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Ilyushin 2/10 Sturmovik

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An incredible 36,000 I1-2 Shturmoviks were manufactured, making this the most numerous military aircraft in history. The I1-2 was called a 'flying tank',because it was havily armoured and had great firepower from its cannon and rockets.

A low-wing metal craft with wood in the aft fuselage, the I1-2 began as a single-seater. At first production difficulties plagued its builders. Premier Josef Stalin cabled factory workers saying,'The Red Army needs the I1-2 as it needs air and bread.' Though handicapped by the war, Soviet industry rose to the occassion.

In February 1942 a two-seat I1-2 was introduced. This had a rear gunner under an extended canopy. Production versions appeared at the Front, while single-seaters were converted in the field.

The I1-2 could carry 1,200 kg (2,640 lbs) of bombs over a distance of 400 km (250 mil) and was agile enough to give attacking fighters a good run for their money.

Even more potent was the I1-10 Shturmovik, which arrived just as the war was ending. The aircraft saw extensive action in Korea with the Communist forces.

The Shturmovik an armoured attack warplane is a uniquely Russian concept. The IIyushin II-2 entered service in 1941, only months before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. IIyushin began designing the aircraft by fitting armour around a pilot and engine, and then thinking about the aerodynamics. The II-2 and the developed II-10 were used on a vast scale and proved to be devastating ground-attack weapons. The Shturmovik became a legend to the Soviet public, who saw it as an instrument of salvation and cheered its successes in battle.


Ilyushin 2/10 Sturmovik

Ilyushin 2/10 Sturmovik with two-seat armoured close support aircraft The Ilyushin 2/10 Sturmovik strike formation
Czechoslovakia built large numbers of II-10 aircraft, under the name Avia B.33. They served into the late 1950s, as did the Soviet-built machines supplied to Poland. Both countries used the II-2 in the last year of the war. II-2 flew in huge formations, forming a large 'circle of death' to attack. This allowed them to keep a target area under constant fire.

Ilyushin 2/10 Sturmovik (Technical Specification)
Role One or two-seat armoured close-support aircraft
Manufacturer Ilyushin
Maximum Speed 430 kmh (267 mph)
Maximum Range 600 km (375 miles)
Ceiling 9,700 meters (31,825 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

3,250 kg (7,150 lbs)
5,872 kg (12,920 lbs)
Wing Area

14.60 meters (48 ft)
11.65 meters (38 ft)
3.40 meters (11 ft)
38.50 square meters (414 sq ft)
Engines One Mikulin AM-38F piston engine which provides 1,282-kW (1,720 hp)
Armament Two 20 mm (0.79 in) or two 37 mm (1.47 in) cannon in wings
One manually airmed 12.7 mm (0.50 cal) machine guns in rear cockpit
600 kg (1,320 lbs) of bombs or
Eight RS-82 or four RS-132 rockets under outer wing

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Ground attack aircraft which played a vital role in defeating the thick... Il-2 Sturmovik belonging to the Flying Heritage Collection museum, Everett,...

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