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.
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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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
57.9 ft (17.65 m)
70.4 ft (21.45 m)
22.0 ft (6.70 m)
26,213 lb (11,890 kg)
46,738 lb (21,200 kg)
+20,525 lb (+9,310 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) production variant)
2 x Klimov VK-1 turbojet engines developing 5,852lb of thrust each.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle) production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x 23mm Nudelman NR-23 cannons under nose
2 x 23mm Nudelman NR-23 cannons in tail turret
2 x Torpedoes
Ordnance load up to 6,615lb.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2
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.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
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