Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Ilyushin Il-18
Expo Air, Sri Lanka - Ilyushin Il-18 - 4R-EXD
Ilyushin Il-18GrM - 4R-EXD
Expo Air Il-18 cargo aircraft taking off at Male International Airport heading for Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Photo taken August 10, 2008
Male International Airport, Republic of Maldives (MLE / VRMM)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Il-18 (NATO reporting name: "Coot") is a large turboprop airliner that became one of the best known Soviet aircraft of its era as well as one of the most popular and durable, having first flown in 1957 and still in use over 50 years later. The Il-18 was one of the world's principal airliners for several decades and was widely exported. Due to the aircraft's airframe durability, many achieved over 45,000 flight hours.

The Il-18's successor was the long range Il-62 jet airliner.

Design and development

Two Soviet aircraft shared the designation Ilyushin Il-18. The first Il-18 was a propeller-driven airliner of 1946 but after a year of test flights that programme was abandoned. The production Il-18 was a passenger aircraft equipped with four turboprop engines and somewhat resembled the Lockheed L-188 Electra and Bristol Britannia. The aircraft was mass manufactured for 12 years. The popularity of the aircraft was ensured, not just because of its reliability and operational economy, but also due to the possibility of increasing the number of passenger seats and flight range for each modification (A, B, V, D and E). The Il-18 was also produced in VIP version («Salon»).

Cubana retrofitted their Il-18s with the Bristol Britannia nosewheel and other parts in the nose gear, to improve the handling on poor runways.

Operational history

The first Il-18, equipped with NK-4 turboprop engines, flew on 4 July 1957. On 17 September 1958 the aircraft first flew with the new Ivchenko AI-20 engines. Vladimir Kokkinaki was the test pilot. Between 1958 and 1960 twenty-five world records were set by this aircraft, among them flight range and altitude records with various payloads. In 1958 the aircraft was awarded the Brussels World Fair Grand Prix. In April 1979 a monument was unveiled at Sheremetyevo airport to commemorate this remarkable aircraft.

Seventeen foreign air carriers acquired 125 Il-18 aircraft, seating 100-120 passengers. Some are still in service in Siberia and the Middle East.


According to Country Studies, Ghana purchased eight Il-18's on credit in 1961, at a price of more than US$1,500,000 each. However, since the operating costs were rather high, four were later returned to the USSR, and others were used by Ghana Airways.

Service life

  • Calendar: 42 years
  • Flight cycles: 18,000
  • Flight hours: 40,000

Civilian Variants

  • Il-18A
    The original production model, powered by either Kuznetsov NK-4 or Ivchenko AI-20 turboprop engines.
  • Il-18B
    First production model, which could seat 84 passengers.
  • Il-18S
    VIP variant of Il-18B
  • Il-18V
    Standard Aeroflot version, which entered service in 1961. The Il-18V was powered by four Ivchenko AI-20K turboprop engines, seating 90-100 passengers.
  • Il-18I
    Equipped with more powerful Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines, producing 3,170 kW (4,250 shp). Seating increased to 122 passengers.
  • Il-18D
    Silmilar to Il-18I, but equipped with an extra centre section fuel tank for increased range. The Il-18D is fitted with four 3,169 ekW (4,250 hp) Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines.
  • Il-18E
    Similar to the Il-18I, but without the increased fuel capacity.
  • Il-18T
    This designation was given to a number of Aeroflot aircraft, which were converted into cargo transport aircraft.

Military Variants

  • Il-20M Coot-A
    ELINT electronic, radar reconnaissance version. Also known as the Il-18D-36 Bizon.
  • Il-20RT
    Naval Elint version.
  • Il-22 Coot-B
    Airborne command post version.
  • Il-24
    ELINT version.
  • Il-24N
    Civilian version of the Il-20 Coot.
  • Il-38
    Maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare version.

Civil Operators

  • Afghanistan
    Royal Afghan Airlines
  • People's Republic of China
    Civil Aviation Administration of China
  • Bulgaria
    Balkan Airlines
  • Cuba
  • Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovak Airlines
  • Djibouti
    Daallo Airlines
  • Germany
    German European Airlines
  • East Germany
    Interflug (16 operated)
  • Egypt
    Egyptair (formerly United Arab Airlines)
  • Ghana
    Ghana Airways
  • Guinea
    Air Guinée
  • Hungary
    Malév Hungarian Airlines
  • Kazakhstan
    Irbis Aero
  • Kyrgyzstan
    Anikay Air
  • Mali
    Air Mali
  • North Korea
    Air Koryo 1 passenger/1 cargo versions
  • Poland
    LOT (10 operated from 1961 until early 1990s)
    Polonia Airways (1 operated in 90s)
    Polnippon (3 operated from 1990 until 1996)
  • Romania
  • Soviet Union
  • Russia
    Domodedovo Airlines
    GVG Airline
    Tretyakovo Airlines
  • Somalia
    Daallo Airlines
    Jubba Airways
  • Sri Lanka
    Expo Aviation
  • Ukraine
    Lviv Airlines
    Sevastopol Avia
  • United Arab Emirates
    Phoenix Aviation
  • Vietnam
    Vietnam Airlines
  • Yemen
    Yemen Airways

Military operators

  • Algeria
  • Georgia
    Georgian Air Force
  • India
    Indian Air Force
  • North Korea
    North Korean Air Force
  • Russia
    Russian Air Force
    Russian Naval Aviation
  • Afghanistan
    Afghan Air Force (Five were delivered in 1968, and have since been retired.)
  • East Germany
    East German Air Force
  • Poland
    Polish Air Force
  • Soviet Union
    Soviet Air Forces
    Soviet Naval Aviation
  • Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavian Air Force

Accidents and incidents

On 23 November 1962, Malév Airlines Flight 355, an Ilyushin Il-18V (HA-MOD), crashed at Paris - Le Bourget Airport, probably as the result of a stall; all 21 on board died.

On 24 Nov 1966, Transportno Aviatsionno (LZ-BEN) Il-18 crashes near Bratislava, executing flight Sofia-Prague. A total of 82 die.Cause: crew oversizes the radius of the after-take-off turn and hits a hill.

November 16, 1967, while taking off from Koltsovo Airport, one of the engines of an Aeroflot Il-18 (SSSR-75538) caught fire. Only 200 meters above the ground, the crew lost control of the plane, killing all 8 crew and 122 passengers.

On 3 Sep 1968, Bulair (LZ-BEG) Il-18 crashes near Karnobat /Bulgaria/, flying the route Dresden-Burgas. A total of 47 are killed. Cause: navigation error in the dark.

On 18 Jan 1971, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (LZ-BED) Il-18, flying Paris/Le Bourget to Sofia, crashes near Zurich airport, 52 die. Cause: landing at fog from the fist approach attempt.

On 28 August 1971, a scheduled Malév Airlines flight, an Ilyushin Il-18V (HA-MOC) crashed into the sea on approach to Copenhagen Airport, killing 32; 2 survived.

On 21 Dec 1971, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (LZ-BES) Il-18 crashes on take-off run at Sofia Airport, trying to head to Algeris. A total of 30 die. Cause: wrong linked ailerons and lack of before-flight check after C-check.

On 29 January 1973, EgyptAir Ilyushin Il-18 SU-AOV crashed into the Pentadaktylos mountain range on approach to Nicosia International Airport (Cyprus), killing all 37 aboard (7 crew and 30 passengers).

On 3 Mar 1973, Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (LZ-BEM) Il-18 crashes near Moscow/Sheremetyevo, killing 39. Cause: ice on the avionics/horizontal stabilizer.

July 28, 1976 - During the flight from Prague Ruzyně Airport, engine 3 of an Czech Airlines Il-18 (OK-NAB) malfunctioned. While trying to power down the broken engine, the crew accidentally turned off engine 4 (which was on the same wing as engine 3). This caused the plane to turn right during an emergency landing at the M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava and crash into the Zlaté Piesky lake, killing 70 passengers and 6 out of 9 crew members. Five crew members were saved right after the crash. However two of them died in hospital because of kerosene poisoning.

Specifications (Il-18D)

General characteristics
Crew: 6 or 7 (pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, flight navigator, and 2 or 3 cabin attendants)
Capacity: 65-120 passengers
Length: 37.40 m (122 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 37.90 m (124 ft 4 in)
Height: 10.17 m (33 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 140 m² (1,506.4 ft²)
Empty weight: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 64,000 kg (140,800 lb)
Powerplant: 4× Ivchenko AI-20M turboprop engines, 3,169 kW (4,250 hp) each
Fuselage diameter: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
Propeller: AW-68 I
Propeller diameter: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
Auxiliary power unit: TG-16M (28 Volt DC)
ICAO standards: Annex 16 Chapter 2
Max. landing weight: 52,600 kg (115,720 lb)
Max. zero-fuel weight: 48,800 kg (107,360 lb)
Max. taxi weight : 64,500 kg (141,900 lb)
Max. fuel tanks capacity: 30,000 l (24,000 kg)

Maximum speed: 675 km/h TAS (364 kn, 416 mph, ~ Mach 0.65 depending on altitude)
Cruise speed: 625 km/h TAS (336 kn, 385 mph, ~ Mach 0.56 depending on altitude)
Range: 6,500 km (3,510 nmi, 4,010 mi)
Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,800 ft)
Range with max.payload: 4,300 km (2,322 nm, 2,650 mi)
Approach minima: ICAO CAT 1 Decision Height 60 m (200 ft) / 800 m (Visibility) or 550 m RVR

Last updated June 29, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ilyushin Il-18".
By use of this site, you accept the Terms And Conditions Of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Copyright © 2004-2012 Airplane Mart Publishing. All rights reserved.