July 26th, 2014 was the date for the first ever Flying Heritage Collection Skyfair. This was a spectacular aviation event run by the Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. The Skyfair was by no means a big air show but the aircraft on display were some of the most unique in the world, including the worlds only flying Ilyushin Il-2M3 Sturmovik.
This was the ultimate World War Two beast from the east! The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was known to Soviet troops as the “Flying Tank” and to the Germans as “Der Schwarze Tod” (“The Black Death“). It was a low-level ground attack aircraft, heavily armed (wing mounted 2 x high velocity 23mm cannons, 2 x 7.62mm machine guns, bombs/rockets and a rear firing 12.7mm machine gun for defence. Some later versions were armed with 37mm wing mounted cannons!) and protected by heavy armour plating around the crew, engine and fuel tank. The Il-2 wreaked havoc with German ground troops and the Panzer Korps. To see one fly is a treat, but to see one fly this close and not be its victim is amazing!