Browsing Tag: Rubystar airlines

RubyStar Airlines operates numerous IL-76TDs, but I only got to fly on EW-78830. Photo - Bernie Leighton |

RubyStar Airlines operates numerous IL-76TDs, but I only got to fly on EW-78836 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

What’s better than flying on an IL-76MD like I did in North Korea? Flying on an IL-76TD somewhere outside of the most restrictive, hostile-to-photographers country on Earth, obviously.

Inside the Navigator's station of an IL-76TD (In flight). Photo - Bernie Leighton |

Inside the Navigator’s station of an IL-76TD (in flight) – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

So, you probably want to know what an MD does differently than a TD. Letters and a lack of observer’s post/tail gunner in the rear area under the tail. For a civilian IL-76TD, it is faired over. Sometimes, this fairing is done crudely – indicating MD-to-TD conversion most likely sometime after the collapse of the USSR. That’s really it. They’re the same in every other way. Same Soloviev engines, same flight deck, same lavatory nook.

Sadly, EW-275TI never was employed by Viktor Bout. Lovely plane though. Photo - Bernie Leighton |

Our Antonov AN-12 ride for the day – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

Yes, you read the title correctly. Mostly.

The crew rest "Business Class" area of an AN-12 operated by RubyStar Airlines. The chairs face a table so you can face forwards or backwards. Photo - Bernie Leighton |

The crew rest “Business Class” area of an AN-12 operated by RubyStar Airlines – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

It’s not technically business class. It’s the crew rest area. As you can see, it looks like it belongs on either a Soviet fishing trawler or submarine.

Even with my widest lens, I could not get a photo of the bathyscaphe-like curved office to cargo hold join. But the adjective of submarine-like is really all one can say. But I recently got to experience flying in this special “Business Class,” and of course wanted to share my adventure.