The first flying prototype of Russia's Ilyushin IL-96-400M has arrived for its final assembly at the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) plant.
"The IL-96-400M first flight prototype has arrived to the final assembly shop," manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation announced earlier this week.
The upgraded four-engine wide-body airliner programme is therefore, nearing the first flight stage, albeit with a two-year delay and with no commercial airline thus far having announced a willingness to act as the launch customer for the aircraft.
VASO has now attached the wing to the fuselage and commenced the installation of flight control systems and cabin interior, Ilyushin’s statement reads. The flight test prototype’s final assembly is due to be completed before the end of this year, followed by a series of ground tests. Thus the first IL-96-400M will not take to the skies before 2021.