Fighting it out with enemy tanks, trains, and troops close to the ground was hazardous duty. The Ilyshin Il-2 Shturmovik flew with an armored nose that protected the pilot, fuel tank, and engine with up to 12 millimeters of hardened steel. German flyers knew the plane as the “Concrete Bird.”
The Republic P-47 was tough, too. There are stories of Thunderbolt fighters flying through telephone poles, trees, church steeples, and other immovable objects and limping home to fight another day.
You can see both of these planes (and perhaps a special guest, too) in the skies on June 28 at the FHC's free Fly Day.
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