For aircraft enthusiasts: The sons of the Shtrumovik

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

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    The second world war made plenty planes legendary: the Supermarine Spitfire, the Douglas DC-3/C-47 "Gooniebird" and the Boeing B-17. But it would be a tragedy to leave the Illyushin Il-2 Shturmovik off this list.

    The Shturmovik will forever go down in history as the most successful Close Air Support plane, it was tough as nails, easy to fly and could stay on the battle front for a long time offering relief to the troops on the ground.

    The Shturmovik was with 36,183 units built in the war alone and post war as the more developed IL-10 version clocking up a whopping 42,330 units in total the most built Military aircraft ever.
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    The Il-10 had redesigned wings to improve agility, heavier caliber guns and later the ability to carry unguided missiles and a more powerful engine since lack of power was always the Shturmovik's biggest fault. In fact in 1951 with the Korean war breaking out the Soviets put the IL-10 back into production with a variant which was fit for all weather capability and ground terrain radar.

    Respectfully called the "Bark" and the "Beast" by NATO and affectionately referred to as "the flying Tank" and the "Flying infantry soldier" by the Soviet ground troops and Stalin declared it as being "Just as important for the survival of the Soviet troops as air and bread."

    But when the Shturmovik was used in the Korean war, it quickly became painfully apparent that it was not suited for use in the jet age and the type was quickly retired from active duty.

    So what do you do when you have the must successful CAS plane which makes you the authority on CAS planes but your plane isn't cutting it anymore?
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    This is the Il-40 "Brawny" which was meant to be the Jet successor of the Shturmovik. With this plane Illyushin entered the jet-age.
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    The Il-40 from behind showing the powered rear turret.

    And they entered the Jet-age with aplomb, the Il-40 proved itself to be a pleasant flyer, popular with pilots and capable of doing mock dogfights with MiG-15 and MiG-17 fighters. But it wasn't without faults.

    The biggest fault of all being the fact that with all the guns being in the nose, expended cartridge cases would be jettisoned at the sides of the nose (you can just make out the square holes for that use in the pictures) which were then sucked up by the engines, causing flame outs. So in order to keep that from happening the plane was redesigned, making it that the air intakes were moved as much forwards as was possible and the gun muzzles were placed behind them.
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    Giving the plane a really bad ass "Flying double barrel shotgun" look.

    But then something happened which sealed the "Flying shotgun's" fate. In 1956 it was decided that Close Air Support would be dropped in favor for tactical use of Nuclear weapons. With only seven units including five production examples built, the project was cancelled.

    However a decade later, the Soviet high command was painfully reminded of how effective a CAS plane was when the Americans used their Douglas A-1 Skyraiders and Chance-Vought A-7 Corsair II's to great effect in Vietnam. The reforming of Close Air Support squadrons was given top priority and while they made due with the MiG-27 during the seventies, they issued a design competition for what they called "A jet powered Shturmovik."

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    This is the Illyushin Il-102, the result of that request.
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    Basically an Il-40 but completely redesigned, the Il-102 sure carried its Shturmovik ancestry with pride. Again it was a pleasant flyer and popular with its pilots when it first took to the air in 1982. But it would never enter production.

    Because THIS was the CAS plane chosen by the Soviets to be their Jet powered Shturmovik.
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    The Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" was basically the Soviet equivalent to the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, "The Warthog" The Frogfoot entered service in 1981 and is still in production today, much like the original Shturmovik, the Frogfoot is tough, dependable and a welcome sight for the ground troops.

    But Illyushin wasn't quite done with their entry. After the end of the cold war, they fixed up the Il-102 placed it in Moscow as delegations of air forces which weren't allowed to do business with Soviet Union were suddenly very welcome in modern day Russia. The Il-102 was offered for export...

    ...There were no takers.
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    One of the two Il-102 as it survives today.
     
  2. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Greatest close air support plane?

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  3. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

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    Named that one in my post.

    But yeah, the Skyraider could really bring the Stink to the enemy...
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  4. Rowdyman

    Rowdyman Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Blazer!! regards, RM
     
  5. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Found this in the Wikipedia entry:

    "In October 1965, to highlight the dropping of the six millionth pound of ordnance, Commander Clarence J. Stoddard of VA-25, flying an A-1H, dropped a special, one-time-only object in addition to his other munitions – a toilet."
     
  6. Uncle Butch

    Uncle Butch Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Blazer for posting this. i love articles about old warbirds. Well done good sir.
     
  7. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    We've got a flying example of those living down the street.

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    It lives with about 30 flying WWII aircraft and some WWI replicas.

    Bob
     
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  8. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Meister

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    All the airplane you need. FB_IMG_1530659070560.jpg
     
  9. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Stories by Finnish fighter aces indicate that the IL-2 wasn't all that hard to shoot down - if you knew what you were doing, and weren't under immediate threat from any escorting fighters. First you kill the rear gunner who doesn't have much protection. Then you hit some vulnerable spot at the wing root. Done.
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Very cool post.

    Was it against the Soviet rules for Ilyushin to create a pretty airplane?

    My Dad (retired airplane designer) doesn't talk about planes much anymore, but he always remarked about how ungainly these all were. He took tremendous pride in penning only sexy aircraft and other aeronautical devices.
     
  11. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

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    You can see Soviet war planes as being the Telecasters of the sky: substance over style.
     
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  12. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Thanks Blazer for the Shtrumovik post. Always great to see and talk WW2 birds.
     
  13. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not surprising. My impression is that the Il-2s were armored mainly against ground fire, not an airborne opponent.
     
  14. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

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    You had to try really hard to out-ugly the soviets on most things. Really hard.
     
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  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You've seen their electric guitars, right?
     
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  16. Honest Charley

    Honest Charley Tele-Holic

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    Thank You Blazer! These airplane stories are GREAT!!!
     
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  17. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, again. I never knew of this plane.
    Please continue these. 3 thumbs up!!!
     
  18. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    There is a good IL-2 simulator..

    Reminded me to fire it up
     
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  19. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Meister

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    I had a model of an IL-2 when I was a lad. I've also got the PC game somewhere. Marvellous 'plane. I never realised that it evolved into a jet.
     
  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Marcel Dassault said words to the effect 'if an aeroplane looks right, it will fly right'.

    The IL2 looks like the Pit Bull of the air.

    My poor compatriot Finns. Only having Brewster Buffaloes and some captured Rata's until they got Messerschmitt 109s from the Germans.
     
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