06/16/2011

Two Russian flying buses

In England you wait ages for a bus, then several come along at once. It is the same story at Geneva airport, waiting for a big Russian Ilyushin aircraft!


A few days ago I mentioned the arrival of a big and noisy Russian Ilyushin IL-76 cargo aircraft, suggesting that I would rather not be underneath it when it took off again. It took off again this morning, 16 June, at 10h15 am, over Vernier, making a level of noise that I have never seen before recorded on the ARAG noise monitor in Vernier: over 100 dBA (and off the plot scale, which goes from 30 to 100!).

The visit of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, however, let us see two other large, and old,  Russian Ilyushin aircraft, both IL-62 models. One of these, identified as RA-86467, had already paid a quick visit here on 8 June, and then came back again on the Tuesday evening. Then, just after half past midnight on the Wednesday morning, the same day that Mr Putin arrived, in came another IL-62. One might suspect, however, that the Prime Minister would have been in the much more modern Tupolev TU-214, which landed 10 minutes earlier.

It is interesting to speculate which aircraft delivered Mr Putin's armour-plated limousine, which ferried him around while he was here. Was it the IL-76, or had one of the IL-62 aircraft been modified to carry cargo. I suspect that the IL-76, a genuine cargo aircraft, was used, since the car would have needed a ramp to get to the ground. However, that still leaves me curious about who came in the two IL-62 aircraft.

In addition to all of the above, we have today had the visit of another model of Ilyushin, a passenger aircraft of type IL-96. This is a much more modern aircraft than either the IL-62 and IL-76.

All in all, a festival of Ilyushin aircraft.

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