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The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik became the aerial representative of the Soviet response to the German invasion on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. The Il-2 was designed as a low-level close-support aircraft capable of defeating enemy armour and other ground targets. Hardly a fighter, the Il-2 was exclusively engineered to take an enormous amount of punishment and still keep the pilot, rear gunner and critical mechanical components unharmed.... more...

The history of Soviet strategic bombers after the Second World War is a fascinating one: from the reverse-engineering of interned American Boeing B-29 bombers into the first Soviet strategic bomber, the Tu-4; to the huge jet and turboprop powered aircraft of today’s Russian Air Force. This comprehensive history of these aircraft will deal not just with the development of aircraft that entered service, but of experimental aircraft as well, and... more...