One-seat Soviet Il-2 ground attack aircraft of the early production series, armed with 20-mm ShVAK cannons and 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns. 1941.
Il-2 (on the codification of NATO: Bark) – Soviet ground-attack aircraft of the Second World War, created in OKB-240 under the leadership of Sergei Vladimirovich Ilyushin. IL-2 – the most massive combat aircraft in world history, was released more than 36 thousand pieces.
Designers called the IL-2 aircraft – a “flying tank.” Luftwaffe pilots called the Il-2 “concrete aircraft” (Betonflugzeug). According to some Soviet authors, Wehrmacht soldiers called Il-2 “plague” (Schwarzer Tod, literally: “black death”).
Il-2 took part in battles at all theaters of military operations of the Great Patriotic War, as well as in the Soviet-Japanese War. In February 1941, serial production of IL-2 began (order No. 739 of December 14, 1940).
The first serial IL-2 was manufactured in February 1941 in Voronezh at the plant No. 18 (in November 1941 the plant was evacuated to Kuibyshev). IL-2 was also mass-produced at aircraft plants No. 1 and No. 18 in Kuibyshev, at aircraft plant No. 30 in Moscow. Of the total number of IL-2 (36 183 pcs.), 74% were produced in Kuibyshev 26 888 pcs. For some time during 1941-1942 the Il-2 aircraft was produced by the plant No. 381 in Leningrad and Nizhny Tagil.
The prototype IL-2 – BSH-2 (the factory name TsKB-55) made the first flight on October 2, 1939 (test pilot VK Kokkinaki).