Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in flight

Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in flight

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ilyushin Il-2. Air-to-air view of the iconic ground attack aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-2 'Sturmovik'. A product of the Ilyushin design bureau, the Il-2 was designed to give close air support to troops on the battlefield. The first flight was in 1939 with the first aircraft entering service in 1941. Featuring armour plating for the crew of two and vital components, it was hugely popular with pilots and infantry alike. It was armed with 23mm cannons and could carry 600kg of bombs or rockets. It excelled in the destruction of light vehicles and tanks. Production finished in 1945, with more than 36,000 produced making the Il-2 one of the most prolific aircraft of all time.

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Keywords: 1940s, 1941, 1945, 20th century, aeroplane, air force, airborne, aircraft, airforce, army, aviation, black, close support, conflict, fighter bomber, flight, flying, great patriotic, ground attack, icon, iconic, il-2, ilyushin, monochrome, monoplane, novosti, russia, russian, second world, single engined, soviet, sturmovik, twentieth, union, ussr, war, weapon, white

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