Ilyushin Il-18/Il-20/Il-22/Il-38

Following a directive from the Soviet government to design a transport aircraft around a new turboprop engine Ilyushin responded with the four engined Il-18. It received the NATO code name Coot. The Ilyushin Il-18 has low mounted wing with the four engines in the wing's leading edge, but largely above the wings. The intakes are around the prop spinners and the exhausts near the trailing edge, at the top of the wings. The inner nacelles are bigger, to house the four wheel main landing gear bogeys. The fuselage cross section is circular and has round cabin windows with rounded corners. There are cabin doors before and after the wings, but not at the very front and rear of the aircraft. The cockpit has many windows, including several of the eyebrow type. 

The Il-18 formed the basic for special military versions, like the Il-20 and Il-22 for electronic reconnaissance and airborne command post, and the Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft.

This detail photo show the many cockpit windows of the Il-18, including eyebrow windows at the side and front. Also note the round cabin windows.

Ilyushin 18s have long, slender nacelles, with big spinners. The main air intakes are circular, around the prop spinners. The four wheel main landing gears are retracted forward in the inner nacelles.

Different versions

The different versions of the Ilyushin Il-18 and derivatives can externally be distinguish by

  • the number and shape of canoe shaped bulges op top of and underneath the fuselage
  • the presence of a boom extending from the tail cone
  • the presence of a cargo door in the left front of the fuselage

Details will follow later.

Confusion possible with

Vickers Vanguard

vanguard 953c

The Vickers Vanguard is about the same size as the Il-18, has many cockpit windows and nacelles with circular air intakes around the prop spinners. However, it has two wheel main landing gears, horizontal stabiliser with dihedral, a more pointed nose and large oval cabin windows. 

Vickers Viscount

viscount 806

The Viscount was the English counterpart of the Il-18 and has a similar basic configuration and nacelles with ring shaped air intakes, although these are below the wings. Additionally, the vertical stabiliser is curved and the Viscount has large oval cabin windows.

Lockheed Electra

il 18d

The American counterpart of the Il-18 and Vanguard can best be recognised by the round nose, single cockpit eyebrow windows on each side and two wheels on the main landing gear, apart from other differences. The vertical stabiliser is curved over the top.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

l 285 p 3c

The Orion is a maritime patrol aircraft derived from the Electra, like the Il-38 from the Il-18. It has a curved vertical stabiliser like the Electra, and two wheel main landing gears.