Published on March 18th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer


Rare Ilyushin Visits Shannon

A rare Russian Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft visited Shannon Airport on Thursday morning, 18th March. The Ilyushin is one of only two remaining airworthy that are operated commercially. Rada Airlines is a Belarusian air company established in 2015, operating international cargo charter flights with a fleet currently comprising two IL-62M Freighters.

The aircraft is a 1985 built machine, initially operated by East German airline, Interflug. It was operated by them until after the unification of Germany. It went on to fly for Aeroflot and Uzbekistan Airways before being converted to a freighter and flying for Rada Airlines in 2015. The aircraft has previously visited Shannon as DDR-SET when it flew for Interflug on 30th May 1990. The aircraft was en-route from Berlin to Havana, Cuba. Shannon has a long history with the Ilyushin’s as they were regular visitors back in the 1980s and 90’s when they flew for Aeroflot connecting Russia with Cuba and destinations in South America. It would have been common to have up to five or six Ilyushin Il-62 and Il-86’s on the ground in Shannon at one time, on transit stops to the east or west.

The Ilyushin Il-62 making adjustments on final approach. Photos by Oisín Tierney

The Ilyushin Il-62 first flew in January 1963 but had an incident on takeoff where it clipped the fence on departure. The aircraft didn’t fly again until 1964 when it had more powerful engines. A total of 292 Il-62’s were built with the last one being delivered to the Sudanese Government in 2004. The aircraft visiting Shannon is expected to overnight for crew rest and depart on Friday morning heading for Zagreb.

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