Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik Raised From a Russian Lake!

Floating on the surface again, after spending the previous 75 years underwater, this single seat Il-2 Sturmovik was recently recovered from a lake in the Murmansk region of Russia. (photo via Wings of Victory Foundation)


We were amazed today when we saw some fabulous images of a surprisingly complete and intact single seat variant of the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik rising to the surface of a lake in Russia. While we don’t know all of the details yet, the recovery took place within the last week, conducted by the Wings of Victory Foundation. Their report indicates that the aircraft went down on August 22nd, 1943. Thirty four year old Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev was flying the Sturmovik that day. He was the commanding officer for the 3rd Squadron of the Soviet Northern Fleet’s 46th ShAP (Attack Air Regiment). While attacking German forces at Luostari airfield near Petsamo in the Murmansk region, Kaličev‘s aircraft received hits from enemy flak. He managed to coax his crippled Sturmovik back into friendly territory before splashing down on a lake. Luckily, Kaličev managed to escape his aircraft before it sank some sixty feet to the muddy bottom below. He survived the war, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in the mid 1960s, and lived into his mid-80s.


The Sturmovik is in surprisingly good shape. It will soon be shipped to Novosibirsk, where the Wings of Victory Foundation will restore her back to flying condition, much as they have done for a previous Il-2 which they re-flew in 2017 (see below).

Newly-Restored Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik Flies in Russia


Many thanks indeed to the Wings of Victory Foundation and Sergey Detenyshev, Director of Development, for allowing us to use the fabulous images which accompany this article. We wish them the best of luck with their restoration of this historic airframe!

Flying the IL-2 – Read our article – Click HERE.

Warbird Digest Issue 74 Flying the Ilyushin Il 2 Sturmovik
We go in the cockpit to show you what it is like to pilot the famous Flying Tank

Moreno-Aguiari

Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

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About Moreno Aguiari 3337 Articles
Born in Milan, Italy, Moreno moved to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue a career as a commercial pilot. His aviation passion began early, inspired by his uncle, an F-104 Starfighter Crew Chief, and his father, a military traffic controller. Childhood adventures included camping outside military bases and watching planes at Aeroporto Linate. In 1999, he relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain his commercial pilot license, a move that became permanent. With 24 years in the U.S., he now flies full-time for a Part 91 business aviation company in Atlanta. He is actively involved with the Commemorative Air Force, the D-Day Squadron, and other aviation organizations. He enjoys life with his supportive wife and three wonderful children.

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