For the first time, the Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VD aircraft has touched down on the ice airfield at Russia’s Novolazarevskaya outpost in Antarctica, the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute said. According to the institute, the runway was put into operation in November. A Volga-Dnepr Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft, outfitted with the PS-90A-76 engines, conducted the first flight from Cape Town to the Progress station on November 7.
The institute said that the aircraft travelled over 5,300 kilometres in 6.5 hours and safely landed in low visibility due to the expertise of its pilots. The testing outcomes will allow the flight manual for aircraft equipped with this engine type to be supplemented with provisions for landing on snow-covered ice airfields. The plane carried 82 passengers and more than 6.5 tons of supplies for constructing a new winter complex at the Vostok station. A joint crew led by chief pilots of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Nikolai Kuimov and the State Research Institute of Civil Aviation Ruben Yesayan executed the landing. Source: ‚Euroasiantimes‚.