Ilyushin IL-40 (Brawny) Ground-Attack Aircraft Prototype
The Ilyushin IL-40 Brawny ground attack platform existed in only seven prototypes before the design was dropped from contention.
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Following World War 2 (1939-1945) the ground attack role was still very much a consideration for world air forces. It was envisioned that the next war in Europe would take place between the Soviet Empire and European powers as well as the United States. With this would come a major ground war involving many tanks and, to counter this threat, dedicated ground attack aircraft were still in need.
The early 1950s saw the first frontline combat use of jet-powered fighters (through the Korean War) and bombers were soon surpassed by jet-powered designs. Additional work on turbojets meant that they were made more efficient, compact, reliable and powerful. Single engine jets were becoming commonplace and proven in such stellar designs as the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 and the North American F-86 "Sabre" lines.
Work on a new ground attack platform for the Soviet Air Force began in 1950 by the Ilyushin concern with jet powerplants being the focus. Up to know, the company was well-known for its World War 2-era contribution of the two-seat, prop-driven IL-2 "Sturmovik" which was more or less an armored flying tank of sorts. For the new design, the engine installations became a pair of Mikulin AM-5 turbojets developing 4,740 pounds thrust and set in nacelles alongside a largely tubular metal airframe. The cockpit was set aft of a long nose cone assembly and a conventional, single-finned rudder approach was given to the tail with mid-set horizontal planes featured. The wing mainplanes were swept back 35-degees and given large boundary layer fences for the needed control at high speeds. A tricycle undercarriage, wholly wheeled and completely retractable into the design, added a most modern element. Three dive brakes allowed for improved control when coming into an attack action. The crew was two and they seated in tandem with full cockpit armoring planned due to the low altitude levels the aircraft was expected to attack in. Each crew position was also to feature an ejection seat.