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Il-76 Ilyushin
Il-76 'Candid'
Il-78 'Midas'
Heavy Transport
Refueling Tanker

The Il-76 was conceived as a long-range heavy transport to complement the older An-12. Because of the vast size of the Soviet Union, the type had to operate in conditions varying from the harsh cold of Siberia to the hot deserts of the Middle East. The final design, built for both military and civil cargo transport, is of traditional layout with a high-mounted wing, T-tail, and rear-cargo doors. In addition, the Il-76 features rugged landing gear allowing the aircraft to operate from rough unprepared landing strips.

The initial production model, the Il-76T, was built primarily for civil customers. About 50 models were built for Aeroflot and another 100 for export operators. The definitive military models, the Il-76M and Il-76MD, have also been built in large numbers for the Soviet/Russian military as well as export customers throughout Europe and Asia.

More recent variants include the Il-78 in-flight refueling tanker and the A-50 airborne early warning platform. Other unique applications of the Il-76 family include a dedicated model to support Antarctic research stations and another simulating weightlessness for cosmonaut training.

The Il-76 series has proven quite popular, and some 960 total aircraft had been built by 2008 with production still underway.

Data below for Il-76T 'Candid-A'
Last modified 13 September 2009

First Flight 25 March 1971
Service Entry


CREW: seven: pilot, co-pilot, five crew

PASSENGERS: 140 troops or 125 paratroops



Wing Root TsAGI P-151 (13%)
Wing Tip

TsAGI P-151 (10%)

Length 152.85 ft (46.59 m)
Wingspan 165.68 ft (50.50 m)
Height 48.43 ft (14.76 m)
Wing Area 3,229.28 ft² (300.00 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 165,350 lb (75,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 374,785 lb (170,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity (Il-78) 198,410 lb (90,000 kg)
Max Payload

114,640 lb (52,000 kg)

Powerplant four Soloview D-30KP turbofans
Thrust 105,820 lb (470.4 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 530 mph (850 km/h) at 36,090 ft (11,000 m)
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 495 mph (800 km/h) at 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 50,850 ft (15,500 m)
Range 2,700 nm (5,000 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun provision for two 23-mm cannons in a tail turret
Stations none
Air-to-Air Missile none
Air-to-Surface Missile none
Bomb none
Other none

Il-76 'Candid-A' Prototype and pre-production cargo transport model
Il-76T 'Candid-A' First production model with increased fuel capacity, built primarily for domestic and foreign civil operators
Il-76TD 'Candid-A' Similar to the Il-76T but equipped with uprated engines for improved takeoff performance at higher altitude and temperature locations
Il-76TD-90 Proposal to upgrade Il-76TD models with PS-90A12 turbofan engines
Il-76M 'Candid-B' Military transport model able to carry tracked and wheeled vehicles, freight containers, or armed troops
Il-76MD 'Candid-B' Improved military transport with uprated engines for improved takeoff performance at higher altitude and temperature locations
Il-76MF Improved military transport with a lengthened fuselage for increased cargo capacity and more efficient engines to improve range by 25%
Il-76CFM Proposal to re-engine older models with CFM56-5C2 turbofan engines to increase range
Il-76MF-100 Variant of the Il-76MF equipped with CFM56-5C2 turbofan engines
Galaraj Indian designation for the Il-76MD
Il-76DMP, Il-76P or Il-76TP Firefighting model able to carry over 40 tons of water or fire retardant
Il-76K/MDK/MDK-2 Il-76M airframes modified for zero-gravity cosmonaut training
Il-76LL Test aircraft used for evaluating new engines; 6 converted
Il-76MA Il-76M models rebuilt for various test purposes
Il-76PP Electronic warfare model fitted with ECM and jamming equipment to serve as an escort for the A-50
Il-76PS or Il-84 Search and rescue model; 1 built but cancelled in 1989
Il-76PSD Proposal for an improved search and rescue model
Il-76 Scalpel-MT Medical version equipped with three modules holding a surgical room and recovery room for a crew of 12 medical personnel, used as an emergency airborne hospital to evacuate injured troops from Afghanistan; 2 built
Il-76TD-S Civilian version of the Il-76 Scalpel-MT
Il-76SK Command post used for airborne tracking during flight testing
Il-76VPK or Il-82 Former Aeroflot planes modified as airborne command posts with satellite communications gear as well as various fairings, strakes, and antennae; 2 converted
Il-78 'Midas' In-flight refueling tanker based on the Il-76M and fitted with a refueling drogue on the left side of the rear fuselage
Il-78M Improved version of the Il-78 with two additional refueling drogues located one under each wing
Il-78MK Export version of the Il-78M
Il-78V Il-78 model with modified refueling pods
Il-476 New production model under development with a full digital flight control system, improved engines, and glass cockpit displays
A-50 'Mainstay' Airborne early warning model based on the Il-76 and equipped with a rotating radome mounted atop the aft fuselage and a lengthened nose, built by Ilyushin and Beriev


Afghanistan War (Soviet Union, 1979-1989)

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  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 535, Ilyushin Il-76.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 211-212, Ilyushin Il-76 'Candid', Ilyushin Il-78M 'Midas'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 141, Ilyushin Il-76 'Cabdid', Il-78 'Midas', and A-40 'Mainstay'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 122-124, Il-76, Il-76T, Il-76M, Il-76MD.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 153, Ilyushin Il-76 Candid.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 227-229, Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO name Candid), Ilyushin Il-78 and Il-76M (NATO name Midas).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 209-211, Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO name Candid) and Il-84, Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO name Midas).

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