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The Soviet WWII Ground-Attack Aircraft Ilyushin Il-ten ‘Shturmovik’. Poland. 1945. Советский штурмовик Ил-ten. Польша 1945 г.
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Image by Peer.Gynt
The original aircraft is exposed in Central AirForce Museim, Monino.

Ilyushin Il-10 (Cyrillic Илью́шин Ил-10, NATO reporting name: &quotBeast&quot) was a Soviet ground attack aircraft developed at the end of Globe War II by the Ilyushin building bureau. It was also license-constructed in Czechoslovakia by Avia as the Avia B-33.

From the start off of Eastern Front combat in Globe War II, the Soviet Air Force (VVS) used the effective ground attack aircraft Ilyushin Il-two Sturmovik, powered by the Mikulin AM-38 inline engine. As the war progressed, the Soviets laid plans for that aircraft’s successor. The major purpose was to enhance speed and maneuverability at low altitudes, mostly to evade little-caliber anti-aircraft artillery, which was the major threat for ground attack aircraft, and to take away some of the Il-2’s faults. The most promising project was a modern day, light and maneuverable close assault aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-six, created by Pavel Sukhoi’s bureau from 1942. At the identical time, Sergei Ilyushin created a heavier aircraft, the VSh or Il-8 M-71, derived from the Il-two design, and on which it was partly based. Each projects were powered by the prototype M-71 radial engine, which did not enter production.

In 1943, Ilyushin started function on a new aircraft, Il-1, which was to be a 1- or 2-seat heavily armoured fighter-interceptor, meant mostly for fighting enemy bombers and transports. The Il-1 was similar to the Il-2 style, but was much more modern, compact, and powered with a new Mikulin engine: the AM-42. But the VVS gave up the thought of heavy armoured fighters, due to their low speed, which was not sufficient to intercept modern day bombers. As a outcome, Ilyushin decided to turn the Il-1 into a two-seat ground attack plane, with the designation changed to Il-ten in early 1944 (odd numbers were reserved for fighters).

At that time, Ilyushin also completed a prototype of a heavier ground attack plane, the Il-eight, using the very same engine, and much more closely derived from the Il-two. It carried a higher payload (1,000 kg/two,204 lb), but had lower efficiency than the Il-ten. Each varieties first flew in April 1944, the Il-10 proving drastically superior to the Il-8, which had poor handling. The Il-10 successfully passed trials in early June 1944.

The third competitor was a new variant of the Sukhoi Su-six, also powered by the AM-42 engine. After comparative tests, the Il-10 was regarded as the winner and was selected as the new ground attack plane, despite some opinions that the Su-six was a better aircraft, notwithstanding inferior efficiency and payload, with better gun armament. Notably, the Su-six prototype was tested with maximum payload, causing lowered functionality, while the Il-ten was tested with typical payload. Some benefits of the Il-ten came from its technical similarity to the Il-two.
On 23 August 1944 the Il-ten was ordered into serial production by choice of the State Defense Committee (GKO) as a new ground attack plane.[five] Its armament was initially similar to late model Il-2s, with two 23 mm VYa-23 cannons and two ShKAS machine guns in the wings, and a 12.7 mm UBT machine gun for a rear gunner, and 400 kg, or a maximum 600 kg of bombs. As opposed to the Il-2 and Su-6, it was not initially meant to carry rockets.

Production of the Il-10 started in Kuybyshev’s factories No. 1 and No. 18. The first production aircraft flew on 27 September 1944 and 99 aircraft were created by the finish of 1944. Early series aircraft showed teething difficulties, most notably engine faults and fires. Most troubles were eliminated by 1945. Aircraft made from April 1945 onwards could carry four unguided air-to ground rockets. Aircraft made from 1947 onwards were fitted with stronger armament, consisting of 4 23 mm NS-23 cannons in the wings and a 20 mm cannon for the rear gunner. Il-ten production ended in 1949, soon after a run of four,600 aircraft in the last two years, they have been developed in factory No. 64.

Among 1945 and 1947, 280 UIl-2 or Il-10U trainer variants had been produced. The rear gunner’ cockpit was replaced with a longer instructor’s cockpit with dual controls. Its efficiency and construction were related to the combat variant apart from armament, which was lowered to two cannons, two rockets, and a regular load of bombs.

In 1951, the Czechoslovak firm Avia secured a license to make Il-10s, with the designation B-33. The first one flew on 26 December 1951. Initially, their engines were Soviet-built. From 1952 onwards the engines had been also produced in Czechoslovakia as the M-42. Besides the combat variant, a Czechoslovak trainer variant also entered service under the designation CB-33. In total, 1,200 B-33s were constructed by 1956.
In 1951, due to expertise acquired during the Korean War, the Soviet Air Force decided that propeller ground attack aircraft may well nonetheless be valuable, and decided to renew Il-ten production in a modified variant, the Il-10M, which very first flew on two July 1951. It was a bit longer, with a wider wingspan, and larger control surfaces, with a fin beneath the tail. 4 of the more lately developed NR-23 cannons were mounted in the wings, even though the payload stayed the exact same, and newer navigation equipment was installed, providing partial all-weather capability. Speed decreased slightly, but handling enhanced. In between 1953 and 1954, 146 Il-10Ms were produced, all but 10 in Rostov-on-Don’s factory No.168.

In total, six,166 of all Il-10 variants were produced, including those constructed under license.

Trials of Il-10s mounted with much more effective AM-43 and AM-45 engines took place, but proved unsuccessful. Ilyushin next designed a lighter close support aircraft, the Il-16, with improved performance and equivalent armament. It first flew on ten June 1945. A brief run entered production, but the project was cancelled in 1946 due to the AM-43 engine’s unreliability.
Technical description

The airframe featured a single engine, two-seat, monoplane, with a metal-covered frame. The plane was hugely armoured. The front portion of the fuselage, with the cockpit, was a shell of armour plates 4–8 mm thick the thickest, eight mm, were under the engine, there was no armour above the engine. The front windshield was produced of armour glass 64 mm (two.5 in) thick. Also armoured was: a roof above the pilot, side window frames in the pilot’s cab, a wall in between crew seats, and a rear wall behind the cab. Total armour weight was 994 kg, such as its attachment. The wing consisted of a central section, with two bomb bays, and two detachable outer panels. The undercarriage was retractable. The major wheels folded to the rear right after rotating by 86°.

Early Il-10s had two 23 mm VYa-23 autocannons (150 rounds every) and two 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns (750 rounds each and every) fixed in wings, and a 12.7 mm UBT machine gun in a rear gunner station BU-8, with 150 rounds. The horizontal angle of the rear machine gun field of fire was 100°. From 1947, the aircraft were armed with 4 NS-23 23 mm cannons in the wings (150 rounds every) and 20 mm B-20T cannon in a rear gunner station BU-9 (150 rounds). The IL-10M had 4 23 mm NR-23 cannons in wings (150 rounds each and every) and 20 mm B-20EN cannon in a rear gunner station BU-9M (150 rounds). Avia B-33 had four 23 mm NS-23RM cannons in wings and 20 mm B-20ET cannon in a rear gunner station BU-9M.

The standard bomb load was 400 kg, maximum load was 600 kg. This could be small fragmentation or anti-tank bomblets, place in bomb bays, or 4 50–100 kg bombs in bomb bays and externally below wings, or two 200–250 kg bombs attached under wings. Little bomblets had been put straight on bomb bay floors, in piles. A typical load was 182 (maximum 200) two kg AO-2,5-2 fragmentation bombs, or 144 PTAB-two,five-1,five anti-tnk HEAT bombs. Apart from bombs, four unguided rockets RS-82 or RS-132 could be carried on rail launchers below wings. Avia B-33s have been also fitted to carry other rocket kinds. Late Soviet aircraft could carry ORO-82 and ORO-132 tube launchers. In the tail section was a DAG-10 launcher with ten anti-aircraft or anti-personnel grenades AG-two (right after becoming thrown, they would fall with parachutes and then burst, but were not extensively used in practice).

The Il-ten engine was a 12-cylinder inline V engine Mikulin AM-42, liquid-cooled, energy: 1,770 hp continuous, takeoff power: two,000 hp. 3-blade propeller AV-5L-24 of three.six m diameter. Two fuel tanks in the fuselage: upper 440 l more than engine, ahead of the cockpit, and decrease tank of 290 l under the cockpit. The aircraft had a radio set and a camera AFA-1M in a rear section of the fuselage.
Operational history

In October 1944, the Il-ten initial entered service with training units in the Soviet Air Force. In January 1945, the very first Il-10 combat unit entered service with the 78th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, but it did not enter action due to unfinished coaching. Even so, 3 other Il-10 units managed to take portion in the final combat actions of World War II in Europe. They had been the 571st Assault Aviation Regiment (from 15 April 1945), the 108th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment (from 16 April 1945), and the 118th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment (on 8 Might 1945). About a dozen aircraft had been destroyed by flak or engine breakdowns, but the Il-ten appeared to be a profitable design and style. One particular was shot down by an Fw 190 fighter, but a crew of the 118th Regiment shot down yet another Fw 190 and almost certainly broken another. On ten Might 1945, the day following the official Soviet end of the war, (Victory Day), there have been 120 serviceable Il-10s in Soviet Air Force combat units, and 26 disabled ones.

Right after the USSR reentered the war against the Empire of Japan, with the invasion of Manchuria, from 9 August 1945, a single Il-ten unit, the 26th Assault Aviation Regiment of the Pacific Navy Aviation, was employed in combat in the Korean Peninsula, attacking Japanese ships in Rasin and rail transports.

After the war, until the early 1950s, the Il-10 was a simple Soviet ground attack aircraft. It was withdrawn from service in 1956. At the exact same time, perform on new jet-powered devoted armoured ground attack planes (like the Il-40) was canceled, and the Soviets turned to multipurpose fighter-bomber aviation. The Il-10 and its licensed variant, the Avia B-33, became a simple ground attack plane of the Warsaw Pact nations. From 1949 to 1959, the Polish Air Force utilized 120 Il-10s (like 24 UIl-ten), and 281 B-33s. In Poland, the B-33 was modified to carry 400 l fuel tanks beneath its wings. From 1950 to 1960, Czechoslovakia used 86 Il-10s, like six UIl-10s, and about 600 B-33s. From 1949 to 1956, the Hungarian Air Force utilized 159 Il-10s and B-33s. From 1950 to 1960, the Romanian Air Force utilized 14 Il-10s and 156 B-33s. Bulgaria also employed these aircraft.

In the late 1940s, 93 Il-ten and UIl-10s were given to North Korea. They were then utilised in the 57th Assault Aviation Regiment for the duration of the early phase of the Korean War. They were initially utilised with accomplishment against the weak anti-aircraft defense of South Korean forces, but then they suffered heavy losses in encounters against the USAAF fighters and had been bombed on the ground themselves. Soon after a number of weeks, about 20 remained. In the summer time of 1950, North Korea received much more aircraft from the USSR. The North Koreans claimed to sink a warship on 22 August 1950 with Il-10s, but it was never ever confirmed.

From 1950, Il-10s had been employed by the People’s Republic of China, in two regiments of an assault aviation division. They had been utilised in combat throughout a conflict with the Republic of China, (Taiwan), over border islands in January 1955. They remained in service till 1972. From 1957, Yemen used 24 B-33s.

General characteristics
Crew: two, pilot and gunner
Length: 11.12 m (36 ft 6 in)
Wingspan: 13.40 m (44 ft)
Height: 4.10 m (13 ft 5 in)
Wing location: 30 m2 (322.9)
Empty weight: 4,675 kg (ten,305 lb)
Loaded weight: 6,345 kg (14,000 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 6,537 kg (14,410)
Powerplant: 1 × Mikulin AM-42 liquid-cooled V-12, 1,320 Kw (1,770 hp)

Maximum speed: 550 km/h at 2,700 m 500 km/h at ground level (340 mph at 8,860 ft / 310 mph)
Variety: 800 km (500 mi)
Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
Wing loading: 211 kg/m2 (43.two lb/ft2)


two × 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 auto cannons in wings, 150 rounds per gun
two × 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns in wings, 750 rounds per gun
1 × 12.7 mm UBST machine gun in the BU-9 rear gunner station, 190 rounds
Up to 600 kg (1,320 lb) of a variety of weapons as described in the text.