Suddenly the war. Why Russia restores Soviet aircraft production

On the revival of the old Soviet planes go 109,3 billion. And for what? According to the authorities, in a country with so many time zones ashamed to fly on a foreign Board. But consider the drafts of the Il-114 and Il-96-400 under the economic angle is needed at least in order to clearly see their deficiencies.

Recently, President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin once again discussed the future of Russian civil aviation. “We are faced with the most difficult problem is long-haul aircraft. We have the market today to 80% [is] from the Airbus and Boeing”, — Rogozin complained. Well, after he anticipated proposed a comprehensive strategy to address this problem: the state allocates money for the construction of aircraft, for their promotion, sales, and service; the government provides preferential loans, subsidies, other measures of support.

Rogozin listed three of the aircraft, which the Russian Il-114, Il-96, MS-21. And if MS-21 is considered a new generation of aircraft and its first flight expected this spring, the Il-114 and Il-96 appeared in the USSR. Neither of them has long been not to produce, but now everything must change. The government is ready to spend several years and tens of billions of rubles to return the Soviet model back on the market and thus push out the Europeans and Americans.


Not in the economy of happiness

Designed for regional flights of the Il-114 was developed in the 1980-ies; it 64 seats, the flight range of 1500 km. the Plane was built in Tashkent (in all there were about 20 cars, most are already decommissioned). There, in Tashkent, there are several kits that are now planning to put into production.

The Il-96 is designed for long distance and large capacity — the exact values depend on the modification. Just built 30 aircraft. The baseline Il-96-300 also appeared in the late 1980-ies, let him in Voronezh. On the basis of Il-96-300 was created by the chief of the presidential plane, the so-called control point. And the only commercial airline that still has in its fleet of Il-96 is Cubana de Aviacion (three aircraft).

Rogozin promotes Il-96-400M (extended upgraded version of Il-96-300) with a capacity of 400 seats and a range of flights to 9000 km Full passenger versions of the Il-96-400 has never been. The aircraft was originally built as a cargo — four side for the airline “Flight”. After its bankruptcy single aircraft converted into a VIP version for FSB, and one for defense. The fate of the remaining two is unknown, although there were plans to make them tankers.

About to re-start production of the Il-114, in 2014 talking and in the next, 2015, year, and remembered about the Il-96-400. The industry is perplexed, it seems, no one seriously believed in the reality of such plans, because the planes are not economically viable. The Ministry acknowledged that Russia’s domestic market is not able to bring the projects of aviation industry to the point of payback. So if you expect to profit, the only surviving international competition.

However, last spring it became known that both projects will receive government funding. First it was about 50 billion rubles for each plane. Now the numbers are longer: 55.9 billion goes to the Il-114; 53.4 billion — of the Il-96-400.

The production of Il-96-400 left in Voronezh, to run it to the end of 2019. Capacity of the plant can pull two aircraft per year. Regional Il-114 identified in the area of the RAC “MiG” in Lukhovitsy near Moscow. In 2019 there should collect the first Il-114 — Tashkent from the remaining sets.

So, on the revival of the old Soviet planes go 109,3 billion. Why? Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin on this account eloquent and categorical: “It’s a shame! In a country with so many time zones to fly in a foreign port. They are not better than our aircraft, we simply can’t bring to mind. <…> This is intolerable!” But consider the drafts of the Il-114 and Il-96-400 under the economic angle is needed at least in order to clearly see their deficiencies.

How to build

Officials have the plan: five years to release six to eight aircraft Il-96-400 and twenty to twenty — five Il-114 (may be a hundred, “depending on demand”). Volumes, to put it mildly, modest. And if Rogozin is threatening to oust the Russian market of long-haul Airbus and Boeing (we mainly use the A330 and В777), then look at their production volumes. In a month Americans produced six В777 (August 2017 will reduce to five), the Europeans — seven A330 in the last five years is several hundred aircraft.

The Deputy Prime Minister wants to protect, to defend, to recapture the domestic market, citing international experience. “Even though they say some of our liberals that, if the plane is good, it will buy everywhere, it is not. Try to sell Airbus, for example, in the U.S. market or, on the contrary, Boeing somewhere in Europe,” enlightened Rogozin, the Russian President.

Now take open data. Today, more than 1,400 Airbus flies in North America, including in the Park the largest U.S. airlines — American Airlines and Delta Airlines. In the U.S. Airbus has opened an Assembly production of A320.

The situation is similar in Europe. More than 1700 Boeing is currently in the Park of European carriers, including Lufthansa, Air France, Ryanair. For Airbus and Boeing market is the whole world, not separate regions. They aggressively compete in Africa, the middle East and of course in Asia, which is now the world’s highest rate of passenger growth.

And one digression. Airbus and Boeing have long argued, how many engines on long-haul plane is better, two, or four. It was a tough fight. Eventually won the concept of two engines from Boeing: security does not suffer, and the economic benefit is much higher. Airbus had to shut down production of the A340 with four engines because it could not compete with dual В777.

Program four-engined passenger aircraft A380 from Airbus and the Boeing B747 on the verge of closing, the market does not need them. But not yet existing passenger aircraft Il-96-400 four engine. This is probably all you need to know about his competition with Airbus and Boeing.

Who will buy

United aircraft Corporation (UAC) formulates: the Il-96-400M in special versions may be of interest to specialized contractors. Deputy Prime Minister says about airlines. “For those companies that will buy Russian aircraft, we will provide best routes and special concessions of an economic nature”, — Rogozin said Putin. The idea of Putin liked.

The question is whether the Il-96-400M Russian airlines from a business point of view, was not raised. But just look at the route network of Aeroflot, S7, UTair, mostly from the direction of the average duration to five hours. Hence, the corresponding fleet needs. Even Aeroflot, the largest and most wealthy of the carrier on long-haul aircraft account for only a fifth of the fleet (15 aircraft В777, 22 A330).

About the market of regional aircraft officials say honestly: not deeply investigated. A survey of airlines revealed the need for about 50 new ships. “In the endless soap Opera with the revival of domestic aircraft building confuses only one thing: air travel in revenue, net profit, taxes and jobs are already infinitely far from miserable industry, inertia collecting buckets with nuts. But officials continue to look at them [air] as an appendage of the aviation industry,” said independent aviation expert Andrew Kramarenko.

“The representatives of the aviation industry one thought: domestic airlines should order domestic aircraft. No one is going to create a modern, competitive product. One desire — to return to the USSR and forced to take what is given”, — said the chief editor avia. ru the novel of hussars.

Where to fly

As already mentioned, Rogozin promises a “Patriotic” hauliers different bonuses — for example, give them the best routes. Curiously, he took direct flights to the far East (this is for the Il-96-400).

The state is not the first year in the far East subsidizes (compensates for part of the ticket price to encourage ridership). In the understanding of the Deputy Prime Minister, obtaining budget money — this is the benefit? By the way, a number of regional transport also sit on government subsidies, that is, and for the Il-114 can be, too “lucrative” routes.

Also in the category of best routes were “the most popular among Russian tourists” (is what?). It’s no secret that due to the economic downturn of the tourism niche subsided. And in General, the number of long-haul flights in the USA, Latin America, South-East Asia — is not growing.

For a better understanding of scale: most of the flying country in the world, USA, it is not easy to find direct flights from new York to anchorage, Alaska (this is the analogue of the Moscow — Vladivostok). The search engines give almost 60 flights between these cities, but with a transfer one or two. The only direct flight managed to find in August, runs once a week, costs twice as much as interchange.

Patriotism, conspiracy theories, family

The economic motive in the project Il-114 and Il-96-400 can not be traced. But why Rogozin so obsessed with the idea to return these aircraft? Will try to put forward the version.


Patriotic version. Its main chants: “Russia — a great aviation power!”, “The domestic market is ours!”, “Airbus and Boeing, hands off our passengers”, “bring Back our plane at any cost!”, “The enemy is everywhere!”. Current leaders of the country come from the Soviet Union — a country isolated from the outside, necessarily hostile, world. It is this closed model of existence they seem very reasonable.

It turns out, and it is necessary to return the Soviet planes. Not just any — on the Il-96 flies Vladimir Putin personally. And so many of these aircraft will be done, who will buy them and at what price matters. Fueled aircraft patriotism and sanctions: how is talking about the cold war and the strengthening of defense.

But while Rogozin scolding Airbus and Boeing, is threatening to oust them from the Russian market, the same Airbus and Boeing have large contracts with the Russian company “VSMPO AVISMA” to supply titanium for its airplanes. Boeing has a joint venture with “VSMPO AVISMA” in the Urals and engineering center of Boeing in Russia, the largest outside USA. State-controlled Aeroflot continues to receive new aircraft.

Conspiracy theories. In the center of the plot — the struggle for a resource (in this case, for budget money, which is getting smaller). A Il-114 and Il-96-400 — only the means to an end. The struggle is on different levels and hidden from prying eyes. In the public space of its echo can be strange statements, hints, significant silence, etc. and remains to be interpreted.

Take the phrase “though some say our liberals…”, which Deputy Prime Minister used in a conversation with Putin. What he meant by this definition, unknown. But the feeling that the phrase taken out a long nasty dispute with someone. Supervisory experts noticed that Rogozin, inadvertently went to a field of another Vice-Premier — the curator of air transport of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich. It is usually attributed to the so-called liberal bloc of the government. Here and draw conclusions. The party won: Putin gave the money.

Then the struggle is unfolding on the simpler levels: between the factories, leasing companies, manufacturers of engines/components, directly or indirectly controlled by the state (a stranger has no place here). Under the guise of the importance of projects everyone will try to snatch from the budget pie piece, piece, Yes, even crumbs.

Pay attention to the time factor. All reported Il-114 and Il-96-400 is sent in 2018, but the conversations are now. Is it a coincidence? In 2018 presidential elections, and with them possible personnel shake-up. Most important rule of personnel policy of Putin by surprise. Therefore, no delay: to get the money you need here and now, and there the card will fall.

Family version. Ask anyone in the aviation community the question of why Rogozin interested in the promotion of the Il, will get the answer about family ties. They say that Rogozin is associated with the Director General aviation complex. Ilyushin Victor Livanov. Lebanon was led by KB since 1998, engaged in the aviation industry until his death in 2014.

Details in the media a bit. According to the magazine “Profile”: “Family Levanovich and Rogozin close to the Soviet era. Livanov worked in of KB. Ilyushin. Father Rogozin in the Ministry of defense of the USSR was responsible for the development of new military equipment. <…> The older sister Rogozin — Livanov second wife”. Hence, perhaps, and the love of Rogozin to the Il-114 and Il-96?

Although he Livanov in 2013 in an interview with “Vedomosti” on the question of whether the KLA to make a new long-haul aircraft, frankly admitted: “Definitely I can not say. All the best minds leaked to Airbus and Boeing”.