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Ilyushin 4

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The Il-4 became the workhorse of the Soviet long-range and naval aviation units. With a full load of fuel it could carry an internal load of ten 100 kgs (220 lbs) bombs more than 3,500 km (2,450 mi) at 270 km/h (167 mph) Three 500 kgs (1,100 lbs) bombs could be carried under the wings and fuselage over shorter ranges and a maximum 2,500 kgs (5,500 lbs) bombload could be loaded for short-range tactical missions. In its naval version it could be loaded with at least one torpedo.

Improvements during production run included replacing the M-87A engines with M-88s. Wood was used instead of light metal alloys wherever possible and 12.7 mm (0.50 cal) machine-guns became standard. More than 5000 Il-4s had been built by the time production ended in 1944.

In August 1941, 15 Il-4s mounted the first Soviet raid on Berlin, which caused minor damage. The type also saw extensive service on the German Eastern Front attacking supply lines and strategic targets.

As well as for their primary missions, Il-4s were also used for transport, glider towing and strategic reconnaissance (with a camera in the bomb-bay). Some naval aircraft remained in service until 1949 and NATO designated the type 'Bob'.

Ilyushin's Il-4 was a resignated version of the DB-3. Instead of the earlier model's nose turret, the Il-4 had a glazed nose with a simple machine-gun mounting. Two more guns, one in a turret and one firing through lower hatches, were carried in the aft fuselage and an internal bay could hold 1,000 kgs (2,200 lbs) of bombs. First flown in January 1940 and redesignated from DB-3F to Il-4 in March 1942, the aircraft had a new streamlined shape and simplified structure.


Ilyushin 4

Ilyushin 4 Russia's superb wartime bomber The Ilyushin 4 long-range bomber and torpedo bomber
With good range and speed, a respectable bombload and effective armament, the Il-4 was one of the best Soviet bombers. By 1943 Soviet forces were much better organised. These Il-4s have been prepared for another mission by the groundcrew and the chief engineer confirms that the aircraft are ready to fly.

Ilyushin 4 (Technical Specification)
Role Long-range bomber and torpedo bomber
Manufacturer Ilyushin
Maximum Speed 420 kmh (230 mph)
Maximum Range 3,585 km (2,220 mil)
Ceiling 9,400 meters (30,850 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

5,800 kg (12,760 lbs)
10,300 kg (22,660 lbs)
Wing Area

21.44 meters (70 ft 4 in)
14.80 meters (48 ft 6 in)
4.20 meters (13 ft 9 in)
66.70 square meters (718 sq ft)
Engines Two Tumanskii M-88B 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines each providing 820-kW (1,100 hp)
Armament Three machine-guns 2,500 kgs (5,512 lbs) of bombs
One torpedo

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