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Ilyushin Il-2 Flies Again

Il-2
Screengrab of a Russian news broadcast reporting on the Il-2 first flight.

October 13, 2011 – Earlier this month a restored Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 “Shturmovik” airplane flew for the first time in decades after a six-year restoration effort by a Russian company. The Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington, has confirmed what had been rumored since news of the flight first broke: that the aircraft will arrive there in early 2012.

The airplane, which was restored from fragments found in the marshes near Pskov, flew in early October in Novisbirsk, Russia. Il-2s were among the most-produced military airplanes in history with more than 36,000 built between 1941 and 1945 (second only to the Polikarpov Po-2 - 40,000-plus), yet no known flying examples existed until the unveiling of this airplane. 

The following recently posted entry appears on the Ilyushin Il-2 Wikipedia page: “In early October 2011 an Il-2 flew again at Novisbirsk, Russia, after being restored to fly by specialist firm Aviarestoration for an American collector. It is reportedly powered by an Allison V1710 engine rather than the scarce Mikulin AM-38 of the original. According to a Russian TV report the rebuild incorporated the remains of an aircraft recovered from marshes near Pskov, and it is painted to represent the aircraft of twice-awarded Hero of the Soviet Union Air Marshal Alexander Yefimov of the 298th Air Division.”

The Flying Heritage Collection aircraft are the private collection of philanthropist Paul G. Allen. The FHC, along with the Russian restoration company Retro Avia Tech Ltd., have been working on the project for many years. The aircraft is made from the parts of a number of combat casualties recovered in the most inaccessible regions of northwestern Russia.

The following video from Russian television shows the Il-2 taking off.

 

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