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The Il-28 was the first jet bomber to enter service with the Soviet air force and it was also supplied to the newly created air fleets of the Warsaw Pact countries. Designed in the late 1940s, the Il-28 was powered by Rolls-Royce turbojets supplied by Britain just before relations with the Soviet Union broke down completely. Two Klimov VK-1 centrifugal-flow turbojets (developed from the Rolls-Royce Nene) were mounted beneath the wings in pods, which extend beyond wings' leading and trailing edges. The high-mounted wings featured a straight leading edge and forward-tapered trailing edge with blunt tips. The unswept wing contrasts with the swept tailplane but ensures pitch control in high Mach dives. The tubular fuselage was cigar-shaped, and tapering to the rear, with a rounded, glassed-in nose and bubble canopy. The WWII-style greenhouse contains the bombardier/ navigator's electronics and visual bombsight. The tail fin is swept-back and tapered with a blunt tip. The tail of the Beagle contains the rear gunner/radio operator and two more 23mm NR-23 cannon. Flats are low-mounted on the fin, swept-back, and tapered with blunt tips. A glassed-in tail gunner compartment is to the rear of the tail.

With manual bomb sights and even a manned tail turret, the Il-28 was very much a jet-powered World War II era bomber. Over 1000 were produced and eventually exported to soviet allies in the Arab world like Syria and Yemen. Nigeria used Il-28s in the Biafran War. China manufactured its own Il-28s as the B-5 bomber and continued using the planes long after the Soviet and Warsaw Pact versions had been retired.

The Il-28 tactical day bomber was Russia's equivalent to the British Canberra. First flown in August 1948, the Il-28 entered service with bomber squadrons in 1950 and remained in production for many years. This jet-powered medium bomber was built in enormous numbers [over 6000 were built by the Soviet Union and China, according to some estimates] and adapted to fulfill a variety of roles.

In 1947, the S.V. Ilyushin Design Bureau developed a draft jet front-line bomber powered by the RD-45 engines (2 engines 2270 kgf each). It was designed for low-and medium-altitude missions in areas. Designers paid special attention to defensive armament by using advanced air defense. The Design Bureau weapon developers proposed a unique canon mount, the Il-K6, with a wider effective field of fire, that outperformed the further analogues abroad.

In 1947, the S.V. Ilyushin Design Bureau developed a design of the IL-24 jet front-line bomber powered by two A.A. Mikulin TKRD-1 engines (2 x 3300 kgf). But the well developed and proven RD-45 (license Rolls-Royce "NIN" engine) with a maximum thrust of 2270 kgf became available and resulted in project changes resulting in the IL-28 powered by two RD-45s.

The designers paid special attention to defensive armament because the aircraft was intended for low-and medium-altitude missions, where the aircraft is capable of detecting and engaging small-size targets. The weapon developers of the Design Bureau proposed the IL-Lithium with 225 rounds per barrel canon mount with a wider effective field of fire (+/- 70o horizontal, 60o - up and 40o down), that outperformed the Boeing B-29 analogue (+/- 30o transverse and elevation aiming angles). It was armed with two 23 mm NR-23 cannon in a fixed nose installation and two 23 mm NR-23 cannon in the tail turret. Up to 3000 kg of disposable stores can be carried in a lowerfuselage weapons bay. The Il-28R variant is a three-seat tactical reconnaissance version with four or five cameras. This model was also used for electronic intelligence gathering with a revised electronic fit. The Il-28U variant is an operational conversion trainer lacking radar and armament but fitted with a second cockpit in the nose. The bombs were loaded internally. The 50-500 kg ammunition could be loaded on multiple racks, and the 1000-3000 kg - on the mask racks.

On July 8, 1948, the first IL-28 prototype piloted by test pilot V.K. Kokkinaki made its maiden flight, and on December 30, 1948, the flight tests of the bomber powered by the more powerful RD-45F started. In February 1949, the state tests started and the results were reported to Stalin in May, 1949, the same time when the Tu-14 front-line bomber test results were reported. After the thorough consideration, the S.V. Ilyushin's aircraft was preferred.

The IL-28 production started in 1953 in Irkutsk. The aircraft required modification and a Design Bureau team headed by a long time Irkutsk engineer S.V. Ilyushin. Mocking-up was used for the first time as a principle of subassembly, new techniques for avionics and ejection seats optimization were used and others.

The problem of the technologically ineffective fuselage was solved in a radical way: it was cut into large-size panels, which enabled the technologists to use press riveting up to 75% on the IL-28, which cut labour intensity in the fuselage manufacture by one half. The future Deputy Chief Engineers V.M. Bogdanov and Yu.P. Faberovsky played a leading role in these developments. The production aircraft were flight tested by test pilots S, I. Petrov, V.V. Yeliferov, I.V. Kuznetsov, P.I. Uvarov. V.I. Sementchenko, G.I. Starostenko, A.M. Yaroshevitch and V.P. Naurov.

The IL-28 production ceased in 1956, and over six years, the Irkutsk Factory produced 459 IL-28s out of the total number of 6316 manufactured in the USSR. The IL-28 were in service with the Air Forces of 20 countries in the world: Algeria, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Finland, East Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, North Korea, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Somali, Vietnam, and Yemen.

The IL-28 bombers were widely operated in many local conflicts. At the final stage of the War in Korea (1951 through 1953) about 70 IL-28s were based in the Chinese airfields. During the Caribbean crisis in 1962, 42 aircraft were sent to Cuba with the Soviet crews and six tactical nuclear bombs were also delivered to solve the problem in a "radical way". Fortunately, the "Cuban crisis" was resolved in a peaceful way.

The IL-28 bombers took part practically in all Middle East conflicts in 1956, 1967 and 1973, and in combats in Yemen in 1962. They were used in wars in Vietnam, Nigeria and in Afghanistan and their losses were minimal. The fire from the tail gun mount while breaking away gave the enemy no chance for gun fire burst or launching the "Stinger" to the unprotected tail, like in cases with the MiG or the Su aircraft.

The Il-28 was retired from the Soviet Air Force and Navy in the 1980s, serving as target tugs and ECM platforms. It also served with a large number of export customers, and was exported to over 20 countries]. Beagles served with most of the major Arab air forces. The arrival of 50 Il-28s in Egypt in 1956 was alarming to the Israelis, and a significant factor in the origins of the 1956 Suez War, in which all the Il-28s sent to Nasser were destroyed on the ground. Again in 1967 and yet again in 1973, the Il-28 featured as a significant ground target for the Israeli Air Force. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Soviet Premier Khrushchev agreed to remove the offensive missiles as well as the medium range twin-jet Il-28 "Beagle" bombers being assembled in Cuba. Il-28s also saw service with the Nigerians during the Biafra War. East Germany and Finland flew only the target-towing version, without armament. By the early 1990s more than 300 Beagles remained in service with a number of ex-Soviet allies

A reactive bomber Il-28.

S.V Il'ushin began his work at the Il-28 after he had finished his work at Il-22/Il-24 when the Design Department by A.N. Tupolev was building the front bomber (later Tu-14), by the VVS official task. The contrastive analysis of different variants of defensive arming of bombers showed that with the help only a stern cannon installation in aggregate with corresponding maneuver of the aircraft it may effective repulse attacks of the modern fighters from the side of backward semisphere and provide a reliable defence of the engine. The creation in USSR of the 1st double cannon electrohydraulic stern installation Il-K6 defected the main design features of Il-28.

It contained the positive features by Ku-3 and Ku-4 had not their defects. The installation Il-K6 had a corner of fire 70 to the right and to the left, 40 down and 60 up. On the normal duty of the driving gear the arms moved with the speed 15-17 in a second, and on the forced regime -with the speed 36/sec. The power of driving gear provided it effective usage with the flight speed more than 1000 km/h. It had little weight (340 kg) and a maximal outward moment 170 kg/m. The stern installation of the bombers B-29 and Tu-4 had the corners of fire considerably less (30 to the right and to the left, 30 up and down), their maximal outward moment was equaled 50 kg/m and the weight was more than the weight oh the turret of Il-K6 almost on 50 kg. Later the turret of Il-K6 was set and on the other domestic aircrafts.

The scheme of defensive arming was accepted in a part of the crew allowed to decline sharply the geometrical sizes of Il-28 in compare with Il-22: the new aircraft began almost on 3,5 m shorter, and the area of the wing declined on the 13,7 m2. Accordingly the weight of the gilder was declined and it allowed to apply the engine installation from 2 TRD Rolls Royce Nene. They differed from the TP-1 the high reliability and the specific consumption of fuel less on the 25-30% , but they had a essential disadvantage - the middle was bigger. And the last circumstance and aspiration of designers maximal move away air inlets of engineers from the ground surface to prevention the indraft of foreign objects from the ground VPP actuated to refusal from the pier placing engineers and to the installation them to the motoballon, close pressed to the low part of the wing. In order t receive the necessary centering the engines arranged in the front parts of the motoballons. Big diameter of the centrifugal compressor and comparatively little diameter of the jet exhaust that TRD allowed comparative easy to decide it and other rather important problem connected with providing the wide wheel track and removal the main posts with the big wheels for the front bomber. The motoballon of the post fastened to the force bulkhead with the help of simple mechanism, applied for the 1st time on the low-flying air attack Il-10, during the removal turned on 90, and the wheels laid flat in the area of the back of the compressor under the exhaust.

The crew was located the encapsulated cabins, and a pilot and a navigator might use up-ejection seat. The landing gear was optimized for usage on the ground VPP. For shortening the takeoff the designers provided for the capability of application 2 solid-rocked boosters PSR-1500-15 rod was 1600kg and time action 13 sec, jettisonable after the aircraft's tearing. Il-28 was armed by the most effective air-heat in those period POS and up-to-date complete set of aero-navigation and radio-engineering equipment: autopilot AP-5, radio compass ARK-5, height-finder radar of big and small heights, the system blind start on the landing OSP-48 and then SP-50 transponder of identification, command and communications transceiver.

The draft design Il-28 Il'ushin stated at 12, January 1948, and at 8 July 1948 the test-pilot V.K. Kokkinaki rose in the 1st flight IL-28 with 2 TRD Rolls Royce Nene. 30, December 1948 began the factory tests of Il-28 with the serial domestic engines -45 the licensing variant if English engine. But the decision the fortune of the aircraft drugged out 14, May 1949, when the decision about the speed step-up of the flight of IL-28 to 900 km/h of the Council Ministers was accepted at the placing much more powerful engine BK-1 with the takeoff thrust 2700kg/s. 3 months later at 8, August 1949 rose in the air Il-28 at the 1st time with the engines BK-1. For the 6 years routing fabrication in USSR (1949-1955) was built 6316 Il-28 of various modifications on the three large factories: #30 in Moscow (heading), #64 in Voronezh and #166 in Omsk.

At the same time with Il-28 passed the tasting experimental front bombers 73 and 78. They say, when Tupolev saw IL-28 in the parking at the 1st time he asked the workers: whose is illegitimate child? Then careful inspected it, familiarize with its facts and after that he told his workers off for a long time. Really aspiration of the creators of 73 and 78 to save the scheme of defensive arming of piston Tu-2 brought to the unreasonable increase number of movable weapon emplacements and to the increase of the crew, the size of the aircraft, to growth its weight, to complication engine installation. Then these machines were modified to the 81 with one cannon installation and the main crew of three men.

IL-28 found the wide application outside the USSR. They consisted in or consists at present at arming or of Algeria, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, GDR, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Yemen, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Rumania, Syria, Somalia, Finland, Czechoslovakia. The aircraft was built serially in PRC and Czechoslovakia (under the symbol B-228). In the 50th considerably quantity of IL-28 was placed to China including the torpedo bombers which armed with torpedo PAT-52. After the deterioration relations between USSR and PRC on the factory in Harbin was organized the repair IL-28 and making the repair parts for them. From 1964 there began the conversion of the routine fabrication of the bomber which was marked in China as a H-5 (Habrin-5).

The 1st commercial machine rose in the air in April 1967. In September 1967 was made the variant H-5 - the carrier of tactical nuclear weapons. 27 of December 1968 was mastered a routine fabrication also an educational and photoreconnaissance (HZ-5) modifications H-5. China was the 2nd after USSR the state outnumber the parks of IL-28. All the variants of the aircraft have been adopted in PRC and nowadays. China actively exported H-5 in the other countries.

The advanced engineer for the testing Il-28 was V.N. Bugajskij and then he became the design manager of aviation rocket arming. G.V. Novozhilov (now he is chief designer of AK by S.V. Il'ushin) took part in development of production drawing of the aircraft and since that time began his carrier. For the creation of Il-28 S.V. Il'ushinu and a group of designers OKB was awarded Stalin's prize.

Aaircraft Specifications.

IL-28U: training variant of the bomber. Its draft design was stated by Il'ushin in 14, October 1949 and after the 5 months, 18, March 1950, V.K. Kokkonaki rose the aircraft in the air. On the Il-28U the cabin of pilot-instructor was organized on the place the navigator's cabin. Pilots of air regiment under the command the hero of USSR the lieutenant colonel A.A.Antilov less then the moth on Il-28U mastered the aircrafts and 2, May 1950 battle Il-28 took part in air parade under the Red Square in Moscow for the 1st time. Il-28 was noticed when the Day of Aviation was celebrating in Tushino in 1951. The aircraft was assumed on the arming Soviet BBC and was built serially on the factory #30 in Moscow. The reference designation of NATO is Mascot.

Il-28R: Aircraft-prospector was intended to carry out a tactical and operative air reconnaissance in behalf of front, fleet and air armies. The 1st testing that aircraft did V.K. Kokkinaki in 19, April 1950. The factory tests were finished at the end of 1950, and after the successful ending of state testing the aircraft was accepted on arming by BBC. First its routine fabrication was on the factory #30 in Moscow but from 1953 the factory #39 (Irkutsk) began building them, which had produced the torpedo bombers Tu-14 before.

An equipment of day photographing consisted in three aerial cameras AFA-33 with focal distance 100, 75, 20 c and one AFA-RB for strip, planned and perspective surveys. The night photographing supplied with two aerial cameras NAFA-3s and a complete set of target indicators in which might enter FOTAB-100-60, FOTAB-50-35, SAB-100-55 and SAB-100-35. The equipment was in air-raid in automatic rocking installation and special photo cut off of the fuselage rear. Containers of aerial cameras were heated by warm air which was took away from heating system and cabin pressurization of the crew.

Because of the weight which increased to 22720 kg - maximal takeoff weight the size of the wheels of the main gear was increased. On the serial bombers instead of air system harvest and landing gear extension applied a hydraulic system, which allowed to reduce the time of the operation to the 8 sec. There was the system of wheels spinup the main gear in the air and before the landing. From two nose guns was left one to the port side. Crash boat LAS-3 might place when the flight was carried out over the sea and a middle part of a fuselage IL-28, and it control ejection carried out from the cabin the pilot and the stern gunner.

Then the development of Il-28R became the aircraft of radio intelligence, where the aerial cameras were changed to special radio equipment. Spatiality of these machines were radomes under the central part of fuselage.

The development of radar detection demanded the engaging in the battle formation the bombers of aircraft B. On the base of Il-28 such machines created by installation an apparatus in the bomb cut off to dispersion of dipole deflector blades or erection of active radio-interference. An additional work of the aircrafts led on the repair factories.

Il-28T: Torpedo bomber. In 1950-51 in OKB was designed, built and tested an experience torpedo bomber Il-28T. The main difference of it from the bomber was the increase the length of bomb cut off from 4270 mm to 6430 mm, where now can hang the serial torpedoes and mines: one torpedo the type of 45-36ANU 45-36AB TAC, PAT; one mine the type of Serpej, AMD-1000 etc. An aiming with low torpedo throwing carried out with the help of the sight PTN-45, the low part transcended of the fuselage and closed by spherical fairing. With the unimportant re-equipment of IL-28T could be used as a bomber with a bomb loading as a commercial machine. Increase the length of bomb cut off and placement in the fuselage of the crash boat LAS-3 defined the decrease of the capacity inside fuel tank, and to save the prior range flight Il-28 fitted out B on the wingtips. Il-28T passed the factory and state testing with success, but it did not build serially. The cause is too tightened finishing of torpedo 45-36MAH, which was accepted on the arming only in 1956, which signed 45-56HT. Besides, even new dimensions of the bomb cut off of IL-28 did not allow to increase the quality of torpedoes PAT-52 on it on the inside suspension bracket.

The decision was accepted to equip IL-28 of naval aviation outdoor braced holders B-4 alongside the fuselage. With them IL-28 (index T) could carry three torpedoes the type of PAT-52: one on the inside and two on the outward suspension. The usage steam-to-gas torpedoes the aircraft could carry two torpedoes the type of 45-56HT on the outward suspension. On the outward holders might have hanged the mines -500. The testing of the aircraft finished in 1955. It is supposed to re-equipped in that variant quantity of IL-28 of naval aviation, but it was not done - torpedo-carrying variants Il-28 from the 2nd part 50th, did not satisfied the demands of the fleet, and in 1956 the decision about the rearmament mine and torpedo aviations on TU-16 was accepted.

IL-28PL: When the service of IL-28 in naval aviation was finishing in the Balflot the aircrafts 769 mine and torpedo regiment (MTAP) were re-equipped to anti-submarine torpedo AT-1. The machines were signed as IL-28 PL. It difficult to say that that re-equipment was success because the flight duration of the aircraft was not absolutely enough to anti-submarine struggle. It was seemed that that aircrafts would operated by calling. It was regarded the offer about an analogous modernization of the aircrafts another two Baltic regiments, but it did not happen.

IL-28Sh:low-flying attack aircraft. Rather small loading of fighter-bomber in those days forced the military turned to the idea about the low-flying attack aircraft on the base of IL-28. The decision was accepted to place the weapon on the pylons under the wing even to the prejudice of aircraft performances. In the spring 1967 there were compounded TTT to the variant IL-28. According to them the modified aircraft must have had the same depth of hostilities as Su-7, but excelled it in quantity of means of defeat in 2-3 times.

Il-28, it is equipped the wing pylons to suspension the various weapons, it was intended to operations from the small heights by the gathering living force and technique of opponent, and by single low-sized aims the type of rocket installation, tanks etc. Under the wing of that aircraft 12 pylons were set (6 under the every cantilever), on which might be hanged: 12 blocks UB16-57 or 6 heavy NAR C-24, or hanging cannon gondolas or cassette weapon and aerial bombs.

The state testing of that variant (sometimes it was IL-28 SH) were began in autumn 1967. By the appraisal of the testers the aircraft could be recommended for the low-flying attacks from the small and nap-of-the-earth. Though the comparatively closed installation of pylons from the both sides of the air enginery , the volley fire 192 HAP C-5 or 6 C-24 on all the service-tested regimes of the flights did not take on the work of the force installation.

The advantage of the aircraft was the good overview from the cabins of the crewmen and a possibility of the battle work from the ground aerodromes. The speed of IL-SH up to the height of 200 m limited to 660 km/h, the fuel consumption during the flight increased on 30-50%. The tactical radius of action with load from 12 UB-16 composed 295 km. The preparation of the aircraft to the battle takeoff not more than 4 h. but because of the deficient amour guard of the crew and essential system, but the aircraft could not answer to all the demands which producible to the low-flying attack aircraft and the works in OKB by that aircraft were finished.

IL-28 FL: Flying laboratory. In 1952 during the finishing making RLS Sokol (developed in Research Institute-17, the design managers A.B. Slepushkin and G.M. Kunyavskij), which intended for perspective double seats interceptors Yak-120 and La-200, There was the necessity its fine-tuning on the real aircraft. While La-200 was modified became the LA-200B, Lavochkin offered to continue the development of Sokol in normal construction on the machine of the middle class. IL-28 was chosen. The fore part of the aircraft up to the cabin of navigator was cut to place the station and the operator. The construction of the force part had to intensify.

The special equipped 28th were tested to working-off of the equipped complex and outfit for the 1st flight the man in the space. Specifically the Il-28 were flight tested and outfit of the parachute eject mechanism and the system of rescue of space pilot of the spaceship Vostok.

Il-28 - Postal. In USSR the part of Il-28 was ready for needs GVF. There was the demonstration of arming and aiming equipment excepting PSBN. The aircrafts were marked as Il-20 and Il-28P. There was a training of flight personnel and attending personnel on it of different surface services for the testing jet airplanes, and at the end 1954 the crew of Aeroflot began to traffic regularly on the machines the post and cargos.

IL-28C: Continuing the work by modernizing Il-28, in OKB worked out a project of equipping Il-28 new engines BK-5 and a swept wing. But the work out showed that it had not the main flight advantages before the serial bomber IL-28, and all the works were finished. It was the sound decision.

Il-283A: Sounding of atmosphere. Modification IL-28 for carrying out the meteorological watch in atmosphere.

Il-28A - Carrier of nuclear weapon. When Il-28 had being made nobody knew that in the arsenal there was the nuclear bomb. But the increase of opposition of two political systems had to the machine had that function. This task was decided because of fast modernization Soviet nuclear weapon, as a result ammunition with rather low weight appeared. The work out of Il-28 concluded in equipping of bomb cut off and leading in a bar under the cabin of the stern gunner allowed to tow the special gilder-targets the type of - and 7B-2 on a rope the length of which was from 5-2500 m, where the pilots of cannon fighter and calculations of anti-aircraft artillery weapons were training. The endurance test of the aircraft-towing with the gilder-target was 2.5 h. Simultaneously under the wing of the machines could hang a dive target, which was equipped with a smoke tracer and a recovery parachutes.

IL-28M - unmanned target. In 1995 OKB Lavochkina began to design a zenithal rocket 400, which must provide of large industrial centers. For work out the aiming system of the rocket there was decided that on the base of IL-28 unmanned flight target. In 1955-56 on the aircraft was worked out the system which provided unmanned the execution of the flight, climb, the horizontal flight, some maneuvers in the air and boarding on the aerodrome. Afterwards those targets were used for the testing.

Il-28 on the track-type chassis. To the expansion of operational capabilities of bombersIl-28 there was designed, built and tested on-the-go on the earth the special track-type chassis. The ordinary serial aircraft which equipped by it showed the significant improvement of passability on the aerodromes with the soft, wet, covered with water, thawed snow or mud, ground. But because of difficulties of constructions and large weight that chassis could not find a usage, and an experience aircraft served as a tutorial in one of laboratory of .

IL-28 Specifications:

Year of acceptance in the arming


Wings span

21,45 m

Length of fuselage

17,65 m


6,7 m

Area of the wing

60,8 m²

Type of the engine


Draw of engine

2x2700 kg/s

Empty aircraft mass

12890 kg

Normal takeoff mass

18400 kg

Transshipment takeoff mass

23200 kg

Maximal speed

906 km/h

Cruising speed

700 km/h

Practical roof

12500 m

Flight range


Running start

875-965 m


960-1170 m

Arming: for the firing forward there are two guns HP-23, alongside below of the force part of fuselage (2x10 patrons); stern installation IL-K6 with two guns HP-23 (2x225 patrons); the bomb loading on the internal suspension: normal-1000 kg, max-3000 kg.

Variants of hanging up bombs: 12xB-100, 4B-500, 1B-1500, 1B-3000.

Crew: 3 men: pilot, navigator-operator and stern gunner-radio operator.

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