comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Any VC10 related discussions.....
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baronet
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comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by baronet »

I saw here a comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp) and was surprised when the author came to the conclusion that the Il-62 / M was in many ways a more advanced technological aircraft than the VC10 / Super VC10!
The Il-62 / M is a large and beautiful aircraft, but it had a mechanical control system, without booster, by means of a cable wiring. From the controls to the rudders there are tubular rods, just direct manual control!Knowing this, it is categorically impossible to call the Il-62 / M a more advanced aircraft!
If we talk about the exputation characteristics of Il-62/M, not having data on Vickers-10, we can compare with american aircraft of that time Boeing-707 and DS-8. Boeing 707 and DC-8 from the very beginning of their operation assigned resource three times, and inter-repair resource almost twice as much as originally had Il-62.With engines on American and Soviet aircraft - the same story. For example, the D-30KU-2 engines on the Il-62M aircraft at the end of the 1980s had a designated resource of 18,000 flight hours or 3,800 cycles (launches), and the inter-repair resource - 5,000 flight hours, or 905 cycles (launches), or 6 calendar years - a limit on the figure that would be reached before that list. American engines of the same class have twice as much of these resources.
The Ilyushin-62 / M had a more beautiful design, but Peter Skipp's conclusion about the better aerodynamics of the Il-62 / M glider is very controversial.
I think that Ilyushin's decision on the tail support was unusual, but controversial and not as high-tech as the solution to this problem in VC10. The Soviet aircraft industry probably simply could not build such a sophisticated and reliable hydraulic system as that of the Vickers-10.
The Ilyushin-62 / M was slightly larger, had a larger wing area and a slightly elongated fuselage, and could carry 12 more passengers. But Peter Skipp argues that the VC10 has never been as fuel efficient as the Soviet Il-62 / M, which is highly debatable.
The Super VC10 had a lower takeoff weight, carried slightly fewer passengers over about the same distance as the Il-62 / M, but the Super VC10 had a higher payload than the Il-62 / M and consumed less fuel!
Peter Skipp does not take into account that the Russians could hide the true characteristics of their aircraft, and tried to overestimate them. Tupolev, especially for the USSR Politburo, overestimated the maximum speed of the Tu-144 so that it could fly faster than the Concorde, but in reality this is not the case.
Peter Skipp argues that the VC10 was not originally designed for long distances! That's not true!The VC10 was planned as a long-haul aircraft.
There is no evidence that the Russians copied Vickers, but they simply could not do it and did not want to! The Soviet aviation industry could not qualitatively repeat the complex technical solutions in the Vickers design, in addition, the design of some Vickers elements did not meet the Soviet requirements for the Il-62 / M. The Russians needed another wing, they needed a more massive chassis to work with rougher runways in the USSR, they had very massive engines in motorcycle gondoles.In the design of the IL-62 / M, the center of the aircraft has changed, which required an unusual solution with the design of the tail section and tail support. Оne Russian, in a discussion of the Il-62 and Vickers, left an interesting comment on this matter, perhaps he knows more than he wrote:
"By the way, the data on VC - 10 HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND TRANSFERRED to Moscow by MRS. Connan Young (maybe in 10 years we will find out the real name). Thus, the Ilyushin people took the concept. There can be no question of copying."
Peter Skipp twisted the VC10's technical capabilities. After that, I think a more competent analysis of these two planes is needed!

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Last edited by baronet on Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
Peter Skipp
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by Peter Skipp »

baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm surprised when the author came to the conclusion that the Il-62 / M was in many ways a more advanced technological aircraft than the VC10 / Super VC10!
I do not say the Il-62 was more advanced -- quite the opposite!
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm Peter Skipp's conclusion about the better aerodynamics of the Il-62 / M ... is very controversial.
Well, let us look at the facts... The initial Il-62 (1962-1967) did test a number of different wing and engine designs, but the production Il-62 and the Il-62M's aerodynamics changed very little. By contrast, the VC10's engine and wing aerodynamics did change with each customer, as is well documented. Take for instance changing wing fence configurations, the 4 percent leading edge extensions, the wingtip modifications for BUA and Ghana Airways, the beaver-tail fairings which were of two types ("screwdriver" and "spike"), the engine incidence angle change, the 11in/29cm engine pylon extensions for the RAF and the Super VC10, et cetera...
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm I think that Ilyushin's decision on the tail support was unusual, but controversial and not as high-tech as the solution to this problem in VC10. The Soviet aircraft industry probably simply could not build such a sophisticated and reliable hydraulic system as that of the Vickers-10.
I explain the tail prop saga at length in my article, so repeating it all here would serve little purpose.

Moving on, I agree entirely: Soviet hydraulic technology was indeed very poor at the time and they could not make an aircraft control system to rival those of Western airliners. Which is not really the point, however: they couldn't make a silk purse of the Il-62, so they made a nice pigskin bag of it.
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm Peter Skipp argues that the VC10 has never been as fuel efficient as the Soviet Il-62 / M, which is highly debatable.
It is not at all debatable! The Il-62 burned 7.3 tonnes per hour. The Il-62M burned 6.8 tonnes per hour. The VC10 and Super VC10 burned 6.6 tonnes per hour. In my article, I do not go into this. If I had, though, I would not have implied the VC10 had worse fuel consumption, simply because I know perfectly well it did not!
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm Peter Skipp argues that the VC10 was not originally designed for long distances! ... The VC10 was planned as a long-haul aircraft.
Well, this is a point one could argue "long into the night"... In his book Of Comets and Queens (if I remember right) BOAC's Basil Smallpeice describes the initial 200-seat VC10 proposal as a trans-Atlantic airliner for temperate climes (if memory serves me right) -- almost like another Boeing 707. George Edwards remembers that after BOAC ordered the 707, Vickers could either make a copy of it, or produce something radically different. They chose the second route and offered an "up-country" airliner. One way or another, Vickers had to find a niche away from Boeing 707 territory. The ultimate VC10/Super VC10 thus emerged as a Medium-Range Empire (MRE) aircraft. MRE, soon to become an anachronism, was still a live issue then. The terms "VC10" and "Medium Range Empire" almost go hand in hand -- check any authoritative reference on the VC10. So I stand by my opinion that the VC10 was indeed planned as a largely medium-range aeroplane.
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm ...one Russian, in a discussion of the Il-62 and Vickers, left an interesting comment on this matter, perhaps he knows more than he wrote: "By the way, the data on VC - 10 HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND TRANSFERRED to Moscow by MRS. Connan Young (maybe in 10 years we will find out the real name). Thus, the Ilyushin people took the concept. There can be no question of copying."
Amazing! Please let us know more about that comment: who, when, where and all that!
baronet wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:45 pm Peter Skipp twisted the VC10's technical capabilities. After that, I think a more competent analysis of these two planes is needed!
As a life-long avid reader of aviation-related matters, I would be genuinely thrilled to see a more competent analysis of the VC10 and Il-62! Please go ahead and write one for us!

(Nota bene: I do not appreciate "baronet's" accusation that I have lied. I therefore call the Moderator's attention to it, and demand a public apology from "baronet"!)
baronet
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by baronet »

I do not say the Il-62 was more advanced -- quite the opposite!
This is how you wrote:
In conclusion…

The Il-62 is portrayed as the bad guy whenever the VC10 is mentioned, yet even superficial analysis absolves it of any copycat accusations. It is a distinct aeroplane with a fascinating history. Indeed, compared with the VC10, it comes across as technically more accomplished in many ways. Rather than resenting it, VC10 fans should enjoy its passing years.
Well, let us look at the facts... The initial Il-62 (1962-1967) did test a number of different wing and engine designs, but the production Il-62 and the Il-62M's aerodynamics changed very little. By contrast, the VC10's engine and wing aerodynamics did change with each customer, as is well documented. Take for instance changing wing fence configurations, the 4 percent leading edge extensions, the wingtip modifications for BUA and Ghana Airways, the beaver-tail fairings which were of two types ("screwdriver" and "spike"), the engine incidence angle change, the 11in/29cm engine pylon extensions for the RAF and the Super VC10, et cetera...
If Vickers regularly improved his aircraft to meet customer requirements, why is it so bad?
The Russians carried out a very serious rebranding of the Il-62 once, because the economy of the Soviet socialist camp, with the absence of competition, did not require it.

It is not at all debatable! The Il-62 burned 7.3 tonnes per hour. The Il-62M burned 6.8 tonnes per hour. The VC10 and Super VC10 burned 6.6 tonnes per hour. In my article, I do not go into this. If I had, though, I would not have implied the VC10 had worse fuel consumption, simply because I know perfectly well it did not!
You claim that Ilyushin has successfully solved the problem of high fuel consumption and noise.

By contrast, the VC10 endured much, and substantial, development. Yet, the one area where it needed most attention—fuel consumption and noise—was never addressed in the radical and successful manner of the Il-62.
The Super Vickers-10 consumed 6.500 kg / h of fuel in cruising mode, less than Ilyushin. You trust Ilyushin's data too much, they may be underestimated. The noise level of Ilyushin-62 / M in comparison with Vickers is not known to me. Publish this data

Well, this is a point one could argue "long into the night"... In his book Of Comets and Queens (if I remember right) BOAC's Basil Smallpeice describes the initial 200-seat VC10 proposal as a trans-Atlantic airliner for temperate climes (if memory serves me right) -- almost like another Boeing 707. George Edwards remembers that after BOAC ordered the 707, Vickers could either make a copy of it, or produce something radically different. They chose the second route and offered an "up-country" airliner. One way or another, Vickers had to find a niche away from Boeing 707 territory. The ultimate VC10/Super VC10 thus emerged as a Medium-Range Empire (MRE) aircraft. MRE, soon to become an anachronism, was still a live issue then. The terms "VC10" and "Medium Range Empire" almost go hand in hand -- check any authoritative reference on the VC10. So I stand by my opinion that the VC10 was indeed planned as a largely medium-range aeroplane.
Perhaps you have a different classification of aircraft depending on their flight range, but medium-range aircraft should not fly more than 6,000 kilometers. The first VC-10 Srs1101 had a ferry range of 9765 km, and the practical one was 8112 km. Ilyushin-62 had 10,000 km and 8800 km. accordingly (but in reality, the practical flight range was significantly increased on the Il-62M modification. With a maximum load of 23,000 kg, it increased from 6950 km on the Il-62 to 8270 km on the Il-62M. They write about this in Russian aviation publications).Otherwise, then you should call the Ilyushin-62 a medium-range aircraft


baronet wrote: ↑Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:45 pm
...one Russian, in a discussion of the Il-62 and Vickers, left an interesting comment on this matter, perhaps he knows more than he wrote: "By the way, the data on VC - 10 HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND TRANSFERRED to Moscow by MRS. Connan Young (maybe in 10 years we will find out the real name). Thus, the Ilyushin people took the concept. There can be no question of copying."
Amazing! Please let us know more about that comment: who, when, where and all that!
It is very interesting. The Russians discussed an article on comparing the Il-62 and Vickers. The author of the article, like most Russian commentators, came to the conclusion that Vickers is much worse than Ilyushin. But it was simply stupid to expect a different opinion from Russians, although Russians are very interesting people with an inquiring mind, but they are often very big chauvinists! But one comment really interested me. I think it didn't come out of nowhere. I can quote this comment in full:

Гиви Моисеевич
8 месяцев
Странно, что автор пишет о возможности копирования Ильюшиным VC - 10.
Речь должна идти не о тупрм копировании. Об этом и речи нет. Англичане и мы практически параллельно вели разработку лайнера со схожи и позициями и требованиями
Разработка VC - 10 началась на 8 месяцев раньше. Только Ильюшин и сотоварищи взяв за основу общюю концепцию VC - 10 изначально стали прорабатывать свою. В результате появилась первая модификация ИЛ - 62. Превосходившая VC-10 по многим позициям. Уступая в расходе топлива и дальности полёта. Но Ильюшинцами был оставлен задел доя модернизации. Что практически не было в VC - 10. C расчётом на установку новых двигателей. Так впоследствии появился Ил-62М. У VC - 10, если не ошибаюсь было 3 основных модификации. Не значительно отличались друг от друга. Одно из главных отличий Ил-62 от англичанина - принципиально новая система подачи воздуха(кондиционирования), РЛЭ.
Кстати, в Москву данные по VC - 10 ДОБЫЛ И ПЕРЕДАЛ ГОСПОДИН Коннан Молодый (может через лет 10 узнаем подлинное имя). Таким образом Ильюшинцы взяли концепцию. Ни о каком копировании не может быть и речи.

(Nota bene: I do not appreciate "baronet's" accusation that I have lied. I therefore call the Moderator's attention to it, and demand a public apology from "baronet"!)
I wrote that it was not true, but the translator misrepresented what I had written as “it’s a lie.” I am not a native speaker and my English is not enough. I use translators. These are translation difficulties. Sorry.
Peter Skipp
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by Peter Skipp »

I feel a point-counterpoint argument risks becoming tiresome and infantile. Let readers make their own minds up. As to comparative noise levels, I have no empirical information on those. The VC10 is famously remembered as very noisy outside. The Il-62 is not.

Thank you for the quotation in Russian. Allow me to translate it into English for the benefit of the forum's other readers:
baronet wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:48 am Givi Moiseevich
8 months [perhaps meaning this appeared eight months earlier. PS]
It is strange that the author [of something which has appeared earlier in the same forum? PS] writes about the possibility of Ilyushin copying the VC10.
The argument should not be about straightforward copying. There can be no question of that. The English [sic! PS] and we developed our airliners practically in parallel from similar starting points and requirements.
The development of the VC10 began eight months earlier. However, Ilyushin and his colleagues, having taken as a basis the overall concept of the VC10, began developing their own from the start. The result was the first version of the Il-62. It was superior to the VC10 in many ways. It had worse fuel consumption and range. But Ilyushin could rely on something set aside for modernisation. Something which the VC10 practically had none of. This something was intended for fitting new engines. Thus the Il-62M appeared subsequently. The VC10, if I am not mistaken, had three basic modifications. None differed significantly from the other. One of the main differences between the Il-62 and the English [sic! PS] type was the principally new air supply (air conditioning) system and the flight manual.
By the way, data on the VC10 arrived in Moscow having been ACQUIRED AND TRANSFERRED BY MR Konon Molody (perhaps in another ten years we shall discover what his real name was). It is in this sense that the Ilyushin staff took the concept. There can be no question of any copying.
Three points:

- Moiseevich states Ilyushin only borrowed the VC10's layout and did not copy it otherwise. Aviation is replete with similar plagiarism claims: Douglas and Convair copying Boeing, BAC copying Sud-Aviation, Boeing copying de Havilland, Tupolev copying BAC/Aerospatiale, et cetera... I remember a Sud-Aviation advertising campaign copyline, "Oh! Ils ont copié Caravelle!" All of which proves exactly nothing;

- "Konon Molody" or "Gordon Lonsdale" was an infamous Cold War Soviet spy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konon_Molody). His March 1961 trial in London did not highlight any VC10 espionage. If he did acquire and transfer VC10 data to Moscow, and if Ilyushin then ignored it, only taking the overall concept of the VC10, we can simply yawn in boredom;

- Moiseevich cites a principally new air supply system and flight manual, of which I sadly know nothing.

---

Edit: there was, of course, a famous case of Soviet nut-and-bolt plagiarism: the Tupolev-4, née Boeing Superfortress (B-29).
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by Jelle Hieminga »

Baronet, I appreciate that you are willing to take on a discussion like this in English when you are not an English speaker, but please be careful when using translating services. You explained the other cliché to me in an e-mail and I can understand why you used it, but these statements can be percieved in a very different way by those who are not familiar with the original intent of the statement, and can end up as insults, even though you did not mean them as such.
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by baronet »

- "Konon Molody" or "Gordon Lonsdale" was an infamous Cold War Soviet spy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konon_Molody). His March 1961 trial in London did not highlight any VC10 espionage. If he did acquire and transfer VC10 data to Moscow, and if Ilyushin then ignored it, only taking the overall concept of the VC10, we can simply yawn in boredom;

- Moiseevich cites a principally new air supply system and flight manual, of which I sadly know nothing.

---

Edit: there was, of course, a famous case of Soviet nut-and-bolt plagiarism: the Tupolev-4, née Boeing Superfortress (B-29).
I read the opinion of Soviet pilots - they were not delighted with the control system and autopilot of this machine.The air supply to the passenger compartment also caused problems.
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by Peter Skipp »

baronet wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:12 pm I read the opinion of Soviet pilots - they were not delighted with the control system and autopilot of this machine.The air supply to the passenger compartment also caused problems.
This is almost a verbatim translation of a posting in Russian by a "Dmitriy B.", a participant in a discussion on Yandex Zen (a rough Russian equivalent of Yahoo Groups): "I read the opinion of pilots - they are not in rapture as regards the control system and the autopilot of this machine. The cabin microclimate was also not of the requisite quality." Now, for the actual opinions of Soviet pilots, may I suggest, inter alia, https://aviaforum.ru/threads/il-62-istorii.45443/.
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Re: comparison of the Russian Il-62 / M and the VC10 / Super VC10 (written by Peter Skipp)

Post by Peter Skipp »

baronet wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:48 am The Super Vickers-10 consumed 6.500 kg / h of fuel in cruising mode, less than Ilyushin. You trust Ilyushin's data too much, they may be underestimated.
My initial reaction was scepticism. After all, it is easy to reckon out a rough fuel consumption figure from range, reasonable reserve provisions, and aircraft fuel tank capacities -- all known quantities. Why would the Russians lie if they can so easily be caught? However, something nagged me and I revisited a fascinating old blog citing fuel consumption data on Soviet/Russian and some Western airiners (anyone interested, even if not a Russian speaker, can have a look -- https://bmpd.livejournal.com/318315.html).

The blog has no data on the base model Il-62 (or, indeed, the VC10), but cites the Il-62M as burning 7.021, 7.230 and 6.373 tonnes per hour in 2009, 2010, and 2011 respectively. The difference in years appears bizarre at first sight, but may be due to (inter alia) different stage lengths, different degrees of wear-and-tear, and even differences in flying weather from one year to the next. The fluctuations are also due to the vanishingly small (and falling!) number of Il-62Ms in service by 2009/'11.

Anyway, the average figure is under 6.9 tonnes an hour, or a tad more than the 6.8 tonnes Flight International's Commercial Aircraft of the World survey used to cite in the Il-62M's heyday.

I hope this is of interest to Forum visitors, though it does not change the essential fact that (at 6.6 tonnes per hour in the cruise) the VC10's Rolls-Royce engines were quite a lot less thirsty than the Il-62's Kuznetsov units, and were even level-pegging with the Il-62M's Soloviev ones!

---

edit: Flight's online archive was taken offline earlier this year, robbing us all of a major resource. However, another nagging doubt had me leaf through a 1988 Flight Commercial Aircraft of the World survey and... no fuel consumption data on the Il-62M. I must have got it from other sources. A cross-check confirms the 6.8 tonnes per hour average figure I cite above.
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