IL-2 Collector Planes

The IL-2 series has some Collector Planes that exist alongside the rest of the Great Battles Series. Although each of these following planes aren’t connected to one of the IL-2: Great Battles releases directly, they do fit into different historical points in history. This entry in the Gazetteer will help provide context for IL-2’s Collector Planes.

Yak-1B Series 127

The Yak-1 series progressed over the course of the war with numerous modifications all aimed at making the fighter into an ever more effective fighting machine. The Yak-1B Series 127 represents an early to middle 1943 Yak-1 fighter packed full of improvements from earlier versions.

A new propeller, revised aerodynamics, refined construction, removal of the twin ShVAK 7.92mm machine guns in favour of the more powerful Berezin UB 12.7mm firing through the propeller arc, and the vastly improved visibility afforded by the bubble canopy turned the Yak-1B into one of the best fighters of the first part of WWII and an ace maker in the Soviet fighter pilot ranks.

Pros

  • Lighter and faster than earlier iterations of the Yak-1
  • Excellent handling attributes
  • Outstanding 360 degree vision from the cockpit

Cons

  • Small ammo supply
  • High altitude performance is not as good as opposing fighters

Best used with: IL-2: Battle of Kuban

Ju52/3m

The Luftwaffe’s ubiquitous tri-motor transport aircraft was used in every major operation undertaking by German during World War II from the first day to nearly the last. Though not particular fast or advanced, the Ju-52’s versatility as a troop transport, cargo carrier, and participation in some of the largest airborne assaults in history cement the Ju52’s reputation.

Pros

  • Versatile cargo carrying transport
  • Easy to fly
  • Tough and reliable

Cons

  • Slow top speed and low ceiling make the aircraft easily intercepted by enemy fighters

Best used with: Any series title

La-5FN Series 2

The La-5 Series 8 was proof of the concept of putting a powerful radial engine in a LaGG-3 could elevate that aircraft to a higher performance level. The La-5FN is that concept fully realized with one of the highest performing fighter interceptors of WWII.

Twin synchronized 20mm ShVAK cannons, bubble canopy, and one of the fastest low altitude top speeds makes the La-5FN a fearsome opponent with few weaknesses. Somewhat less agile than the Yak-1B, the La-5FN is nonetheless a relatively agile fighter able to match and exceed German fighters right up through medium altitudes.

Pros

  • Well armed
  • Very good visibility
  • Excellent roll rate at most speeds
  • Extremely fast at low and medium altitudes

Cons

  • Average turn rate
  • Limited range
  • High altitude performance still not able to match the Bf109

Best used with: IL-2: Battle of Kuban

Bf109G-6

Though slightly compromised, the Bf109G-6 is one of the most produced Bf109 variants of WWII and comes with some advantages of its own. Though heavier and slightly less agile than earlier versions of the Bf109, the G-6 makes up for its deficiencies by hitting much harder than earlier versions with two standard MG131 heavy machine guns in the nose, a standard MG151/20 cannon in the nose or an optional MK108 30mm cannon that can devastate bombers and fighters in precious few hits.

The G-6 may have some of its performance compromised by the added equipment, but it remains one of the top fighters in any comparison.

Pros

  • Well armed with standard heavy machine guns
  • Optional MK108 30mm cannon is a powerhouse
  • Standard Bf109 capabilities still apply with excellent high and medium altitude performance including speed and climb rate (though slightly diminished)

Cons

  • The Bf109G-6 lacks some of the crisp handling of earlier models
  • Vulnerable to light battle damage

Best used with: IL-2: Battle of Kuban

 

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