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Two Sovietmarker aircraft have shared the designation Ilyushin Il-18. The first Il-18 was a propeller-driven airliner of 1946. After a year of test flights, however, the programme was abandoned.

The second Il-18 (NATO reporting name: "Coot") is a large turboprop airliner somewhat resembling the Lockheed L-188 Electra that became one of the best known of Soviet aircraft (over 850 built), and one of the most popular and long lasting, having first flown in 1957. The Il-18 was one of the world's principal airliners for several decades, and was widely exported. Because of the plane's durability, many achieved over 45,000 flight hours.

Design and development

The Il-18 is a passenger aircraft equipped with four turboprop engines. 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 because of the possibility to increase the number of passenger seats and its flight range for every modification (A, B, V, D and E) as well. 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 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 airportmarker to commemorate this remarkable aircraft.

Seventeen foreign air carriers acquired 125 Il-18 aircraft, seating 100-120 passengers. Many are still in service in Cubamarker, Siberiamarker 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



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-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.


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.


Il-18 operators (current military operators in red)

Civil operators

  • Egyptair (formerly United Arab Airlines)
  • LOT (Nine from 1961)

Military operators

Former military operators

Specifications (Il-18D)

Layout of Il-18

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

External links

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