Il-4 file photo [3811]


Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight1 January 1935


ww2dbaseThe DB-3 bombers entered production in 1936 as a long-range medium bomber for the Russian air force. Between 1936 and 1939, 1,528 were built. Between 1939 and 1942, the DB-3M variants were built, featuring a more rounded nose and a totally different structural support using T-shaped formers that shortened production time. With experience from the Winter War with Finland, the DB-3 series bombers thus far were acclaimed as tough, but crews often complained of the light defensive armaments that made them vulnerable. In 1942, the DB-3F variants, renamed Il-4 due to change with Russian naming convention, were coming out of the production lines, featuring larger caliber defensive weaponry, additional armor around gunner positions, and more powerful engines to make up the performance losses caused by the added weight. Unlike their predecessors, the Il-4 bombers were produced not in Eastern Europe but instead in Siberia, due to the German invasion that started in Jun 1941. Due to the high demand on metal because of the war, some Il-4 bombers saw the replacement of certain parts with wood. More than 5,200 Il-4 variants were built. During the European War, despite the DB-3/Il-4 bombers' long range capability, most of them served as short-range bombers, though there were a few long-range missions against the city of Berlin. Some of the DB-3/Il-4 bombers in naval service were reconfigured slightly to carry torpedoes.

ww2dbaseDuring the Cold War, the NATO code name for the DB-3/Il-4 bombers was "Bob".

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2007


MachineryTwo Nazarov M-88B radial engines rated at 1,000hp each
Armament2x7.62mm ShKAS machine guns, 1x12.7mm Berezin UB machine gun, up to 2,500kg of bombs/mines or 1x940kg 45-36-AN/45-36-AV torpedo
Span21.44 m
Length14.76 m
Height4.10 m
Wing Area66.70 m²
Weight, Empty5,800 kg
Weight, Maximum11,300 kg
Speed, Maximum430 km/h
Service Ceiling9,700 m
Range, Normal3,800 km


Il-4 bomber in flight, circa 1942-1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Hobilar says:
1 Sep 2007 10:27:39 AM

Il-4 crewman Lieutenant I.M.Chisov was thrown clear of his exploding aircraft following a German fighter attack in January 1942. Without a parachute, he fell 22,000 feet into a snow-filled ravine and, though badly injured, lived to tell the tale.

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DB-3/Il-4 Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
Il-4 bomber in flight, circa 1942-1945

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