The new plane will be ready for Russian President Vladimir Putin soon. The plane is designed in the city of Voronezh, by Ilyushin design company. The new plane for the president of the Russian Federation is actually based on Il-96-30, which was inherited by Vladimir Putin after it was used by Boris Yeltsin. The plane will be equipped with a new saloon and up-to-date communication means.
There are two bedrooms and two showers in Il-96-300, a conference room, a resting room, and even a reanimation room. The plane was painted in Holland, the saloon was decorated in Switzerland. The decoration of Putin’s saloon was evaluated in the sum of $35-40 million. The total cost of the presidential plane reaches the number of 300 million dollars. The aircraft is meant for twelve thousand kilometers of flight, it is 55 meters long, it weighs 230 tons. The plane is considered to be the most expensive one of all domestic airliners.
The new presidential plane is almost 90% ready. The Swiss finishing was removed, English designers work on its interior now. The works on the plane got 300 local specialists involved. There will be three bars in the plane (there used to be two of them), a big resting room with two beds for the presidential family. The new WC is really expensive – it costs nearly $75 thousand. They say, when a washerwoman incidentally scratched the wooden finishing of the plane’s saloon, several square meters of wooden decoration were changed right away.
The president’s office in the plane is not really large – about nine square meters. There are two big screens in the office, which display all the functions of the plane and its activities: the president is not supposed to worry while flying.
The first flight of the new presidential plane is expected to happen in April or May of the current year. Three or four hours of test flights will check all functions of the plane. As it is expected, the airliner will serve for not less than ten years.
Pilot Viktor Galkin will be one of those men, who will make the new presidential plane take off for the first time. First class pilot Viktor Galkin has a very extensive flying experience – 27 years. He also piloted the previous Il-96-300 plane, on board of which Vladimir Putin traveled abroad.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.