The Monument to IL-2 in Samara

Monument to IL-2, Samara

At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the population and businesses of frontline cities were urgently evacuated to the east. Among many plants relocated to Samara (called Kuibyshev at the time) there were two aircraft plants: number 1 (from Moscow) and number 18 from Voronezh. And as early as the fall of 1941 they began mass production of the legendary IL -2. During the war, these plants manufactured over 27,000 aircraft, which accounted for 80 percent of the total units produced. To date, IL -2 is the most massive military aircraft in history.

The war ended and war veterans have decided to erect a monument to the real airplanes perpetuating the memory of the war plane. However, it turned out that 25 years after the end of operational flights, the model was not available either in the plant or in the Soviet Air Force hangars. Then the enthusiasts of the project organized a search operation, and, some time later, a well-preserved combat plane was found in the swamps of Murmansk region. The aircraft was delivered to Plant No. 18, where the old masters, who had assembled it a quarter-century ago, completely restored the fuselage, armament and equipment. Soon Il-2 was installed on a pedestal in front of the Plant gates.

On May 9, 1975, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the monument to the aircraft was moved to the city’s center, since IL- 2 has been an achievement not only of the plant, but also of Samara. Forty years after the plane was sent for restoration, and when returned to its former place, fitted with an illumination. Today it is a popular monument for wedding ceremonies, and of course, one of the main symbols of Samara.