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XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 05:33 AM
Me and My Ilyusha: The Il-2 and Il-10 Shturmovik
by Jason Long
Sergei Ilyushin began design of the Il-2 in January 1938 to fill a need for an armored ground-attack aircraft to replace the license-built Vultee V-11GB and various obsolete biplanes. The only real innovation, and the saving grace, in its design was an armored shell that enclosed both crewmembers, the engine and its cooling systems and the fuel tanks from below and the sides. Unlike most attempts in armoring aircraft the armor was an integral part of the aircraft as all other components of aircraft were fastened to it. It was a direct inspiration for the titanium 'bathtub' cockpit armor in the modern American A-10. The first two prototypes had a pilot and a gunner, and an AM-35 engine optimized for medium altitudes. Evaluation by the VVS (Soviet Air Force) resulted in a second pair of prototypes in an attempt to correct all the perceived problems.
A more powerful AM-38 engine which was optimized for low altitudes powered the second pair. The gunner was replaced by additional fuel in an attempt to extend the range, but this was mostly negated by the new engine's higher fuel consumption.

The rear fuselage and vertical tail were made of wood while the rest of the aircraft was made of duralumin, although the outer wing panels were later made of wood to conserve scarce aluminium. The landing gear was placed in bulky wing fairings with the wheels exposed. This had the not unanticipated benefit of easing the effect of gear-up landings on both aircraft and aircrew.

The Il-2 was well armed with 2x 20mm ShVAK cannon and 2x 7.62mm ShKAS machine-guns in the wings. The wings also housed 4 small cells for 220 lb (100 kg) bombs. An additional pair could be carried under the wings. A pair of 550 lb (250 kg) bombs could also be carried externally if the bomb cells were empty. Eight 82mm RS-82 or 132mm RS-132 rockets could also be carried though the launcher rails reduced the maximum speed by 7 mph (11 kph).

The international situation was such that three factories in Moscow and Voronezh began preparations for manufacture of the Il-2 even before the second pair of prototypes first flew in Oct 1940. The first production aircraft was accepted before completion of the State Acceptance Trials on 18 March 1941, the 4th Shturmoviki Aviapolk (Ground-Attack Aviation Regiment) being the first to receive the Il-2 in May 1941.

Some 249 had been completed when the Germans invaded, but only 70 had been accepted by the VVS and they were barely operational. It received its baptism of fire on 1 July near Bobruisk with some effect although losses were high.

Production rates climbed even higher as 1293 were produced between July and December, despite the evacuation of some of its factories to safer, if less salubrious, climes. However shoddy workmanship plagued the Il-2 and serviceability levels plummeted during the winter because of the pressure to meet ever-climbing production quotas by factory workers who sometimes labored in the open during the Siberian winter!

The Il-2's armor was proof against machine-gun fire and 20mm cannon shells at oblique angles, but the lack of a rear gunner proved fatal for many a shturmoviki during the first year of the war as it was even slower than the Stuka and coordination with escorting fighters was a persistent problem. German fighters had a habit of pouring rounds into the vulnerable rear fuselage and tail until the wood was like a sieve.

A conference was called in February '42 to discuss methods to reduce attrition suffered by the Il-2 and improve its combat effectiveness. The ShVAK cannon were to be replaced by higher velocity 23mm VYa guns and the factories were to improve their production standards. The most important decision was to reintroduce a rear gunner armed with a 12.7mm UBT or BS machine-gun to defend the Il-2's Achilles heel. Ilyushin quickly designed a rough and ready gunner's station that was so primitive that the gunner lacked a seat and had to sit on a canvas sling!

The restoration of the gunner in the Il-2M increased the its survivability until the the Germans realized that the Il-2M was even more vulnerable than its single-seat predecessor once the gunner was incapacitated since performance had dropped significantly due to the extra weight of the gunner's position. Ilyushin had only provided rear armor up to the gunner's belly to help keep the weight down, but this led to numerous casualties among the gunners. A number of pilots reportedly survived over a half-dozen gunners or more!

The Il-2M had its combat debut 30 October 42 though large-scale use didn't occur until early '43 as factory deliveries and field conversions ramped up.

A slighly uprated AM-38F engine was introduced during the Il-2M's production run to help restore the power-to-weight ratio, but the additional power wasn't nearly enough to counteract the weight of the gunner and his armor. The large amount of weight added aft of the aircraft's center of gravity had deleterious effects on the Il-2's stability, but Ilyushin needed more time to fix these problems.

The Il-2M was quickly superceded by the Il-2 tip 3 with a slightly more refined gunner's position that deleted some of the glazing to increase the gunner's firing arc. More importantly, the wing outer panels were swept back to move the center of gravity aft and this improved stability markedly. Ilyushin cleaned up the aircraft in a number of other small ways and the Il-2 tip 3 was the best handling version of the Il-2 yet. On some late-production aircraft the outer wing panels and sometimes the rear fuselage were made out of metal.

Its service debut was during the later stages of the Stalingrad encirclement and it was the most numerically important of the Il-2 models. Il-2 production totalled 36,136 by the end of 1944 when it was replaced on the production lines by the Il-10. Some 11,200 were built in 1943 and production averaged over 1.5 hourly in the early months of 1944!

But despite the enormous numbers built at no time did VVS stocks ever exceed 6000 aircraft due to the exceedingly high level of attrition, both to combat and non-combat causes.

A tank buster version was tested with 37mm guns substituted for the standard 23mm cannon, but it proved to be less than successful. The recoil was so strong that successive shots couldn't be aimed at the same target as the aircraft twisted with each shot. The great weight of the 37mm cannon prevented another ordnance from being carried which limited the Il-2 tip 3M's utility against most targets.

The Il-2T was a tip 3 that carried a 53cm (21 inch) torpedo for anti-shipping work. It was used in conjunction with ordinary Il-2s in the Black Sea.

Several other variants of the Il-2 design were tested including one with the radial M-82 engine used by the La-5 series fighters. This was strictly as a backup to any problem with the supply of inline AM-38 engines. Another was the Il-2I that was a lightened Il-2 tip 3 with the gunner's station faired over. It was designed for the attack of point targets and the interception of bombers and transports. As it proved to be slower than a standard Il-2 tip 3 and no requirement existed for an aircraft of this type it was dropped from any further development work after the one prototype.

Typical shturmovik tactics were to fly in a circle over the target and to attack in succession. First any bombs would be dropped and rockets fired and then the target would be strafed repeatedly. This was rather dramatically called the 'Circle of Death' by Soviet journalists of the period though it differed little from the Cadenza (Chain) tactic used by the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Typically no effort would be made to avoid or even suppress any defending flak which would usually claim several aircraft although the larger formations during the later stages of the war tended to suppress ground defenses through sheer weight of fire.

I believe that the following quote by William Green and Gordon Swanborough serves quite nicely as an epitaph for the Il-2.

"Sergei Ilyushin had placed all emphasis on simplicity in order to create an aircraft that could be manufactured rapidly and in great quantities by a relatively unsophisticated industry using a high proportion of unskilled and semi-skilled labour. He achieved this aim admirably. As for the aircraft itself, it was underpowered, sluggish, unstable, lacked maneuverability and could lift only modest loads of ordnance. Its performance was abysmal and its instrumentation and equipment were rudimentary, but it made up for all these deficiencies by being available in very large numbers; it was not the intrinsic qualities of Ilyushin's shturmovik that ennabled this one type of aircraft to influence the conflict in the East in favour of the Soviet Union, but the fact that it could be fielded in immense quantities."

The Il-10 succeeded the Il-2 on the production lines in late 1944 with the first service use during the Oder-Neisse offensive in February 1945. It was a totally new design to meet the shturmovik requirement. It was much smaller than than the Il-2 although it was actually slightly heavier. A great deal of attention was paid to reducing drag and it paid off as it was 120 kph (74 mph) faster than the Il-2 tip 3. One primary reason for this was the elimination of the drag-producing wing fairings for the landing gear. It was initially armed with a 12.7mm UBT machine-gun for the gunner, but this was soon replaced with a 20mm UB-20 cannon.

The Il-10 was judged a great improvement over the Il-2 in every way but payload and endurance. Its greater speed and maneuverability reduced its vulnerability to fighters and groundfire. It was easier to maintain in the field and it handled much better than did its predecessor.

The Il-10 completely replaced the Il-2 in Soviet service by 1947 and was widely exported to just about every Soviet ally. The Soviets were so enamoured of the shturmovik concept that it was kept in production until 1956! Although reality reared its ugly head shortly afterwards and they were completely out of service within a couple of years.


Specifications Il-2 Il-2 tip 3 Il-10
Engine AM-38 AM-38F AM-42
Maximum power 1600 hp 1720 hp 2000 hp
Loaded weight 5873 kg (12,947 lbs) 6360 kg (14,021 lbs) 6535 kg (14,407 lbs)
Speed 390 kph (242 mph) 410 kph (255 mph) 530 kph (329 mph)
Range 600 km (372 mi) 765 km (475 mi) 790 km (497 mi)
Bombload 600 kg (1320 lbs) 600 kg (1320 lbs) 500 kg (1100 lbs)





<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 05:33 AM
Me and My Ilyusha: The Il-2 and Il-10 Shturmovik
by Jason Long
Sergei Ilyushin began design of the Il-2 in January 1938 to fill a need for an armored ground-attack aircraft to replace the license-built Vultee V-11GB and various obsolete biplanes. The only real innovation, and the saving grace, in its design was an armored shell that enclosed both crewmembers, the engine and its cooling systems and the fuel tanks from below and the sides. Unlike most attempts in armoring aircraft the armor was an integral part of the aircraft as all other components of aircraft were fastened to it. It was a direct inspiration for the titanium 'bathtub' cockpit armor in the modern American A-10. The first two prototypes had a pilot and a gunner, and an AM-35 engine optimized for medium altitudes. Evaluation by the VVS (Soviet Air Force) resulted in a second pair of prototypes in an attempt to correct all the perceived problems.
A more powerful AM-38 engine which was optimized for low altitudes powered the second pair. The gunner was replaced by additional fuel in an attempt to extend the range, but this was mostly negated by the new engine's higher fuel consumption.

The rear fuselage and vertical tail were made of wood while the rest of the aircraft was made of duralumin, although the outer wing panels were later made of wood to conserve scarce aluminium. The landing gear was placed in bulky wing fairings with the wheels exposed. This had the not unanticipated benefit of easing the effect of gear-up landings on both aircraft and aircrew.

The Il-2 was well armed with 2x 20mm ShVAK cannon and 2x 7.62mm ShKAS machine-guns in the wings. The wings also housed 4 small cells for 220 lb (100 kg) bombs. An additional pair could be carried under the wings. A pair of 550 lb (250 kg) bombs could also be carried externally if the bomb cells were empty. Eight 82mm RS-82 or 132mm RS-132 rockets could also be carried though the launcher rails reduced the maximum speed by 7 mph (11 kph).

The international situation was such that three factories in Moscow and Voronezh began preparations for manufacture of the Il-2 even before the second pair of prototypes first flew in Oct 1940. The first production aircraft was accepted before completion of the State Acceptance Trials on 18 March 1941, the 4th Shturmoviki Aviapolk (Ground-Attack Aviation Regiment) being the first to receive the Il-2 in May 1941.

Some 249 had been completed when the Germans invaded, but only 70 had been accepted by the VVS and they were barely operational. It received its baptism of fire on 1 July near Bobruisk with some effect although losses were high.

Production rates climbed even higher as 1293 were produced between July and December, despite the evacuation of some of its factories to safer, if less salubrious, climes. However shoddy workmanship plagued the Il-2 and serviceability levels plummeted during the winter because of the pressure to meet ever-climbing production quotas by factory workers who sometimes labored in the open during the Siberian winter!

The Il-2's armor was proof against machine-gun fire and 20mm cannon shells at oblique angles, but the lack of a rear gunner proved fatal for many a shturmoviki during the first year of the war as it was even slower than the Stuka and coordination with escorting fighters was a persistent problem. German fighters had a habit of pouring rounds into the vulnerable rear fuselage and tail until the wood was like a sieve.

A conference was called in February '42 to discuss methods to reduce attrition suffered by the Il-2 and improve its combat effectiveness. The ShVAK cannon were to be replaced by higher velocity 23mm VYa guns and the factories were to improve their production standards. The most important decision was to reintroduce a rear gunner armed with a 12.7mm UBT or BS machine-gun to defend the Il-2's Achilles heel. Ilyushin quickly designed a rough and ready gunner's station that was so primitive that the gunner lacked a seat and had to sit on a canvas sling!

The restoration of the gunner in the Il-2M increased the its survivability until the the Germans realized that the Il-2M was even more vulnerable than its single-seat predecessor once the gunner was incapacitated since performance had dropped significantly due to the extra weight of the gunner's position. Ilyushin had only provided rear armor up to the gunner's belly to help keep the weight down, but this led to numerous casualties among the gunners. A number of pilots reportedly survived over a half-dozen gunners or more!

The Il-2M had its combat debut 30 October 42 though large-scale use didn't occur until early '43 as factory deliveries and field conversions ramped up.

A slighly uprated AM-38F engine was introduced during the Il-2M's production run to help restore the power-to-weight ratio, but the additional power wasn't nearly enough to counteract the weight of the gunner and his armor. The large amount of weight added aft of the aircraft's center of gravity had deleterious effects on the Il-2's stability, but Ilyushin needed more time to fix these problems.

The Il-2M was quickly superceded by the Il-2 tip 3 with a slightly more refined gunner's position that deleted some of the glazing to increase the gunner's firing arc. More importantly, the wing outer panels were swept back to move the center of gravity aft and this improved stability markedly. Ilyushin cleaned up the aircraft in a number of other small ways and the Il-2 tip 3 was the best handling version of the Il-2 yet. On some late-production aircraft the outer wing panels and sometimes the rear fuselage were made out of metal.

Its service debut was during the later stages of the Stalingrad encirclement and it was the most numerically important of the Il-2 models. Il-2 production totalled 36,136 by the end of 1944 when it was replaced on the production lines by the Il-10. Some 11,200 were built in 1943 and production averaged over 1.5 hourly in the early months of 1944!

But despite the enormous numbers built at no time did VVS stocks ever exceed 6000 aircraft due to the exceedingly high level of attrition, both to combat and non-combat causes.

A tank buster version was tested with 37mm guns substituted for the standard 23mm cannon, but it proved to be less than successful. The recoil was so strong that successive shots couldn't be aimed at the same target as the aircraft twisted with each shot. The great weight of the 37mm cannon prevented another ordnance from being carried which limited the Il-2 tip 3M's utility against most targets.

The Il-2T was a tip 3 that carried a 53cm (21 inch) torpedo for anti-shipping work. It was used in conjunction with ordinary Il-2s in the Black Sea.

Several other variants of the Il-2 design were tested including one with the radial M-82 engine used by the La-5 series fighters. This was strictly as a backup to any problem with the supply of inline AM-38 engines. Another was the Il-2I that was a lightened Il-2 tip 3 with the gunner's station faired over. It was designed for the attack of point targets and the interception of bombers and transports. As it proved to be slower than a standard Il-2 tip 3 and no requirement existed for an aircraft of this type it was dropped from any further development work after the one prototype.

Typical shturmovik tactics were to fly in a circle over the target and to attack in succession. First any bombs would be dropped and rockets fired and then the target would be strafed repeatedly. This was rather dramatically called the 'Circle of Death' by Soviet journalists of the period though it differed little from the Cadenza (Chain) tactic used by the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Typically no effort would be made to avoid or even suppress any defending flak which would usually claim several aircraft although the larger formations during the later stages of the war tended to suppress ground defenses through sheer weight of fire.

I believe that the following quote by William Green and Gordon Swanborough serves quite nicely as an epitaph for the Il-2.

"Sergei Ilyushin had placed all emphasis on simplicity in order to create an aircraft that could be manufactured rapidly and in great quantities by a relatively unsophisticated industry using a high proportion of unskilled and semi-skilled labour. He achieved this aim admirably. As for the aircraft itself, it was underpowered, sluggish, unstable, lacked maneuverability and could lift only modest loads of ordnance. Its performance was abysmal and its instrumentation and equipment were rudimentary, but it made up for all these deficiencies by being available in very large numbers; it was not the intrinsic qualities of Ilyushin's shturmovik that ennabled this one type of aircraft to influence the conflict in the East in favour of the Soviet Union, but the fact that it could be fielded in immense quantities."

The Il-10 succeeded the Il-2 on the production lines in late 1944 with the first service use during the Oder-Neisse offensive in February 1945. It was a totally new design to meet the shturmovik requirement. It was much smaller than than the Il-2 although it was actually slightly heavier. A great deal of attention was paid to reducing drag and it paid off as it was 120 kph (74 mph) faster than the Il-2 tip 3. One primary reason for this was the elimination of the drag-producing wing fairings for the landing gear. It was initially armed with a 12.7mm UBT machine-gun for the gunner, but this was soon replaced with a 20mm UB-20 cannon.

The Il-10 was judged a great improvement over the Il-2 in every way but payload and endurance. Its greater speed and maneuverability reduced its vulnerability to fighters and groundfire. It was easier to maintain in the field and it handled much better than did its predecessor.

The Il-10 completely replaced the Il-2 in Soviet service by 1947 and was widely exported to just about every Soviet ally. The Soviets were so enamoured of the shturmovik concept that it was kept in production until 1956! Although reality reared its ugly head shortly afterwards and they were completely out of service within a couple of years.


Specifications Il-2 Il-2 tip 3 Il-10
Engine AM-38 AM-38F AM-42
Maximum power 1600 hp 1720 hp 2000 hp
Loaded weight 5873 kg (12,947 lbs) 6360 kg (14,021 lbs) 6535 kg (14,407 lbs)
Speed 390 kph (242 mph) 410 kph (255 mph) 530 kph (329 mph)
Range 600 km (372 mi) 765 km (475 mi) 790 km (497 mi)
Bombload 600 kg (1320 lbs) 600 kg (1320 lbs) 500 kg (1100 lbs)





<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 06:51 AM
Once again,thanks!/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

47|FC
http://rangerring.com/wwii/p-47.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 12:53 PM
Bump

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 01:00 PM
Great post about my favorite FB ac.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Sigfreid Sassoon- Suicide in the Trenches

XyZspineZyX
10-22-2003, 04:52 PM
bump

<CENTER>http://www.world-wide-net.com/tuskegeeairmen/ta-1943.jpg <marquee><FONT COLOR="RED"><FONT SIZE="+1">"Straighten up.......Fly right..~S~"<FONT SIZE> </marquee> http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat

<CENTER><FONT COLOR="ORANGE">vflyer@comcast.net<FONT COLOR>
<Center><div style="width:200;color:red;font-size:18pt;filter:shadow Blur[color=red,strength=8)">99th Pursuit Squadron