Technical data
Type Il-54
Function Bomber
Year 1954 1955
Crew 33
Engines (two) 5000kg (8600kg) AL-7 (MR-40) 6500kg (10000kg) AL-7F
Length 28.96m
Wingspan 17.65m
Wing area 84.6m2
Empty weight 23560kg 24000kg
Loaded weight 36820kg 40660kg
Maximum weight 38000kg 41600kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 435 480.6
Thrust/Weight 0.260.32
Maximum Speed 1170km/h 1250km/h
Cruise Speed 910km/h
Range 2200km 2500km
Ceiling 13000m 14000m
Guns 3*23mm NR-23
one fixed forward, two remotely controlled in tail
Normal: 3000kg
Overload: 5000kg

Il-54, Il-149, S.V.Ilyushin 'Blowlamp'

20k b/w picture from Russian Power Site.

Continuing development of front line bombers, team of S.V.Ilyushin started development of supersonic jet bomber, capable to achieve speed M=1.15 at altitude 4750m and deliver 3000kg bombs at range 2400-2750km.

Early Il-54 layout, from Russian Power

Two preliminary layouts were approved by S.V.Ilyushin.

  • March 1953: Mid-wing with traditional landing gear, engines (TRD-I) in the wing roots, T-tail. This option was rejected due to large high speed interference between engine nacells and fuselage. Main landing gear, retracting into the wing, made it structure overweight and overcomplicated.
  • November 1953: High-wing aircraft with conventional tail, engine in underwing nacells and bicycle landing gear. High wing allowed to keep engines high enough from the ground. Moving bulky wheels inside the fuselage allowed to enjoy advantages of simple thin wing and small engine nacells. Of course on expense of more complicated fuselage - it had to be strengthened to handle increased load during the landing and accommodate two more large cavities (in addition to bomb bay and radar opening).
  • Il-54 takeoff kneeling, from Russian Power

    The rear wheels (carrying less load than front ones) was equipped with kneeling mechanism, allowing to double incidence angle on takeoff. Traditional for bicycle scheme retractable wing tip supports assisted on taxi and Takeoff Roll.

    Three men crew included pilot, navigator and radio operator-gunner in the extreme tail. All 'work places' were heavily armored and equipped with ejection seats (pilot - upwards, navigator and gunner - downwards). In case of emergency landing each crew member could use an escape hatch on the top of his cockpit. Inflatable raft was ejected automatically if Il-54 was water-landed.

    Il-54 versions, from Russian Power

    Following versions were considered for the Il-54:

    Trials of the first Il-54 (AL-7 engines) started on April 3, 1955. Aircraft was flown by V.K.Kokkinaki and pilot noticed good in-flight handling, while landing and takeoff were somewhat more complicated than with traditional landing gear. Later same year second Il-54 was flown with upgraded AL-7F engines.As a result of those tests pair of ventral fins were added under the tail.

    Despite Il-54 passed all tests and satisfied all requirements, it did not see mass production. Country leadership was fascinated with guided missile progress and underestimated role of combat aircraft.

    Western mass media questioned existence of such a bomber in Soviet arsenals, until on June 25, 1956 Il-54 was demonstrated on airshow near Moscow (Tushino? Domodedovo?) under fake designation Il-149 and 36 Il-54s performed a fly-past on the airforce parade following year.

    More Links...
  • Il-54
  • Il-54/Il-149, Ilyushin 'Blowlamp' - in Russian;
  • Il-54, Ilyushin 'Blowlamp'
  • IL-54 at Virtual Aircraft Museum
  • Modified December 2, 1997 Back to
    Main Gate