Russian-Chinese wide-body: The aircraft, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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September 01, 2016, ©. Leeham Co: In Part 1, we concluded that the existing Il-96 fuselage cross section would be suitable for a new Russian-Chinese wide-body. This means that a lot of experience and existing designs for fuselage sections can be re-used.

Russian-Chinese widebody

Figure 1. Concept for new wide-body airliner. Source: United Aircraft.

Most importantly, it means that mock-ups and cabin sections can be made early in the project to start work on new and better cabin equipment. This is an area where the partners really lag their western competitors.

We will now look at what aircraft capacities can be conceived with the existing Il-96-300 and -400 fuselages and what changes will be necessary to achieve the targeted sizes that Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) have communicated.


  • The IL-96 fuselage can be re-used for a Russian-Chinese wide-body.
  • The existing IL96-300 cabin is on the small side whereas the Il-96-400 cabin is a bit larger than needed.
  • The project will likely choose an intermediate size fuselage to reach the targeted 250 to 280 passenger capacity.

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