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.
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Yefim Gordon is one of Russia’s leading aviation writers and publishers. He is the author of many books on Soviet aviation and currently lives in Moscow.
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