Russian WWII fighter plane retrieved from lake 75 years after crash
Soviet ‘Flying Tank’ fighter plane is retrieved from the bottom of a Russian lake 75 years after it was shot down during the Second World War
- Russian fighter plane retrieved from lake 75 years after it was shot down
- Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was downed in battle on August 22, 1943
- The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, survived the war
The wreckage of a Soviet Second World War fighter plane nicknamed ‘The Flying Tank’ has been retrieved from the bottom of a lake in Murmansk, northern Russia.
The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was shot down on August 22, 1943, during a Nazi German assault on an airbase near the Norwegian border.
The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, then 34, was able to land the damaged plane on the lake.
Piece of history: The WWII Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft was retrieved from the bottom of a lake in Murmansk, northern Russia
Fighter jet: The Soviet war plane was shot down and landed in the lake in August, 1943
Cpt. Kaličev managed to escape the aircraft before it sank, and survived the Second World War.
The plane has been brought back to the surface by a Russian organisation called Wings of Victory, an organisation which works to restore old WWII planes.
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The organisation, which uncovered the plane and the information about Cpt Kaličev, last year successfully completed restoration of another Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik.
After being brought back to the surface using giant floating devices, the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik is set to be transported to the city of Novosibirsk, for restoration.
Recovered: The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, managed to escape this cockpit and survived the crash landing
Vital: Josef Stalin once branded the Ilyushin Il-2 ‘as essential to the Red Army as air and bread’,
An organisation called Wings of Victory, dedicated to saving old Russian war planes, are now hoping to be able to fully restore the Ilyushin Il-2
Back in the day: A Soviet Air Force Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in full flight
To this day, the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik remains one of the most produced military aircraft designs in history.
Josef Stalin once branded them ‘as essential to the Red Army as air and bread’, with thousands made during WWII to fight Nazi Germany.
The 38ft long plane was fitted with heavy armour, and became known among enemy soldiers as a ‘Flying Tank’.
The single-engine, propeller-driven plane could fit a pilot and a rear gunner and had a wingspan of 47ft 11in.
It was in use throughout the Second World War, and was eventually retired in 1954.
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