WOW141 – Ilyushin 2 Sturmovik

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WOW141 The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was a ground-attack aircraft produced by
the Soviet Union in large numbers during the Second World War. With 36,183
units of the Il-2 produced during the war, and in combination with its
successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 42,330 were built. This makes it
the single most produced military aircraft design in aviation history. The
Il-2 was 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 armor steel secured around the aircraft’s
engine, cockpit, water and oil radiators, and fuel tanks.
To Il-2 pilots, the aircraft was simply the diminutive “Ilyusha”. To the
soldiers on the ground, it was the “Hunchback”, the “Flying Tank” or the
“Flying Infantryman”. Its postwar NATO reporting name was “Bark”.

The first use in action of the Il-2 was with the 4th ShAP (Ground Attack
Regiment) over the Berezina River days after Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet
Union. The aircraft was so new that the pilots had no training in flight
characteristics or tactics, and the ground crew no training in servicing or
re-arming. The training received only enabled the pilots to take-off and
land; none of the pilots had fired the armament, let alone learned tactics.
There were 249 Il-2s available on 22 June 1941. In the first three days, 4th
ShAP had lost 10 Il-2s to enemy action, a further 19 were lost to other
causes, and 20 pilots were killed. By 10 July, 4th ShAP was down to 10
aircraft from a strength of 65.
Tactics and training improved as Soviet aircrews became used to the Il-2’s
strengths. Instead of a low horizontal straight approach at 50 metres
altitude, the target was usually kept to the pilot’s left and a turn and
shallow dive of 30 degrees was used, using an by four to twelve aircraft at
a time. Although the Il-2’s RS-82 and RS-132 rockets that could destroy
armored vehicles with a single hit, they were so inaccurate that experienced
Il-2 pilots mainly used the cannon.[20] Another potent weapon of the Il-2s
was the PTAB shaped charge bomblets. They were designated PTAB-2.5-1.5, as
they had the size of a 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) bomb, but weighed only 1.5 kg (3.3
lb) due to the empty space in the shaped charge. Up to 192 were carried in
four external dispensers (cluster bombs) or up to 220 in the inner wing
panels’ internal ventral weapon bays. The HEAT charge could easily penetrate
the relatively thin upper armour of all heavy German tanks. PTABs were first
used on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk. The Il-2 was thereafter widely
deployed on the Eastern Front. The aircraft could fly in low light
conditions and carried weapons able to defeat the thick armor of Panther and
Tiger I tanks.

Our Sturmovik is priced at $799 plus $100 postage worldwide, UK and EU
please ask for a price in £ as your postage costs will be lower due to the
fact you are closer to us! At present we have only 3 samples in stock which
have been presold to the customers who commissioned them, if you would like
one of these iconic aircraft in around 6 months’ time please drop us an
email and we will send you details of timetable and payment schedule.