Ilyushin Il-2 KR

Updated on July 6, 2013
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The Il-2KR (korrektirovschchik) was developed as an artillery spotter/reconnaissance aircraft. Its prototype was developed from the series two-seater powered by the AM-38F.

Changes were confined to the equipment:

  • the RSI-4 radio was replaced by the more powerful RSI-3bis, installed over a lowered fuel tank behind the gunner/observer position;
  • an AFA-1 or AFA-1M camera was installed in the rear fuselage, over a circular window in the lower/right part behind the wing fillet;
  • the radio mast was moved over the windshield;
  • the armour was extended under the observer's position.

In the image, the prototype of the Il-2KR at NII-VVS in March 1943. Although the photo is unclear, it probably features the wooden wings and camouflage typical of Zavod n.1 and apparently a white/red spinner without bort numbers.

(Photo from 4+ Publications-Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik)

Extreme left:

The size of the fuel tank is reduced in height to make room for the powerful radio equipment, visible under the canopy.

The Il-2KR could have its UB machine gun replaced with a large camera.

Mid left:

The camera installed under the fuselage was demonstrated insufficient for the tasks; so, further cameras could have been added on the field inside the landing gear nacelles. This modification could have neen done on standard Il-2M and M3 too, both for the needs of the Shturmovik units, both to employ them as reconaissance/artillery spot planes.

After an initial batch built in factory n.30 in spring 1943, all successive Il-2KR were built in factory n.1.

Image of Il-2KR (recognizable for the aerial mast located on the windshield frames) blue 5 that had the camo scheme of factory n.1.

It's unclear what happened to the left wing of this plane, probably a repair. The fuselage is widely covered with covers.

In the detail, the tail of another Il-2KR white 1 that probably was painted in the same way.

(from M-Hobby 5/2001)

Image of an Il-2KR captured by Germans in July 1943. It was armed with a pair of 20 mm ShKAS guns in the wings, recognizable in the photo for the smaller barrels, instead of the usual VYa-23, due to a shortage in supply of these weapons.

A photo of standard Il-2s produced in Zavod 1 in the summer 1943. The standardization of the black-green camo is evident. The date of this photo could be slightly successive to the building of the Il-2KR n.5 and 714, because the rear part of the canopy has a later configuration.

Below, a color drawing of 'blue 5' with the standard pattern of Zavod 1. The repairs on the wings, visible on the photo, were ignored.

Il-2KR n°714 (serial n°7319) was built in zavod 1 in 1943.

The camouflage looks exactly reversed (ie, green and black are exchanged) of the previous plane blue 5 an of standard Il-2Ms built in factory n.1.

Note the green background of both bort numbers, probably a repainting to delete previous ones, and the sharp demarcation lines.

It seems to have repairs of the fabric skinning on both wings; this characteristic was ignored in the drawing below.

The red stars look to have been repainted with white/red outlines after August 1943.

(from M-Hobby 5/2001)

A photo from far of an Il-2KR in summer 1943 suggests an interesting non-standard camouflage with 3 shades and angular lines on its tail. Unfortunately the image is too small to give informations enough for a color drawing.

From M-Hobby


Il-2KR followed the same progression of ground attack Il-2s, passing:

  • to green/dark grey/light brown camouflage and white-red bordered stars in August 1943;
  • to later straight wings with pitot probe in outer position and flushed rocket rails in September or October 1943;
  • to arrow wooden wings at the beginning of 1944;
  • to all-metal arrow wings in late 1944 or 1945.

An Il-2KR with straight wing, camouflaged according to the first template of August 1943; it looks built in the late summer or fall of 1943.

Note the late-style rocket rails and the pitot probe in outer position.

(from Viktor publishing Il-2 part 2)

Il-2KR with the emblem of Guards on its side.

The plane seems built in August-September 1943, featuring the 3-shades camo and the early type rocket rails; besides the shadow confirms that it has the straight wing consoles.

Note the aiming lines painted on its nose.

Nose of Il-2KR with the three-shades camouflage.

The plane on the background, white 6, is interesting because of the difference between the painting of the rudder and of the stabilizer.

Il-2KR white 53. Probably it's a plane with arrow wooden wings built in factory n.1 with the 'puzzle' variant of the template n.1. The colors are sharp and contrasted on the wooden part, much more blurred and less contrasted on the metal part of fuselage and wings.

(from Viktor publishing Il-2 part 2)

Il-2KR n.22 with arrow wing and standard 3 shades camouflage. The tip of the spinner seems white.

(from Viktor publishing Il-2 part 2)

Uncomplete image of the tail of an Il-2KR with an unusual mark on its stabilizer. Unusually it wears the second template of 1943 and small stars.

This image of an artillery reconnaissance Il-2KR white 482 has a post-1943 camouflage (the 'puzzle' variant) modified with light brown and fresh dark grey or black repaintings on the rear fuselage, that is much more contrasted. Note the three digit numbers, common on this variant.

It's unclear if this plane had straight wooden wings (if built in late 1943), arrow wooden wings (built before May 1944) or arrow metal wings (built later).

(Photo from 4+ Publications-Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik)

Il-2KR of 96th OKAP in 1944. This plane has clearly arrow wings, with the late style flushed fairings for the VYa-23 guns that suggest metal wing consoles built in Z.18, probably from another plane.

The white bort number on the fuselage is unreadable in this photo.

Image from Lotnicze

Photo of a Polish Il-2KR with arrow wings in 1947. Although many Polish Il-2s already received the green livery, this plane still wears the Soviet-style camouflage. It's unknown if this plane had wooden or metal wing consoles.

Image from Lotnicze