The only remaining flying example of the most prolifically produced plane in history, a World War II Russian IL-2 attack plane, arrived this week at the Port of Tacoma on its way to Everett.
The now-rare IL-2 Shturmovik helped Russia repel German forces on the Eastern Front during the war. The armored ground attack plane was famed for its ability to destroy tanks and armored vehicles with its guns and bombs. The plane carried a crew of two, a pilot and a gunner who sat in the rear of the cockpit.
The plane was designed in the late 1930s and perfected in the first years of the war to attack ground targets. The aircraft was famed for its ability to absorb ground fire without crashing because of its armor. More than 42,000 of the planes were built.
The plane arrived at the port aboard separate cargo trailers aboard the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics’ Morning Composer. The plane had flown to an airport near St. Petersburg late last year to be dismantled for shipment to Tacoma via Bremerhaven.
The aircraft reportedly is equipped with an American Allison piston engine instead of the original Russian motor because the Russian motors and parts are in short supply. The IL-2 will be transported next week by truck to Everett’s Paine Field to the Flying Heritage Collection, a private collection of working vintage aircraft owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The Heritage Collection is open to the public.
The restoration process reportedly took six years at a Russian aviation company.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663 email@example.com