7 Rare Photos of Soviet Planes Assembly

Rare Photos of Soviet Planes Assembly

Posted on March 1, 2014 by tim


I doubt that during the Soviet era such photos could circulate freely because of fear of the theft of technology or industrial espionage. Nick Nilov, a photographer, was one lucky Soviet guy who was allowed to take various photos of the Soviet plane building industry because … he was a designated photographer for the IL Airplanes – one of the largest Soviet airplane builders. Here he shares some rare photos he could take during various stages of the Soviet plane building process. Photos can be clicked on for larger images.









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7 Responses to “Rare Photos of Soviet Planes Assembly”

  1. Andrew says:

    The first two fotos are more like static tests, not assembly.

  2. tony says:

    Andrew is correct and the plane was never successful economically. The engines were too small and noisy. The Soviet Union’s technology effort spent more money on secrecy than on development and today it lags the West by at least 30 years.

  3. mr.d says:

    Impressive for it’s size, but technologically back in the early 60s. No wonder it never caught on even in the Soviet block.

  4. sinan says:

    Il 86 was not really a success story but Tony is wrong. USSR did not lag behind the west at all in aeronautical industry. Aeroflot had thousands of planes airborn at any given minute and Soviet people enjoyed cheap air travel at a time for the working class western European families (in 70s) flying was simply unaffordable. Tony can you please elaborate on your 30 years of lag, in what respect were the Soviets (or the Russiand) lagging behind ? Avionics ? Aerodynamics ? Engine design ?

  5. VPoutine says:


    Russia doesn’t buy Russian.

    787 and A350 are light years ahead of anything Russia currently has.

    We will see how long it takes for the russians to copy these planes. It probably won’t take 30 years.

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