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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Looking at one of the Soviet's giant air transporters

Advanced planes that "appear" in the search wreckage of Malaysia Airlines's MH370 plane not only made in the United States. For example, two units China's Ilyushin IL-76 which began to plunge on Monday, March 24, 2014 are the aircraft which was developed by the Soviet Union.
The Ilyushin Il-76 is a first Soviet four-jet heavy transport designed to fly strategic military cargos. (Picture from: http://sains.kompas.com/)
In the first day of their searching mission, the China's IL-76 aircrafts successfully detect the objects thought to be MH370 debris. But two advanced aircrafts of Australian's P-3 Orion and U.S. P-8 Poseidon which were conducted searching mission since the previous day did not find any results.

What's special about China's IL-76's? As in the quotation of the Military Aircraft site revealed that the China's aircraft can operate in adverse weather conditions, a condition experienced by MH370 searching team today. IL-76 Aircraft was developed in 1967. The aim of this development is to provide an aircraft fleet that can carry 40 tons of cargo for a distance up to 5,000 km in less than six hours.
Two Chinese Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircrafts, expected to join the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in Perth. (Picture from: http://www.smh.com.au/)
This aircraft was first used by the Soviet Union in 1974. After a time, many of European, Asian, and African countries has ordered the aircraft. Various types of aircraft were developed, from which is used for both civilian to military.
Size comparision between Ilyushin Il-76 Candid and Lockheed CC-130H Hercules. (Picture from: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/)
One of the role of these is aircraft was the Soviet Union mission in Afghanistan between 1979 to 1991. IL-76 aircraft had flown 14,700 times within that period, for carried the Soviet soldiers and logistics.

IL-76 aircrafts were delivered by China to find MH370 is IL-76MD. This aircraft is one of the IL-76 developments for military purposes. This type is longer than IL-76M, a base type of IL-76 aircraft for military purposes.
Cockpit  view of Ilyushin Il-76 Candid. (Picture from: http://yellowairplane.com/)
In general, the aircraft has a length of 46.6 meters and uses four jet engines. Until now, the aircraft is being developed. Recent development of IL-76 is IL76MD-90A which has a more powerful engine, better fuel system and "glass cockpit".

According to Sydney Morning Herald, stating that the MH370 debris searching mission now more focused on observing by sight, not based on radar data. Related to this, IL-76 has advantages over the P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion. Because it has more number of windows, thus the MH370 debris searching with IL-76MD through direct observation would be easier.

Is the object later found IL-76 today is really a MH370 debris? We do not know yet. But at least, the China's IL-76MD has given a clue. In addition to IL-76MD, China also mobilized a domestic production aircraft, Shaanxi Y-8. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SIDNEY MORNING HERALD | MILITARY TODAY]
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