Russia: Warplanes of the Second World War: Ilyushin Il-2

Ilyushin Il-2

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2M3 (Il-2 type 3 / Il-2 model 1944) built in Zavod 18 was tested by the NII-VVS in September-October 1943, flown by the test pilot V.K.Kokkinaki.

The Ilyushin Il-2 (Russian: Илью́шин Ил-2) is a ground-attack plane that was produced by the Soviet Union in large numbers during the Second World War. The word shturmovík (Cyrillic: штурмовик), is the generic Russian term for a ground-attack aircraft. Il-2 aircrew called it the "Ilyusha". To the soldiers on the ground, it was called the "Hunchback", the "Flying Tank" or the "Flying Infantryman". Its postwar NATO reporting name was Bark.

During the war, 36,183 units of the Il-2 were produced, and in combination with its successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 42,330 were built, making it the single most produced military aircraft design in aviation history, as well as one of the most produced piloted aircraft in history. The Il-2 played a crucial role on the Eastern Front.

The Il-2 is a single-engine, propeller-driven, low-wing monoplane of mixed construction with a crew of two (one in early versions), specially designed for assault operations. Its most notable feature was the inclusion of armor in an airframe load-bearing scheme. Armor plates replaced the frame and paneling throughout the nacelle and middle part of the fuselage, and an armored hull made of riveted homogeneous armor steel AB-1 (AB-2) secured the aircraft's engine, cockpit, water and oil radiators, and fuel tanks. (Wikipedia)

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Il-2 formation, 567 ShAP (Assault Air Regiment) of 198th ShAD (Assault Aviation Divisions), 6th ShAK (Assault Aviation Corps), 16th VA (Air Army) over Berlin, 30 May 1945.

(Soviet Air Force Photos)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik in action during the war.

(RIA Novosti archive, image #225 / Fyodor Levshin / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmoviks attacking a German column during the Battle of Kursk.

(Anna Zvereva Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G.

(Alex Snow Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G.

(Matti Blume Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G.

Dmitry Terekhov Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G.

(Zwiebeljack Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G. Berlin-Schönefeld.

(Dmitry Terekhov Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, RA-2783G. Berlin-Schönefeld.

(Zala Photos)

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, Polish Army Museum.

(Haerveyqs Photo)

(GAlexandrova Photo)

Monument to the defenders of the Leningrad sky in 1941-1945: Primorskaya street. Lebyazhye, Lomonosov district, Leningrad region.

(Alan Wilson Photos)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, "White 21" replica, possibly including some original parts.  It is on display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, c/n 7826, fuselage.  This Šhturmovík is reported to have been shot down over the Kerch Strait on 1 November 1943.  It was recovered in 2015.  The forward fuselage is complete and in very good condition, while the main wooden sections (wings and rear fuselage) are missing.   It is on display in ‘Victory Park’, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Poklonnaya Hill, Moscow, Russia.

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, single-seat variant recovered from a lake in the Murmansk region by the Moscow-based Wings of Victory Foundation.  It apparently force landed on 22 Aug 1943 after being hit by ground fire during an attack on German forces at Luostari airfield near Petsamo.  It was flown by Capt Alexander Ivanovich Kalicev, CO of the 3rd Squadron of the Soviet Northern Fleet's 46th ShAP (Attack Air Regiment).  He managed to fly back into Soviet territory before landing on the water and survived the crash.  There are plans to make this aircraft airworthy.

(aeroprints.com Photo)

(Weslam123 Photo)

(Alan Wilson Photos)

Ilyushin IL-2M3 Shturmovik (Serial N o. 301060), "Red 19", built by Plant 30, Moscow.  Some 36,183 of all variants were built between 1941 and 1945.  The M3, also known as the Type 3, had metal outer wings with swept leading edges and straight trailing edges, increasing the types’ manoeuvrability and balance.  Central Russian Air Force Museum, Monino.

(MattiPaavola Photo)

Ilyushin at Sør-Varanger museum, Kirkenes, Norway. This plane crashed in the Sennagress Lake 1944-10-22, was lifted in 1984, and was restored by Russians.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2 (Serial No. 21), at the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego (Polish Army Museum), Warsaw, Poland.

(John Veit Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2m3 Shturmovik, Flying Heritage Collection, Paine Field, Washington.

(articseahorse Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2M3 of the Flying Heritage Collection, flown with an Allison V-1710 powerplant.

(PASM Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, (Serial no. 24), Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.

(AlfvanBeem Photo)

Ilushin Il-2m3, white3 38, Kbely Museum, Czech Republic.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Ilushin Il-2m3, white3 38, Kbely Museum, Czech Republic.

(Belgade Aviation Museum Photo Archive)

Ilyushin Il-2, Belgrade Aviation Museum, Serbia.

(Vislupus Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, Bulgarian Aviation Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

(umeyou Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2,  Bulgarian Aviation Museum.

(Георгий Долгопский Photo)

Ilyushin Il-2, Novorossiysk.

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Il-2 Shturmovik, colorized.

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Il-2 Shturmovik formation, colorized.

(Soviet Air Force Photo)

Il-2 Shturmovik formation, colorized.

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