Ilyushin Il-2m3 Sturmovik - (scan - 1996)

This Il-2 was found south of Murmansk, shot down and belly landed during the war. A Canadian airline pilot got permission to go into the former Soviet Union and somehow located the airplane and got title to it. He brought it out to St. Petersbourg where some old Ilyushin technicians who worked on them during the war restored it. It's fully restored, it just needs the final paint and markings. The paint on it now is just primer. The airline pilot did this with the intention of making money from it. The Smithsonian doesn't have money to pay for artifacts, so Tom Allison, curator for military aircraft, made a trade for it. He traded two flyable Army Huey helicopters, three non-flyable Hueys, and two non-flyable Albatross flying boats. The GSA went nuts, they couldn't understand why modern military aircraft were being traded for an old wreck! The museum was told, "If you want an Ilyushin airplane, there's an Il-10 (a twin engine 50's - 60's era transport) at a sheriff's office down in Florida which was impounded for running drugs. You can have that!"

Designed to operate jointly with Soviet land armies and Navy. Called "flying tank" by Ilyushin, unique feature was armored shell (2094 lbs in -2m3) which enclosed engine and cockpit. Durable, simple, and forgiving aircraft that could be flown by relatively inexperienced pilots.

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