Yuri’s flying machines – Ilyushin 18

Yuri Gagarin had an ironic name for this aircraft: He called it ‘Home’. Not only did it carry him to his triumphant reception in Moscow, it became his constant companion in the years immediately after his spaceflight, as he toured the world, receiving the acclaim of excited crowds and charming heads of state with his friendly and diplomatic manner.

This four engined turbo-prop airliner was typical of the workhorses of air transport in the period between the end of WW2 and the advent of passenger jets. I myself flew as a child in a Vickers Viscount, a smaller UK equivalent, and can vouch for the astonishing levels of noise and vibration found in these early turboprops. The Ilyushin was by all accounts, no exception, and must have been a trial on long-haul flights.

Although not easy to fly, the Ilyushin 18 was a tough plane, and a few are still in commercial service today.

Ilyushin18, four engined turbo-prop airliner

Ilyushin18 – four engined turbo-prop airliner

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