Another not-really-intended project, but when I decided to cancel Polish Wings I had already Il-12 updated and felt uncomfortable with leaving Il-14 not-updated. So, after much hesitation I begun this project (including re-update of Il-12) and here's the result...
Work on a replacement for venerable Lisunov Li-2 (license-built Douglas DC-3) began at Ilyushin design bureau already in 1943. As there were no official specifications, basic parameters of the future plane had to be essentialy guessed by the designers. Initial design (called Il-12 4M-88) was significantly larger than what was eventually built, with 4 M-88 radial engines and 29 seats in pressurised fuselage and in this form it was accepted in January 1944 for further development by Iosif Stalin. Shortly after thedesgin underwent significant alterations, becoming much more compact aircraft, with just two engines (liquid-cooled V-12 Charomskiy ACh-31) and non-pressuresed fuselage for just some 20-ish passengers and in this form it reached prototype stage, which first flew on 15 August 1945 (unfortunately, I could find only one very undetailed drawing and few photographs of this prototype, insufficient to draw it). Problems with development of ACh-31 engines forced redesign of the plane to adapt it for more conventional (gasoline fuelled) Shvetsov M-82 radial engines, with modified prototype flying for the "new" first time in 9 January 1946. Flight trials showed significantly better performance compared to Li-2, which led to speedy decision to put new aircraft in production, with first aircraft delivered for service evaluation by Aeroflot in early 1947. Eventually a number of versions, both civilian and military were developed, with a production run reaching a respectable 663 aircraft. Relatively quickly, however, it was found that plane has certain deficiencies, particularly regarding problems with handling in certain parts of flight envelope, as well as with reliability and extremely short service life of the engines. These issues, despite extensive amount of effort aimed at curbing them, let to much shorter period of operational use and fewer operators of Il-12 compared both to it's predecessor (Li-2) and direct successor (Il-14), with last Soviet planes leaving airline service in 1970 and around 1974-1975 in military service and in various agencies of Ministry of Aviation Industry, although China used last examples until 1980s.
- basic airliner variant, originally with 18 or 21 passenger seats, eventually modified also for other configurations, like 16 (sleeper), 27 and 32 seats, as well as VIP versions for 6 and 11 seats (denoted by adding relevant number to designation: Il-12-16, Il-12-27, Il-12-32 and so on);
- modified airliner with extended vertical stabilzer and improved de-icing system, also made in polar-capable version and 10-seat VIP model;
(Transportnyi - transport) - military transport version with double cargo door on the port side;
(Desantnyi - landing-assault) - improved military transport version, some had dorsal gun turret and/or were equipped for towing assault gliders (with fuselage tip removed), few were made in polar version;
also, at least 3 were converted into testbeds and several for aerial survey/mapping.
USSR was, obviously, main operator of Il-12, with first planes entering airline service in early 1947 and shortly later in military service and in Polar Aviation (which was semi-distinct from Aeroflot until 1970), where it had some notable achievments, including overflying North Pole on 6 May 1948, towing supply gliders to SP-1 drifting polar station in March-April 1950 and being the first-ever aircraft to overfly South Pole on 24 February 1956.
People's Republic of China was second-largest operator of Il-12's, with no less than 50 delivered (and total number, although unknown, could be close to 100). They were used both by Civil Aviation Administration of China (Zhōngguó Mínyòng Hángkōng Jú) and by People's Liberation Army Air Force (Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Kōngjūn) until 1986. One of military aircraft was converted for Electronic Warfare duties.
First export user (though not the first foreign country to order Il-12's - this distinction goes to Poland) was Czechoslovakia, which purchased in 1949 10 aircraft for Československé Aerolinie (one of them was later modified as navigation aids callibrator for Československá Správa Dopravních Letišť) and leased further 2 Il-12 in glider-tug variant for Československé Vojenské Letectvo until second-half of the 1950s.
Polish airlines PLL LOT bought 5 Il-12's in 1949 and operated them (minus two that were written off after accidents) until 1957, afterwards they were transferred to Wojska Lotnicze, which used other 2 already since 1950. Military retired them in 1966.
Romania had purchased single Il-12 for government flight in 1949, and in 1957 transferred it to TAROM airline, which operated the plane until 1964.
Ilyushin Il-14 / Avia Av-14 / VEB FWD Il-14
Deficiencies of Il-12 forced the development of more reliable derivative. Il-14, as it was to be known, had a new wing, vertical stabilizer (although only from 2nd prototype onwards) and modified engines. Prototype in intermediate configuration made a first short flight (cut short due to malfunction) on 13 July 1950, and the second prototype in "ultimate" Il-14P configuration flew on 1 October 1950. Trials exhibited significant improvements over Il-12, leading to series production. Unlike it's predecessor, new plane was subjected to much longer trials period and first production aircraft being delivered only in early 1954. Eventually, the production run of Il-14 reached 1122 planes, 839 of them made in the Soviet Union, 203 in Czechoslovakia as Avia Av-14 and 80 in East Germany as FWD (Flugzeugwerke Dresden) Il-14, which were used by more than two dozen countries until 1990s.
(Passazhirskiy) - basic airliner variant, originally with 18 passenger seats (6x3) and later with 24 seats (6x4, Il-14P-24), 28 seats (7x4, Il-14P-28) and even 32 seats (8x4, Il-14P-32);
(Salon) - VIP version, difference was that S were ordered from the beginning in this configuration and PS were adapted (generally already on the production line) from planes ordered as standard model, while SI was extended-range derivative of Il-14S and SO (Obslooga - service personnel) was to carry VIP's auxiliary personnel that wouldn't be carried on the "no.1" plane;
- paratrooper carrier for 30 soldiers;
(Modifitsirovanny) - modified airliner variant with extended fuselage, originally with 14 seats (long range), 24 seats (6x4) and later with 28 or 32 or 36 seats; it was also modified for polar duties and as a border patrol (KGB) aircraft with Groza-40 radar in the nose;
- aerial survey/mapping versions, based on Il-14P and Il-14M respectively;
- military transport version with double cargo door on the port side (based on Il-14P version with short fuselage);
- transport/glider tug version;
- transport version optimized for carrying paratroopers;
- medical evacuation version;
(Gruzovoy) - civilian cargo transport version with large doors, also made in polar version,
(Ledovoy Razvedchik) - Ice reconnaissance version for polar aviation, operating along Northern Sea Route;
(Razvedchik Ryby) - Fisheries reconnaissance version;
- navigation aids callibration aircraft (with different sets of equipment);
additionaly, significant number of Il-14's were converted to testbeds of various kinds, including avionics, weather and geophysical research and the like;
- basic airliner variant, equivalent of Il-14P;
- modified airliner variant, equivalent of Il-14M (Av-14-40 was deeply redesigned internally by Czechoslovak engineers);
- VIP version;
- highly modified airliner version (long fuselage), recognizable thanks to circular windows in passenger cabin;
- military transport version but derived from long-fuselage variant and with different cargo door;
- aerial survey/mapping version with heavily redesigned nose with navigator's cabin, all converted either from Il-14P and Av-14-24 (short fuselage) or from Av-14-32 (long-fuselage);
also, several Av-14-24 were converted for cargo duties with most of windows deleted and large cargo door installed, one airliner was converted into navaids callibrator, two military aircraft were converted as flying classroom for navigator training, several for ELINTduties (Av-14RT and Av-14RTR) and one as testbed for M-601 turboprop engine.
- basic airliner variant with 26 seats, later upgraded to 32;
- military transport/assault version with starboard cargo door;
or FWD Il-14P (Foto)
- aerial survey/mapping version with navigator's gondola under central fuselage;
also, one plane was converted as navaids callibrator, one as aerodynamics testbed for '152' jetliner project and one as flying classroom for navigator training.
Note: arrangement of antennas changed frequently due to equipment upgrades, and sometimes even between production batches, therefore variants shown below should be only understood as examples.
Largest operator of the type, with first planes entering service in 1954, including in Aeroflot, Polar Aviation (where they served until early 1990s, particularly on Antarctica, where they reliability was much better than the more modern types) and air forces. In Aeroflot service they were briefly the flagship type until the introduction of more capable turboprop aircraft like Il-18, An-10 and Tu-114. Therefore they were relegated first into regional routes (from which they were gradually pushed out by An-24 and Tu-134) and then into local routes, especially in the most remote areas (where they were slowly replaced by L-410 Turbolet, although this process wasn't fully finished before the breakup of the Soviet Union). In military service they were used as regular transports until around 1970 (when largely replaced by An-26) and slightly longer as staff transport and liaisons.
Československé Aerolinie introduced the type in 1957and operated it (in the final years mostly on local lines and as cargo/mail carriers) until 1977, when most of the survivors was sold to Soviet Union. Československá Správa Dopravních Letišť used one navaids callibrator from 1960 to 1977. Letecký Oddíl Ministerstva Vnitra (Aviation Detachment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) i.e. police/security services air unit, which - unlike the majority of other countries where it's handled by air forces - handled government VIP flights had several Av-14S and Av-14P aircraft from late 1950s to late 1970s. Československé Vojenské Letectvo used large number of aircraft, both as cargo/paratrooper transports and as staff aircraft.
First Il-14P were delivered to Deutsche Lufthansa der DDR already in 1955, and later also to Interflug (which initially was intended to be charter operator, but after a legal dispute with "Western" Lufthansa it took over flag carrier duties'). Besides the passenger services, DLH/IF had Il-14's used also for aerial mapping and navaids callibration, finally retiring the type in 1984. Luftstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee used the type from 1956 to 1982, both as ordinary transport and as VIP carrier and for aerial mapping.
Poland operated both 'original' Soviet-built Il-14's as well as Czechoslovak and East German ones. PLL LOT acquired first aircraft in 1955 and used them until 1973. One aircraft was converted for aerial mapping and eventually transferred to Przedsiębiorstwo Usług Lotniczych Aeropol (operated until late 1980s) and another one was modified as navigation aids calibrator and operated by Zarząd Ruchu Lotniczego i Lotnisk Komunikacyjnych until early 1990s, when it was stripped of special equipment and used briefly by Instytut Lotnictwa. Wojska Lotnicze had number of aircraft used between 1954 and 1994 as transports, VIP and communications aircraft and aerial mapping (last Il-14 to serve in Poland in 1995 was used in this role) as well as bombardier/navigator trainer (one converted) and ELINT (one converted).
Large operator of the type, with some 80 delivered, both to civil and military aviation, where they were used until at least early 1990s.
Afghan air force used Il-14's from 1955 (when first VIP aircraft was delivered) until probably as late as1990s (when the Taliban took over)
Albania had 4 Il-14's and Av-14's (although there are discrepancies which plane represented which model) in use until 1990s.
Bulgarian airline TABSO (in 1968 renamed Balkan) had Il-14's (including Av-14 Super version) in use since 1956 until mid-1970s (when they were either transferred to the air force or sold to Soviet Union), while the air force used them until early 1990s.
Cuban flag carrier Cubana used some 15 Il-14's including single Il-14FKM (and one plane was converted for weather reconnaissance). Eventually said Il-14FKM was downgraded to basic passenger plane and transferred to charter operator Aerocarribean. Cuban air force operated a squadron of Il-14T.
Egypt Arab Republic was an important operator of Il-14's (part of them of East German manufacture) mostly in the air force, but also in the government flight.
Guinea was a notable operator as all of it's 5 '14's were made in Czechoslovakia, including one in VIP standard.
MALEV airline used 10 Il-14P's and Il-14M's from 1957 to 1969 when they were replaced by jet liners. Government flight had 2 planes until 1960 when they were transferred to the air force (which eventually also got some of the ex-MALEV planes)
Indian Air Force has some 22 planes, mostly transports but also at least three VIP models.
Indonesia used both Ilyushin and Avia-made '14's during the reign of president Sukarno, but after his ousting they fairly quickly left service due to lack of spares.
Airline of Mongolia - MIAT used some dozen Il-14's and Av-14 and they were also seemingly used by the air force (although it should be noted that back then difference between MIAT and air force was just nominal).
TAROM airline used 19 Il-14's (Ilyushin and FWD), including one converted to navaids calibrator. Some more were used by government flight (in TAROM markings) and later by the air force (mostly ex-government flight and TAROM).
JAT airline purchased 6 Il-14's in 1956 and used them until 1969 when they were transferred to the air force.
Government of Burma received single VIP plane in 1956.
One VIP plane was donated by the Soviet government to the ruler of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk.
Congo (Brazzaville, ex French Congo) had several Il-14's, mostly in transport but also in VIP role. It must be noted, that some sources claim that one Il-14 was donated by USSR to Patrice Lumumba, prime minister of Congo (Leopoldville, ex Belgian Congo), but there is very scarce photographic material about congolese Il's at all (from any
In 1955 or 1957 Soviet government donated single Il-14 as VIP transport for emperor of Iran Reza Pahlavi. Later this aircraft was used as staff transport.
Mali airlines used 3 Il-14's after 1964.
Nepalese royal flight had one Il-14 in VIP configuration, most likely donated by India.
At least 5 Il-14's were delivered to North Korea and nominally operated by Air Koryo (though it's de facto military aviation in disguise anyway), at least one of them as VIP transport.
Syrian Air Force purchased in 1960s a number of Il-14's, mostly from East Germany (but also some from USSR).
Vietnam (North) used unspecified number of Il-14's both in airline, VIP and military service.
Air force of Yemen (North) used several Il-14's obtained via Egypt, and apparently 2 were also used as airliners.