Flying Heritage Collection has been busy since August 10, 2012 getting their newly acquired Ilyushin Il-2M3 Sturmovik ready for its public debut on September 15, 2012. The initial test pilot, putting the first few hours on the aircraft, was Steve Hinton. Beginning this week, FHC pilot John Penney began flying the aircraft and trained FHC staffer Jim Martinelli. Jim's first flight in the aircraft was August 15, 2012.
As the title suggests, of the more than 40,000 IL-2's produced during WWII, this is the only one in the world that is flying. It finished its restoration in late 2011 in Russia, and was received by FHC in early 2012.
This aircraft is powered by an Allison 1710 from a P-38 Lightning, so the propeller turns the proper direction (counterclockwise). The armor around the engine and cockpit even retained several bullet holes from when it was shot down.
This aircraft will put on a public display on September 15, and September 29th at Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. Flying events are free to the public and airplanes fire up at 12:00