Deino said:Especially strange (unique) to convert a former freighter version into a passenger version back again !??
Agreed. Given the addition of the canoe fairing just forward of the tail and the un-plugging of windows, my thought would be that this aircraft is being converted to fly Russian government officials around. If the windows remained plugged, I'd say strictly military use. VIPs need the communication gear presumably indicated by the fairing, and VIPs most definitely "need" to be able to look out the windows. Military? Not so much.fightingirish said:I presume, these freighter to passenger version conversions are mostly done for (V)VIP customers.
The Russian Aviation Company "United Aircraft Corporation" is exploring the possibilities to produce a new version of the Il-96, the Il-96-500T. The -500T is a freighter variant able to carry over-sized cargo and will feature a swing nose like the Super Guppy.
Currently UAC is thinking about producing sixteen aircraft. Six are for the Russian Air Force and four are planned for use by Roscosmos and UAC. Roscosmos is the Russian space agency and it will use the plane to transport rocket(parts) and other space technology to the Vostochny space center. UAC will be using the Il-96-500T to fly parts for its new CR929 widebody programme it is working on together with China. The last six -500Ts will be marketed on the commercial market by ILYUSHIN FINANCE CO.
UAC is planning to build the aircraft between 2026 and 2034.