The Soviet Canberra

FLYPAST CLASSICS: ILYUSHIN IL-28

Guy Martin assesses the world’s first successful jet bomber – the venerable Il-28

Pic 12 Il-28 Beagle (Nikolay Nilov via Ilyushin).jpg
A pleasing aerial view of Soviet Air Force Il-28 ‘85 Blue’.
PHOTOS MALCOLM V LOWE COLLECTION • ILYUSHIN VIA NIKOLAY NILOV • JB VIA MALCOLM V LOWE • KEY COLLECTION • ALAN WILSON • ILYUSHIN • XUAN SHISHENG • ALLEN WATKIN

Sergey Ilyushin’s Il-28 was the most mass-produced jet bomber ever. Providing the Eastern Bloc with a versatility comparable with the West’s English Electric Canberra, the type eventually proved its capabilities throughout 50-plus years’ continuous service globally. Several Chinese Harbin H-5s, licence-built copies, are still believed to be operational in North Korea.

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