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Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle)

Soviet Union (1949)
Picture of Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) Tactical Strike Medium Bomber Aircraft
Picture of Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) Tactical Strike Medium Bomber Aircraft

The Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle was a successful Soviet product of the early Cold War years, being fielded in quantity by a variety of Soviet customers.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) Tactical Strike Medium Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Ilyushin IL-28 (codenamed "Beagle" by NATO) holds many distinctions in the annals of aviation history - some combat related and others more political. The IL-28 became the first jet-powered bomber in service with the Soviet Union in 1949 and became a mainstay of the Soviet Air Force for decades after that. The Beagle was also included in a military package to Cuba, along with missiles, that would go on to fire off the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Additionally, reception of several IL-28 examples to Egypt was one of the more decisive factors in hostilities between the Arab nation and Israel in the Suez War of 1956. Aside from those historical intricacies, the IL-28 itself was an excellent aircraft for the light/medium bomber role and widely exported to Soviet-friendly states and nations.

Design of the IL-28 culminated in first flights taking place by 1948, just three short years after World War 2 had ended and a several years into the jet age. The fuselage was extremely slender with a bubble canopy on top for the single pilot. The nose was of the glass-house variety and held a position for the bombardier. An additional crew member was fitted in the extreme rear section of the fuselage and operated both the radar and a twin NR-23 23mm cannon turret. The most distinct design feature of the IL-28 was the elongated engine nacelles that were fitted under each high-mounted monoplane wing assembly. The engines were of Klimov-type and supported close to 6,000 pounds of thrust each. Another pair of 23mm cannons were afforded the pilot, with these being mounted just under the nose assembly. Though the wings were of straight design, the tail section featured swept-back vertical and horizontal surfaces of a traditional and more modern aircraft. Bomb loadout consisted of up to 6,600 pounds or 2 x light torpedoes in the anti-ship role.

The IL-28 appeared in several operational variants, most notably the aforementioned torpedo bomber version along with a 3-seat tactical reconnaissance aircraft fitted with photographic cameras. A two-cockpit version (a second raise cockpit could be seen immediately behind the traditional cockpit in the trainer) served as a radar-less and cannon-less trainer in the IL-28U known to NATO as the "Mascot". Though China received many examples of the base IL-28, they took on license production of the system and designated it as the Harbin H-5. In all, some 6,000 to 10,000 IL-28 Beagles are said to have been built in all variant types.

Any available statistics for the Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) Tactical Strike Medium Bomber Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (560mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
8000
8000


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1949
Type: Tactical Strike Medium Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Ilyushin - Soviet Union
Production: 8,000
Status: Active, Limited Service
Global Operators:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Bulgaria; China; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Finland; Hungary; Indonesia; Iraq; Nigeria; North Korea; North Vietnam; Poland; Romania; Somalia; South Yemen; Soviet Union; Syria; Vietnam
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
57.91 ft


Meters
17.65 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
70.37 ft


Meters
21.45 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
21.98 ft


Meters
6.7 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
26,213 lb


Kilograms
11,890 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
46,738 lb


Kilograms
21,200 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Klimov VK-1 turbojet engines developing 5,852lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
560 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
902 kph


Knots
487 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,355 mi


Kilometers
2,180 km


Nautical Miles
1,177 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
40,354 ft


Meters
12,300 m


Miles
7.64 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

STANDARD:
2 x 23mm Nudelman NR-23 cannons under nose
2 x 23mm Nudelman NR-23 cannons in tail turret

OPTIONAL:
2 x Torpedoes

Ordnance load up to 6,615lb.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• IL-28 - Base Bomber Version; crew of three.
• IL-28D - Long-Range Nuclear-Capable Bomber.
• IL-28R - Tactical Reconnaissance; crew of three.
• IL-28REB - Electronic Warfare Variant
• IL-28RTR - Electronic Reconnaissance Variant
• IL-28S - Proposed swept-wing model; never produced.
• IL-28T - Torpedo Bomber
• IL-28P (IL-20) - Aeroflot mail service transport conversion model.
• IL-28U - Trainer Conversion Model
• IL-28ZA - Atmospheric Research Variant
• H-5 - Chinese Designation for base bomber.
• HJ-5 - Chinese Designation for trainer variant.
• H-5R (HZ-5) - Chinese Designation for long-range photo-reconnaissance variant.
• HD-5 - Chinese Designation for Electronic Countermeasures/Electronic Surveillance platform.
• H-5 (Testbed) - Chinese Ejection Seat Trials Model.
• B-5 - Chinese Export Designation of H-5 bomber.