One of the benefits of some early holiday vacation time is that I’ve been able to download and enjoy the latest IL-2 content and I have for you folks my very first impressions of the new U-2VS and a ton of screenshots to help tied you over! Full review on this aircraft will be coming later so for now these are just my first thoughts.
Used for (nearly) everything
The U-2VS is also known as the Po-2. Designed under the supervision of famous Soviet-era aircraft maker Polikaprov, the diminutive biplane trainer was first flown in 1927 and was in service two years later as a basic trainer. This was the aircraft that nearly every Soviet fighter, bomber, and attack pilot trained on before going on to other types such as the Yak-1, IL-2, and Pe-2.
But training wasn’t the only thing that it did as it was pressed into service into all kinds of different roles. Reconnaissance, artillery spotting, light bomber, and medical transport cover some of the range of possibilities for this aircraft.
Famously, the 588th Night Bomber Regiment became known as the “Night Witches” as this all-female unit flew countless night-time missions harassing enemy positions, keeping troops awake with its peculiar engine note, and dropping bombs on unsuspecting targets.
In the Korean War the U-2 continued to see service flying the same kinds of missions in the early 1950s – more than two decades after its first flight.
The basic U-2VS in IL-2: Great Battles is extremely basic. No guns, bombs, lights, radio, or anything. Just a very basic airplane ready to fly and, if you feel like it, do some crazy stunts in. It’s as close to a general aviation aircraft as I think we’ll see in the IL-2 series.
From there the U-2VS gets added features
- A radio
- A landing light
- ShKAS 7.62mm machine gun strapped to the wing on the right side
- ShKAS 7.62mm machine gun turret
- Bomb carrying racks for FAB-50 and FAB-100 bombs
- Navigation lights
- Artificial horizon
All of these are extra and can be added or removed as necessary in the sim. They help represent the wide variety of options that were available on this aircraft
Fun to fly but so very slow
With a top speed under 200kph, nearly every aircraft in-game is going to pass this one by. That actually helps it by making it difficult to slow down enough to attack it and when flown low to the ground it becomes especially challenging to target.
I spent a few minutes flying between trees which go past much more slowly here than on any other aircraft.
When bombed up it feels pretty sluggish but quickly regains composure when the bombs are away. The ShKAS light machine gun kicks the aircraft a bit and the rudimentary gunsight is limiting but that all adds to the charm too.
It’s plenty aerobatic in the right circumstances too able to fly under a bridge, do a loop, and then fly back under without too much issue provided that you can get it to roll out in time!
Just my first impressions
I’m just forming my impressions now but once I’ve had a chance to really get to know this aircraft I will do a more full featured review and talk about what the U-2VS is to players and if you should buy it or not. If you have to have every aircraft in the collection, nothing is stopping you from the $19.99 promo price right now – but if you want to wait and see if its for you, stay tuned for that.
I will say that this aircraft appears to have been constructed to the highest levels by the third party developer that created it. We don’t know how much division of labour there was between 1CGS and the third party team but I hope its a sign of things to come in the future and the possibility that we’ll see some other unique types from them later (please let them loose on an IL-4 some day).
6 Comments Add yours
If it’s a 3-rd party module, perhaps there’s a chance to get a full start-up procedure? 😀
Seriously though, does it feel “alien”, or similar to the other 1C’s airplanes?
Have fun and safe flight!
Start-up is the same as all other IL-2/1CGS aircraft. It’s authentic but entirely automatic. I think this works for the series and without click pits… I think complex start-up procedures are a waste. Too many keyboard buttons required.
It feels absolutely integrated into the IL-2 series as everything else done by the 1CGS team. You honestly can’t tell that it wasn’t done by them.
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Small correction, the bombs should be FAB-100 and FAB-50 instead of SC100 and SC50, that’s the German designation 😛
You are very right! Article corrected immediately!
What is the max bomb load ? Might get this when it goes on sale in the future.
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The biggest load outs are 6xFAB-50 or 2xFAB-50 and 2xFAB-100. It’s not bad given the power and design of the aircraft.
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