Aviation of World War II

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  • Heavy Attack Aircraft
  • First flight: 1945
  • Ilyushin

The high flight and tactical data of the Il-10 attack aircraft, its ability to conduct an active air battle with enemy fighters during the period of adoption and combat work on the fronts of the Second World War determined the start of design work on an even more high-speed and maneuverable Il-16 lightweight attack aircraft, which were deployed in 1944, almost immediately after the completion of the state tests of the Il-10.

The Il-16 attack aircraft was designed for the new M-43NV liquid-cooled engine with a takeoff power of 1691 kW (2300 hp), created at the AA Mikulin Design Bureau. According to its scheme, aerodynamic and structural layout, the Il-16 was practically the same as the Il-10, but had somewhat smaller geometric dimensions and weight in comparison with it (see the figure below).

Il-16 attack planes

In combination with a more powerful engine, this was supposed to provide the new attack aircraft with a maximum design speed of 625 km / h. The structural strength of the Il-16 aircraft allowed it to perform all aerobatics.

The booking scheme of the Il-16 aircraft remained practically the same as on the Il-10, but the thickness of the armor plates of the side walls of the engine hood and the side walls of the cockpit and the gunner was reduced. In addition, the area of ​​the unarmored upper front part of the armored hull has increased.

The forward artillery armament of the aircraft consisted of two NS-23 cannons with a total ammunition of 280 shells and two ShKAS machine guns, which had 1400 rounds. As with all the previous attack aircraft of S. V. Ilyushin, this weapon was installed in the detachable parts of the wing.

It was assumed that the Il-16 will have a normal bomb load of 200 kg and a maximum of 400 kg about placing bombs both inside the aircraft in two compartments, equipped in the wing center section to the right and left of the armored hull, and outside on external suspension holders. However, in the process of further design study of the aircraft, its normal bomb load increased to 400 kg, and the maximum - to 500 kg. The rear hemisphere of the Il-16 was protected by a mobile UB-20 cannon with 150 rounds of ammunition and ten AG-2 aviation grenades.

Thus, according to its design data, the Il-16 attack aircraft had almost the same power of offensive and defensive weapons as the Il-10, but significantly surpassed its predecessor in speed and maneuverability. Accordingly, the combat effectiveness of the Il-16 should have become much higher. The front needed such an attack aircraft, and even before the flight tests of the IL-16 prototype aircraft began preparations for its serial production.

At the beginning of 1945, the serial plant completed the construction of an IL-16 prototype aircraft, and test pilot V.K. Kokkinaki made the first flight on it. It turned out that with such a powerful engine, the reactive moment of the propeller and the short tail strongly affect the longitudinal stability of the aircraft. To improve it, the detachable tail section of the fuselage was lengthened by 500 mm, the vertical tail area was increased, and a trimmer was installed on the rudder. The modified aircraft became more stable in the air and better controllable. Nevertheless, the flight tests of the Il-16 were delayed due to the shortcomings of the M-43NV engine. It was not possible to bring the M-43NV engine to the required state, and in the summer of 1946 all work on the Il-16 aircraft was stopped.

Ilyushin's Attack Aircraft
Il-10 Il-16
Year of issue 1944 1945
Crew 2 2
Wing Span, m 13.40 12.50
Length, м 11.12 10.69
Wing area, m² 30.00 24.00
Engine AM-42 АМ-43NV
Power, h.p. Normal 1×1750 1×2000
Max 2,000 1×2300
Weights and loads, kg
Empty weight 4,650 4,315
Loaded weight 6,300 5,780
Max speed, km/h over ground 507 529
at altitude 551 576
Rate of climb, m / min 625 658
Practical range, km 800 800
Service ceiling, m 7,250 7,600
Cannon, Machine Gun NS-23 (Wing) 2 2
ShKAS 7.62 (Wing) 2 -
UB-20 (rear) 1 1
Rocket projectiles under the wing 8 8
Bomb load, kg Normal 400 400
Max 600 500

Additional weight reduction was achieved by reducing the thickness of some armor plates. The thickness of the lower armor plates and armor plates was kept at the same level. The wing of the aircraft has become smaller in span and area.

On the AM-43 engine, the design of the cylinder heads was strengthened, the valves were increased. The increase in power was provided by an increase in speed. The carburetor was replaced with a direct injection system, and an intercooler was introduced into the boost system. On takeoff, this 46.6-liter 12-cylinder engine produced 2,300 hp and rated 2,000 hp.

Attack aircraft Il-16


  • History of aircraft designs in the USSR, 1938-1950. /V.B. Shavrov /
  • Aircraft OKB im. S.V. Ilyushin. / ed. G.V. Novozhilova /
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Given the high flight characteristics of the new attack aircraft, the question of abolishing the gunner's place was decided, however, given the experience of the Second World War, the gunner was abandoned.
Many years later, in the modern Il-102 attack aircraft, the gunner was also part of the crew, but the single-seat Su-25 of the now Sukhoi defeated ...