|BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USSR / Russia / Ilyushin|
The first of three prototypes of the llyushin Il-28 tactical bomber (NATO reporting name 'Beagle') flew on 8 August 1948. Just over a year earlier the Il-2 with four Lyulka TR-1 jets had begun flight testing but proved unsuccessful.
The II-28 is an all-metal shoulder-wing monoplane with a straight wing and swept tail surfaces, and retractable tricycle landing gear, and is powered by two 2270kg thrust Klimov RD-45F turbojets (derived from the Rolls-Royce Nene). The pilot is located under a raised, carefully faired canopy, the navigator's nose station is fully glazed and the rear gunner (who doubles as radio operator) operates a twin cannon II-K6 turret in the tail.
A formation of 25 pre-production Il-28s took part in the 1950 May Day Moscow fly-past, by which time large-scale production had been initiated at several factories. Series aircraft, which entered service with a large number of V-VS bomber regiments, incorporated aerodynamic refinements, Klimov VK-1 provision for detachable wingtip fuel tanks.
The II-28 proved reliable and adaptable and in the early 1950s was supplied to China (which received over 500 and licence-built others), Czechoslovakia and Poland, it was eventually exported to more than 20 countries and remained in first line Soviet service for many years.
llyushin's bureau produced several other bomber prototypes during this period, but none was accepted for production These included two twin-jet swept-wing tactical bombers, the Il-30 of 1951 and the Il-54 of 1954, and the considerably larger Il-46 of 1952 which had a maximum take off weight of 42000kg.