The Flying Heritage Collection has the only flying Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik left in the world today. It got us thinking, has an Il-2 ever flown in the Western Hemisphere before?
Here’s what we know: Parts of the U.K. are technically part of the Western Hemisphere. Britain evaluated an Il-2 in 1947. By some accounts, the eastern tip of Russia is hanging into the Western Hemisphere as well. (I’m sure you remember all that talk of the 160th meridian east from geography class, right?) So, it seems quite possible that Il-2s roamed into the wilds of eastern Russia during or after World War II.
A North Korean Il-10 (an improved version of the Il-2) was captured by the U.S. and flown at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in 1951. That’s close, but no cigar.
Regardless, the plane is an extreme rarity. On September 15, the FHC’s Il-2 will fly for the public for the first time. Come to our Free Fly Day and witness history!