Kit #AA2107. 1/72 scale. This is a highly-detailed
resin kit of the Ilyushin Il-102,
complete with decals.
Il-102 was an unsuccessful experimental jet-powered Šturmovík, an
armored ground-attack aircraft developed in competition with the successful Sukhoi Su-25. It’s closest Western “competitor” was the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Warthog, which
is still in service. A heavy two-seat
aircraft with low-mounted swept wings, it had a remotely-controlled tail turret
and two Klimov RD-33I turbofan
engines – a non-afterburning version of the engine that powered the MiG-29.
It weighed 28,000 pounds empty – 14 tons, much of it armor – and it had
a maximum take-off weight of 48,500 pounds. It carried an external 30mm cannon firing forward
and a single 23mm cannon in the rear-facing dorsal turret. It could carry nearly 16,000 pounds of bombs,
rockets and drop-tanks in six wing bomb bays – a hold-over from the Šturmovík, and eight external pylons. With a combat radius of around 400 miles, it
was definitely the spiritual descendent of the front-line Ilyushin Il-2 Šturmovík.
This plane, a private venture development of
the failed Ilyushin Il-42, first
flew in 1982, and after 400 test flights, it was grounded in 1984. But it
re-emerged in the Russian Federation in 1992 as “being available for export.” There were no takers. Today it serves as a “gate