State tests of the Il-10 attack aircraft were completed by the end of May 1944. Immediately thereafter, the SV Ilyushin Experimental Design Bureau (OKB) began work on the further development of the IL-10. So, it was decided to increase the structural strength of the aircraft, reduce its weight, as well as increase the thickness of the armor covering the pilot and gunner. It is these improvements that were the basis for the design of the new model, which received the name of the IL-16.
The development of the new aircraft progressed rather quickly. Already in early 1945, the first prototype of the IL-16 was almost ready. The first flight by car was made by an outstanding test-pilot V. K. Kokkinaki. The IL-16 had better maneuverability, strength and speed compared to the IL-10. However, at the same time, a number of serious defects were discovered in the design of the car, in particular, due to malfunctions in the AM-43NV engine installed on the aircraft.
Precisely because of the low reliability of the engine mounted on the IL-16, flight tests of the attack aircraft were initially significantly delayed. After the end of the Great Patriotic War, the design bureau of S.V. Ilyushin stopped a number of developments, which, in the opinion of the leadership, did not have any future prospects. For example, this affected the heavy Il-8 attack aircraft, which had been worked on since the beginning of 1943. Over the IL-16 also thickened clouds ...
After more than a year of unsuccessful attempts to correct the deficiencies of the AM-43NV engine, in the summer of 1946, the development of the Il-16 attack aircraft was also closed. Serial production of the aircraft, respectively, was also not started.
Characteristics of the Il-16 attack aircraft
In fact, according to its characteristics, the Il-16 plane resembles its “elder brother” - the Il-10 attack aircraft. However, in the design of the aircraft there are some differences.
Thus, the IL-16 has smaller dimensions as compared with the IL-10, as well as a smaller mass, which, together with the improved strength of the fuselage, made it possible to perform aerobatics on an airplane. The maximum speed of the aircraft is 576 km / h, although, according to the original idea of the designers, this figure should be about 625 km / h.
Characteristics of the Il-16 attack aircraft:
- Wingspan, m - 12.5
- Length, m - 10.7
- Height, m - 3.6
- Wing area, m2 - 24
- Weight, kg:
- empty aircraft - 4315
- normal takeoff - 5780
- Engine type - 1 PD Mikulin AM-43NV
- Power, hp:
- nominal - 1 x 2000
- takeoff - 1 x 2300
- Maximum speed, km / h:
- on the ground - 529
- at height - 576
- Practical range, km - 800
- Rate of climb, m / min - 658
- Practical ceiling, m - 7600
- Crew, people - 2
- Two 23-mm cannons VYa-23 or NS-23 (mounted on the wing) and 12.7 UBS machine guns from behind
- up to 8 RS-82 or RS-132
- bomb load:
- normal option - 400 kg
The advantages and disadvantages of IL-16
No matter how difficult it is to analyze and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the aircraft, which was not put into mass production and which are known, perhaps, only by ardent fans of aviation, it still makes sense to try to do it. The main advantages of the aircraft is greater compared to the IL-10 speed due to the installed new aircraft engine and improved maneuverability due to some changes in the geometric shapes of the hull.
Also, having advanced further in the analysis of the statistics of the defeats of the pilot and gunner on the Il-2 and Il-10 attack aircraft, the SV Ilyushin Design Bureau decided to increase the thickness of the body armor for the Il-16 crew. Another important improvement compared with its predecessor is the more durable fuselage of the IL-16, which significantly increased its reliability.
The main disadvantage of the IL-16 was a new type of engine mounted on this aircraft. So, AM-43NV was still quite “raw” in order to be installed on production machines, and it was clearly not suitable for prototypes. The durability of the engine was low, which made long-term operation of the aircraft in the field is almost impossible.
In conclusion about the attack aircraft IL-16
The IL-16 had every chance of repeating the success of the IL-10, and even, perhaps, for greater success. The plane had unprecedented speed and maneuverability for the attack aircraft of those times, which could well have made it the glory of the “fighter-attack aircraft”. However, the IL-16 appeared already at the very end of the war, in which he could "become famous" and deserve the same love as, for example, IL-2 - in early 1945.
Another factor that actually determined the fate of this aircraft was the poor quality of the engine that was installed on it. It is for this reason that the mass production of the IL-16 was first moved away, and then, a year after the Great Victory, was completely canceled.
Nevertheless, the Il-16 attack aircraft is worthy of being mentioned as a masterpiece of design thought and tireless labor of the design team of the Design Bureau of S.V. Ilyushin.