Kg)||7500||6500|
|Cruise Speed (Km/Hr)||510||500|
|Max Takeoff Wt. (Kg)||23000||23500|
|Fuel Consumption (Kg/hr)||620||500|
|Takeoff Distance (m)||1367||1400|
|Aircraft Dimensions (L×W×H)||27.17m×2.57m×7.65m||26.87m×2.86m×9.32m|
Russian aircraft manufacturers haven’t had much success lately in the international market, partly due to international sanctions. For, e.g., Sukhoi Superjet was a perfect aircraft made to fit the regional aviation market. Still, poor after sales service from the manufacturer was a primary reason why some international operators moved away from it. Russian manufacturers trying to penetrate the market owned by western manufacturers should have learned a lesson on this part. It is a well-known fact that Russian aircraft are far cheaper than western aircraft and offer better comfort due to their wider fuselage size. If Ilyushin 114-300 matches the performance and reliability on paper, this could be one of the perfect regional aircraft. There is no reason why the Nepalese operators should not look into it, given that regulators allow it to fly in the country.