A Versatile Turboprop Transport (Aerofax series)
By Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
Ian Allan Publishing, 2004
Softbound, 160 Pages
Approx 260 b/w & color photos plus 8 pages of 5-view line drawings
Available from Specialty Press for $ 32.95
Item # MC157
Developed as a high-capacity long-range airliner for use on Aeroflot?s busiest routes, the Ilyushin IL-18 four-turboprop airliner first flew on July 4th, 1957. Despite some initial difficulties, this Soviet equivalent of the Lockheed Electra eventually proved to be extremely successful, offering high comfort and good operating economics, for its day.
The IL-18 was supplied to many ?friendly nations? in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Its uses included passenger and cargo carriage, VIP transportation, support of Soviet research stations in Antarctica, electronic espionage and various research and development programs, both civil and military.
This book charts the development history of the IL-18. It also provides information on an earlier piston-engined airliner of the same name which turned out to be ahead of its time and was destined never to enter production. It also describes all the principal commercial versions as well as test and development aircraft.
Separate chapters are dedicated to aircraft in the IL-18 family which bore separate designations, such as the IL-20M ELINT, the IL-20RT space tracker, the IL-22 airborne command post, the IL-24N ice reconnaissance aircraft used to support commercial shipping operations in the Arctic regions and the IL-38 anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
The book starts with an excellent 4-page introduction on what led to the development of the first in the series of the Il-18 family. Included are some great photos of the competitor's products and what made the Il-18 so different from them. All the differences that made the Il-18 so much more successful and a true classic among the trurboprop airliners of the 1950s and 1960s.
Chapter One covers the development and flight test phase of the program in great detail. Included are all the facts and figures the designers had to work around and operational requirements that had to be met. Accompanying photos tell the story of how all the different aircraft sections, such as engines, were tested on other aircraft and finally came together to form the first aircraft and get it ready for it's maden flight.
Chapter two continues with the development of the family, covering all the different versions in great detail. There were quite a few different versions: from the original medium-haul airliner design, to the Combi version, VIP version, Cargo Version, all the way to the Fishery Reconnaissance and Ice Reconnaissance versions and many more in between. What really got my attention in this section were photos showing the Il-18 fitted with different Soviet jet-fighter noses as they were being developed and tested. The aircraft fitted with a highly modified nose to test missle guidance systems really stands out. You have to see it to believe it! The development into different military versions is covered quite well. Unlike many Soviet designs, the Il-18 was designed and developed as an airliner first and then adapted for different military roles. Usually Soviet airliners are derivatives of military designs.
Chapter three goes deeper into the anatomy of the aircraft. Everything from the fuselage, wings, tail, landing gear, powerplant, control systems, electrical system, avionics, oxygen system, de-icing system, hydraulics, fuel system, and different passenger accomodations are covered in great detail. One page is completely devoted to the different specifications between the Il-18A, B, V, E and D versions.
Chapter four covers the craft in airline service. This chapter is filled with some great photos showing the bird in airline service. Almost all angles are covered here including some very early shots at Moscow. Other chapters continue with the roles and capabilities of the military versions and the Il-18 in service with foreign operators. Modelers will find the 8 pages of 5-view drawings and 16 pages of color photos to their liking. The drawings are top-notch and will no doubt make you want to build a model of this great airplane. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Soviet airliners or wanting to learn more about these great airplanes on which good info is finally beginning to be made available.
About the Authors
Yefim Gordon is one of Russia's leading aviation writers and publishers. He is the author of many books on Soviet aviationa and currently lives in Moscow.
Dmitriy Komissarov is rapidly establishing himself as a respected authority on Russian and Soviet aviation. He works in the puslishing industry and lives in Moscow.
AirlinerCafe.com would like to thank Specialty Press for the complimentary review sample. Be sure to visit [url=http://www.specialtypress.com]their website[/url] for this book and many other airliner books. In the US feel free to call them at 1-800-895-4585 and order one today with a flat-fee shipping rate of $ 4.95 regardless of the number of books you order.
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