Air International 2000-02
A.Dawes - Aeroflot in retrospect and prospect /Commercial aviation/ (2)
Representing the ’other’ Aeroflot, which was actually the VTA (Voenno-Transportnaya Aviatsiya/Military Transport Aviation) in ’disguise’, the Antonov An-22 has been seen in most of the world's disaster areas delivering humanitarian aid and supplies. However, it has also played a significant part in delivering Russian weapons to client states such as Algeria and Libya, where its ‘civilian’ appearance would arouse less interest than an overtly military aircraft.
Скоростной транспортный Ил-20. Некоторое количество "демобилизованных" бомбардировщиков Ил-28 с января 1955 года использовал "Аэрофлот". Их основной задачей являлась быстрая доставка важных грузов, в основном матриц для печати газет "Известия" и "Правда" в Свердловск и Новосибирск. Они также применялись как учебные для подготовки пилотов "Аэрофлота" к полетам на реактивных авиалайнерах Ту-104, для отработки навигационных систем и проверок обеспечения полетов на авиалиниях. Часть самолетов, переоборудованных в транспортные, обозначали Ил-28П (почтовый, он же Ил-20), но, вероятно, они имели и военное назначение.
This Aeroflot Il-20 (civilianised Il-28 Beagle bomber) is as unusual in civilian guise as a Canberra would have been in BOAC colours! Aeroflot operated a small number of these aircraft for high-speed carriage of mail and Pravda newspaper matrices to remote production sites in order that the news was available to readers throughout the Soviet Union on the same day as publication in Moscow.
Often unkindly referred to as a copy of the VC-10, adoption of the well-tried layout for the Il-62 did at least enable Ilyushin designers and Aeroflot to join the intercontinental 'club' with this successful design. It remained in production until 1993, with a total of 270 completed.
In the follow-on design to the Tu-124, the Tu-134 introduced the then quite fashionable twin rear engine layout pioneered by the Caravelle. To some extent this also signalled the early beginnings of the departure from traditional 'Soviet' designs.
Workhorse is a word frequently applied to the less glamorous aircraft, but in the case of the Antonov An-24 it is well deserved. Introduction of the An-24 by Aeroflot on its shorter routes brought reasonable levels of comfort and speed on the airline’s former huge internal network.
Yakovlev’s Yak-40 feeder liner is possibly the nearest any designer has got to producing a jet-powered DC-3! The aircraft is capable of operation from grass airfields and the less well-prepared strips in the remote regions of Russia.
Looking like a long-range intercontinental liner, the Ilyushin Il-86 was actually conceived and built as a short-range high-capacity 'airbus'. When more economical Russian and Western engines became available later, it was used as the basis for a longer range design, which has evolved into the Il-96, with true intercontinental capability.
Judged on the criterion of passenger miles flown for a given fleet size, the Tupolev Tu-154 is arguably the most productive airliner ever flown. It is still an important part of Aeroflot's current fleet, particularly within Russia and the CIS.