IL-10 Stormovik

“Stalin’s Flying Trebuchet”

The Ilyushin Il-10 (Cyrillic Илью́шин Ил-10, NATO reporting name: “Beast“) was a Soviet ground attack aircraft developed at the end of World War II by the Ilyushin construction bureau. It was also license-built in Czechoslovakia by Avia as the Avia B-33.

 

Strengths:

Firepower  – The IL-10’s 37mm and twin 20mm cannons give it an incredible salvo weight of 13.2 lbs. per second.

Speed  – A top speed of over 400 mph gives the IL-10 performance on par with the best planes of each country.

Weaknesses:

Durability – Small and light, the ILwas incapable of absorbing much combat damage.

Range  – A thirsty engine and small fuel capacity limits the Yak’s range.

Ammo Load – The fast firing 37mm cannon goes through its supply of 30 rounds in a surprising hurry.

 

 

 

In October 1944, the Il-10 first entered service with training units in the Soviet Air Force. In January 1945, the first Il-10 combat unit entered service with the 78th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, but it did not enter action due to unfinished training. However, three other Il-10 units managed to take part in the final combat actions of World War II in Europe. They were 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 May 1945). About a dozen aircraft were destroyed by flak or engine breakdowns, but the Il-10 appeared to be a successful design. One was shot down by an Fw 190 fighter, but a crew of the 118th Regiment shot down another Fw 190 and probably damaged another. On 10 May 1945, the day after the official Soviet end of the war, (Victory Day), there were 120 serviceable Il-10s in Soviet Air Force combat units, and 26 disabled ones.

After the USSR reentered the war against the Empire of Japan, with the invasion of Manchuria, from 9 August 1945, one Il-10 unit, the 26th Assault Aviation Regiment of the Pacific Navy Aviation, was used in combat in the Korean Peninsula, attacking Japanese ships in Rasin and rail transports.

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Sources:
 Stepaniets, A.; ‘Yak’ Fighters of WWII Period; Mashinostroenie Publishing, Moscow; 1992.
Stapfer, Hans-Heiri; Yak Fighters In Action; Squadron/Signal Publications, Carrollton, TX; 1986.
Gordon, Yefim and Khazanov, Dmitri; Soviet Combat Aircraft of the Second World War Volume One: Single-Engine Fighters; Midland Publishing Limited, Leicester, England; 1998.