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Russia: Restored WW2-era IL-2 fighter flies after 72 years at the bottom of a lake02:29

Russia: Restored WW2-era IL-2 fighter flies after 72 years at the bottom of a lake

Russian Federation, Zhukovsky airfield
July 20, 2017 at 18:15 GMT -00:00 · Published

One of only two airworthy restored Ilyushin IL-2 fighters in existence took to the skies at the MAKS-2017 Air Show at the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow on Thursday. The WW2-era Russian plane was raised from the bottom of Krivoe Lake in the Murmansk Region in 2015, 72 years after it was shot down.

The legendary fighter was restored in Novosibirsk with support from the United Aircraft Corporation, the Ilyushin Aviation Complex and the Winged Memory of Victory Foundation.

The fighter was damaged by a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 25 November 1943. Junior Lieutenant Valentin Skopintsev and gunner Vladimir Gumennyi of the 46th Northern Fleet Air Squadron managed to land the plane on Krivoe Lake, which had frozen over. Both crew members managed to escape before the plane fell through the ice and sunk to the bottom. It was discovered by divers in 2011.

Over 36,000 Il-2 Sturmoviks, also known as 'flying tanks', were produced during the war, as Boris Osyatinskiy, president of Winged Memory of Victory foundation explained on Wednesday, making the model the most widely produced military aircraft ever.

Russia: Restored WW2-era IL-2 fighter flies after 72 years at the bottom of a lake02:29
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Description

One of only two airworthy restored Ilyushin IL-2 fighters in existence took to the skies at the MAKS-2017 Air Show at the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow on Thursday. The WW2-era Russian plane was raised from the bottom of Krivoe Lake in the Murmansk Region in 2015, 72 years after it was shot down.

The legendary fighter was restored in Novosibirsk with support from the United Aircraft Corporation, the Ilyushin Aviation Complex and the Winged Memory of Victory Foundation.

The fighter was damaged by a German Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 25 November 1943. Junior Lieutenant Valentin Skopintsev and gunner Vladimir Gumennyi of the 46th Northern Fleet Air Squadron managed to land the plane on Krivoe Lake, which had frozen over. Both crew members managed to escape before the plane fell through the ice and sunk to the bottom. It was discovered by divers in 2011.

Over 36,000 Il-2 Sturmoviks, also known as 'flying tanks', were produced during the war, as Boris Osyatinskiy, president of Winged Memory of Victory foundation explained on Wednesday, making the model the most widely produced military aircraft ever.

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