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The Planes of IL-2 - Part I

by Jim "Twitch" Tittle

Article Type: Feature
Article Date: August 21, 2001

It may change some but these planes will surly be in 1C: Maddox Game's IL-2 Sturmovik. And one thing all of us applaud is the fact that Oleg Maddox is working with third party developers to add even more. Anyone developing an appropriate aircraft will have Oleg’s team create a flight model for it. This pretty much means that IL-2 will be as versatile and mod-able as MicroProse's European Air War.

The Flyable Russian Planes:

There are ten flyable variants. Like the real plane many models, sub-models and variations exist from the 36,000 produced. One with the two 23 mm cannon single seat and another with rear gunner will be flyable—the basic IL-2 Type 2 and 2M. A Type 3M will model the duo of 37 mm A/T guns. The IL-2T will carry a torpedo. And there are more. Check out "Black Death" for much more on the IL-2 line.

Three will appear starting with the early LaGG-3. This plane used a wide variety of armament. Sub-models, the 3IT and a final upgrade to the 1942 specifications will be flyable. The LaGG-3 of 1941 will actually be the late LaGG-1 by aircraft aficionado designations.

An Early LaGG-3

The LaGG-3 was in wide use throughout the war even though the La-5 technically replaced it. It had a 32.0’ wingspan and was 29.0’ long and had an airframe of Siberian birch covered with plywood. Normal loaded weight was about 7,000 lbs. The final variant had a 1,210 HP Klimov M-105PF V-12 engine giving 348 MPH at 16,400 ft. and a ceiling of 29,530. Climb to 16,405 ft. took 5.6 minutes. Internal fuel gave it a range of 404 miles and two 22-gallon drop tanks increased it to 498 miles.

A ShVAK 20 mm with 120 rounds fired through the prop hub with two 12.7 mm Beresin BS machine guns with 220 RPG and tw 7.62 mm ShKAS MGs with 325 RPG were mounted. A 23 mm with 80 rounds replaced the 20 mm on some with 12.7s seen in wing gondolas. The experimental LaGG-3K-37s had a 37 mm cannon and a 1,650 Klimov M-107A engine. An assortment of light bombs and six RS-82 rockets were used. 6,528 were built.


The La-5FN production began in mid-1942 and was a conversion of the LaGG-3 airframe with some metal segments replacing the wood. It had a 32.0’ span and was 27.9’ long, weighing 7,406 lbs. loaded. Re-engined with a 1,700 HP Shvetsov M-82FN (FN is Forsironannii Nyeposredstvenny or Boosted Engine) 14-cylinder radial with direct port fuel injection, it produced 342 MPH at sea level and 402 MPH at 20,670 ft. with a ceiling estimated at 33,000 ft. Climb to 16,400 ft. took 4.7 minutes. Range was 475 miles. Many VVS aces flew it.

Two 20mm ShVAKs with 200 RPG in the upper cowl gave fine firepower. 330 lbs. of bombs could be carried. 9,920 were built.

If the La-7 appears it will be hot with the same dimensions and engine as the La-5FN but with three 20 mm cannon with at top speed of 423 MPH at 19,030 ft. It’s listed as non-flyable at present.

The poorly maneuvering high-altitude MiG-3 will have three flyable variants. The basic MiG-3 had a span 33.7’ with a length of 26.6’ with loaded weight being 7,385 lbs. A 1,350 HP Mikulin AM-35A V-12 was good for fast 398 MPH at 25,590 ft. and could reach a ceiling of 39,370 ft. Climb to 16,400 ft. took 5.7 minutes. Range was 510 miles.

MiG-3 Handled Poorly

Nose guns consisted of two 7.62 mm ShKAS with 375 RPG and a 12.7 BS with 300 rounds. Some had two BS guns under or in the wings. An assortment of light bombs and six RS-82 rockets were used. 3,120 were built.

About nine designs came from the MiG-3, which had already evolved from the MiG-1. The 3U, as such, is noted as a limited production prototype run of few planes in all available reference books. What we once called the MiG-5 was the I-211 looking like a MiG-3 with a radial. The enhanced 3Us were the I-220, I-230 and I-231 under Mikoyan-Gurevich designation.

The 3U or I-230 had a 33.5’ wing with a 28.25’ length, weighing 7,242 lbs. loaded. The same AM-35A power plant was used but gave a top speed of 410 MPH at 19,685 ft., a climb to 16,405 in 6.2 minutes and a range of 839 miles. Two 20mm cannons were mounted above the engine.

The I-231 had a 1,800 HP Mikulin AM-39, a speed of 439 MPH at 23,295 ft, and the same armament. The I-220 was nearly identical in performance.

Three P-39s will be pilotable. The N, Q-1 and Q-10 vary minutely in armor weight and internal tankage. The N had the four .30 calibers in the wings with 1,000 RPG and the Qs replaced them with two .50s. The P-39Q was 30.1’ long with a 34.0’ span weighing 7,600 lbs. normal loaded and 8,300 lbs. maximum. A 1,325 HP Allison V-1710-85 V-12 drove a 10’ shaft to the prop from behind the pilot giving a 376 MPH maximum speed at 15,000 ft. and a ceiling of 35,000 ft. Climb to 10,000 ft. was 4.0 minutes and to 20,000 ft. 8.5 minutes. Range was 525 miles on internal and 1,075 miles with external fuel.

Russian-Marked P-39 Today

A 37 mm M-4 cannon with 30 rounds fired from the prop hub. (American pilots I’ve interviewed considered it useless as it invariably jammed after 3-5 rounds.) Two .50 caliber MGs with 200 RPG mounted in the nose and two more with 300 RPG fired from the wings. Assorted bombs up to 500 lbs. were carried. 2,095 Ns and 4,905 Qs were built out of 9,558 total Airacobras. 4,758 reached Russia. Every Russian ace once flew the P-39.

The Yak-1 and 3 will be in IL-2 but there may, and should, be other Yaks flyable. The Yak-1 entered service in 1941 with a 32.75’ wingspan, a length of 27.75’ and weighed 6,382 lbs. loaded. A 1,100 HP Klimov M-105PA V-12 produced a top speed of 364 MPH at 16,400 ft. and it could reach 32,800 ft. Climb to 16,400 ft. took 4.5 minutes and range was 528 miles.

The 20mm ShVAK with 120 rounds in the prop hub was complimented with two 7.62 MGs with 375 RPG and six RS-82 rockets. 12.7 mm UBS MGs often replaced the 7.62s. 8,721 were made by 1943 when production ended.

Normandie-Niemen Yak-3 Today

The very maneuverable Yak-3 evolved from the 1M and was developed along with the later 9 model in chronology. It had a tiny 30.1’ wingspan and a 27.9’ length. Loaded it weighed only 5,622 lbs. Power from the 1,222 HP Klimov M-105PF-2 V-12 yielded 407 MPH at 10,170 ft. and 403 MPH at 16,400 ft. Ceiling was 35,475 ft. and it could climb to 16,400 ft. in 4.5 minutes after an initial 3,800 FPM rate. Range was 560 miles.

A 20 mm with 120 rounds and two 12.7 mms with 250 RPG graced its nose. 4,848 were produced. A few sub-model prototypes with high speeds were tested. The 3M-107 actually saw limited production. With a 1,620 HP M-107A V-12 it hit 477 MPH at 18,045 ft., took 3.9 minutes to reach 16,400 ft, and weighed 6,578 lbs. All dimensions and armament was similar to the Yak-3. The 3P had two 20mms and the 3K had a 37mm.

Other Yaks like the 3T, 9T, 9K, 9P and 9U were produced armed with an array of anti-armor cannon: 23 mm, 37 mm, 45 mm, and even a 57 mm! The P designated pushka or cannon, while the T-tyazhely or heavy cannon. K designated krupnyi kalibr or large caliber. U for uluchshennyi meant improved or strengthened. The French squadron Normandie-Niemen flew Yak-3s and 9s.

The 9T and 9K were the same but the 9T-37, with 30 rounds, had the 37 mm NS-11-P-37 (some had the VYa 23 mm) cannon while the 9K mounted the 45 mm NS-P-45. Both had one 12.7 mm BS with 220 rounds. They had a speed of 371 MPH at 9,840 ft. from the 1,360 HP M-105PF-3 engine. 9Ps and 9Us used 20 and 23 mm cannon with two 12.7 mm MGs

9Ps and 9Us used a pair of 12.7 BS MGs with 250 RPG and either a 20 or 23 mm cannon but had high maximum speeds of 418 MPH at 18,700 ft. using the 1,650 HP M-107A for power. About 30,000 Yaks of all types were built through 1947.

Flyable 3rd Party Downloadable Russian:

These planes are being developed with Oleg’s assistance and will be available. These will be flyable and downloadable from the official IL-2 site concurrent with box release of the sim!


I-16 Was Used Till 1941

The I-16 was known as the Mosca (Fly) in Spain and the Rata (Rat) by opponents in the Spanish Civil War. It was in service as WWII broke out but soon replaced by more modern fighters. Tiny with a 29.1’ wingspan and 20.1’ length and weighing 4,215 lbs. normal loaded, it was extremely maneuverable. A 1,000 HP Shvetsov M-61 9-cylinder radial gave the Tip (Type) 24 a good maximum speed of 304 MPH at 15,750 ft. Its ceiling was 29,530 ft. and range was 250 miles on it 56 gallons of internal fuel extended to 435 miles with two small drop tanks. 16,405 ft. was seen in a 5.8-minute climb.

Two versions the I-153 biplane will be available. It was the forerunner of the I-16 monoplane with a 32.8’ wingspan and a 20.25’ length. It weighed 4,100 lbs. loaded. The 1,00 HP M-63 9-cylinder radial gave a speed of 280 MPH at 15,090 ft. Climb to that 9.840 ft. took 3.0 minutes. Range in internal/external fuel was 298/560 miles respectively. Ceiling was 35,145 ft. Four 7.62 mm ShKAS MGs with 650 RPG was its armament and six RS-82 rockets could be mounted.

Nonflyable Russian:


BI-1 Rocket Plane

A strange prototype, the BI-1, will be 3rd party downloadable. It was the result of a rocket fighter interceptor program that saw seven built in 1942. A multi chamber 2,425 lb. thrust RNII D-1A-1100 motor was to give an estimated 559 MPH maximum speed but it is not known what velocities were attained in testing. Climb rate was estimated at 16,142 FPM. One pilot was killed in the flight tests. It had a span of 21.25’ and a length of 21.0’ with a loaded weight of 3,710 lbs. Its endurance was 15 minutes. This is 3rd party downloadable.


P-63s AT Bell Factory

1,227 P-63A Kingcobras were built for Russia. It was a slightly larger version of the P-39 at 38.3’ in span and 32.75’ in length. It weighed 8,800 lbs. loaded. The 1,325 HP (1,500 HP w/war emergency power) Allison V-1710-93 V-12 gave a speed of 410 MPH at 25,000 ft. Climb to that altitude took 7.3 minutes. Normal range was 450 miles and ferry range with external fuel was 2,575 miles! It ceiling was a whopping 43,000 ft. The four .50-caliber armament was identical to the P-39Q but the 37 mm ammo increased to 58 rounds. This is 3rd party downloadable.


Po-2 Trainer/bomber

The Po-2 biplane trainer will appear in its role as a very light night bomber. With a 100 HP M-11 5-cylinder radial it could do all of 93 MPH at ground level. Ceiling was 14,760 ft. and range was 250 miles. A total of 33,000 built into the 1950s.

The Lisunov Li-2 was a DC-3/C-47 licensed built transport and will be nonflyable.


The Odd R-10

The Nyeman R-10 was a pre-war recon plane with a 712 HP Wright Cyclone 9-cylinder giving it a 241 MPH speed at about 8,000 ft. It took 12.0 minutes to reach 16,400 ft. Ceiling was 25,292 ft. Length was 30.8’ and wingspan was 40.0’ while it weighed about 5,600 lbs. empty. The pilot had two 7.62 mms and a rear power turret gunner another. Six light bombs could be carried. 490 were built.


MB2- A slow Flying Boat

Beriev first introduced the MBR-2 flying boat in the early 1930s. The MBRs were completely new aircraft that came on the scene and were built in substantial numbers from 1939-44. It was a sleek five-seat design with one 860 HP M-34 V-12. The 2A could fly at 154 MPH at 6,500 feet and climb to 19,690 ft. with a range of around 870 miles. Loaded it weighed about 15,000 lbs., had a 44’ wingspan and was 30.1’ long

It had two 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns—one in an open nose position and one in a dorsal turret. Ordnance included up to 660 lbs. of bombs or depth charges. 1,500 of this model were built.

The Pe-2 was a three-seat multi role light bomber with a wing pan of 56.25’ and a length of 41.5’ weighing 18,728 lbs. maximum loaded. Later model had two 1,260 HP Klimov M-105PFs that gave it a top speed of 360 MPH at 9.845 ft. and a ceiling of 28,870 ft. It could climb at 1,410 FPM and had a range of 721 miles. It could manage a short-haul bomb load of 6,614 lbs. and was defended with four 7.62 mm weapons. 11,400 were made.

Pe-2/Pe-3 Same Basic Plane

The Pe-3 and Pe-3bis will appear in their A.I. roles as fighter bombers/ heavy fighters respectively. Developed from the Pe-2 as a 2-seater. The ventral gunner and air brakes were deleted. Dimensionally the same, they were a bit lighter at 17,372 lbs. Two 1,100 Klimov M-105RAs produced 325 MPH at 16,405 ft. Time to that altitude took 8.5 minutes. Extra fuel in the bomb bay gave a 932-mile range. They had two 20 mms and two 12.7 mms in the nose and a 12.7 mm for the dorsal gunner. About 300 were built.

The Pe-8 was one of few heavy bombers built in Russia in small numbers. It had a 131.0’ wingspan and was 73.75’ long with a weight of 63,000 lbs loaded. Like the German Ju 86, it used diesel engines. Four 1,475 HP Charomski M-30Bs were used on most but non-diesel Mikulin and even 1,630 HP Shvetsov ASh-82FNV 14-cylinders were used. Maximum speed ranged from 272-280 depending on engine usage. 23-29,000 ft. ceilings varied with the higher coming from the Shvetsovs. Range was 2,300 miles but squeezed out to about 3,000 miles with the diesels.

Pe-8 Was Very B-17ish

Numerous 12.7 mm and 7.62 mm MGs with one 20 mm defended it and up to 11,600 lbs. of bombs could be carried. It had a crew of 9-11 men.

The P.11 design of 1931 Poland was unique for the time. It was a monoplane with a high-mounted gull wing. The pilot had an open cockpit. The P.11a began life with a 500 HP Skoda-Mercury 9-cylinder radial and was armed with two 7.7mm Brownings with 700 RPG. The P.11b had more power and the P.11c culminated the production models with a 645 HP PZL 9-cylinder built on license from the Bristol Mercury VI S.2

It had a span of 35.1’ and a length of 24.8’. Weight loaded was a miniscule 3,960 lbs. Armament was improved to two 7.7mm KM Wz.33 MGs in the fuselage with 500 RPG and two more in the wings with 300 RPG. Two 27 lb bombs could be carried.

Performance was meager with 186 MPH at sea level and 242 MPH at 18,000 ft. Cruising range was a maximum of 503 miles. Climb to 16,400 ft. was 6.0 minutes, which was very good. The ceiling was high at 36,080 ft. This is 3rd party downloadable.


Antiquated TB-3

The TB-3 transport/bomber flew in early 1932 and with its fixed landing gear was completely outdated by 1942 when it was retired. Four 650 HP Mikulin AM-34s gave a slow 155 MPH speed at 6,500 ft. It took 15 minutes to attain 6,500 ft. Ceiling was about 18,000 ft. with a range of some 1,875 miles. Span was about 177 ft., length 104 ft. and weight about 70,000 lbs loaded. A maximum of 8,800 lbs. of bombs could be delivered or 24 combat troops. 818 were built. This is 3rd party downloadable.

The Tu-2 was a near clone of the Pe-2 with exception of the use of 12.7 mm BS weaponry.


  • Green, William
    Fighters Vols.1 & 3
    Doubleday & Co., 1960-62

  • Green, William
    Flying Boats Vol. 5
    Doubleday & Co., NT, 1962

  • Green, Wm.
    The Complete Book of Fighters
    Smithmark Publishers, NY, 1994

  • Sharpe, Michael, Scutts, Jerry & March, Dan
    Aircraft of World War II
    PRC Publishing Ltd, London, 1999

  • War Department U.S.A.
    Basic Field Manual FM 10-34 Military Intelligence Soviet-Russian Aircraft
    Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 1941

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