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Ilyushin IL-4

Soviet Union (1937)
Picture of Ilyushin IL-4 Torpedo Bomber / Bomber Aircraft

The Ilyushin IL-4 appeared in over 5,000 examples and became an equally important aircraft to the Soviet Air Force than its more popular sister, the IL-2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Ilyushin IL-4 Torpedo Bomber / Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/2/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

In many ways the Ilyushin-brand IL-4 was a "forgotten" bomber of the Second World War - at least in the West - though it formed the majority of Soviet bomber wings and was produced in excess of 5,000 examples. The system performed admirably well and was of a sound design though a poor defensive armament array ultimately led to high and unacceptable losses to the extent that production was completed by 1944 (though the aircraft continued to serve till the end of the war). In any case, the system was a large part of Soviet Air Force and naval operations and was the first bomber of Soviet origins to attack from within Berlin airspace.

The IL-4 had the appearance of a very capable design, fitted with a low wing monoplane assembly. Each wing sported an engine, with the cockpit situated in-between. A glazed nose section offered up good visibility and the streamlined fuselage design continued to a stout point. An identifiable turret was positioned at mid-rear with a single vertical tail surface dominating the empennage. Crew accommodations amounted to just four personnel. Defensive armament consisted of machine guns - though only in single instances - and mounted in the nose, the dorsal turret position and a ventral gun position. It should be noted that early models sported a rather smallish caliber of these guns in the 7.62mm range though later variants would sport a more impressive 12.7mm caliber. Despite this, the guns were still fielded in single mounts and the defensive armament was never improved beyond that. Though where the defensive side of the IL-4 failed, the offensive nature of the system was on par with the aircrafts intended role - up to three 1,102lb torpedoes could be carried aboard in place of a standard limit of 2,205 pounds of drop bombs.

The initial IL-4 design appeared in flying form by 1935 and was designated as the TsKB-26. Though the aircraft would enter production with the designation of DB-3B (the "DB" denoting "long-range bomber" in Russian), the system was re-designated as the IL-4 in 1940. Initial combat successes were hard to come by for the aircraft (particularly in the war with Finland) and her crews and were mostly based on inadequate protection against even the more common of fighters. Despite the drawback, the aircraft pressed on in service and eventually took part in the aforementioned attack on Berlin - a strategic note that would long be a part of Soviet strategy in the air war throughout the course of the conflict. A few variants eventually existed but all were very similar to the original production design - with the notable exception of the improvement in defensive machine gun caliber.

Any available statistics for the Ilyushin IL-4 Torpedo Bomber / 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: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (255mph).

    Graph average of 225 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-4's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
5000
5000


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Soviet Union
Year: 1937
Type: Torpedo Bomber / Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Ilyushin - Soviet Union
Production: 5,000
Global Operators:
Soviet Union
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-4 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
4


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
48.56 ft


Meters
14.8 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
70.34 ft


Meters
21.44 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
13.45 ft


Meters
4.1 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
13,228 lb


Kilograms
6,000 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
22,046 lb


Kilograms
10,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Tumanskii M-88B radial piston engines developing 1,100 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
255 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
410 kph


Knots
221 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,616 mi


Kilometers
2,600 km


Nautical Miles
1,404 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,808 ft


Meters
10,000 m


Miles
6.21 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
886 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
270 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 12.7mm UBT machine gun in nose position
1 x 12.7mm UBT machine gun in dorsal turret
1 x 12.7mm UBT machine gun in ventral gun position

OPTIONAL:
Maximum bomb load of up to 2,205lbs OR 3 x 1,102lb torpedoes in place of bombs.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• TsKB-26 - Prototype Model Designation
• TsKB-30 - Developmental Model
• DB-3 - Base Military Designation
• DB-3B - Production Model Designation; appeared in 1937; early models featured M-85 765 horsepower engines with later models fitted with M-86 960 horsepower engines; armament consisted of just three guns of 7.62mm caliber.
• DB-3F - Appearing in 1940; featured a elongated nose assembly and improved armor protection; system re-designated to more familiar naming of "IL-4".
• IL-4 - Re-designation of DB-3F system by 1940; armament caliber increased to all 12.7mm types (UBT); some metal construction replaced with less-costly wood.