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Ilyushin DB-3 / TsKB-30

The long-range bomber Il-4 is one of the most famous aircraft of the Great Patriotic War. Constructed in thousands of copies, it participated in all major operations on the Soviet-German front, in raids on the military and industrial centers of the Reich and its allies. Accordingly, in the literature, both memoirs and special aviation, this machine is given a significant place. But that's interesting: nowhere, even in the articles of the Brezhnev period, prone to exaggerating the merits of the weapons of Victory, the plane did not deserve excellent grades of evaluation. But the Il-4 was conceived very boldly and for its time had quite satisfactory flight characteristics.

On January 13, 1933, on the basis of Order No. 411 of the Deputy People's Commissar of Heavy Industry of the USSR and the Chief of the General Directorate of the Aviation Industry, P.I. Baranova on the organization at the plant number 39 imeni V.R. Menzhinsky Design Bureau for the experimental aircraft construction of light aircraft and military series to organize a closed cycle of aircraft design and production.

S.V. Ilyushin was relieved of duties as Deputy Head of TsAGI and appointed Deputy. director and head of the Central Design Bureau for Experimental Aircraft Construction at the plant No. 39. This is the beginning of the history of the creative activity of the enterprise. Over his first aircraft bomber TsKB-26, S.V. Ilyushin began to work with a team of designers, consisting of only seven specialists. They were the first in the team of enthusiastic adherents, created by Sergei Vladimirovich, which, he believed, was more difficult than building the most complex aircraft. In May 1934, the strength of the brigade increased to 54 people.

When in 1933 Sergei Ilyushin started designing the SB-39 high-speed bomber, he did not have any experience in developing aircraft. Although he was already 39 years old, the novice aircraft designer had only designed a few lightweight sport gliders. Nevertheless, Ilyushin ventured to enter into competition with Tupolev - the acknowledged master of Soviet aircraft construction, under whose leadership the alternative project of the ANT-40 was created. The result of the rivalry was quite natural - Tupolev's aircraft was adopted.

Ilyushin was not discouraged. He had the idea to convert an airplane from a nearby high-speed bomber into a long-range bomber, considerably increasing the fuel supply. At that time, the basis of Soviet long-range aviation consisted of bulky and slow-moving four-engine Tupolev bombers TB-3. Ilyushin's new development greatly exceeded them in speed and altitude, and therefore, was less vulnerable to enemy antiaircraft guns and fighter jets.

The latest bomber solutions were laid for the bomber project, which made it possible to obtain flight-technical and combat characteristics that far exceeded the data of the armed forces. The idea was supported by the military, and in a short time, technical documentation was issued, The experimental airplane TsKB-26 was not yet a prototype of a long-range bomber, it was a kind of experimental aircraft to test the effectiveness of those new solutions that were laid in its parameters and design. For the fastest completion of the construction it was decided to make TsKB-26 of mixed wood and metal construction.

On July 1, 1935, the first prototype of the bomber, named TsKB-26, ascended to the skies under the control of test pilot Viktor Kokkinaki. The test results showed outstanding characteristics of the new machine. For the first time in the Soviet Union, world aviation records were established for the altitude of flight with cargo, range and speed of flight with cargo. The plane showed outstanding flight data, but it was not yet a full-fledged combat vehicle - it lacked armament. In addition, CDB-26 had a mixed design with a wooden fuselage, and the Air Force leadership required that all long-range bombers be all-metal. For the alteration of the project and the construction of the second prototype with the TsKB-30 index, it took eight months. Taking into account the test results of the first experimental vehicle, S.V. Ilyushin was offered in the shortest time possible to produce a second experimental aircraft TsKB-30 all-metal construction. March 31, 1936, the birthday of Ilyushin, TsKB-30 made its first flight. On May 1, a glittering polished metal plane was shown to Stalin, who really liked it.

At the beginning of 1937, Moscow aircraft factory No. 39 started serial production of TsKB-30, renamed to DB 3 ("long-range bomber-the third"). In the spring of the same year, the aircraft began to enter service with the troops, and in the summer, its factory was connected to the plant No. 18 in Voronezh. In the spring of 1938, the production of the DB-3 aircraft began at the new aircraft plant No. 126 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

The DB-3 aircraft began to enter the bomber regiments of the Soviet Air Force, replacing the TB-3 bombers that were in service with them. The relatively simple technique of piloting the DB-3, more advanced equipment allowed the flight personnel of the combat units to quickly master these aircraft. For the aviation of the Navy, the torpedo carrier DB-3T was created.

The outstanding characteristics of the new aircraft were confirmed by the fulfillment in 1938-1939. Two distant non-stop flights: from Moscow to the Far East and North America through the Atlantic Ocean with a length of 8000 km. S.V. Ilyushin continued to work on improving the DB-3 aircraft. Since the first hours of the Great Patriotic War, the aircraft DB-3, DB-3T and DB-3F had been actively participating in combat operations. On the night of August 8, 1941, the DB-3 of the Baltic Fleet Air Force attacked Berlin.

In the years 1939-1940. research was conducted on the rapid conversion in the field conditions of the DB-3 bomber into a variant adapted for carrying out tasks for airborne landing of people and cargo. For landing operations under the fuselage of an airplane using the bridge of three external bomb racks, the all-metal landing cockpit D-20, designed under the direction of AI Privalov, was designed to house and parachute 10 airborne troops with personal weapons. The paratroopers entered the cabin through the door and were placed on the side seats. They left the plane at the signal of the navigator through the two-wing aft hatch of the cabin. Luke was able to discover not only the navigator of the aircraft, but also, in emergency situations, the commander of the landing. If necessary, after dropping the paratroopers, the cockpit could be dropped from the bomb detainees by the crew of the aircraft. The flight mass of the loaded landing cockpit D-20 was 1580 kg.

DB-3F / TsKB-30F / Il-4 "Bob" long-range bomber

The DB-3F, which in March 1942 was designated Il-4, was a deep modernization of the DB-3 with the installation of new M-88 engines (1100 hp), an elongated and more streamlined nose of the fuselage of spindle-shaped outlines with extensive glazing, a slight increase in the wing area, while retaining the previous scope, led to the creation of the DB-3F. From the lower rifle installation was initially abandoned. A number of other changes were introduced, and the manufacturing technology was also radically revised, taking into account the requirements of mass production.

The modified DB-3F with improved aerodynamics, more powerful engines, flight speed, increased to 445 km/h and range with a bomb cargo of 1000 kg, equal to 3500 km. The Il-4 became the main type of bomber and torpedo bomber of the Great Patriotic War. Deep modernization of the DB-3 with the installation of new M-88 engines (1100 hp), an elongated and more streamlined nose of the fuselage of spindle-shaped outlines with extensive glazing, a slight increase in the wing area, while retaining the previous scope, led to the creation of the DB-3F. From the lower rifle installation was initially abandoned. A number of other changes were introduced, and the manufacturing technology was also radically revised, taking into account the requirements of mass production. Work on the aircraft under the original designation TsKB-30F was conducted from the middle of 1938. The prototype under the original designation TsKB-30F was released for testing on May 21, 1939 by V.K. Kokkinaki.

Due to the failure of the M-88 engine to state tests, the aircraft was transferred with the M-87 engines, and part of the production vehicles were also launched with such engines. Their production at factories No. 39 and No. 18 began at the end of 1939, at plant No. 126 - in the second quarter of 1941. The total production amounted to 5,256 aircraft. The Moscow plant No. 39 stopped the production of DB-3F already at the beginning of 1941, the Voronezh plant No. 18 the last DB-3F passed in July 1941. In the future, the main producer was plant No. 126 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, 1946 In addition to it, in February 1942 the Moscow plant No. 81 assembled the IL-4 from the units supplied from the plant No. 126, while the plant No. 23 (also in Moscow) first assembled the aircraft (from May 1942), and then proceeded to their full-scale production in 1942-1943 of 367 aircraft.

In the most difficult conditions for the evacuation of work in unfinished, and sometimes unheated workplaces, the disorganization of everyday life, workers of serial plants built the DB-3F with their own heroic selfless labor. The number of Il-4s on the front decreased until the end of 1941. This was caused not only by losses, but also by the lack of their proper replenishment - although Plant No. 126 was far from the front, plant No. 29, the main engine manufacturer of the M-88, was evacuated led to interruptions in the supply of engines. But at the beginning of 1942, the IL-4 began to grow. At the time of the formation of long-range aviation on March 1, 1942, it included 8 divisions, of which 5 - on the IL-4 (3rd, 17th, 24th, 36th and 50th). On May 1, 1942 ADD had 319 Il-4, accounting for more than 90% of its fleet. In the Battle of Stalingrad, which began on November 19, 1942, 480 long-range bombers struck at the enemy.

The Il-4 took part in all the major campaigns of 1943. In the spring, in the battle in the Kuban, the 50th division took part. Its Il-4 bombed airfields of the Luftwaffe in the Crimea. In the Battle of Kursk 740 aircraft ADD, mostly Il-4, participated. On the eve of the operation "Citadel", long-range aviation organized a series of raids on the railway junction of Bryansk. In them, changes in the tactics of the ADD actions were clearly manifested. The raids became larger, and the bombers approached the targets from different directions. Groups were allocated for the suppression of anti-aircraft guns and searchlights, and ahead of the bulk of the bombers was a support train, the task of which was to find a target and designate it. Special groups of night hunters-blockers, the first of which flew to IL-4, paralyzed the airfields of enemy night fighters. In July-September 1943, long-range bombers helped to lift the siege of Leningrad. Here, against the fortifications, some used 1,000 kilogram bombs suspended on an external suspension.

By 1944, the ADD significantly increased: in the first five months of the year, it dropped twice as many bombs as during the entire 1942. A considerable proportion of them fell on the Il-4. Since Soviet aviation won air supremacy, the 18th Air Army (the so-called ADD since December 6, 1942) went back to operations in the afternoon. About 500 long-range bombers were involved in the Berlin operation. occasionally making raids into the deep rear of the Germans. In 1945, based on the airfields of Poland, IL-4 bombed the cities of Germany, Wehrmacht strongholds, airfields and ports.

On May 10, 1945, the 18th IA had 553 Il-4 planes - about 1/3 of its composition (in total, the 18th VA had 1,675 bombers). On the IL-4, 28 of its 73 regiments flew. The number of IL-4 was second only to the Li-2 (there were 593 such aircraft in the 18th IA).

The Il-4 was by the time of its creation a quite modern aircraft approaching German He 111 by flight and tactical characteristics. However, in the following years the aircraft did not undergo the necessary upgrades (like its German counterpart), which allow maintaining its flying qualities at the modern level. First and foremost, it concerned the motor installation - the whole IL-4 passed through the same relatively low-powered M-88 engine (attempts to install more powerful engines on the plane failed). The poor on-board equipment Il-4 (autopilot began to install on aircraft parts only in 1942) was unsuitable for the long-range bomber. A significant drawback was the absence in the crew of the second pilot - piloting the IL-4 was quite difficult, requiring the pilot constant concentration of attention and considerable physical effort. The defensive arming of the aircraft did not meet the requirements of the time, and the only measure taken to strengthen it was the replacement of a conventional heavy machine gun with a large caliber in the upper turret.

But, despite all the shortcomings, IL-4 until the end of the war was intensively used to solve a variety of combat missions. Daytime use of aircraft of this type, as a rule, was fraught with significant losses, but at night they operated quite effectively.

aircraft DB-3 DB-3F / Il-4
1937 1943
Wing span, m .21.44 21,44
Length, m .14.22 14.76
height, m . 4.10
Wing area, sq. M. m .65.6 66.70
Weight, kg
empty plane 5800
take-off6500 9470
Maximum take-off6,500 10,150
EnginesM-85 M-88
horsepower, hp2 x 750 2 x 1100
Maximum speed, km / h 463
Maximum speed, km / h on high395 429
Time of climbing 4000 m, min 17,5
Practical ceiling, m .8800 8700
Range of flight, km4000 3300
bomb load, normal, kg1000 1000
bomb load, max, kg2500 2500
Crew3 4

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Page last modified: 07-09-2018 07:17:55 ZULU