MOSCOW (AP) — A prototype military transport plane crashed while performing a test flight outside Moscow on Tuesday, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation said.
The new light military transport plane, Il-112V, crashed in a forested area as it was coming in for a landing at the Kubinka airfield about 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, spokespeople of the corporation told the Tass news agency.
Two test pilots and a flight engineer were aboard the plane, and their fate is still unclear, the corporation said. A rescue operation is underway.
The Baza online news outlet posted a video on its channel in the messaging app Telegram of an airplane crashing into the woods after one of its engines caught fire.
The plane flew to the Moscow region last week and was set to be unveiled at the Army-2021 forum later this month. It is the first military transport plane developed in Russia from scratch since the Soviet Union collapsed.
Il-112V has turboprop engines and is designed to transport personnel, military equipment and weapons. It is capable of carrying up to 5 tons of cargo.
The plane's first flight took place in March 2019, but it was reported to be too heavy and in need of improvements. Testing of Il-112V resumed only in March 2021.
Serial production of Il-112V is expected to begin in 2023 at the Voronezh Aviation Enterprise, which can produce up to 12 such planes a year.