Ilyushin Il-54

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Il-54
Il-54-sila-1.jpg
Three-quarter view of the second Il-54 prototype
Role Bomber
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Ilyushin
First flight 3 April 1955
Number built 2

The Il-54 was a transonic bomber developed in the USSR in the 1950s. Only two examples were built before the project was abandoned.

The Council of Ministers issued a directive to OKB-115, for a transonic bomber prototype to be submitted for State Acceptance Trials in July 1954. The design of this bomber went through several stages before settling on the final configuration.

The Il-54, as built, had a very thin 45 degree swept wing with anhedral, which was shoulder mounted on the fuselage. The Lyulka AL-7 engines were housed in slim, pylon mounted, pods at approximately 1/3 span. Because the wings and engine nacelles were too small to house a conventional undercarriage, the Il-54 used a bicycle undercarriage arrangement, with nose and main gear units on the centreline of the aircraft, at each end of the bomb bay. This arrangement meant a conventional rotating take-off would be impossible. To enable the Il-54 to take-off, in a reasonable runway length, the main gear knelt and the nose gear extended to give the ideal angle of incidence for take-off (10 degrees).

Flight trials of the Il-54 commenced in April 1955 with test pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki at the helm. Difficult handling during the landing run was rectified by modifying the undercarriage.

Production of the Il-54 was not proceeded with, due to competition from Yak-25 derivatives, and the belief that manned aircraft would soon be replaced by missiles.

Booked to fly in the flypast at Tushino in 1956, the Il-54 was dropped from the flying programme. The aircraft was then shown to a US Military Delegation at Kubinka. The Delegation were told that the Il-54 was the Il-149 as part of a deception programme. As a result the Il-54 was given far more importance than it actually warranted, and was assigned the NATO reporting name ("Blowlamp") after it had ceased flying.


Variants[edit]

  • Il-54T - Torpedo Bomber (project)
  • Il-54U - Trainer (project)
  • Il-54R - Photo-Reconnaissance (project)

Specifications (Il-54)[edit]

Data from Gordon, OKB Ilyushin: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 28.963 m (95 ft 1/4 in)
  • Wingspan: 17.65 m (57 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 84.6 m2 (910.7 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 26,505 kg (58.443 lb)
  • Gross weight: 41,600 kg (91,728 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-7 with water injection, 84.34 kN (18,960 lbf) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1,100-1,150 km/h (683-715 mph)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.15
  • Range: 2,057 km (1,278 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 13,630 m (44,720 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 25.25 m/s (4,924 ft/min)

Armament

  • 1 × 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter AM-23 cannon in the port forward fuselage.
  • 2 × 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter AM-23 cannon in the remotely controlled tail barbette
  • 6,000 kg (13,200 lb; maximum load) or 3,000 kg (6,600 lb; normal load) of bombs

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]