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Why IL-2 catches fire so easily?

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I flew for years in the Oleg's IL-2 and do not remember of this plane caughting fire when hit. Now, (in BoS) it happens almost always...
 
As far as I know il2 was only vulnerable on the wings and tail,  with the engine and the fuel tanks very well protected.
 
The armour of the Il-2 was part of the fuselage structure itself, in an attempt the save weight. Pilot and engine were enclosed in in welded shell, with a thickness varying between 4 mm and 12 mm. The windscreen was 65mm thick. The vulnerable coolant radiator was protected by installing it inside the fuselage, behind the engine; air was ducted to it from an intake on top of the cowling

 

 

 
And the fuel tanks were one of the few to have a system of inert gases to protect it (pag. 5):
 
 
This system makes it very difficult for the fuel tanks catch fire.
 
I do not know if this feature of DM is based on something I do not know, but after so many years flying without this vulnerability bothers me now having to get used to flying in an IL2 that ignites like a Betty.
 
In my opinion this feature should be removed, or implemented to occur rarely.
 
If there are documents that states otherwise withdraw my 'opinions.
 
 
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I've just been doing some flight testing of bullet impact sounds.  My ride of choice was the IL2 as it's supposed to be built like a tank so I reckoned I could take a fair bit of damage while I assesed the noise of bullets hitting the airframe.  Well, all I can say is if the Il2 is supposed to be tough then from now on I'm walking.  Between fires and pilot injuries it was really rather average in my opinion.  Maybe, like FM's before the last patch, the DM values are still a work in progress and they need to be looked at in detail, aircraft by aircraft.

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I have just finished reading a book about a German FW 190 pilot with 42 victories on the eastern front. He used to attack IL2's from below where the gunner could not hit him, and he describes a lot of his kills with the IL2's going down in flames.

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Strange, because just the bottom is the hardest part in IL2, as part designed to survive the flak...

 

In wikipedia itself there is a controversy regarding german testimonials:

 

 

 

Several Luftwaffe aces claimed to attack while climbing from behind, out of view of the rear gunner, aiming for the Il-2's non-retractable oil cooler. This has been disputed by some Il-2 pilots in postwar interviews, since Il-2s typically flew very close to the ground (cruise altitudes below 50 m (160 ft) were common) and the radiator protruded a mere 10 cm (4 in) from the aircraft.

 

Anyway these results will not always be expected (because they depend on a lot of skill, or luck, of the pilot), and in the game will almost invariably IL-2 ignites... and for attacks from above also!

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I flew for years in the Oleg's IL-2 and do not remember of this plane caughting fire when hit. Now, (in BoS) it happens almost always...

 

Using other, older video games as the basis for your argument isn't a wise thing to do.

 

Now, with that out of the way: the Il-2's supposed invulnerability is really just a lot of myth & propaganda. Being an inline-powered aircraft, it's engine was just as vulnerable as any others out there. 

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"Invulnerability" is not my point, but catch fire from hits from any direction, and very frequently...

 

If you read the subsequent lines should have seen the arguments.

 

The first sentence is just a (personal) statement...

Edited by GAVCAViJambock__28

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The first sentence is just a (personal) statement...

 

And it's a statement that throws off the rest of your argument. As for the game's Il-2 being able to catch fire from any direction - well, that's what 20 mm cannon fire will do. Even the Soviets themselves acknowledged that cannon-armed fighters were a serious threat to the Il-2. Inert gas-protected fuel tanks are only going to be able to sustain a limited amount of hits before they become just as inflammable as any other part of the plane.

 

Finally, there are pictures of Il-2s in the Black Cross/Red Star series of books showing planes with the underside of their fuselage on fire, so the plane was most certainly vulnerable in that area. 

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Ok, I agree with these arguments. But happened to me to be doing evasive maneuvers on the target, ear the sound of a one shot from flak, and start to see fire everywhere ... this happened not once, but several times. I do not expect that IL-2 is invulnerable, just tough enough to take occasional shots of flak. Personally I expected a more rugged aircraft.

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Most AAA in BoS ranges in caliber from 37mm to 88mm with a few 20mm sprinkled in between. Most 20mm hits will not be stopped by the IL-2s armour, though the damage they can do after penetrating will be limited. For the larger calibers the armour doesn't matter at all, a direct hit is a death sentence.

 

The point of the armour of the IL-2 is to protect the pilot and the engine against small arms fire from the ground and shrapnel from heavy flak, that's all it's really gonna do. The fuel tanks aren't even armoured, so it's far from strange, that you'd see it go down in flames rather often. It did so too in real life. There were more IL-2s shot down in WW2 than any other plane by a large margin.

 

As for "rugged" aircraft, there is one very important thing to keep in mind:

 

All aircraft ever built are vulnerable, fragile machines. All of them, even those normally considered "heavily armoured".

 

Weight restrictions in aircraft design means, that it's simply not feasible to armour an aircraft against guns much heavier than 20mm and it's downright imposible to make aircraft armour that protects all or even most of the essensial parts of the aircraft. Usually armour is concentrated in order to protect the pilot, the most vulnerable parts of the engine and cooling system and (rarely) the fuel tanks.

 

When people talk about an aircraft being "rugged" they don't mean that it just shrugs off all attacks. Usually it means, that it's either of sturdy construction (meaning it doesn't come apart by itself after losing a spar in the wing or something like that), that it can continue flying with reduced engine power or one engine out or simply, that it's able to keep flying with large chunks of the aircraft missing.

Edited by Finkeren
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The oil cooler is the most vulnerable. Erich Hartmann used to aim for this. Moving his Bf-109 under and firing at close range. Otherwise its a flying tank.

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Otherwise its a flying tank.

 

Nope, like it's been said, that's a myth.  

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Otherwise its a flying tank.

If you can get it from your local library or buy it have a read of "Black Cross Red Star Vol 3 Everything for Stalingrad" and see the horrific loss rate of Il2's on a daily basis.

 

For example: "when 18th September was over, more than one third of the Il2's in 228 ShAD and 292 ShAD had been lost in a single days fighting. The Germans claimed 77 victories for a single loss"

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'Thanks to the heavy armor protection, the Il-2 could take a great deal of punishment and proved difficult for both ground and aircraft fire to shoot down. One Il-2 in particular was reported to have returned safely to base despite receiving more than 600 direct hits and having all its control surfaces completely shredded as well as numerous holes in its main armor and other structural damage. Some enemy pilots favored aiming down into the cockpit and wing roots in diving attacks on the slow, low-flying Il-2 formations. Several Luftwaffe aces claimed to attack while climbing from behind, out of view of the rear gunner, aiming for the Il-2's non-retractable oil cooler. This has been disputed by some Il-2 pilots in postwar interviews, since Il-2s typically flew very close to the ground (cruise altitudes below 50 m (160 ft) were common) and the radiator protruded a mere 10 cm (4 in) from the aircraft.'

 

It's hard to know the truth as both sides contradict each other. But it was a fearsome ground-attack aircraft.

 

I will look for that book on Kindle..

Edited by whereisoleg

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The majority of those 600 direct hits were probably from small arms (i.e., 7.92 mm) fire, which would be entirely possible for an Il-2 to survive.

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This has been disputed by some Il-2 pilots in postwar interviews, since Il-2s typically flew very close to the ground (cruise altitudes below 50 m (160 ft) were common) and the radiator protruded a mere 10 cm (4 in) from the aircraft.

To me, this doesn't really rule out the claims of climbing attacks. The thought that comes to my mind is: maybe those particular IL-2 pilots survived thanks to (amonst other reasons) flying so low while others, who maybe didn't fly just as low, were shot down and thus unable to give postwar interviews...

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It's hard to know the truth as both sides contradict each other. But it was a fearsome ground-attack aircraft.

 

That is actually disputable too. The IL-2s attacks were notoriusly inaccurate, especially with bombs. There are quite a number of accounts, especially from finnish soldiers in Karelia, who leaves you with the impression, that attacks from IL-2s were more of a nuissance than a real threat to dug-in troops. The Finns feared the Pe-2 a lot more, because it delivered a heavy ordinance with much greater precission.

 

Against tanks the IL-2 fared little better. The RS-82/132 rockets scattered so much, that aiming them was pratically imposible and they were instead used as area weapons. The warhead of even the 132 was so small that anything but a direct hit was harmless to most vehicles. When the 37mm guns were installed the accuracy didn't improve, because they weren't synchronised to fire simultaneously, meaning the recoil made the aircraft yaw from side to side throwing off aim. Only the PTAB cluster bombs introduced in mid-43 were truly effective against medium tanks as well as other targets, but they required the IL-2 to fly low right over the target and thus expose itself for far too long.

 

The only area, where the IL-2 seems to have been truly fearsome was in cannon attacks against exposed troops and "soft" vehicles. In any other role it was at best mediocre.

 

In this, it shares fate with most of the other light single engined attack aircraft designed in the late 1930s. The realities of war exposed their weaknesses, and in most other air forces the focus shifted towards fighter-bombers, who could handle themselves in a fight (think of the Typhoon, P-47, Fw 190F, Me 262 etc) and heavier twin-egined light bombers/heavy attack aircraft (Mosquito, Pe-2, Boston, Invader, He 129 etc.) Only the IL-2 stayed in mass production and broad front line service throughout the war.

 

I absolutely love the IL-2 as an aircraft, and there is nothing more fun than the low-n'-dirty mud moving in the slow but agile "flying tank", but the historical reality is, that the IL-2s merits as a CAS aircraft and its reputation as a fearsome ground pounder are more than just doubtful.

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S!

 

Hi 28, how are you?

 

http://sobchak.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/il2cut.gif

 

Here the cutaway of IL-2 m. 3M, we can see that the IL-2 is well protected. To ignite the rear tank, the incendiary projectile have to penetrate two armor plates, depends on the angle of the attack, one plate is at a very high angle, increasing the armor effectiveness. A incendiary 20mm will losing the incendiary properties against two armor plates in most of the cases.
 
The actual damage model in BOS is not accurate and is too simple, because many parts are not modeled, and because this he cannot calculate the physics behind a hit.
 
I was expecting a more robust IL-2 too.

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The actual damage model in BOS is not accurate and is too simple, because many parts are not modeled, and because this he cannot calculate the physics behind a hit.
 
I was expecting a more robust IL-2 too.

 

Any facts and datas to support your statement?

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The IL-2M 3M can't be compared to the early single seaters we fly in BoS. The rear fuselage armour plates were added only after the rear gunner position became standard.

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The IL-2M 3M can't be compared to the early single seaters we fly in BoS. The rear fuselage armour plates were added only after the rear gunner position became standard.

 

Yep, you are right, the Il-2 3M is different, but the early series have 12mm fuel tank armor too, not sufficient armor against 20mm, but is sufficient for 7,9mm MG fire.
To penetrate and ignite the fuel tank you need a good burst with AP-I 20mm in the right spot, the game don't have a complex damage model to emulate this.
 
post-2-0-65237900-1399455637.jpg

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And what is that picture about?Are you a developer of this game?

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S!

Using other, older video games as the basis for your argument isn't a wise thing to do.

 

 

In the old il2, the il2 was much more resistant

In bos, it got destroyed or catch fires very very easily, all the time

The fact is the two models are completely different

Why not compare them?

The question that's blowing in my mind is : Which one is wrong ?

And the question is much more relevant when il-2 is world wide recognised to be very robust

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Why not compare them?

 

Because they're entirely separate titles developed over a decade apart with different design philosophies? 

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If you attack an Il-2 from 6 o'clock you can easily spend all your machine ammo without causing serious damage. It's very tough to bring down that way. Of course cannon shells cause a lot of damage very quickly, but the armor of the Il-2 shouldn't protect against cannons.

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I flew it today against some ace bots. It can take loads of damage. And even when the engine finally stopped the plane was in one bit, rock stable, no fires and good for landing.

I would say that it qualifies as a flying tank, compared to the other planes. Planes are generally a very fragile thing.

 

Great fun flying it!

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S!

 

In the old il2, the il2 was much more resistant

 

In bos, it got destroyed or catch fires very very easily, all the time

 

The fact is the two models are completely different

 

Why not compare them?

 

The question that's blowing in my mind is : Which one is wrong ?

 

And the question is much more relevant when il-2 is world wide recognised to be very robust

Several reasons why we can't compare them.

 

First off: The old IL-2 has a rather simplistic hit detection based on so called "hit boxes", where BoS has a modern hit detection based on the actual 3D model.

 

Second: The DM of the old IL-2 had a lot of random elements to make up for its simplicity, meaning a hit in a certain area had certain percentage chance to cause specific types of damage. Certain parts of the aircraft also had "hit points" similar to what you'd find in a RPG. BoS' DM is much more dynamic.

 

Third: Planes in the old IL-2 were generally modeled extremely tough and especially resillient against light and heavy MG fire. I would argue that planes in general were much too tough compared with what we see in original gun camera footage. In BoS weapons are deadly as they should be.

 

Fourth: The reputation of the IL-2 as a "flying tank" is hardly justified. They were not generally seen by German pilots as hard to shoot down, and one only has to glance at the statistics over losses to see, that they weren't that hard to shoot down. In 1943 the average "life span" of a new IL-2 was around 20 missions (which was still more than it had been the year before) For the Pe-2 it was over 50 missions.

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Hi Osterman!

 

Thanks for the gif!

 

Well, I got the impression that any shot near the engine starts a fire, instead these ignitions begin only in vulnerable areas (wing roots and oil cooler - more in this second). To not only be subjective,  it would be necessary to see where the bullets fall. In the Oleg's IL2 game (that "old") is possible to see where the bullets fall:

 
il2flechadocockpit_zps9c860fb7.jpg
 
il2flechadoemcima_zps1d8026eb.jpg
 
il2flechadoembaixo_zps750b8b6e.jpg
 
 
Is there some similar feature in BoS?
 
Even with all this punishment shown by arrows pilot survived, and the plane dont catches fires. The probable reason for that is in the third image: the oil cooler is not reached.
 
On the other hand I got a PK (in another game session) with these few shots:
 
pknofw_zpsb9429f10.jpg
 
:P
 
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Most 20mm hits will not be stopped by the IL-2s armour, though the damage they can do after penetrating will be limited.

 

Hi Finkeren,

 

But According to this source the il2 resisted to 20mmm:

 

 

Single-barrel 20mm guns were also found somewhat inadequate due to limited firepower: one or two shells were often not enough to destroy the Il-2, and unless the Il-2 was attacking the gun itself, thus presenting effectively a stationary target, scoring more hits during a firing opportunity was rare. (Biaudet, Bob. Ohiampujat: Ilmatorjuntamiesten kokemuksia jatkosodan ratkaisutaisteluista (Anti-aircraft Men's Experiences in The Continuation War). Helsinki: WSOY, 2002. ISBN 978-951-0-26704-)

 

 

Anyway my point is not the il2 resistance to damage, but the frequency with which catches fire ... I am aware that several cannon shots will put the plane down.

 

Surely the IL-2 suffered many casualties, but here I have several photos that show how this plane was hard in the fall  :biggrin:

 

il2-s-silv1.jpg

 

il2xx.jpg

colors.jpg

smalldots2.jpg

il2dotted.jpg

dow3.jpg

A%2BSoviet%20%20%2Bplane%2Bhas%2Bbeen%2B

tumblr_lrey7ygIhw1qg5z8jo1_1280.jpg

 

:salute:

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If you want answer how great the IL-2 Plane was just look here. Funny it comes from Jason.

And yes the IL-2 the damage model is not correct modeled. The Germans called this Plane "Betonflugzeug" or "Concrete Plane", supposedly because of its toughness.

See that damage and the plane still can fly to his homebase. Even the wooden wing could also take quite a bit of damage.

[source] http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/Learstang/IL-2-2-SeaterwithSevereWingDamage2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic%3D928.0&h=427&w=689&tbnid=69M3ZxKaZAerKM:&zoom=1&tbnh=90&tbnw=145&usg=__qOtsiOJe9wcIVWwioraOmXJlKz8=&docid=OEJ5aiCciXjpzM&sa=X&ei=6ArzU4KRB6nmyQPLvICwBA&ved=0CCgQ9QEwAQ&dur=519


IL-2-2-SeaterwithSevereWingDamage2.jpg
IL-2withSevereDamagetotheWingroot.jpg
SeverelyDamagedWing.jpg
IL-2-BadlyDamagedWoodenWing.jpg
SeverelyDamagedWoodenWing.jpg
BadlyDamagedWoodenWingtip-1.jpg

 

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Hi Finkeren,

 

But According to this source the il2 resisted to 20mmm:

 

Not the wooden IL-2. The metal made IL-2 was resisted against 20mm

 

"You can see why Sergei Ilyushin wanted the IL-2 to return to metal wings so much; they were immensely strong.  He never did want the wooden wings - that was forced upon him by the lack of aluminium" Take a look at my post #32

 

Here you can see how well the IL-2 protect his pilots

 

10_thmb.jpg

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S!

@luke and finkeren

It doesn't turns comparing two sims inappropriate

In simulation, if you input trash->you output trash

No matter how good or complex the simulation model is, no matter who made it

Even simple rough models can produce good results. What we are discussing here is the two outputs which are completely different. Plus, the old il2 is the unique good benchmark for the il2 plane

We need to remember, even this very complex and superb now days model outputed this(not only visual):

dyp3ps.jpg

(sorry for the joke image, this is only one i found, no ironic....and i recognize is better now)

And even the "best FM produced" was changed last week (no problem in changing! they have my respect for that)

Those kill rates you posted on fourth point is very interesting, if you have more please share. Even if they can't proove due the usage or the conditions this numbers don't tell, they are good support evidences, i recognize. Would be great to compare with stukas rate as well, if you have it, please share :)

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Surely the IL-2 suffered many casualties, but here I have several photos that show how this plane was hard in the fall  :biggrin:

[series of Images]

Interestign pictures.

 

Note that most of those IL-2's have blown away engine covers. Assuming the engine was probably the most vulnerable part of the aircraft the pictures you postet even support this point.

 

As far as I've flown it ingame it's wings tend to take up the most damage of all components. Most time I died so far was due to the back fuselage breaking off (which probably is corrcet) and engine fires, both at a roughtly 50/50 ratio.

 

The first IL-2's however had serious design flaws compared to the later IL-2M. That's why they showed much less sucess on the fronts and were disliked by their pilots ("widow makers"). Especially the increased cockpit armour was one of the major upgrades of the IL-2M.

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You cant compare losses of Ju87 vs Il2.Different cathegory,different deployment + very different production volume.6k+ vs 36k+.Moreover stukas were bleeding hardly for 2 years before first IL2 saw frontline service.Their actions on eastern front were also their swan song....All stukas introduced in Barbarossa undergoing were in fact what was left of B version from previous fighting over Western europe (B production seized in October 1940).New D models were just suplementing losses of B version,never increasing their volumes but slowly decreasing and at the end continuously replaced with Fw190.

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See that damage and the plane still can fly to his homebase. Even the wooden wing could also take quite a bit of damage. [source] http://www.google.de...Q9QEwAQ&dur=519

 

Nice pics,  Superghostboy. Indeed, when we speak of the wood used in these wings should not think of "wood", but a composite material to be very resistant. A squadron mate who knew this technique told me that this kind of material even had advantages over metal.

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Delta drevesina in russian : birch veneers, impregnated with phenolic resin, layered in a mould and formed under pressure at 150°C.Strong but heavy compared to duraluminium,with very short lifetime.It was prone to humid and hot environment.La5FN`s of Czechoslovak airforce were written off in 1946 just because their drevesina parts simply rotted.Despite everything else on those planes was in good condition.And of course no spareparts to be delivered from Soviet Union :biggrin:

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Strange,if the IL2 suffered so many losses and wasn't so powerful as said,why it remained on mass production during the entire war?

Were the other options far worse?

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Strange,if the IL2 suffered so many losses and wasn't so powerful as said,why it remained on mass production during the entire war?

Were the other options far worse?

It wasn't only Il2's they were losing in great numbers, here are the figures for Soviet aircraft losses (by Luftwaffe aircraft) Jul to Nov 1942:

 

Jul 1,282

Aug 2,256

Sep 2,548

Oct 892

Nov 437

 

Total 7,415

 

Add another 2,129 from AAA and destroyed while on the ground.

 

Source "Black Cross Red Star - Vol 3 Everything for Stalingrad"

Edited by pilotpierre

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Strange,if the IL2 suffered so many losses and wasn't so powerful as said,why it remained on mass production during the entire war?

Were the other options far worse?

I honestly don't know if the VVS high command evaluated it somewhat more favorably or not, someone with more knowledge on the subject can propably sort that out.

 

However: there is one major reason why the IL-2 was not replaced: Availability. The Soviet war machine was extremely reluctant to put new designs into production during war time. Production numbers were valued over pretty much anything else, and introduction of new types of aircraft invariably slowed production down, so they simply weren't introduced. Instead old designs were steadily improved and ammended to the point where it was hardly recognisable anymore (compare a LaGG-1 to a La-9) while others were discontinued to make room for even higher production of a few types (like what happened to the MiG-3 and nearly happened to the LaGG-3) This strategy cost the Soviets some promising designs like the I-185, but kept the pressure up on the Germans, who couldn't understand, how the Soviets could turn up with seemingly endless reserves of equipment and manpower.

 

In the end the IL-2 was kept in mass production simply because there was nothing to replace it with. By 1942 most other air forces were phasing out their light attack aircraft and replacing them with fighter-bombers, but the USSR had no suitable fighter design readily available that could carry a large enough payload, so rather than start work on something new, the IL-2 was continued and changes gradually introduced in an attempt to improve survivability and the effectiveness of its attacks, and it ended up being one of the most produced aircraft designs in history.

 

Had the IL-2 been completely useless and a true death trap it ofc wouldn't have been kept in production. It wasn't a "bad" aircraft per se, it was just way more vulnarable than it's usually given credit for, and its ability to destroy "hard" targets was less than impressive (but so were all fighter-bombers in all air forces in the CAS role at the time)

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