Ilyushin Il-28

infobox Aircraft
name = Il-28
type = Medium bomber
manufacturer = Ilyushin Harbin Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation (H-5)

caption = Basic version of Il-28 in Polish Air Force colours
designer =
first flight = July 8 1948
introduction = 1950
retired = 1980s (Soviet Union)
status = Limited active service
primary user = Soviet Air Force
more users = 24 others
produced =
number built = over 6731
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles = Ilyushin Il-30

The Ilyushin Il-28 is a jet bomber aircraft that was originally manufactured for the Soviet Air Force. It was the USSR's first such aircraft to enter large-scale production. The NATO reporting name for the type is Beagle for the bomber, Il-28R reconnaissance version, and Il-28T torpedo-bomber, and Mascot for the Il-28U trainer version. It was also licence-built in China as the Harbin H-5. Total production in the USSR was 6316 aircraft, and over 319 H-5s were built. Only 187 examples of the HJ-5 training variant were manufactured. In the 1990s hundreds remained in service with various air forces over 40 years after the Il-28 first appeared.

Design and development

The aircraft is conventional in layout, with high, unswept wings carrying large engine nacelles beneath them. The bombardier is accommodated in the glazed nose, and the other end of the fuselage carries a turret with two 23 mm cannons. These features make it resemble the World War II medium bombers that preceded it, but the swept tail surfaces and the pilot's bubble canopy and ejector seat were more similar to other aircraft of its own era, making it a blend of old and new features.

Operational history

The Il-28 was widely exported, serving in the air arms of some 20 nations ranging from the Warsaw Pact to various Middle-Eastern and African air forces. Egypt was an early customer, and targeting Egyptian Il-28s on the ground was a priority for the Israeli Air Force during the Suez Crisis, Six Day War, and Yom Kippur War. The Soviet Union was in the process of providing the type for local assembly in Cuba when this was halted by the Cuban Missile Crisis, after which Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove them. The type also saw limited use in Vietnam and with the Afghan forces in Afghanistan. Four ex-Egyptian and two ex-Soviet Il-28s (all with Egyptian crews) were operated by the Nigerian Air Force in the Biafra Wars. Yemeni Il-28s took part in the civil war in that country. Finland also had four examples of this type delivered between 1961 and 1966. They remained in service until the 1980s.

The Soviet Union withdrew the type in the 1980s, while the last Soviet-built examples were still flying in Egypt into the 1990s. Chinese-built Il-28s designated H-5 and built by HAMC were also flying in the 1990s with several hundred in China itself, and a smaller number in North Korea and Romania. The three main Chinese versions are the H-5 bomber, followed by the HJ-5 trainer, and the H-5R (HZ-5) long range (in comparison to the reconnaissance version of Shenyang J-6) reconnaissance aircraft, and later, the HD-5 ECM/ESM version. The latter two types have been phased out.

The type is known to still be in active frontline service the North Korean Air Force in respectable numbers, although little is known as to whether they are a mix of survivors from the batch of 24 Soviet manufactured aircraft delivered in the 1960s and some of the newer Chinese built H-5 variant, or are solely H-5s.

First Il-28 in the West

On 11 November 1965, Li Xianbin (李显斌), a PLAAF captain of an Ilyushin Il-28 of the 8th division defected by flying his bomber numbered 0195 from Jianqiao (笕桥) air base in Hangzhou to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, and this was the first fully operational Il-28 in western hands. The radio operator / tail gunner Lian Baosheng (廉保生) was found dead at the scene and the navigator Li Caiwang (李才旺) was captured alive after a failed suicide attempt. Both survivors were honored and rewarded positions in the Republic of China Air Force. Li Xianbin (李显斌) was rewarded 2,000 taels (approximately 70 kg) of gold, while Li Caiwang (李才旺) was rewarded 1,000 taels (approximately 35 kg) of gold. Since Lian Baosheng (廉保生) was dead, his reward of 1,000 taels (approximately 35 kg) of gold was divided evenly among Li Xianbin (李显斌) and Li Caiwang (李才旺).


* Il-28 – Three-seat bomber version
* Il-28D – Long-range nuclear bomber for the Soviet Air Force
* Il-28R – Three-seat tactical reconnaissance version
* Il-28REB – Electronic warfare, electronic jamming version
* Il-28RTR – Elecronic reconnaissance version
* Il-28S – Swept-wing version, scrapped before it was completed
* Il-28TTorpedo bomber version for the Soviet Naval Aviation able to accommodate one large or two small torpedoes in a lengthened weapons bay.
* Il-28P – Civil conversion for Aeroflot mail service. By some accounts, also denoted Il-20
* Il-28U – Training version
* Il-28ZA – Atmospheric sampling version
* H-5 – Chinese bomber version
* HJ-5 – Chinese trainer version
* H-5R or (HZ-5): Phased out Chinese long range photo reconnaissance version
* HD-5 – Chinese ECM/ESM version being phased out
* H-5 Testbed – Chinese testbed for ejection seat, eventually replaced by the testbed version Shenyang J-6
* B-5 – Export designation of the H-5
* B-228 – Il-28s built by Avia under licence in Czechoslovakia
* CB-228 – Il-28Us built by Avia under licence in Czechoslovakia


Al Taqaddum, Iraq.]

* 54, including 4 Il-28U examples, were acquired by the Afghan Air Force from 1957. Only trainers were retained beyond 1994. [ The Ilyushin Il-28 "Beagle"] , " [ Air Vectors] "] [ [ Afghanistan (AFG), World Air Forces - Historical Listings] ] ; ALB
* at least 1 has been reported to be used by the Albanian Air Force. A single Il-28 was acquired in 1957 and then traded for H-5s the Chinese version of the Soviet IL-28 retired from service in 1997. The aircraft has been re-introduced into service in 2005 for target towing duties. [] ; DZA; BUL; CHN
* Hundreds of aircraft were operated by the PLAAF and PLAN. Originally equipped with Soviet built aircraft the Chinese began full production of the H-5 by 1965. A small number may remain for use in secondary roles.; CUB
* 42 Il-28N were shipped to Cuba, but soon returned to the Soviet Union as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis.; CZS
* Examples included both Soviet built Il-28 and Il-28U as well as Avia built B-228 and CB-228.; DDR
* Used primarily on target tug and engine testing duties by the East German Air Force.; EGY; FIN
* Finnish Air Force - 4 aircraft were acquired in the 1960s, and used as target tugs.; HUN; IDN
* 12 Il-28 acquired in 1961. All of the aircraft in Skadron 21 based at Kemayoran Air Force Base, Jakarta. Used during the preparation of Operation TRIKORA in 1962 (retaken Western New Guinea from the Netherlands) in Western New Guinea (now, Papua and Papua Barat). All of the aircraft grounded in 1969. No longer in service since 1970.; IRQ; MAR; PRK
* North Korean Air Force - H-5 in service.; flag|North Vietnam; YEM; NGA; POL; ROM
* Romanian Air Force - 40 years of service, were retired from service since 06/2001.; SOM; flag|South Yemen; USSR
* About 1,500 served with the Soviet Air Forces and the Soviet Navy (Soviet Naval Aviation), with operations beginning in 1950. Front line operations continued through the 1950s, with a few examples remaining into the 1980s. A small number of demilitarized aircraft were provided to Aeroflot.; SYR; VIE

pecifications (Il-28)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?= plane
jet or prop?= jet

ref=Fact|date=September 2008
crew=Three (pilot, bombardier, gunner)
length main= 17.60 m
length alt= 57 ft 9 in
span main= 21.50 m
span alt= 70 ft 6 in
height main= 6.70 m
height alt= 22 ft 0 in
area main= 60.8 m²
area alt= 654 ft²
empty weight main= 11,890 kg
empty weight alt= 26,210 lb
loaded weight main= 17,700 kg
loaded weight alt= 39,000 lb
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 21,200 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 46,700 lb
more general=
engine (jet)= Klimov VK-1
type of jet= turbojets
number of jets=2
thrust main= 53.8 kN
thrust alt= 12,090 lbf
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
max speed main= 900 km/h
max speed alt= 486 kt, 560 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main= 2,180 km
range alt= 1,177 nm, 1,350 miles
ceiling main= 12,300 m
ceiling alt= 40,400 ft
climb rate main= 900 m/min
climb rate alt= 2,950 ft/min
loading main= 291 kg/m²
loading alt= 59.6 lb/ft²
thrust/weight= 1:3.2
power/mass main= 3.1 N/kg
power/mass alt=
more performance=
* 4 × Nudelman NR-23 cannons (2 in nose and 2 in tail barbette)
* 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) of bombs in internal bay

ee also

* Ilyushin Il-30
* Ilyushin Il-46
similar aircraft=
* B-45 Tornado
* English Electric Canberra
* Sud Aviation Vautour
* Tupolev Tu-14
* List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS
* List of bomber aircraft
see also=


* [ Il-28 at Greg Goebel's AIR VECTORS]

External links

* [ Walkaround Il-28 Beagle for Hodynskoye pole, Moscow, Russia]

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