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Soviet Union's FlagSoviet Union's aircraft marking

Soviet Union's Ilyushin Il-4 bomber; Ilyushin Dalni Bombardirovshchil ("long range bomber") DB-3 bomber

Photos

  • Z.K.B 26 bomber
  • Z.K.B 26 bomber
  • Iliushin DB-3A bomber
  • Iliushin DB-3A bomber

Design

The DB-3 / Il-4 was designed by Sergei Vladimirovich Ilyushin in 1936.3,4

The DB-3 changed its name in 1940 and it became the Ilyushin Il-4.1

The construction of the DB-3F / Il-4 was initially metal.3 After the German invasion, wood was used in the main spars.3,4 Wood also was used in the cabin floor, tail, and outer wing panels.4

Cockpit

The cockpit had a wooden floor due to metal shortages.1

Fuselage

Had a glazed nose with a simple MG mounting.1

Most Il-4s had a cleat for towing an A-7 or G-11 glider.1

Wings

Starting in 1942 the wings had wooden spars that replaced the metal.1

Propellers

Starting in 1942 the propellers were fully feathered.1

Prototype

The TsKB-26 prototype flew in 1935 (May 19363).2 There were additional prototype that were designated through TsKB-30.2

The prototype first flew in January 1940.1

In 19406 / March 1942 it was redesignated from the DB-3F to the Il-4.1

Production

The Il-4 took 1/2 the time to build compared to the DB-3.1

  • Ilyushin DB-3:
    • Production: 1937 - ?2,4, 1937 - 19443, ? - 19442
  • Ilyushin DB-3B: 1,5283
    • All built by mid-1939.3
  • Ilyushin DB-3F / Ilyushin Il-4: >5,0003,4,6, 5,2563
    • 1940: 2,0003
    • Production: 1937 - 19446, 1939 - 19444
  • Total: ~6,8003
    • Manufacturer: State Industries4

Soviet Union Invaded

After Germany invaded, the factories were moved to Siberia.2

The plant that made the engines had to be moved and metals were in short supply so that the designer had to come up with a way to replace as much of the metal used with wood as possible.4

Variants

  • Ilyushin TsKB-26: Prototype.3,6 Had an open cockpit.3 Had Gnome-Rhône K-14 engines (800 HP).3 Had a blunt nose with a gun turret.3
  • Ilyushin DB-3: Had M-85 engine (765 HP).2
  • Ilyushin DB-3: In 1938 used the M-86 engine (960 HP).2
  • Ilyushin DB-3B: Initially had M-85 engine (765 HP).3,6 Later models (starting in 1938) had M-86 engines (960 HP).3,6 These also had enclosed cockpits.3
  • Ilyushin DB-3F / Ilyushin Il-4: Had longer nose.2,3,6 Appeared in 1939.2,6 Initially had M-86 engines and these were replaced by the M-88 in production.3,4 There was no turret in the nose.3 In 1940 became the Ilyushin Il-4.6
  • Z.K.B. 26: Bomber.5 Turret with two machine guns behind the cockpit.5

Usage

Finland and the Soviet Union used the Ilyushin Il-4.3 Both the Soviet Air Force and Navy used the DB-3.3

The Soviets used the DB-3 / Il-4 as a bomber, torpedo bomber, glider tug, transport, and for reconnaissance.3

Finland

Finland's air force shot down many Il-4s.2,6

Finland used captured Il-4s.1 Some were also purchased from aircraft that the Germans captured after the invasion.3 Eleven were DB-3Bs and four DB-3Fs.3

Raid on Berlin

On August 8, 1941, 15 Navy Il-4s bombed Berlin.1,2,3,4,6

After World War II

The Il-4s remained in service until 1949 and was named "Bob" by NATO.1

Specifications

  Ilyushin DB-3A
Type Medium bomber5
Engine (Type) 2: M-87N5
HP 1,000 each5
Dimensions  
Span 70'5
Performance  
Speed 270 mph5
Range 2,000 miles5
Armament  
Nose 1: MG5
Dorsal turret 1: MG5
Ventral 1: MG5
Bombs - internal and external 2 1/2 tons5
  Ilyushin DB-3F
Type Bomber3
Crew 3 - 43
Engine (Type) 2: M-863
OR 2: M-88B3
Cylinders Radial 143
HP M-86: 960 each3
M-88B: 1,100 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 70' 4"3
21.44 m3
Length 48' 6.5"3
14.8 m3
Height 13' 6"3
4.11 m3
Weight  
Empty 12,787 lb3
5,800 kg3
Loaded 24,912 lb3
11,300 kg3
Performance  
Speed  
Spee at 21,980' / 6,700 m 267 mph3
430 kph3
Cruising speed 199 mph3
320 kph3
Climb 868'/minute3
265 m/minute3
Climb to 21,960' / 6,700 m 12 minutes3
Service ceiling 31,825'3
9,700 m3
Range 2,361 miles3
3,800 km3
Range with 2,205 lb / 1,000 kg load 1,616 miles3
2,600 km3
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.62 mm MG3
OR 1: 13 mm MG3
OR  
Dorsal turret 1: 7.62 mm MG3
OR 1: 13 mm MG3
Ventral 1: 7.62 mm MG3
OR 1: 13 mm MG3
Bombs - internal 2,205 lb3
1,000 kg3
OR  
Bombs - internal and external 5,511 lb3
2,500 kg3
OR  
Torpedo - under fuselage 1: 2,072 lb3
1: 940 kg3
  Ilyushin Il-4
Type Bomber1,2,4,6, Torpedo bomber1,2,6
Crew 3 - 44, 42,6
Engine (Type) 2: M.88B4,6
2: Tumanskii M-88B piston1,2
Cylinders Radial2,6, Radial 141,4
Cooling Air1,4
HP 1,100 each1,2,4,6
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 70' 4"1,4 , 70' 4.25"2,6
21.44 m1,2,6
Length 48' 6"1,4, 48' 6.5"2,6
14.8 m1,6
Height 13' 5.5"2,6, 13' 9"1,4
4.1 m2,6, 4.2 m1
Wing area 718 ft2 1,2,6
66.7 m2 1,2,6
Weight  
Empty 12,760 lb1, 13,228 lb2,6
5,800 kg1, 6,000 kg2,6
Loaded 22,046 lb2,4,6, 22,660 lb1
10,000 kg2,6, 10,300 kg1
Performance  
Speed at 15,500' / 4,725 m 255 mph2,6
410 kph6, 411 kph2
Speed at 19,700' / 6,000 m 230 mph1
420 kph1
Speed @ 21,000' 255 mph4
Climb 886'/minute2,6
270 m/minute2,6
Climb to 16,400' / 5,000 m 12 minutes3
Service ceiling 30,850'1, 32,810'2,4,6
9,400 m1, 10,000 m2,6
Combat range 936 miles1
1,510 km1
Range 2,647 miles4
Range with bombs 1,616 miles2,6
2,600 km2,6
Range with maximum fuel 2,220 miles1
3,585 km1
Armament  
Nose 1: 7.62 mm1
1: 7.62 mm ShKas4
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG2,6
OR 1: 12.7 mm1,4
OR 1: 20 mm1
Dorsal turret 1: 7.62 mm ShKas4
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG1,2,6
OR 1: 20 mm ShVAK1
OR 1: 12.7 mm4
Ventral 1: 7.62 mm ShKas4
1: 12.7 mm UBT MG2,6
OR 1: 12.7 mm4
Bombs 2,205 lb2,6, 5,512 lb1,4
1,000 kg2,6, 2,500 kg1
OR  
Torpedo 1: 2,000 lb4
3: 1,102 lb2,6
3: 500 kg2,6
  Z.K.B. 26
Type Bomber5
Crew 55
Engine (Type) 2: M-85 (Gnome-Rhône 14K)5
HP 1,000 each5
Performance  
Speed 300 mph5
Armament  
Nose 1: MG5
Turret 2: MG5
Bomb 6,600 lb5

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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