Military Wiki
Front view of the Il-16
Role Ground-attack aircraft
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Ilyushin
First flight 1945
Status Prototype
Number built 3?
Developed from Ilyushin Il-10

The Ilyushin Il-16 (Cyrillic Илью́шин Ил-16) was a Soviet lightweight armored ground-attack aircraft developed at the end of World War II by the Ilyushin design bureau. It was virtually a scaled-down version of the Ilyushin Il-10, but was fitted with a newly developed Mikulin AM-43NV engine with the expectation that it would be faster and more maneuverable than its predecessor. But the engine's defects proved to be impossible to rectify and further development was canceled in the summer of 1946.


The relatively high-performance of the Il-10 prompted the development by the Ilyushin design bureau of a lighter attack aircraft with greater speed and maneuverability in 1944. The Il-16, as the new design was called, was powered by the new liquid-cooled Mikulin AM-43NV engine that delivered 2,300 horsepower (1,700 kW) for take-off. The design of the Il-16 was virtually identical to that of the Il-10, both aerodynamically and structurally, but it was slightly smaller and weighed less. Coupled with the more-powerful AM-43 engine it was expected that Il-16 would be significantly faster than the older aircraft. It used Ilyushin's typical load-bearing armored shell, but the armor was thinner in comparison to that of the Il-10.[1]

The Il-16 shared the same wing-mounted pair of 23 mm (0.91 in) Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 as the Il-10 and added a pair of 7.62 mm (0.30 in) ShKAS machine guns in the outer wing panels. The rear gunner was given a 20 mm (0.79 in) Berezin UB-20. A cassette of ten AG-2 aerial grenades was added to deter pursuing fighters. The bomb load was originally intended to be 200 kg (440 lb), carried in two bomb bays in the inner wings or on under-wing racks, with a 400 kg (880 lb) overload capacity, but the normal bomb load was increased to 400 kg and the overload to 500 kg (1,100 lb).[1]

The exact number of prototypes built isn't clear, some sources say three, but at least two appear to have been built, based on photographic evidence. The prototype was first flown in 1945 and the engine's torque, coupled with the short rear fuselage, resulted in poor longitudinal stability characteristics. To correct the problem the second prototype had the rear fuselage was lengthened 500 mm (20 in), the area of the vertical tail was increased and the rudder was given a trim tab. These changes were successful in improving the aircraft's flight characteristics, but the engine proved troublesome and prolonged flight testing into 1946. Its problems proved intractable and the program was canceled in the summer of 1946.[1]


Data from OKB Ilyushin: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 11.2 m[3] (36 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.4 m[3] (43 ft 11 in)
  • Height: m (ft in)
  • Wing area: 30 m²[3] (323 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 4,135 kg (9,118 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 5,780 kg (12,745 lb)
  • Useful load: 1,465 kg (3,230 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,980 kg (13,190 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Mikulin AM-43NV liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1691 kW (take-off) (2300 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 576 km/h (knots, 358 mph)
  • Range: 800 km (nm, 497 mi)
  • Service ceiling: m (ft)
  • Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
  • Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: W/kg (hp/lb)


  • 2 × 23 mm Nudelman-Suranov NS-23 cannons in wings, 280 rounds per gun
  • 2 × fixed forward-firing 7.62 mm ShKAS machine guns, 1400 rounds per gun
  • 1 × 20 mm rear-mounted Berezin UB-20 cannon, 150 rounds
  • Up to 500 kg (1,102 lb) of various weapons.
  • See also



    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gordon, p. 58
    2. Gordon, 2004
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Nemecek pp. 422–23


    • Gordon, Yefim; Komissarov, Dmitriy and Sergey (2004). OKB Ilyushin: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 1-85780-187-3. 
    • Nemecek, Vaclav (1986). The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918. London: Willow Books. ISBN 0-00-218033-2. 

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