|Ilyushin Il-12 at China Aviation Museum, Beijing|
|First flight||15 August 1945|
The Il-12 was developed as a private venture by the Ilyushin Design Bureau from autumn 1943 and was intended as a replacement for the Lisunov Li-2, a license-produced version of the Douglas DC-3. The new aircraft followed a classical layout for a twin-engine transport, with a metallic structure, monoplane wings, a conventional tail section. One major improvement over the Li-2 design was the tricycle landing gear, which allowed better visibility when taxiing and landing. Initially the Il-12 was designed for 29 passengers in a pressurized fuselage, with projected maximum range is assumed of 5,000 kilometers at a cruising speed 400 km/h. The aircraft was to use four M-88B engines already proven in use on the Ilyushin Il-4.
However, during development, the M-88B engines had to be replaced by two ACh-31 diesel engines (each producing 1,500 hp). The plans for a pressurized fuselage were abandoned and the number of passengers reduced to 27. The Il-12 made its maiden flight on 15 August 1945. It was soon decided to re-engine the aircraft with Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engines with the revised aircraft flying on 9 January 1946.
The Il-12 was found to have problems with vibration during testing, having poor engine out characteristics and requiring a strut under the rear fuselage to prevent tipping during loading due to center-of-gravity problems. Further problems was the use of magnesium near the engines which in case of engine fire could cause an uncontrolled fire, damaging the wing structure. (This was later revealed by a crash of an Ilyushin Il-12 near Voronezh which killed all on board, following an engine fire. Subsequently, as a result of the accident investigation, the magnesium was replaced by aluminium alloys and the fire extinguishing system was redesigned.) However, once these problems were resolved, factory test pilots praised the quality of the new aircraft, which contributed to the decision to launch the Il-12 in series production.
The fuselage of the Il-12 had a considerable volume, and was equipped with eight rectangular windows on each side. The crew consisted of three and the aircraft could transport 32 soldiers, 32 parachutists or cargo. There was also a civil version, which although designed to carry up to 32 passengers, was limited in Aeroflot service to 21, with normally only 18 carried. At that passenger load, it meant that use of the Il-12 for passenger use was un-economic.
The Il-12 was revealed to the public on 1 May 1947, when a group of aircraft participated in the annual May Day flyby over Red Square in Moscow. Performance testing was completed by 20 May, and the first regular passenger service by the Il-12 on Aeroflot began in June 1947. The first regular international use of the Il-12 was on the Moscow-Sofia route in 1948. The Il-12 was used on Aeroflot's services to Paris from 1954.
Within the USSR, the Il-12 was placed on Aeroflot's longest route: Moscow-Khabarovsk, with the flight lasting 28 hours, including five refueling stops. From 1956, the Il-12 (modified for use on ice runways) supported the Soviet expeditions to Antarctica. Aeroflot continued to use the Il-12 on some routes until the end of 1970.
The first export customer for the Il-12 was LOT Polish Airlines, who placed an order for five Il-12Bs after it was displayed at the Poznan Fair in Poland in the spring of 1948. This was followed by Czech Airlines, who purchased 10 aircraft from 1949–1951, TAROM in Romania from 1949, and at least 20 aircraft to CAAC in China.
Of the 663 Il-12s produced, 49 have been lost in accidents with a total of 465 fatalities.
|1 July 1947||CCCP-Л1317||Vnukovo||Unknown||Crashed on takeoff due to loss of speed following engine failure.|||
|1 December 1947||CCCP-H439||near Taldom||0/5||The aircraft was being ferried from Kimry to Moscow when it force-landed near Taldom, 27 km (17 mi) south of Borki Airfield. The left engine had lost power following an oil leak and the aircraft was unable to maintain altitude.|||
|18 December 1947||CCCP-Л1343||near Severny Airport||7/25||Aeroflot Flight 6 stalled and crashed while attempting to land following a go-around due to engine failure.|||
|1 September 1948||CCCP-Л1465||Severny Airport||1/20||Crashed on takeoff. The flight engineer reduced engine power after the landing gear was raised. The aircraft entered a descent until it struck terrain. A propeller blade broke off and penetrated the fuselage, killing a passenger.|||
|9 September 1948||CCCP-Л1427||near Baimakovo Aerodrome||5/5||Crashed following a loss of control during a test flight. The pilot was practicing flying with one engine shut down. The instructor feathered the propeller too soon after a go-around with the flaps deployed. The aircraft entered a turn with a loss of speed and then entered a dive.|||
|12 October 1948||CCCP-Л1450||near Yevlakh||10/10||Disappeared in the Caucasus Mountains while operating a Tashkent-Baku-Tbilisi-Sochi passenger service. The aircraft was never found.|||
|23 December 1948||CCCP-Л1731||near Valuyevo||4/4||Mid-air collision. The Il-12 was to be handed over to a crew from Aeroflot's Georgian division. The crew did not turn up in time, so the aircraft was handed over to a crew from the Uzbek division instead. The aircraft then departed Khodynka for Tashkent, although ATC did not know of the change in the flight plan. The Il-12 collided with a TS-62 that was being ferried from Vnukovo to Bykovo; the Il-12 lost both engines while the tail of the TS-62 was sheared off.|||
|19 January 1949||CCCP-Л1381||near Stalino Airport||2+8/9||Crashed shortly after takeoff due to double engine failure. Two people on the ground also died when the aircraft crashed into a house.|||
|13 May 1949||CCCP-Л1791||near Novosibirsk||25/25||Crashed in bad weather. While on approach to Novosibirsk, the aircraft entered a thunderstorm and was struck by lightning. The pilot attempted to leave the storm but flew into an area of heavy rain with hail and squall with low visibility. During the descent the aircraft lost control and crashed into a mound 12 km (7.5 mi) from the airport.|||
|21 July 1949||CCCP-Л1714||near Marga||13/14||Crashed in a forest following loss of power due to engine failure.|||
|20 August 1949||CCCP-Л1434||near Polukotelnikovo||8/11||En route to Moscow from Kharkov the aircraft encountered severe storms near Belgorod. Near Oboyan the aircraft entered severe turbulence and heavy rain. Caught in a strong downwind, the aircraft lost altitude and crashed in a field.|||
|25 August 1949||CCCP-Л1844||near Kabansky||14/14||Struck a mountain after descending too low.|||
|20 September 1949||CCCP-Л1462||near Savasleyka||3/4||Crashed due to a loss of power following engine failure.|||
|19 July 1950||CCCP-Л1340||near Tbilisi Airport||4/11||Struck a hill while on a training flight. The trainee pilot deviated from the glide scope and approach pattern. The aircraft hit the top of a 175 m (574 ft) hill that was not indicated on the flight map.|||
|30 July 1950||CCCP-Л1803||near Karaganda Airport||25/25||Crashed after takeoff due to engine failure. Six minutes after takeoff the crew radioed that the number one engine had failed. While attempting to return to the airport control was lost while in a left turn and the aircraft crashed.|||
|11 August 1950||CCCP-Л1706||near Koltsovo Airport||2/27||While on approach to Sverdlovsk in fog, the aircraft descended below the glide scope, striking tree tops short of and to the right of the runway. The aircraft then crashed in a meadow.|||
|9 January 1951||CCCP-Л1811||Black Sea off Tuapse||8/8||While descending for Sochi, the aircraft was struck by lightning at 900 m (3,000 ft). The left rear fuel tank exploded, starting a fire. The aircraft crashed out of control in the Black Sea.|||
|29 March 1951||CCCP-Л1313||near Vnukovo Airport||3/8||Crashed during a test flight after multiple diversions due to spatial disorientation.|||
|17 November 1951||CCCP-Л1775||near Vnukovo||23/23||Crashed shortly after takeoff due to wing icing.|||
|21 February 1952||CCCP-Л1849||near Baratayevka Airport||1/18||Unknown|||
|5 April 1952||CCCP-Л1308||near Magdagachi||6/6||Unknown|||
|25 April 1952||CCCP-Л1312||near Karmanovo||8/9||Unknown|||
|18 July 1952||SP-LHC||Warsaw||0||Crashed on landing, written off.|||
|23 August 1952||CCCP-Л1488||near Chlya||1/16||Unknown|||
|5 October 1952||CCCP-Л1328||near Skvoritsy||24/24||Mid-air collision. The Il-12, operating as Aeroflot Flight 376, was on approach to Leningrad and was descending to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) when it collided with Aeroflot Flight 381, operated by a Douglas TS-62 (CCCP-Л1055) that had just departed Leningrad and was climbing to 2,700 m (8,900 ft).|||
|23 January 1953||CCCP-Л1435||near Kazan Airport||6/6||Mid-air collision. The Il-12 was operating a Kazan-Moscow-Novosibirsk cargo service as Aeroflot Flight 22 and had just taken off from Kazan when it collided with an Li-2 (CCCP-Л4582) that was on approach to Kazan from Moscow. The Li-2 lost its left engine, while the Il-12's tail was sheared off.|||
|30 April 1953||CCCP-Л1777||near Kazan Airport||1/23||Unknown|||
|14 June 1953||CCCP-Л1375||near Zugdidi||18/18||Aeroflot Flight 229 crashed following wing failure. While en route to Tbilisi, the aircraft entered a thunderstorm and was struck by lightning and entered an uncontrolled dive. The pilot attempted to abruptly recover from the dive but this placed excessive load on the wings, causing the outer wing sections to separate. The aircraft crashed nose-down on a wooded hillside.|||
|27 July 1953||Unknown||near Mao-erh-Shan||21/21||Shot down by USAF F-86 Sabre 51-12959 and became the last aircraft destroyed during the Korean War. The F-86 pilot identified the aircraft as a North Korean Il-12. A long burst of gunfire was enough to shoot down the Il-12, which turned out to be a Soviet airliner flying through North Korean airspace to Vladivostok.|||
|14 October 1953||CCCP-Л1727||near Irkutsk Airport||4/28||Unknown|||
|27 October 1953||CCCP-Л1765||Magadan||22/28||Aeroflot Flight 783 crashed shortly after takeoff due to wing icing; the aircraft was also overloaded.|||
|4 November 1953||CCCP-Л1367||near Magdagachi Airport||5/5||Unknown|||
|27 September 1954||CCCP-Л1365||near Severny Airport||29/29||Aeroflot Flight 10 struck trees and crashed into a slope of a ravine in poor visibility. Deadliest Il-12 accident.|||
|28 October 1954||CCCP-Л1789||Krasnoyarsk Territory||19/19||Aeroflot Flight 139 struck the side of Mount Sivukha.|||
|5 December 1954||CCCP-Л1320||near Alma-Ata||1/19||Aeroflot Flight 98 crashed in a military facility shortly after takeoff. At a height of 100–120 m (330–390 ft) the left engine caught fire. The propeller was feathered and the fire died down. The aircraft later began to lose altitude. The crew increased power to the right engine, but speed and altitude decreased. The aircraft struck several obstacles before striking a brick shed and concrete debris. The cause of the fire was traced back to poor maintenance.|||
|4 March 1955||CCCP-Н479||near Kepino||4/25||Force-landed 115 km (71 mi) from Arkhangelsk. Shortly after passing Mezen, the left engine caught fire. The pilot started an emergency descent for a forced landing on the ice. Four minutes later, the burning engine fell off and the pilot managed to make a forced landing, but the aircraft collided with trees, destroying the cockpit section.|||
|15 September 1955||CCCP-Л1359||Komarovo||7/7||Unknown|||
|26 April 1956||Unknown||Berlin-Bohnsdorf||3/6||Collided with a church bell tower while on approach in fog. Although the aircraft was unconfirmed, it was probably an Il-12.|||
|8 September 1956||CCCP-Н525||Dikson Airport||0||Unknown|||
|24 November 1956||OK-DBP||Eglisau||23/23||Crashed in a field 12 km (7.5 mi) from Kloten Airport.|||
|7 August 1957||CCCP-Л1828||Magdagachi Airport||1/17||Unknown|||
|30 September 1957||CCCP-Л1389||near Akshi||27/28||Unknown|||
|27 October 1957||CCCP-Н442||North Pole drifting ice station SP-7||1/6||Struck terrain while flying too low on approach.|||
|18 December 1957||CCCP-Л1309||Poktoy||27/27||Aeroflot Flight 10 disappeared while operating a Khabarovsk-Magdagachi-Moscow passenger service. The wreckage was found in June 1958 on a mountain 30 km (19 mi) west of Birobidzhan. While the aircraft was parked and during taxiing, gusty winds at the airport damaged the rudder which failed 26 minutes into the flight and caused a loss of control.|||
|9 June 1958||CCCP-Л1364||near Magadan||24/24||Aeroflot Flight 105 struck a hillside in bad weather.|||
|19 September 1958||CCCP-Л3904||near Lazo||28/28||While en route to Khabarovsk, the crew became disoriented. ATC failed to report the position of the aircraft. The aircraft ran out of fuel and struck a wooded mountain slope.|||
|January 1959||CCCP-04249||Mirny Station||0||Struck ice hummocks on landing, collapsing the landing gear.|||
|29 November 1959||CCCP-01426||Irkutsk Airport||4/4||Unknown|||
|21 July 1960||CCCP-01405||Minsk||1+7/28||Unknown|||
Imported 42 Il-12 airliners from 1950 to 1951 used to airlift to Lhasa during the Incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China. Some were refitted to aerial survey airplanes later. Retired in 1986.
Data from The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft from 1875 - 1995
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